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Opinions: 1968 or so Sunn Sceptre with cabinet for sale

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  • Opinions: 1968 or so Sunn Sceptre with cabinet for sale

    Hi All!
    Back in the day, I had a Sunn Sceptre head, loved the tone, sat in Dads attic until they moved and sadly it got tossed. I look on craigslist and reverb from time to time, they don't come up often.
    Found one on local craigslist, asking 750 with a cabinet. This is not a museum piece, but its not war torn either.
    Seller isn't a tech, so isn't posting gut shots and such. The one photo that scares me is that a bunch of paint looks to be burned off the PT, at least that's what it looks like.

    Click image for larger version

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    Can guess a few possible scenarios: bias goes flooey, tube goes bad, bad resistor etc, transformer overheats and is damaged but still barely works. Somebody buys the amp, and PT goes pouf.

    Price is reasonable as is, if its all there and works, I think. But anyone know where in the heck to get transformers for this amp, if its really toast?

    Also, might be way off on a tangent, its happened before <smile> might be that paint peeled off and a little rust set in from a long basement storage.

    Thanks,
    Mike
    The only good solid state amp is a dead solid state amp. Unless it sounds really good, then its OK.

  • #2
    Or moisture got under voids in the paint and the resulting rust peeled the paint. I sure wouldn't suspect that transformer from the visual. Note the rust on the power tube bases. Note the rust on the lams of the transformer.
    Education is what you're left with after you have forgotten what you have learned.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Enzo, maybe just damp storage damage? If it plays well, and runs for half hour or so without emitting smoke, tending to want to buy it. Its couple of hours drive, so I have to arrange the trip.

      Without being able to take the chassis out, anything else I should look for, besides obvious, red plating, something overheating, .. ? Judging by the condition, betting it hasn't had the standard once over by a good tech, replace filter and cathode caps, check out resistors, etc.

      (oops, spelling correction)
      The only good solid state amp is a dead solid state amp. Unless it sounds really good, then its OK.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sunn transformers are not very corrosion resistant. Fender transformers from the same era (mid to late 60's) are better. Going back to the Tweed Fenders, you see more corrosion. The Sunn chassis and the chrome corners will also show corrosion. This degrades the value in my opinion. It means the amp was stored in an unheated garage or attic. Not worth the crazy money people ask for them. If you pay that crazy money, you'll kick yourself when the amp needs a three or four hundred dollar repair.
        WARNING! Musical Instrument amplifiers contain lethal voltages and can retain them even when unplugged. Refer service to qualified personnel.
        REMEMBER: Everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school !

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by loudthud View Post
          Sunn transformers are not very corrosion resistant. Fender transformers from the same era (mid to late 60's) are better. Going back to the Tweed Fenders, you see more corrosion. The Sunn chassis and the chrome corners will also show corrosion. This degrades the value in my opinion. It means the amp was stored in an unheated garage or attic. Not worth the crazy money people ask for them. If you pay that crazy money, you'll kick yourself when the amp needs a three or four hundred dollar repair.
          Thanks, Loud. That was the reason for looking at this one, price. Its 750 with 2 x 10 cabinet. Most of the Reverb listings Ive seen were a lot higher. Ad says "not into negotiation", but .. meh, 750. Yeah, I bet this one needs all electro caps, few resistors, few signal caps. The stored in a damp environment thing does scare me a bit more. Wish this one was a little cleaner since its within driving distance.
          The only good solid state amp is a dead solid state amp. Unless it sounds really good, then its OK.

          Comment


          • #6
            Found a 30-20-20-20 525v can cap on antique electronic supply a little below 40 bucks. Someone on one of the MEF threads said something about the chokes going bad. Triode has one for 35 bucks. If the giant PT and OT are okay ... ?? worth 750 (with cabinet) assuming speakers are not toast?
            The only good solid state amp is a dead solid state amp. Unless it sounds really good, then its OK.

            Comment


            • #7
              If it's working, I think you are ok if you are set on this model anyway.
              "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

              Comment


              • #8
                Worth about half that with non-original 2x10 cabinet. It should have a 4x12 cabinet. Chances are it won't sell. Keep your eyes open for it to be re-listed in a month or two.
                WARNING! Musical Instrument amplifiers contain lethal voltages and can retain them even when unplugged. Refer service to qualified personnel.
                REMEMBER: Everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school !

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sorry, I'm not that familiar with the US market. I would trust loudthud's valuation, and I know he is on top of Sunn stuff.
                  "Everything is better with a tube. I have a customer with an all-tube pacemaker. His heartbeat is steady, reassuring and dependable, not like a modern heartbeat. And if it goes wrong he can fix it himself. You can't do that with SMD." - Mick Bailey

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by loudthud View Post
                    Worth about half that with non-original 2x10 cabinet. It should have a 4x12 cabinet. Chances are it won't sell. Keep your eyes open for it to be re-listed in a month or two.
                    Years ago, I used to have a Sceptre with the original speakers in a 4x12 cab. It's one of those ol' style 4x12 cabs that are about the size (and weight) of a small fridge.
                    I remember when I listed the cab on craigslist, I priced it at like $200/$225 (something like that) to get some quick cash. Within about an hour or two, my inbox was filled with responses.
                    I knew I probably priced it too low when many of them were written like they were applying for a grant, saying things like "Please consider me to sell this cab to", "I know you probably sold this, but if you haven't, I can meet you anytime and would really appreciate..."
                    I would have probably pulled the ad and re-posted it, but I already agreed on a sale with the first guy I heard from.
                    But, if I remember correctly, it has a pretty good sounding true phase shift vibrato. Right?
                    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SoulFetish View Post
                      Years ago, I used to have a Sceptre with the original speakers in a 4x12 cab. It's one of those ol' style 4x12 cabs that are about the size (and weight) of a small fridge.
                      I remember when I listed the cab on craigslist, I priced it at like $200/$225 (something like that) to get some quick cash. Within about an hour or two, my inbox was filled with responses.
                      I knew I probably priced it too low when many of them were written like they were applying for a grant, saying things like "Please consider me to sell this cab to", "I know you probably sold this, but if you haven't, I can meet you anytime and would really appreciate..."
                      I would have probably pulled the ad and re-posted it, but I already agreed on a sale with the first guy I heard from.
                      But, if I remember correctly, it has a pretty good sounding true phase shift vibrato. Right?
                      https://el34world.com/charts/Schemat...nn_sceptre.pdf

                      They're using transistors for the trem and reverb.

                      Personally I can't stand Sunn amps for guitar...hard and not very touch responsive and bright when clean, and when distorted much of the same with a harsh distortion. For bass I think they sound great though.

                      Greg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The tremolo is just the opto type. If the opto goes bad, you'll have to experiment to replace it. Some low value electrolytics in the LFO that go bad. Reverb is tube drive, solid state recovery.

                        Sunn guitar amps (exception Model T) are not very popular. A 200S bass amp in good condition (some wear but functional) with the original 2x15 JBL cabinet could go $750 to $1K. A 2000S (Noel Redding) with original JBL cab could go for twice that. They are more rare. The cabs are so big, they are hard to ship. A friend has a 2000S head for sale, PM me if interested.
                        WARNING! Musical Instrument amplifiers contain lethal voltages and can retain them even when unplugged. Refer service to qualified personnel.
                        REMEMBER: Everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school !

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks everyone. Yeah, remember that the amps distortion was not good tube distortion. Thought the clean tones were ok. But, 40+ year memories aren't very accurate. Don't see them very often, but ... don't seem to sell either. Thinking.
                          The only good solid state amp is a dead solid state amp. Unless it sounds really good, then its OK.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by loudthud View Post
                            The tremolo is just the opto type. If the opto goes bad, you'll have to experiment to replace it. Some low value electrolytics in the LFO that go bad. Reverb is tube drive, solid state recovery.

                            Sunn guitar amps (exception Model T) are not very popular. A 200S bass amp in good condition (some wear but functional) with the original 2x15 JBL cabinet could go $750 to $1K. A 2000S (Noel Redding) with original JBL cab could go for twice that. They are more rare. The cabs are so big, they are hard to ship. A friend has a 2000S head for sale, PM me if interested.
                            I used to have a 200S head and cabinet and sold it to get an SVT head. It was a particularly awesome sounding and original 200S too...early Dynaco transformer in a one chassis head rather than the earlier Smiley Face 2 chassis Sunns or the later Schumacher or Western transformer Company transformer heads. The SVT with the 8x10 was great too but I didn't need the power, and I have a complete 2000S head and cabinet that sound better so I kept that one. I've fixed many Sunn guitar amps, but have never owned one myself. Probably never will too haha. Of course all the classic tube Sunn guitar amps can be used for bass too, with the exception of the Model T likely.

                            Greg

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Model T's are awesome for Bass, but require a strong set of 6550's. Current prices in the 2K-3K USD range because they are hard to find. OT has a 2 Ohm tap and an impedance switch that won't melt. Can be used for guitar but they are really loud. Sometimes you can get them cheap because some wire wound resistors that protect the OT are smoked. A couple of 5W resistors and a fresh set of tubes and they are up and running.
                              WARNING! Musical Instrument amplifiers contain lethal voltages and can retain them even when unplugged. Refer service to qualified personnel.
                              REMEMBER: Everybody knows that smokin' ain't allowed in school !

                              Comment

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