Re: [Harp-L] Re: Amps

I toured with in the late 90's with a re-tubed 90's Fender Bassman RI (the guitarist had an endorsement so I got it for a very nice low price). I really enjoyed the sound I got with the Fender Bassman RI. After a few tours doing that and plenty of gigs around town I bought a Sonny Jr. 410. There is no comparison. The Sonny Jr. 410 wins hands down, night and day. The Sonny Jr. has monster tone and much more useable power. The bottom end is like a freight train, the response is amazing, the tone is three-dimensional and rich. Then there's the build. I cannot imagine it being any more solid. It is built to last seemingly forever. The electronic build looks like art. The speakers are fantastic. The lacquer job is absolutely beautiful. It is a golden honey color that is once again, art - and it's protective. The thing looks majestic. Ok, sorry to go over the top there, but that's the way I feel about it. I am damn proud just to look at it. And whenever I hit that first note before the downbeat, I am proud as hell to play through it.

When I bought the Sonny Jr. with my credit card, I fretted over spending so much money. Once I got it out of the box my jitters ended. I have not had one moment of regret over my purchase. I get lots of positive comments about my sound - much more now than with the Fender RI. I play in two different groups where the volume level I have to compete with is extremely high. The Sonny Jr. wins hands down there as well.

I have had occasion to speak to Sonny about the amp, tube combos, etc., and he is there for those he sells his amps to. He's a phone call or e-mail away. I even sent a track and got some constructive criticism which I put to use which has definitely served me well.

I am not the world's greatest harp player, that's for sure. But I have worked all over the place playing the harp, and having the SJR has removed the worry from the amp aspect of my setup. It is inspirational, and will keep pace with my improvements, i.e., it will never be outgrown. The only bummer about the whole thing is that now Sonny's got the Cruncher going, and until I can afford one, I will want it. As soon as I can afford it, I intend to get it.

Vince Meghrouni

Hi, I have to jump in on the reissue fender bassman. I modified with
speakers and tubes at least 30 of them before building the 410, and they are NOT
capacitors and resistors in the circuit, rather a printed circuit board. They
use bright Jensen P!0R speakers, and in the UK they probably cost about $1400.
Then you talk about swapping speakers, tubes, etc., that may bring it to
$1800. And then, all you have is a still a Fender Reissue. My amps are completely
set up to blow and go, and have several options any player can use to dial
themselves in, plus customer support from a professional harp player concerning
every aspect such as mics, mic'ing the amp, studio, any live situation, I
supply the extra tubes, spare rectifier and fuse, full manual, patch cable for
bridging, and padded Tuki Cover. You don't have to order anything separately.
The plus side of buying any of my amps is that although expensive due to
extremely high build costs, they retain currently 75 - 100 % of their retail
value. And when I pass on, these will be worth the same as original Fender
Bassmans. Plus my new amp my just surpass the 410 in tone and volume, I am still
morphing it. So the 410 will be a limited edition, I have 5 left, which will
also make a valuable piece in the future. Whether a player is a beginner or
pro, it is an investment for life, and figured over your lifetime, about 30
cents a day. I just needed to run that by, as many have never played my amp
personally so commenting on it is not fair if you have not. A pro like Dave
Barrett, who's reissue I modified for him, will sound great through anything, just
like Wilson, Hummel or anyone else at that level. I do not want to butt
heads with HarpL members, I have moved on spiritually and am doing Chakra work
and healing as we speak. I still need to run a business and have put my heart
and blood into every project for the past 13 years. I started the harp player
making amps for other harp players, and 13 years later all my amps are still
working perfectly. No one else can make that claim. Thank you all for
listening. SJ

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