1964 Guild Thunderbird tube amp

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1964 Guild Thunderbird tube amp

Postby zosorange on Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:44 am

HELP !!! I have a 1964 Guild Thunderbird tube amp. I have been searching for information for 2 years and keep turning up empty handed.I have checked many vintage amp books. The blue book of amps, also been to sam ash and guitar center and no information was available. I have searched the entire internet and all the information i have found was that two recording studios offer the amp for recording. I was told that the amp could be very limited prototype. If anybody can help me out with information anout this amp it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, TOM
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Postby Pink Panther on Tue Mar 28, 2006 12:23 pm

Are you sure your "amp" is an amp?? :lol: :P
Because I didn't find anything about it..only about a Guild Thunderbird guitar :?
That's strange!
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Postby Humbucking on Tue Mar 28, 2006 3:01 pm

Guild Thunderbird or Thunder? the Thunder is probably the most comon of the guild amps! do a search on ebay & check the completed listings! about 4 show up! finding info on the old guilds is tough. i have a 100J wich is a 1x15 with trem. 2 6L6GCs, 4 12AX7's & a GZ34 rectifier. made in Hoboken NJ!
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Postby gldtp99 on Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:21 pm

i got some Guild amp schematics here--http://www.fender.com/support/manuals/manuals.php.............gldtp99
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1964 guild

Postby zosorange on Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:10 pm

The amplifier is a guild thunderbird. I have been looking for 2 years and keep turning up empty handed. Looks like all the other guild amps with the two tone cloth grill. Says right on the front under the controld THUNDERBIRD BY GUILD. Thanks for the replies!!!!
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Postby Alsteen on Wed Apr 05, 2006 6:53 pm

From Guildguy Jay Pilzer


And if you need an amp for your Freshman, try plugging in to a genuine Guild Thunderbird. We will bypass our usual witty segue and Thunder back to 1968 (OK, force of habit) to look at this beauty. This roadworthy old gal drives our points about Guild's willingness to experiment squarely home in a most tuneful way. Most of the cosmetics put this amp in the middle of the Thunder series amps, while other design features herald some changes that were prevalent in the black tolex era.

The Thunderbird sports the same speaker configuration as the Thunder 1 Reverb (12"/8") in a slightly larger cabinet. The fawn Tolex and "mother of Station wagon" coverings and control panel follow the design of our Thunderbass amp. There are also aluminum bezels around the edges to cover the transition from tolex to shelfpaper. Classy in a "Trailer-bride" kind of way.

While the other amps we have looked at have been hand-wired, point-to-point on terminal stripes, the Thunderbird flies in the face of this aspect of Hoboken tradition. Our newest piece sports a pc board for each circuit. (i.e. input, tremelo, reverb, driver) The preamp tubes, a pc mount, and the output tubes are chassis-mounted and hard-wired making this amp much easier to service than our late '69 Thunderstar which reverts to point to point.

The next departure from the Thunder tradition is the absence of a reverb tank in the cabinet bottom. "Where did it go", you ask. Now it resides inside the chassis behind the pots. This makes the circuit more susceptible to noise from movement but as long as the reverb speaker (8" CTS 137702) is wired out of phase with the main speaker (12" non-original) noise problems are nil. This wiring scheme is the same as our Thunder 1 reverb.

The three-way tone switch (flat, bright, brightest) also serves to drive the reverb pan harder as we move towards its flat setting. This design is similar to the dwell control on the Fender 6G15 tanks, making it easy to get that Dick Dale/Ventures "bong" on the note attack. Reverb is also available on both channels. Top that, Fullerton!

The trem circuit looks normal from the outside, belying the cavalcade of options available from the "Guild Syncopation System." This breakthrough (?!?) promises "electronic repeat with variable speed plus organ effects and trick sounds..." by way of an FET in channel one (trem). Again we use the 3-way tone switch now in combination with the trem depth and speed controls to govern these effects. OK, the system sounds neither tricky nor organ-like, but it does add some nice variations to an already usable mainstay.

The output section comprises 2 7591 tubes and a solid-state rectifier good for about 30 watts (think Reverborocket).

Now to the nitty gritty: this baby has spent many a night on stage fighting her way through Fender benders and Ampeg assaults. She has the cosmetic wear to prove it. But the most significant war wound from the past left her outfitted with two different brands of 7591's each drawing nearly 70ma of plate current. The fact that the plates weren't glowing nuclear red shows how tough old stock tubes can be.

Some critics claim that 7591's are both impossible to find and prohibitively pricey. There have been many published conversions to 6V6 or 6L6's. Amp king Ken Fisher at Trainwreck circuits, however, believes the EL-34 is the closest match to the 7591 in both sound and specs. Ken believes that a pair of NOS 7591's will outlast most new tubes anyway, so why change? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 7591's are available and worth the effort to find.

We did, of course, dial the tubes back to 40ma plate current. Thanks to Guild's use of a separate adjustment pot for each output tube, we were able to closely match the tubes.

Next we replaced the non-original so-so speaker with a New Sensor 12" Alnico 35 watter. After cleaning and repairing the tolex and cabinet, we put her back together. With a few simple parts, a bit of elbow grease and a soldering iron, we reassembled the Thunderbird and are truly able to rave about our Deluxe killer. This is hard to admit. Until we starting messing with Guild amps, we were, to put it succinctly, Fender snobs--and for good reason. But this Thunderbird smokes. While we have qualified praise for others of the Thunder series (they are fine amps for the money), the Thunderbird just flat out smokes any 30-watt amp we've ever heard.

For a fat, punchy sound from clean to scream, find a Thunderbird amp, clean it up, and play for hours. It is just that good.
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Re: 1964 Guild Thunderbird tube amp

Postby Charmless on Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:44 am

I just grabbed this guy:
She's got 2x12s, so bigger brother? Sounds great cranked up and w/ the channels bridged!
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Re: 1964 Guild Thunderbird tube amp

Postby stratele52 on Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:51 am

It look like the Super Bird I, I see on my 1968 Guild catalog,
Pair of 12 inches Jensen Custom Drivers
16 tubes.....
100 watts of music power
Price was $1,095.00 us or cnd

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Re: 1964 Guild Thunderbird tube amp

Postby Baron Von Machinenmann on Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:13 pm

Charmless wrote:I just grabbed this guy:
She's got 2x12s, so bigger brother? Sounds great cranked up and w/ the channels bridged!

Nice score! 8)

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