Author Topic: are you using this stuff?  (Read 14805 times)

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Offline mike

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are you using this stuff?
« on: December 23, 2000, 08:32:00 pm »
So, obviously we're all Sunn collectors here, but how many of you all are actually  using vintage Sunn equipment out on gigs, jams, etc., as opposed to just creating a shrine to one's teenage gear lust down in the rec room.  Whaddya got? How are ya using it? What kind of music do you play? How often? Any pros or semi-pros? What are you up against---that is...assuming that most of us are bass players, how does your rig hold up against your guitar player's(I've been quite satisfied when a six-stringer with a Marshall 100w half-stack told ME to turn down my 2000s set-up). All you Sunn guitar amp users, ever make a Marshall, Fender, or Mesa Booger owner cry for mercy in the volume contest? And you younger-than-boomer Sunn users...what about these amps attracted you? Anyone have any humorous, weird, amazing stories about playing out with Sunn gear. Didya ever have to explain what these amps are all about(even many non-musicians have a vague idea of what a "Marshall Stack" is, but amung alot of rockers, I've had to explain the significance of Sunn amps "back in the day"). C'mon, everybody, make a report...

Offline slade

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2000, 11:19:00 pm »
what are you kidding? of course i use this stuff. i have owned and used a Model T and 2000s. they were awesome but i could not hang with the expensie of tubes. i am currently using TWO older Coliseum bass heads ( excellent but i must admit their character is not as complex ). they work even better for me. they are loud as hell, are even punchier than the T and 2000, and are no muss no fuss thump. i run them to two sunn 200s size 2-15  cabs.
  as far as volume goes, with my guitar player's  68 100 watt plexi (smooth and creamy) and 100 watt Hiwatt (mean nasty and aggressive) dimed ive never been over 6.
  i got into this gear by fate i suppose. i found a cat who wanted something modern for jazz and funk. i had a Hartke 2000 and he had a 2000s. i wanted something classic rock so we swaped. that was it for me i was hooked. after i got into them the very timely Teagle articles in the VG came out.

we play, what probably to most ears will sound like, rock of the era these amps came from. classic. check it out.

goto mp3 - search for - The Ohm Group Limited

Offline the Reverend Rob

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2000, 07:38:00 pm »
I'm using the dreaded Sunn Solos II combo that even Sunn-lovers appear to hate for practice, recording, and gigging as a guitar and occasional bass player; it has a character its own and I just lucked into it at a pawn shop that didn't know what it was.  I took one look at it, turned it on, and wondered why everyone hated the thing.  

Sure, it doesn't have distortion worthy of any attention, but the clean sound and the trem channel are well worth attention.  After about a year with the thing now, it's become my favorite amp over and above vintage Fenders.  I use it in conjunction with a Fender Deluxe 112 combo live, trusting the Sunn for my mostly clean sound without problems.  I don't buy by labels, I buy by my ear, and my ear says keep the thing and don't let anyone near it. :smile:

It's loud, sounds decent, and was a steal; I just wish there was more information available on it, since I'd love another or something that sounds close on the trem channel.  It gets used very regularly, as in addition to my own experimental music material, I'm the backing music for a few spoken word and erotica artists, so I probably qualify as semi-pro (after all, I bought it with a royalty check) these days.

The amp can be heard frequently on my available tracks at mp3.com; visit http://www.mp3.com/thereverendrob .  

I'd be lost without the amp at this point; it replaced a multitude of pedals and rotating amp lineups that I kept cycling through trying to nail the sound that the Sunn gave me with the first chord.

Offline mike

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2000, 08:59:00 pm »
Hey, Reverend, are you in L.A.? If so, there's a Solos(I think it's a II, I'm not quite sure what the difference between the I & II is) in the back of Black Market Music on La Cienega, in the aisle on the left where all the odds 'n' ends amps are. They want just under $300.  Thanks for your story; I don't think that the first generation (not counting the Orion series)of Sunn solid state amps(including the Solos)could be that disregarded; after all, the Coliseum(and Concert)series amps emerged at the same time, and they were quite well respected, sporting some then-innovative features.  Maybe the super-clean transistor sound for guitar was a bit much to take when everyone's ears were accustomed to a gritty tube break up, but to be honest, even the Sunn tube guitar amps(because of the 6550 &/or KT88 power tubes)were very bright and clean, quite a world away from the Brit/Marshall sound. I'd like to think of it as a Fender-with-balls tone, as Sunn guitar amps provided plenty of low-end. I've even used Sunn tube guitar heads for bass quite sucessfully, thank you. As far as the Solos is concerned, I think Jon Spencer uses one to get some nasty shrieking tones that fits his style perfectly. It actually looks like a forerunner to the Roland JC120, and that's an amp that doesn't get any respect, but it's still around after 25 years, and there was a time when all the jazz & fusion guys used 'em.  What kind of info do you need? My '72 catalog states that it features an FET preamp section, with the "exclusive X20 switch laying down a fat, tube distortion sound", which translates, I guess, to meaning an overdrive stage. 120 watts RMS, 280 peak(ouch!), two 12" Sunn transducers, OR two 12" Vega speakers upgrade, or...a third option with a single 15" JBL, intended for jazz or pedal steel players.

Offline mike

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2000, 09:19:00 pm »
Slade, that's very cool that you were able to snag TWO Coliseums; serious thunder. Is vintage Sunn gear easy or difficult to come by where you are? Did you sell the "T" or the 2000s?  It would be a hellacious rig to use the Coliseums for cleaner low end power, and the T &/or the S for mid/top grit(with appropriate speakers), sort of the John Entwistle fantasy set-up, but I'm sure your back muscles or club owners wouldn't appreciate it! Thanks for responding.

Offline slade

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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2000, 10:40:00 pm »
i own probably just about all the Sunn gear in this area! im kidding but its not far from the truth. i have seen many good deals on the net and gotten most of my Sunn gear on-line. i have only seen four Sunn pieces in the area for sale that where not mine. i have one of those now. its a 1-18. the odd thing i have noticed is the disproportion of heads to cabs. i see maybe 1 to 2 cabs for every 10 heads. i wonder where they are all at.
 i did sell both the T and 2000s. i thought about the two amp thing for a blended sound, but decided that i would only use that with an 8 string so it could be truly massive. the 2000s was well, very Felix P and the T reminded me of Geddy Lee's tone on Rush's Exit Stage Left. actually my guitar palyer (who is a amp snob) used the T a bit when we recorded and he loved it!
 i can get a pretty good Entwistle tone as is but i try to give it some more "mud" than the Ox. i guess more Bruce-ish. i love the topy grit of guys like the Ox and Squire and Lee but love the thud and thump of those lower mids. thick with buzz like bees stuck in honey.
 
what are you running into your Sunns?  i use Hamer cruise basses with the 2tek bridges. no effects currently.

Offline stacy schrag

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2000, 04:21:00 pm »
Oh yes, I could not conceive of playing through anything else but Sunn. My introduction to these awesome amps was through a local psychedelic/punk/gloom band. I loved the bottom heavy sound the guitarist had. I found out it was an early 80's Concert Lead. I lucked out and bought it from him for $100. Found out later he was a big coke-head  and sold his gear frequently.
Through the years, I have had 2 older silver faced Concert leads, 3 newer 80's Concert leads and 2 4-12 cabs and a 15'' cab. I currently play through 2 80's Concert Leads. One powers a new Sunn 4-12. The other powers an old Sunn 4-12 (a Beta 402) and a 15'' cab (a Beta 105). Loud??? Oh yes. I play in an instrumental metal band thats just me and a drummer, no bassist needed. I bought my 3rd Concert Lead off of a guy that didn't like the distortion. My gain I say. I love the distortion on these amps. I had a roomie who was a tube freak, Marshalls-only guy. Even he was impressed by my amp's sound.
I have had my head fall from 5 feet up onto concrete and keep on going. Try that with a tube head. A friend brought his Boogie to play through my cabs. He never even plugged it in. As for a volume contest, I have turned my amps up to 5 and had people complain I was drowning them out.
As for collecting, I buy all I can afford. To build up the wall of amps, for internal and cosmetic parts and just 'cause I love 'em so much. I've never paid more than $200 for any piece of Sunn gear I've owned. Heads for $200 and $125 each, 4-12 cab for $200 and the 15" inch cab for $125. In the northwest, its fairly easy to find the stuff. Just gotta look in every hole in the wall shop, but its worth it.
Domination through Amplification.

Offline joe changle

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2000, 06:16:00 pm »
my first bass amp was a sunn sonaro..40 watts rwo piece amp..god i loved that amp...

I am currently a dj using a set of sunn model 8 pa speakers upgraded with 300 watt woofers and they are awesome..I won't part with them!

sunn forever!!!!!!!!!!!1

Offline the Reverend Rob

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are you using this stuff?
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2000, 10:51:00 pm »
No, unfortunately, I'm in SE Idaho.  How one ended up out here is beyond me, but it's mine now.  I may have to see if shipping from LA is feasible, as I'd love another one for the house.

The info you gave out of the catalog is more info than I've been able to scare up, thanks!  I knew it was early 70s, but didn't have any other info besides the blistering volume.  I've never turned it up past 3 and that's enough to get dirty looks from death metal bands.  

The JC-120 analogy is very apt; it's the closest thing I've found to the Solos II, although I prefer the overall sound of the Sunn (not the weight though).  Thank the gods for casters. :smile:

For the record, the "x20 switch" doesn't do a whole lot; at most it simulates mild tube breakup, and mine just stays off since I only have one of the footswitch sets for mine and I'd rather keep it on the tremolo and reverb.

Offline sunn

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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2001, 10:01:00 pm »


   I was the gtr tech for the melvins in 97.  Buzz swore up and down about his Beta Leads.  After hearing them night after night for 5 mos., going up against Page Hamilton VHT rig,  I fell deeply in love with the Beta's.  Buzz really never turned the master up past 2 - 2 1/2, but the stage volume was so out of hand, comming out of the 2 Hi-Watt 4x12s he was using, my teeth would rattle.  
   
     When I got home, I searched all over for one, and for the longest time I couldn't find one.  Then I got lucky and found a Beta Lead w/ 4x12 cab at a shop that was going out of biz, and got it so cheap I could still by beer for the rest of the month.

So if anyone finds a used Beta Lead w/the 4x12, in exc. cond. drop me a line.  

-Sunnyboy

Offline stacy schrag

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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2001, 07:38:00 pm »
Hey sunnboy!!!
I have seen the Melvins many a time and wondered if you could answer a few questions, if you don't mind.
I saw something Sunn-like in Buzz's rack gear once, looking much like a rack-mount pre-amp. Do you know anything about it? Could it have been a Sunn head modified to fit in a rack-mount?
Also, I haven't had the chance to play through a Beat Lead. How does it compare to a Concert Lead (assuming you have heard one of those as well)?
Just wondering...
Domination through Amplification.

Offline Bill K.

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« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2001, 09:41:00 pm »
I use my Sorado rig for small gigs and recording. I use my 2000s rig slaved with an SVTCL rig. If I can find more Sunn stuff, I'll use that too!

Offline rumblethump

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« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2001, 04:31:00 am »
In 73 my band played in Portland and I saw my first Sunn amp, it was a Model T.  Looked and sounded way cool, but I never got a chance to play through it myself.  About 2 1/2 years ago a guitarist
who by the way has the best tone I've ever heard on stage, told me about a Sunn 2000s that used to be a studio amp in Stockton Ca.  He brought it to an outside jam and I hooked it up to my 1-15 and 2-10 cabs.  I finally found the tone I was seeking all these years.  It was gone through completely and retubed just before I purchased it.  I have used it at 2-4 times a month exclusively, on all my gigs and it sounds as great as the day I bought it.  I would like to add that I place a 2" piece of foam between my amp and speakers to cut down on vibration related problems.  With my showman years ago, I had put new 6L6s in every 2 or 3 months (turned completely blue).  Not sure if the foam helps, but it cant hurt.
A World without music would be WRONG!

Offline chris krap

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« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2001, 05:49:00 pm »


Awwww Yeeeaaaah.  Sunn is the shiz-nit.  I remember when my band started "moving up" to more powerful gear, I got a Sovtek and the base player got a Sunn Coliseum and Beta Bass.  Sickening!  How embarassing to have the high end of your guitar absorbed by a crappy bass player!  So, now I've been using a Beta Lead for a few years.  Pretty nice sound, but I'm moving up to the Enforcer, something I'd never even heard of until recently.  Glad to know I can get a Sunn tube head that's less than 100 years old.  I play heavy, Sabbath/Melvins style guitar, so I appreciate Sunn's warm tone and jagged marble staircase distortion.  Screw fuzz!  I want chainsaw gain!  One warning, I'm not a "boomer", only 25, but hey kids, use some ear protection!  My excuse was that the music sounded like @!#$ when I used ear-plugs.  Well, I didn't protect my ears, and now EVERYTHING sounds like @!#$.  I have to keep getting more and more volume!

OH, CRUEL SUNN!!!