Dating sound city amps
Good thinking Jay, I would choose any 800 over any 900 or 2000. Rather then pull a pair of power tubes I figured I'd look around and find another one in a month or two.
Also, there is a book called the "history of Marshall" or something like that and it has a lot of good info on up to the 900's, including S/N's. Well, the next ones I saw had insane (IMHO) pricetags on them.
In 1966-’67, Sound City amps emerged as one aspect of Dallas-Arbiter’s drive to corner the British music-gear market by supplying budget-priced yet extremely functional and good-sounding equipment.
Early classics to have come from the venture included the Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster and the Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face, but Sound City products faced a somewhat better-developed competition by the time they emerged.
This configuration makes for an amp that takes a little getting used to alongside the standard passive-interactive tone stage, but one that makes a powerful sound sculptor once you get the hang of it.
Presence governs high-end content at the output stage, and the amp’s full wallop of 120 watts (and even more when it was really roaring) comes courtesy of six EL34s in a fixed-bias output stage.
There’s nothing like this amp into eight 12″ speakers.
With all this in mind, it makes sense that Pete Townshend played Reeves-modified Sound City heads in 1967-’68, before moving on to Hiwatt-branded heads that were largely filled with Sound City guts.
The consummate craftsman, a man self-charged with the task of building the most reliable guitar amp that could be built, Reeves formed Hiwatt to build a better mousetrap; Sound City amps sounded great and did their job well, but the business model put a ceiling on the quality of the components and workmanship that could go into them.
In other words, they were “corporate” amps, manufactured with eyes firmly on the bottom line – but designed by a couple of true masters.
That said, this was “affordability,” early-’70s style; Sound City amps used great Partridge transformers and many other standard-grade components that were entirely decent, especially compared to what you’d find inside a mass-market amp circa 2015.
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Is there a website or anything where I can figure out how old a Marshall amp is?