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Obscure European and Asian amps
Old 21st April 2011
  #1
Obscure European and Asian amps

Hi, years ago I once saw an article about rare, esoteric old instrument amps from Europe.

I think it was Guitar Player Magazine, or somthing...I dunno.

Anyway, the article's title was "Eurotrash Amps", meaning old budget amps made in Europe etc.

The gist was about how to get great guitar tones on a budget with these amps. They had things like Selmers etc, and maybe 4-5 other models / brands.

I got to plug my guitar into a Selmer amp made for accordian (?) over the weekend, and man ...it sounded great. Broke up in a nice way that wasn't crackly or buzzy. Very few new amps sound this way.

I can't remember for the life of me what any of those other amps in that old article were, but now I am really curious, and wish I'd paid better attention.

Anybody have a suggestions for rare / obscure non-USA made amps from back in the day? European, Japanese, Korean...I ain't picky.
Tube, SS...whatever.

Preferably "sleepers" ...or ones that aren't very over the top expensive?

Thanks,
john
Old 21st April 2011
  #2
ST.
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How about companies like Ace Tone or Guyatone? I think they are both Japanese. They sound decent to me and as far as I know are fairly cheap. I'm sure there are differing opinions though.

Sorry if those were obvious picks.
Old 21st April 2011
  #3
Did they make amps? I know Guyatone made pedals...
If you have any models I can search Google for, let me know.
Thanks, keep em' coming...
John
Old 21st April 2011
  #4
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A German brand that I like very much is "Suprem". In the 60's and 70's guitar players called them the 'poor man's Dynacord', but this is simply not true at all. Smooth, creamy and defined. And a great spring
There are not many models, but the 'classic' is a tube combo – which is rarely also available as head!
Old 26th April 2011
  #5
Wow, that's one I have never heard of. Further, I wasn't aware Dynacord made tube guitar amps. I know they made other pro audio stuff, and I remember when EV bought them, but it was all IC based stuff by them I think, and mostly sound reinforcement stuff. Maybe delays etc.

I guess this thread has run it's course? I thought it would be an interesteing topic, as I for one am always looking for different guitar tones.

I think with the explosion of "vintage-ish" type small tube amps that are being manufactured new now, the interest in the old amps might have died off a bit. This can be good though, maybe the prices for old Valco's etc. will drop back down again.

Who knows...

Any other sleeper amps?
Thanks,
John
Old 26th April 2011
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Did they make amps? I know Guyatone made pedals...
If you have any models I can search Google for, let me know.
Thanks, keep em' coming...
John
I had a Guyatone bass amp combo from the 80's ! wow the memories of that thing It was right from Japan so I had to use this power converter thing . It had a built in limiter that worked great very cool mid range control on it . got rid of it a year ago :( Good little practice amp - then I went AMpeg - but then I sold all that .
Old 26th April 2011
  #7
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not sure Selmers qualify, they're hardly affordable anymore.
Old 26th April 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

Isn't that brand wizard european? I've always wanted to try one of those I heard they were amazing

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Old 26th April 2011
  #9
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Carlsboro use to make some interesting valve amps. The there were the WEM Dominator series of valve combos. They both show up for not much cash these days. Although has to be said, beware of the those who think anything with valves in it is *boutique* and therefore worth a fortune.
Old 26th April 2011
  #10
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Oh and this one... Pretty rare but a right royal beast of an amp. The one and only VLM... 1981 - 1982
Old 26th April 2011
  #11
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Speaking of "Dynacord" : this one is really amaaaazing!!! (Though the price on that page is far too high...)
Old 26th April 2011
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireMoon View Post
Carlsboro use to make some interesting valve amps. The there were the WEM Dominator series of valve combos. They both show up for not much cash these days. Although has to be said, beware of the those who think anything with valves in it is *boutique* and therefore worth a fortune.
I have a WEM Dominator Mk III, it's a great guitar amp. Makes a rhodes sound amazing too!

I also have an old "Carlsbro Sound Equipment" 100w tube PA head. Don't use it much though, so if anyone wants to buy this ...ahem... vintage boutique tube classic... contact me.
Old 27th April 2011
  #13
ST.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWTON IN ORBIT View Post
Did they make amps? I know Guyatone made pedals...
If you have any models I can search Google for, let me know.
Thanks, keep em' coming...
John
Sorry, the amp I have is a "GA-60ZR". While mine is old, it's hardly vintage (I think you can still find them new). I've seen some most definite vintage guyatone amps for sale though. I think some are Fender ripoffs while others are unique.

search: "グヤトーン アンプ" in google images to get an idea of what's out there.

Incidentally, they also make guitars (and kind of weird looking ones at that). Kind of reminds me of some of those old Harmony guitar designs.
Old 27th April 2011
  #14
Damn, very cool stuff!

I had a Studiomaster console once...did the amp sound good? Overdrive nice? I didn't realize so many of these manufacturers branched out that far, doing recording gear AND instruments.

This is rare, except for keyboard manufacturers nowadays.

And yes, that Dynacord looks sweet! I bet if you can find one, it isn't cheap.tutt

I didn't think the Selmer I tried was too bad...not sure what you mean about the quality. I actually liked the tone, but hey.

Keep em' comin' if you think of them.

I'll put a list together, and search ebay from time to time for them I think.

Thanks!
John
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