Funky amps you have spotted

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by What?, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. SLICKFASTER

    SLICKFASTER Member

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  2. AlvisX

    AlvisX Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    They were cool. Around 96 ,Gibson had an artist relations outlet in SF (I lived in the Bay Area at the time) They were also distributing the 1st Orange reissues for some reason . They were hookin up every musician in the area with SOMETHIN . I went over to their office after I made my SONY record deal
    I played that Red Bear halfstack while I was in there . I said to the guy, Hey ,how about one o' these ? He shook his head ,no, gave me some strings n polish and saw me out of the building
     
  3. SLICKFASTER

    SLICKFASTER Member

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    image.jpg been buying these whenever they pop up.. got two half, three cub combos one I turned into a head...
     
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  4. jstich

    jstich Well-Known Member

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    I have the amp in the first post.It was made by ART. I still spark it up now and then. It has a three position compressor on the clean channel,stereo fx loop,three channels ,stereo chorus and a quad s spatial surround effect. The clean channel is very good and the 12ax7 in the preamp warms up the sound on the dirt channels.Not the best sounding but it was awesome when I got it around 1993 or so.Sorta like a dry marshall type of sound.:eddie:It put out 100 watts through 2 8 inchers.
     
  5. NSV-Andy

    NSV-Andy New Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, hope this qualifies as it is not strictly a guitar amp. But it can be used as one.
    It definitely qualifies as funky, though.

    This is a Flot-A-Tone Stereophonic model S-4, made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin about 1965.
    It might be one-of-a-kind, and that is not a good thing. It was brought to me for repair
    by the original purchaser. It is geared toward accordion and concertina players.

    It had sat in his garage for about 35 years. And it looked it, with rust, crust and dirt
    everywhere. It took me quite some time to get it back into reasonable shape.

    It features designed-in ground loops, two separate amplifier chassis (each with its own
    power supply), one Jensen speaker with an AlNiCo magnet and one electrodynamic field-coil speaker. Each channel also features its own Jensen tweeter. These were marketed as
    "High Fidelity" amplifiers and meant to take on Magnatone, which also had a good reputation with accordion and concertina players.

    Interestingly, it has a knock-off of the famous Magnatone pitch-bending vibrato circuit.
    Unfortunately, it does not sound as good or work as well.

    It uses a pair of 6V6GT output tubes in push-pull cathode-bias configuration for each channel. One channel (the right side one with the larger power transformer) gets DC for the filaments of the preamp tubes from the output tubes. The larger power transformer is needed to supply power to the field coil of that one Jensen speaker on the left of the photo. The date code of that speaker appears to be 1958. I cannot fathom why they would use one PM speaker and one fie ld-coil speaker in this amplifier. It might be because one of the amplifier channels is, by nature of its design, weaker than the other and this speaker may have been used in an effort to boost the weak channel a bit. Seems that it would have been easier to put another preamp stage in there rather than add a bigger power transformer and an obsolete speaker. Maybe Jensen gave them a super deal on these speakers to clean out their warehouse? Who knows.

    This amplifier is full of odd design choices. By 1965, EL84/6BQ5 tubes were in wide use as
    output tubes. The separate chassis - really flimsy aluminum sheets - was really weird. Not
    to mention separate power supplies. It took me forever to get all of the ground loops
    fixed. And the output tubes on one channel were not drawing enough current to light the
    preamp tubes from the aforementioned cathode bias configuration. I also did a complete re-cap on it.

    I am returning this amplifier to its owner very soon. I will not be sorry to see it go,
    it has been a royal pain and a genuine money loser. I could not locate a schematic for it,
    nor could I even find a mention of it anywhere on the Internet. I suspect that this amplifier
    put Flot-A-Tone out of business and they went bust before they could inflict this amplifier
    on too many people.

    So if anybody is unfortunate enough to have to work on one of these, hit me up. I may have a marginal amount of sanity left and may be able to answer questions about it. Flot-A-Tone Front-cropped-scaled.JPG Flot-A-Tone Panel-cropped-scaled.JPG Flot-A-Tone Rear-scaled.JPG
     
  6. bobpick68

    bobpick68 Well-Known Member

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    This one is for sale locally. Supposedly the first tube amp to ever employ built in digital FX. The seller doesnt have the foot switch. I thought about it til I learned that.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    Maybe not so funky to look at, but this sounds to be kind of funky in circuit design.

    I have been looking at amp related books, and I ran onto one titled, Guitar Amplifier Design: Tubes and Semiconductors Play Together. The book walks through the design of an amp that uses a circuit which the author is calling an AOT (active output transformer). The amp looks to essentially be a tube preamp, phase inverter, and dual triode low watt power section (no output transformer) feeding a solid state amp, all powered via a 24 volt switching power supply brick that is stepped up via a torroid transformer. One example of this type of amp is talked about at the author's site called a Princeton AOT: https://sites.google.com/site/stringsandfrets/princeton-aot

    It's an interesting idea using a low watt tube amp as essentially a preamp for a solid state power amp. It seems though that the size and weight of an output transformer for a low watt amp would already be so small and light that this AOT circuit might not really be needed, just needing the required windings for matching impedance to the solid state amp. I also wonder here if RFI from the switching supply is a problem.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020
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  8. Gunner64

    Gunner64 Emotional Support Animal Gold Supporting Member

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    I think Dweezil Zappa indorsed them.
     
  9. ampeq

    ampeq Well-Known Member

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    Yeh, most noticeable in a gay pride parade. Ha!
     
  10. thetragichero

    thetragichero Well-Known Member

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    surprised i haven't seen the choad hammer from the bass board

    Z-1.jpg
     
  11. thetragichero

    thetragichero Well-Known Member

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    i have made a new back panel for this lab series l5 but this is totally boomer engineering (if your dad didn't have a shed full of threadbare extension cords with aftermarket plugs hacked on, was he really a dad?)

    [​IMG]
     
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