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Eureka! ...again... in a Gretsch #6150

j45

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Jun 14, 2002
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9,081
Just picked this up from Ebay. This is actually the Valco "Supro Super" Model 1606 circa 1961. Gretsch re-labeled this amp and sold it as their own student model. I can't say enough about these amps. This is the fourth I've had over the past couple of decades and each has been a jewel. I posted clips of the last Super in that "Gibson PAF ES-345" on six small vintage amps clip about 4-5 years ago. This one sounds pretty much the same but even a little more gainy than the others. The tube compliment is a single 6V6, one 12AX7 preamp tube, and a 5Y3 rectifier. Probably 4-5 watts and the speakers are usually an 8" Jensen.

I've ended up letting the last few go out of boredom but being away from one of these for so long has made me appreciate these amps even more. This one is here to stay. I have to say the Supro "Super" is one of my favorite amps of all time. They do sound very small but with a mic and recording they are king IMO. My favorite recording amp of all time as well. I'm setting up gear to record with again and will definitely make new clips of this one. I'm in love.

Until I do here is the same old clip with my last "Super" showing up at the 0:55 second mark. I just love the woody cello sound of these amps...I can almost hear bow hairs dragging across the cello strings caused by all of the extra sub harmonics these little amps have. Even though the top sounds slightly rolled and not a chime monster I find it to be the most complex voice of all the amps in the clip below. Great complimentary overtones along with the fundemental note to form a great character voice. Stay tuned for more. Until then, here's the oldie with another similar Supro Super. Heard from 0:55 to 1:22.

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=5100928&q=hi&newref=1

suprogr1.jpg


suprogretschbackclose.jpg


suprogretschclose2.jpg


suprogr2.jpg


The Supro version usually sells from $500 - $600 on Ebay but this Gretsch labeled version didn't get the same attention and only bid to $335. I actually like the upgraded tolex, grillcloth, and handle of the Gretsch version better than the Supro. Everything else appears identical in every way.
 
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valcotone

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May 8, 2002
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Nice score, j45! Looking forward to any clips you feel like sharing... I know you'll make it sound wonderful.
 

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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That amps looks really cool, and the sound on that clip you posted, is excellent (playing isn't bad either! :) )
Nice score!
 
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Nathan F

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Aug 17, 2006
Messages
390
Check out much heavier the iron is compared to other single ended amps (Fender Champ ect) Here's some old photos of my little ones, I've since sold the bunch except for the baby blue gem. (sorry for the big photos)
IMG_0830-2.jpg

IMGP0094_5.jpg

IMGP0095_5.jpg
 

Bob Womack

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Apr 8, 2002
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2,061
So, do any other amps from the period share the circuitry of the Gretsch 6150 and the Supro 1606? I just missed a 6150 on Fleabay: The guy set his BUY IT NOW too high. I watched the sale count down and close unsold. I was going to contact him and ask if he wanted to relist lower. The next day I went back and it was listed as sold. Funny.

There have been others that seem close like the Supro 1611 Bantam but I want that sound. :)

Bob
 

chuckNC

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Apr 24, 2012
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I watched the sale count down and close unsold. I was going to contact him and ask if he wanted to relist lower. The next day I went back and it was listed as sold. Funny./quote]

Lately I've noticed that little "SOLD" bar across the corner of the item pic in completed auctions that ended without a sale. When I click on the line below the item title that says "see original listing" in small blue print, it takes me to a screen that shows the item closed without sale. Could that be the case with your watched item?

Here's an example of one that I was watching that showed no sale on my watched items list, yet has the SOLD bar on the pic:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/190739094153?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
 

j45

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Jun 14, 2002
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9,081
So, do any other amps from the period share the circuitry of the Gretsch 6150 and the Supro 1606?

These are very close in sound (below), not sure about being the exact circuit but the tube complient is the same (on the later 50's models like this). I would only go after the one with a 12AX7. The earlier has a 6SJ7 preamp tube. Too dark and not gainy enough IMO. These may be even better than the 1606 "Super" at that same game. Had a bunch of these too and all were superb... a little bigger and more full sounding. I think a little more fun to play outside or just recording.

I only go for the red ones, the brown ones are still good but will not have a 12AX7 as far as I know. Even the earlier red ones can have the 6SJ7 so look for the 12AX7 to get the better gain and highs. It may be the more substantial wood cab makes these a little bigger and warmer sounding. I will soon have another of these, too.

This is a track with the red and white Supro...don't know what I was trying accomplish, this track never really gets going... it wanks and rambles for a while but settles in to some chords later on the track that I think really show off the amp's rich tone.

http://www.soundclick.com/player/single_player.cfm?songid=6344826&q=hi&newref=1

supro.jpg


3412.jpg
 

Bob Womack

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Apr 8, 2002
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2,061

lonesomesheik

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Nov 18, 2009
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@J45, very impressive Strange Brew!!! I guess I'll try to make my6V6 Swart sounds like that(as soon as I'll get it!!! I may have to search for a few NOS I guess) PAF tone is gorgeous!Congrats.
5 watters -8" rules Rules!:jim:jim
 

Bob Womack

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Apr 8, 2002
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2,061
Thanks, j45. I've located a couple of each and I'm trying to figure a good price. Right now one Gretsch is arund $450 and one that is nearly as nice as yours (grille is a bit more yellow, that is all) is at $500 plus shipping. Does that seem a bit high?

Bob
 

j45

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Jun 14, 2002
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I would pay $500 if I wanted one. Expect the speaker to be a lttle ratty on most. I recommend a recone for the original speaker on these amps in particular. They seem to sound better with a fresh cone IMO...a little too much amp for worn and tired 8" paper with a tiny voice coil.
 

Bob Womack

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Apr 8, 2002
Messages
2,061
Another question (I'm full of 'em): I notice that j45's '61 Gretsch 6150 has two inputs while Nathan F's left two Supro 1606s have three and his right-hand (57?) has two. Is there a significant difference?

I'm looking at one Gretsch listed as a '59 that has three inputs, black leatherette tolex, a black grille with a white logo, and metal Gretsch knob.

I'm also looking at a '60s Gretsch with the interesting tolex like j45s, three inputs, creme-looking grill, black logo, and chicken head knob.

Both have the Jensen speakers and both have had three-prong cords added. The owner of the '59 wants $50 more for it than the 60s one.

Bob
 

valcotone

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May 8, 2002
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431
j45 - Have you ever compared the single-volume model 1606 to the Comet 1610 which typically has a volume + tone control, like my '59 here? This amp sounds really nice with the 12AX7 pre-amp tube and original 10" Rola, but doesn't have loads of gain like some of my Valcos.

The bright cap on the volume control was something like 500pF, and I installed a switch (replacing an input jack) to turn it on/off and used a lower value cap as well.

59comet1.jpg


59comet2.jpg


59comet3.jpg
 
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