NewB here, hello everyone

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NewB here, hello everyone

Postby BigB on Wed Jun 11, 2014 8:12 pm

Hello everyone...

Came here looking for infos on SC L100 Mk3 - been offered one (68/69, supposed to be mostly original, recently serviced by a qualified tech) in exchange of a guitar I was selling, don't really need another amp and specially not an 100watter but I gave it a quick try and was really impressed by the tone, will have it @home for a few days by the end of the week (the owner and I already met on a couple occasions and have quite a few common friends), so well... wait & see ;)

I may have a couple questions in the next days when I'll have the beast around, so see you soon guys.
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby Unit_1 on Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:53 am

welcome to the vintage amp forum BigB

can't wait for some pics, sound clips would be nice too! :highfive:
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby Mr. Foxen on Thu Jun 12, 2014 1:17 pm

Get photos of the inside, top and bottom. Can figure a lot from those.
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby BigB on Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:41 pm

Hi there. Just a quick update, got the beast home tonight, it's in fact a B100, serial #3737, and well,

it's LOUD :shock:

Possibly one of the loudest amps I've played in 30 years.

... but I have to say it sounds huge too :twisted:


Stay tuned, pics and more will follow by the end of the WE.
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby Papa Dog on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:15 pm

BigB wrote:Hi there. Just a quick update, got the beast home tonight, it's in fact a B100, serial #3737, and well,

it's LOUD :shock:

Possibly one of the loudest amps I've played in 30 years.

... but I have to say it sounds huge too :twisted:


Stay tuned, pics and more will follow by the end of the WE.


Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of Sound City.

That's what Sound City amps are most known for...they are loud and have a huge sound with incredible depth of tone.
The Mk3 100s are almost as loud as the 200s.

Schematics can be found here.
you will note that there is little difference between the lead and bass models...and the design on v1 and v2 allows for setting one channel up "clean" and the other somewhat "dirty". Channel switching can be done with a simple A/B/Y switch to good effect.
Enjoy your aquisition, but be forwarned, you will either love it or hate it, and if you love it you will most likely never want anything else, and my find yourself "gassing" for more.
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby BigB on Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:20 pm

Papa Dog wrote:
BigB wrote:
it's LOUD :shock:

Possibly one of the loudest amps I've played in 30 years.

... but I have to say it sounds huge too :twisted:



That's what Sound City amps are most known for...they are loud and have a huge sound with incredible depth of tone.

you will note that there is little difference between the lead and bass models...and the design on v1 and v2 allows for setting one channel up "clean" and the other somewhat "dirty". Channel switching can be done with a simple A/B/Y switch to good effect.


I've been using it with both channels jumped so far. I don't care much for clean/crunch channel switching anyway, I usually use my guitar's volume pot instead.

Papa Dog wrote:Enjoy your aquisition,


Well, the deal is not done yet...

Papa Dog wrote:but be forwarned, you will either love it or hate it, and if you love it you will most likely never want anything else, and my find yourself "gassing" for more.


Can't say I hate it so far :lol:

Played the beast for a couple hours this afternoon, plugged into either a marshall 1965 4x10 (Celestion G10L-35) and the HRDx's cab (Eminence Legend GB12) and comparing it with my other amps (Ampeg GVT15, Fender HRDx and a one-off custom things built by a friend which is, mainly, a boosted JCM800 preamp into a Deluxe Reverb like power amp section).

So, this amp is definitly loud as hell - but you all know it already -, very quite at idel, and does have quite some headroom (yes that's an understatement xD) with full, deep yet ringing clean tones. It starts to overdrive in an interesting way with the volume about 2 o'clock (using vintage type 'buckers) - which is already way too loud for 99% of my use cases but -, with something reminiscent of an old Marshall indeed but less compressed (or compressed in another way) and much more spanky. I didn't even tried to push it further as didn't want to to have the whole house collapsing on me :mrgreen:

In both cases, it eats OD pedals for breakfast, and even pristine clean at a more usable volume (well, that's loud already, like say a Deluxe Reverb at 3 o'clock) the various ODs I tried all sounded incredibly organic, which is something that never happened to me (I usually find that ODs on a pristine clean tend to sound synthetic somehow which is why I mostly play low wattage and/or master volume amps). I also tried almost everything I had on my pedalboard (treble booster, trem, delays, reverb, etc) and everything sounded great thru it, with and without the ODs.

Then I let it cool, opened it and looked at what we have inside. So, it's a "6 holes" chassis (the ones with the 2 extra holes for power tubes), the partridge transformers are both here (fine), the power tubes are new (JJs, possibly not be the best choice here - opinions gentlemen ?) but all the original mullard preamp tubes are still in place (yeah !) and working nicely as far as I can tell), and everything else seems stock if I refer to pics here http://www.soundcitysite.com/photo_page_5.htm. I have to say I'm a bit worried with the power supply caps being stock - these things have a rather limited lifetime and while they seem to be still functional ATM (the amp is loud as hell yet very very quite and the low end is huge but not farting out in any way).

What else ? The rear of the headshell is missing (there's a stupidly placed piece of wood with non-matching tolex insted), the front badge has been totally erased as well as most of the decals-or-whatever on the faceplate, the headshell is, well... roadworn :mrgreen: (but I've seen worse on much more recent amps), the chassis itself is obviously not new but not overly corroded either, and the inner is mostly clean. Mostly looks like an amp that has been used a lot but (more or less) been taken care of.

Now the pics:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


So... Is this amp worth a 2011 Rickenbacker 620 - quite clean, all stock, with OHC etc (yes that would be the deal) ? Looks a bit overpriced as far as I'm concerned BUT for the record: there are currently 2 (others) 620 for sell on the "local" (France) second-hand market priced around 1250€, and there's not a single Sound City Mark3 for sale ATM, and I may not have seen more than a couple Sound City amps on the local market for the past 7 years or so. Also the resell price for a second hand recent Rick will very probably stay stable for a few years, while the Sound City will possibly keep on rising, perhaps not as much as in the 7 past years but...
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby Papa Dog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 12:53 pm

please send as many of the best pics you can get to admin@soundcitysite.com.
That is a "transitional" amp.
The chassis looks to be an early Mk4 120 chassis, which means that it would have been one of the last of the Mk3 100s.
It looks good, from what I can see so far.

Unfortunately bits for the head cabs have not yet become available, although there should be some repro head cases and parts (back panels and such) coming down the pipeline soon.
There are plans for repro front panels as well, but the bigger metal badges may be a bit further out, as a good sample has proven difficult to locate.
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby BigB on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:00 pm

Papa Dog wrote:please send as many of the best pics you can get to admin@soundcitysite.com.


I will.

Papa Dog wrote:That is a "transitional" amp.
The chassis looks to be an early Mk4 120 chassis, which means that it would have been one of the last of the Mk3 100s.


Yes, that's what I understood. If I refer to http://vintageamps.com/plexiboard/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=101911#p994047, it's more likely a late '69 / early '70 model.
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby Papa Dog on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:39 pm

date codes from the caps (if original) and/or pots might help narrow the date, if it is truely important to you.
during the time when that amp was built there was generally little in the serial number of which I am aware that helps in dating. Might be if there were some kind of serial number list we could establish some sort of date range for certain serial numbers, and that is one ting I need to get started on.

What we DO know is that sometimes (or often) the new chassis would be rolled out during the wrap up of the earlier model. I have noticed more than one Mk3 model with a "6 hole" chassis. Hard for me to get my head around it, as the 200+ Mk4 chassis still only has 4 power tube spots, and might have been a better match to the 100.
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Of cabbages--and kings--"
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Re: NewB here, hello everyone

Postby HendrixVibrato on Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:33 am

To the OP (and others, perhaps),

Looks like you've got a nice amp there - they typically need caps, tubes and a bias job, but it appears some of that has already been done in the case of this amp. Great! Just FYI, if you could get some better shots (especially the lighting), and let us see all of the amp - you know, "autopsy" photos, no doubt that the members here could give you a good bit more info that you'd love to have. "Papadog"is especially up to speed on these things and extremely helpful, and others here, too.

Speaking in general, to get a Sound City head of *any* type is a score, IMO - Sound City amps (heads) not only sound fantastic & like no other as you have already experienced, it was also the first "stack" I had as a teenager in the 60's, having grown up in Europe in the 50's & 60's, most of that time spent in West Germany - and Sound City was a BIG name in Germany in the late 60's and early 70's, I can tell you, despite their much lower production numbers compared to Marshall - Dave Reeves did a great job! Even when being built new, it was rare to go into even a big music store of the day and see one, almost never more than 1 SC head back in the late 60's-early 70's. Even Hendrix used them a lot, especially in the early years with the Experience. Usualy a 1959 and then a 100L (L100?)

Anyway, to get a Mk 3 100 watt w/6-hole chassis like the one you've copped, to me, is a real super-score!! Whether you feel it is worth your Rick is up to you, but I'd do the deal if it were me, and not that it should be much of a consideration when buying one, I do feel there's no doubt that these Sound City's will continue to slowly appreciate in value, until at some point they go thru the roof like Plexi's did - only there will be far fewer of them. In many ways tonally, they are kinda like a Dumble SSS (not ODS, SSS) - if more of them (SC's) had been made, they would appreciate even faster, actually, and be priced where they rightfully belong - out of reach for many of us! But in the meantime, we few get to enjoy picking one up once in a while at a relative bargain. So if you are not too attached to the guitar and can spare it, I say go for the swap (!), but I'm admittedly biased. You can get a Rick almost anywhere, almost any time - Sound City's are rare & virtually always a score. FYI, Champ Electronics seems to do great work on all models of Sound City amps in general, they are in England, of course. They have some hard to find parts and excellent knowledge of how to work on them, what they like, etc. He's a one-man operation, yet is happy to take phone calls and talk about Sound City amps in need of work.

Amazingly, here in the U.S. we tend to see a few Sound City amps come up on Ebay and elsewhere sporatically, so they are not completely impossible to find - right now GC (that's Guitar Center for those who may not already know) has a good looking head in their used web site gear list, asking just under a grand ($999 US) for it, and I'm sure they'll bargain a bit, so somebody can make a good score - shoot, I should just shut up and go buy it right now myself, but I am currently into 2 big amp projects already, so hopefully some one from here will go snag it at a bargain. (And NO, I do NOT recommend you forget this trade and go buy the GC amp, what you have is very nice & extremely cool - and it's already in your hands, you KNOW what it's doing) Anyway, I was recently in the market for a 120L, and I came across a near-gutted Chassis my amp tech had stashed, so we're going to get her up & running (both Partridge trannies are still there and are claimed to be good) with some slight and reversible mods. No additional holes, no changes to the beautiful (meaning in great shape) front panel.

I usually run 3 amps when gigging, a big power unit for clean LOUD tones with tons of sustain (which I am currently missing due to some trade deals (thus the new SC 120L project), then a JTM45, and then a custom amp I had Tim at Superfine Amplification in North Carolina build me from the remains of a '68 Twin Reverb that some genius had stuffed a broken mid-70's 135 watt ultralinear MV Twin chassis into. Tim did a sick job on it, it is now 2 amps in one combo rig - one side is Marshall voiced, the other is your basic b-flat great old Fender voicing, also with a trick circuit to give me a cool blend knob between the 2, and it's a killer little blues amp, also good clean tones and very good for 70's & 80's rock tones. We have it running only on 2 tubes, so she's maybe 40-50 watts at most, makes for a great single amp rig at smaller gigs - she sounds tremendous. GZ34 rectified, of course. Tim is not only a top notch tech also amp builder, has done design work for Carr amplifiers, me & others, he is also Carr's sole repair tech for Warranty work, which almost never happens with a Carr amp, but I digress....

Anyway, what I am going to do now is to restore this near-gutted 120L chassis and do a few simple reversible mods to it (this thing has been hacked to death internally, but even if it hadn't been, we still would not be butchering this classic head), and then I will run my Mesa-Boogie Quad pre-amp into the front end of all of them with appropriate amp switching.

Bottom line - hope you keep the amp, she's a great one that will last you a lifetime.

Good luck!
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