Author Topic: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?  (Read 4173 times)

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Offline OTTO

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WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« on: December 04, 2010, 04:36:34 pm »
Im a guitar player. I have both a full guitar rig & a full bass rig. I just sold my ampeg sv4 bass head.

I want something that can push and 8x10 bass cab or be a guitar head.

I know ampeg v4 go either way


Offline stanner

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2010, 04:43:49 pm »
i use my 2000S and my coliseum bass for  two 8X10s-in a pinch my old Models Ts work perfectly for the lo thud work
AMPSSOUNDBETTERLOUDER

Offline jdfarrell81

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2010, 06:02:57 pm »
If I had to choose one amp based on suitability, availability, and bang for the buck, I'd suggest the 200s or any of its cousins (Sorado/Sonaro), though you may find them a bit underpowered for some live situations.

Model T's are an obvious choice if for no other reason than their higher power relative to most other Sunn tube heads. I found my Model T's to be a bit too crunchy and aggresive for all-around bass use, but that's just my personal taste.

The 2000s is another option. Plenty of guitarists, some fairly notable, have achieved good results using 2000s', and they're obviously AMAZING bass amps.

I'm currently using both a Sorado and a later model, 6550-driven Sonaro for dual guitar and bass duty, and I'm very pleased with the results.

In general, I think it's safe to say that any old Sunn tube bass amp will sound "good" for guitar, but you'll probably find yourself needing a pedal or two to get a really good guitar tone from those bass amps.

I don't know much about the later solid-state amps, but some of them have excellent reputations and seem versatile enough to suit your needs. I'm sure someone else on the forum can help us out with that.

Offline pickinatit

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 10:29:18 am »
I would think that the 1000S series amp with the tremolo and reverb (post 1969 ? ) would be an ideal choice since, I believe,  the 1000S  is the same amp as the 2000S.  I have a 2000S  and played through a pair of D140f's it makes for a terrific sounding guitar amp IMO except I personaly miss the reverb (that my Solarus has) so I stick with the Solarus.

Offline grimniggzy

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 11:25:18 am »
As far as solid state models I've found most of the ones I've tried can be used convincingly for both.
Here's a rundown of the models I've played. And a rundown from the top of my list to the bottom.
These can all be found for around $300-$400 which IMO is totally worth it.

Winner:
Sunn Beta Lead: This is hands down the winner of ALL the amps I've tried for doubling convincingly as a guitar and a bass head.

2nd Place:
Sunn Coliseum Lead: Convincing in both categories, I just favor the Beta Lead for guitar but like the Coliseum better for bass than the Beta Lead.

3rd Place:
Sunn Beta Bass: This is my main bass, I believe it smokes ALL the others in that category. It can cop a really nice chunky, blues tone but it can't compete with the Beta Lead as far as guitar is concerned. If you get this one you'll need a good overdrive pedal for use with guitar.

4th Place:
Sunn Concert Lead: Convincing in both categories but you lose a little headroom and volume compared to the Betas & Coliseums. If you get this one you'll probably want a good overdrive pedal.

5th Place:
Sunn Concert Bass: Again, convinging in both categories but you lose headroom and volume and its not as high gain as the Lead amps and much more lo-fi sounding for guitar. If you get this one you'll NEED a good overdrive pedal for guitar use IMO.

I've never played a Coliseum 300, but I'm sure it'd do a good job as well.

I would also think a Model T would get you close to V4 territory but I personally wouldn't use one for bass. Although some (Dixie Dave used one w/Bongzilla) like it just fine.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 12:59:06 pm by grimniggzy »
Sunn Coliseum Bass--->Sunn 215B
Sunn Beta Bass--->Ampeg 410HLF
Sunn Beta Lead--->Marshall 4X12
2 Sunn Concert Basses
3 Fender P's, 1 Fretless J, 2 Statss, AmpegPlexiBass
OC-2 + QTrons + RATs + VTBass

Offline Isaac

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2010, 08:00:30 am »
I've used my Model T for both guitar and bass, as well as my old Sceptre (sold long ago) and Sentura II (same circuitry as the Sceptre). All three worked great.

I've never tried my 200S as a guitar amp.
Isaac

Offline Soundmasterg

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2010, 08:09:24 am »
I've tried my 200S and 2000S as bass amps (completely awesome) and guitars amps (too bright and way too much bass, harsh) and I've also tried a Sunn Spectrum 2, which was a guitar amp. The Spectrum 2 sounded alright for guitar, and ok for bass, but I like my 200S/2000S better for bass, and other amps better for guitar, but then I'm on record as not like Sunn amps for guitar very much. I think if an amp was modified to add some switching to where you could switch out some caps and switch a different tone stack setup in and out, then it would be better for both. The harshness for guitar comes somewhat from the higher voltages used in Sunns. It will sound ok clean but when it gets overdriven it will be harsh and bright, which may work well for heavier styles of music with added pedals.


Greg

Offline EdBass

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2010, 08:14:20 am »
What was the difference between the Model T "Lead" and the Model T "Bass" listed in the 1974 catalog? It looks like by 1975 the Model T had no such designation, and I was under the belief that the Model T was an "AP" (All Purpose) amplifier, similar to the way Hiwatts were in that era.

Offline grimniggzy

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2010, 08:44:10 am »
What was the difference between the Model T "Lead" and the Model T "Bass" listed in the 1974 catalog? It looks like by 1975 the Model T had no such designation, and I was under the belief that the Model T was an "AP" (All Purpose) amplifier, similar to the way Hiwatts were in that era.

Yup they are, I believe the only difference was the cabinet it came with in the 74 catalog.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 10:23:27 am by grimniggzy »
Sunn Coliseum Bass--->Sunn 215B
Sunn Beta Bass--->Ampeg 410HLF
Sunn Beta Lead--->Marshall 4X12
2 Sunn Concert Basses
3 Fender P's, 1 Fretless J, 2 Statss, AmpegPlexiBass
OC-2 + QTrons + RATs + VTBass

Offline CLD

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2010, 08:45:58 am »
Same conclusion here. Those clever marketing guys tried to pull a fast one!
Sunn since June 1971!
1971 Sorado, 2000S, Coliseum Bass, Coliseum Lead
1970 200S; 1974 Coliseum 880

Offline grimniggzy

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2010, 11:09:14 am »
Yeah, I know, but if I bought a Model T for bass use and ended up with a guitar cab I'd have been pretty mad.
Sunn Coliseum Bass--->Sunn 215B
Sunn Beta Bass--->Ampeg 410HLF
Sunn Beta Lead--->Marshall 4X12
2 Sunn Concert Basses
3 Fender P's, 1 Fretless J, 2 Statss, AmpegPlexiBass
OC-2 + QTrons + RATs + VTBass

Offline Walt-Dogg

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2010, 02:27:08 pm »
From what I've gathered, a first OR second generation Model T will be decent for guitar or bass also a second generation (mid/late 70's - red knob) Concert Lead does quite well for both. But of course you're gonna need a good distortion pedal for guitar.
Gibson Les Paul Special
Electra X260
Squier Precision Bass MIJ
Science Hellhawk 100w
Ampeg VT-22/V-4
Science Mother
Mojotone Bluesbreaker 2x12
Mojotone British 4x12
Ampeg SVT 810

Offline Johnny Guitar

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2010, 11:05:48 pm »
I played a 1968 Gibson ES-335 through a Spectrum 1 with a 215 (D-130's) cab in 1970 and loved it.  I was 16, those were the days.  My other guitar player had a Gibson SG through a Fender Dual Showman with a 215 ( D-130's ) and it sounded great too.  The few times we played somewhere my Bass player rented a Sunn Sorado with a standard 215 cab.... and yes it sounded great too!

From what I understand you could use any standard amp head ( non reverb ) for any instrument.  The amps with the "Low & High " switches were "voiced" better for Bass ( sorado, 200S etc.).  The amps with the "Contour" control were "voiced" better for Guitar ( Spectrum I & II, 100S etc. ).

Johnny G. 

Offline xsolarusx

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Re: WHICH SUNN AMP BEST DOUBLES AS GUITAR/BASS HEAD?
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2010, 07:42:28 am »
I've run guitar and bass through a 1st gen. Model T, Solarus(80w), and a beta lead, all with positive results.

Model T was preferable, though. If you want a gnarly sound, get on it. Apparently the 2nd gen is solid as well.
(2) 73 1st Gen Model T
Late 70's Marshall JCM 800 1960B cab