Mystery Sound City Plexi!

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Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Kongster on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:46 pm

Hello everybody. Now here we have one ancient unknown amp for the real experts to identify: It says Sound City Bass 150, but has a plexi front panel layout, a thing I never seen on any big Sound City amp. The print looks factory-made. Also, the interior layout looks different to other Sound Citys. It's got push/pull switches on the two volume knobs, 4 EL34 tubes. The box, which is most probably not original as it covers up the writing on the front a bit, is covered in a tolex I've never seen before.
Buttons are standard Marshall, grip is Fender.
Other'n that, after a check-up from the amp doc (who couldn't identify it either) it works fine, sounds awesome and is LOUD. I play bass over it, but have to turn down the input signal (in my case, by an equalizer pedal) in order to get a clean sound out of it, so I figure it's more of a guitar amp. When the equalizer buttons are turned down to zero, the thing is silent.

Who knows what we have here?

http://s1322.beta.photobucket.com/user/ ... sort=3&o=4
http://s1322.beta.photobucket.com/user/ ... sort=3&o=0
http://s1322.beta.photobucket.com/user/ ... sort=3&o=2
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Papa Dog on Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:28 pm

Welcome to the madhouse.
Whatcha gotcher self there is a genuine "one-off" of no certain provenance.
The case looks partially similar to a Sound City head cab.
The front panel is not correct for any model with which I am familiar.
The chassis looks to have started it's life as a Mashall of some sort or other,
but the lack of cicuit boards indicates that the pots a PCB mounted along with the components that would normaly be located on a turret board in the middle of the chassis.

I dunno what, exactly, it is now, but if you are happy with it, and it does what you want it to do, then enjoy that amp.
Just be prepared to look up Marshall schematics if there are problems with it in the future. BTW...if you are getting overdrive from just plugging straight in, you might ask your amp consultant to change the cathode resistors on the pre-amp tube to a higher value.
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Kongster on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:51 pm

Thanks for the reply, and the tip about changing the resistors is greatly appreciated!

Figured as much, nevertheless the question remains: where does that front panel come from? A prototype, a fake (why)?
Also the box - anybody seen this "narrow" box and / or this strange tolex before?

I really like this amp, its sound and the mystery around it, but you know how it is, mysteries keep nagging :)
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Papa Dog on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:22 pm

Kongster wrote:Thanks for the reply, and the tip about changing the resistors is greatly appreciated!

Figured as much, nevertheless the question remains: where does that front panel come from? A prototype, a fake (why)?
Also the box - anybody seen this "narrow" box and / or this strange tolex before?

I really like this amp, its sound and the mystery around it, but you know how it is, mysteries keep nagging :)


That front panel is almost an exact copy of a Mashall SuperLead or SuperBass 100. Notice that there is not much on the back, where there should be quite a bit of information? My bet is that someone took one of the affor mentioned amps and changed (modded) the circuit and maybe the transformers to produce 150 watts and not the nominal 100, and had the front panel re-printed to their own desires. That is fairly easy to do if their is a trophy shop/screen printer in the area. Why they decided to call it Sound City is beyond my ability to guess, but it is (IMHO) a hot-rodded Marshall.
RE: the tolex...eh...someone out there might recognize the pattern. My best guess is that it was whatever was either available at the local furnaturerefinishers shop or something someone found lying about somewhere. It is just a vinal cab covering of no particular value, except that you might want to cover something else with it, and will not be able to find any more of it.
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--"
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby jaywalker on Tue Mar 19, 2013 2:17 am

In comparison with my B150 the font does look decidedly Sound City in the name but that is where the resemblance ends. Like Papa I was thinking Marshall by the front panel layout.
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Papa Dog on Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:13 pm

jaywalker wrote:In comparison with my B150 the font does look decidedly Sound City in the name but that is where the resemblance ends. Like Papa I was thinking Marshall by the front panel layout.


Thanks for the confirmation, Jaywalker.
I will speculate further and say that the only thing "plexi" about that amp would be the front panel.
The circuit board is mounted verticaly with the pots looking to be PCB mounted. That would place the circuit rather late, although the transformers look to have a bit of age to them, and I am certain that some of the guys over on the Marshall pages would be able to say more, but Marshall amps have not piqued my passion the way Sound City has, so I haven't "looked under the hood" of very many at all.

It is interesting what some folks will do when they make a "one off" for whatever reasons. I prefer to have my own front plate printed and my own badges made. That way noone whill ever be able to accuse me of making "lash-ups" or "counterfit". That one is to a Sound City as Parker Bros money is to Federal Reserve Notes.
There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

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"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--"
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Alnico on Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:20 pm

It's not a Sound City. It looks like one of those East German knock-offs, usually seen with Marshall badging.
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Re: Mystery Sound City Plexi!

Postby Mr. Foxen on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:49 pm

As in the red text 'Sound City' little amps you get. I have seen a Sound city 120 combo that was one of those, solid state.
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