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Shocked at price of cheap amp

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Tommy B, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Tommy B

    Tommy B Tele-Meister

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    I bought this neat little Kay 703c amp about 12 years ago for $60. I though I overpaid for it then.
    I cut the wires to the multi section cap can and solder in new caps and some other mods to made this "widow maker" safer.

    Turns out it is a great little amp and I used it quit a bit for recording and playing with un mic'd acoustic.

    Well fast forward to 2014 and I remember the little amp is in storage unplayed for at least 7 years.

    I got it out and powered it up and it still works and its still quiet. It was cool rediscovering this little guy.

    I went online to look for spare tubes and find these amps selling on eBay and reverb for $400.

    Really!?! I couldn't believe it. Why?

    Are these amps made from magic caps and solder too?

    They sound great with the right pups. But 400 bucks?

    I'll clone this amp for $150 and sell it for $400 then.

    I'm a recovering vintage snob so I understand the appeal of dust and mojo and the subsequent price. But the asking price for a radio tube cheapie amp from the early 60s shocked me.

    Is there something up with these amps? Did some celebrity get photographed using one and the prices went thru the roof like TS9s and Vibroverbs in the late 90's thanks to SRV?
     
  2. AirBagTester

    AirBagTester Friend of Leo's

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    Is it this one?


    Looks like a neat amp but I agree $400 seems a bit high. I know nothing about vintage amps though.
     
  3. Herod

    Herod Tele-Meister

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    Yes. They are "all the rage" so to speak. Silvertones (proper) seem to be at the front of the pack....but the Kays and similar offshoots seem to gain a lot of attention too. It's part of a trend....I think we can thank the likes of Jack White, Black Keys, and others as being partly responsible for this movement ..... I personally kinda dig it....gets me back to thinking about some of the old "cheapie" stuff that has their own unique tones....
     
  4. bdgregory

    bdgregory Tele-Afflicted

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    don't confuse the price one or 2 guys are asking to get with what they are actually selling for. If you search ebay you will find the one that sell are going for $66 - $195 over the past few months.
     
  5. Tommy B

    Tommy B Tele-Meister

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    Yes that is one.....and cargo shorts too.
     
  6. Tommy B

    Tommy B Tele-Meister

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    That seems like waaaaay more reasonable prices. I will start the yard sale safari in a few weeks as spring takes hold. It's getting harder, but sometime you can find cheapie amps like this for $20 or less. There are more SS fenders and gorillas than old tube stuff.
     
  7. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an airline 8511 that I paid 100 for at Ant Farm amplification, as that was early last year, with newer sprague atom caps, a weber CVC 8, and new grill cloth and baffle. I don't see them being too overpriced, however mine has doubled in value as it is tweed and has nicer looks than many similar amps, and hey, who can't live with telefunken preamp tubes for 15-20 bucks NOS and US made ones for 3 bucks all day! Hahaha ImageUploadedByTDPRI1395872538.580130.jpg
     
  8. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Oh, and forgot that this baby also has black beauty caps throughout!
     
  9. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Those guys are great. I love that store.
     
  10. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

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    these amps are gaining in popularity for the same reason people hated them to begin with... they break up way too early and don't get very loud. the majority of guitar players are looking down the barrel of retirement... and suddenly these little bedroom overdrive boxes seem pretty appealing. throw in an upcharge for nostalgia, and a vintage mojo fee... and there ya go :D
     
  11. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have a huge isolation and filament transformer out of an oscilloscope with like 20 tubes laying around, and over 10 amps of 6.3 of I think correctly, and I really feel like building a relatively huge push pull parallel amp in this style... 4 or 6 6aq5's, a 12ax7 as a single triode phase splitter and a gain stage, and a 6au6 for the first stage... Hahahaha. Someday when I have the time and the extra cash.... Gotta remember I'm a teenager that's saving for a car sometimes...
     
  12. robt57

    robt57 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Selling for, as in closed/sold auctions, or greedy vintage mongering listing prices is my question?
     
  13. steveneddy

    steveneddy Tele-Meister

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    I have owned Fender Champs and Silvertone 5 watters - I used to have an entire arsenal of little 5-8 watt amps - but somehow they all ended up getting away.

    The Champ and Silvertone I miss the most.
     
  14. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

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    You two already know what's up.

    Indeed, we gotta look to the left column after a search and select completed listings. "Buy it now" prices mean nothing.
     
  15. sulaco

    sulaco Tele-Meister

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    Found an all original 1967 Silvertone 1481 in a garage. Dusted it off, sounds great. Really neat little cheap handwire from the 60s. I really dig it!
     
  16. Riffraff12571

    Riffraff12571 Tele-Holic

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    I've got a pair of Silvertone 1482's. They are awesome. I paid $375 for a '65 NOS/NIB one that looks like it came out of a time capsule with it's original shipping carton. It was found in storage in a house while the seller was cleaning it out still in it's box wrapped in it's original packaging material. I paid $195 for a '67 that has a more common distressed look. I swapped the speaker for a Weber Sig 12A, replaced the power cord with a grounded one, removed the death cap, replaced the flimsy speaker baffle with 3/8 birch ply and put jacks on the OT's 4 & 8 ohm outputs. You typically won't find these for less than $300. $300 - $350 is about the going rate for them. As far as tone goes, I would sell my '78 Vibro Champ before selling either one of these. There's no nostalgia on my end, I never knew they existed until I plugged into that '65. I wish I knew about them 10 years ago when you could find them everywhere for $50 or less.

    A variety of cool tone can easily be coaxed from one of these little screamers.

     
  17. sulaco

    sulaco Tele-Meister

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    So so jealous. Always wanted one of those since I read about them. You got a new one!
     
  18. Riffraff12571

    Riffraff12571 Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, a new one and an old one. I haven't broken out that new one in a while. It's time to light it up again.
     
  19. bahko

    bahko TDPRI Member

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    I have a Kay703 and was talking to Chris Wood of Medeski, Martin and Wood & the Wood Brothers about it. We'd both heard that Keef used it for Exile On Main Street and he said they use them in the Wood Bros! He said they can be hit or miss, but the beauty of traveling with one is that it's easy to carry on! I LOVE mine with my Tele. It's great for taking out back and playing in the Catskills.
     
  20. Abu Twangy

    Abu Twangy Friend of Leo's

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    My first amp in 1966 was a Silvertone 1483--22 watts of unstressed 6L6GC power through a floppy Jensen 15. It worked fine for a modest volume guitar and bass amp. Of course I got myself a "real" amp (Fender Bassman) a few years later. I wish I still had that 1483

    I'm amazed that any of those Homasote-cabineted flimsy suckers survived
     
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