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View Full Version : GOMEZ AMPS "EL SONIDO" 63 blonde bassman review


wiredturtle
09-05-2007, 12:02 AM
Just got two of them in from Dario of Gomezamps.com and put em to the test against
my late 63' blonde 6G6-B. Now my amp has had some updates from tophat amps but the
only modification to my amp is the removal of a 222j cap that takes the damper off the high
end in the bass channel.

Dario's amps are built in Orange County just like the originals using overbuilt components that
match or excede the OEM components that fender used on 500 S. Raymond Ave. in Fullerton
back in the old days (at the time my dad was working there more or less). While original
blonde bassmans had a "presence" control and normal channel, Dario took the liberty of
calling that channel the "wild" channel and changed the presence control name to "stoke".
While he has a surf music background he has the heart for rockabilly artists looking to
get "the sound" and he has done so with the EL SONIDO. Its every bit as good with
fat tight bass and jangly,punchy highs as my own 63' fender blonde bassman.
I put it toe to toe into my bassman cab loaded in a 4ohm configuration with 2 celestion
speakers (one vintage 30 and one vox alnico blue).
This El Sonido has the same sonic footprint as my original other than the fact that you need
to turn the treble knob up on the gomez amp one notch past my original to get the same
twang. No big deal at all. What is much more improved is the quietness of the amp and that
the volume controls are usable the entire range unlike the original and most fender repros
that can only go from off to loud in a twitch of the finger.


The amp has a tad more headroom than my blonde and thats pretty much from the fact that
Gomez amps use JJ ECC803 preamp tubes (a longplate 12ax totally interchangeable) and
the Tungsol 5881 reissues. Remember that the originals were issues with RCA longplate pre's
and tungsol small bottle 5881 (same thing with Phillips 6G6-WGBs) so Dario is trying to
stay as true to the original as he can.
What an added bonus is that straight out these El Sonido amps have grounded heavy duty
extra length AC cords and an internal bias pot so that you can use any kind of 6L6 type tube
for your liking. (the original has a fixed bias that requires a tech to determine when you change
out tubes).

This El Sonido amp gives up the rocking crunch past 6 oclock like you expect and the lows still
stay nice and tight. Well defined sonic articulation across the spectrum.

I opted to have the treble damper cap in the bass channel exempt since I like to play my strat
through that channel for modern blues and rock stuff and as well I prefer the very
bright and hot Ruby 12ax7C5 pre amp tubes (ala setzer) and NOS 6L6WGB pwr tubes (ala setzer)
but pretty much you could blind taste test these amps and pick the EL Sonido as the better sounding amp.
I can now stop sweating about having my original blonde "dissappearing" from the stage and
take the El Sonido out to gig. While my own insurance would have to cover theft, I can rest in
the fact that Gomez Amps gives a solid 5 yr warrantee for his amplifiers.

I've got two at the moment, one for myself and the other to sell. IF you are a giggin musician
I would be happy to get one of these amps to you immediately. I've kinda signed up to play
and sell Gomez amps since I'm no good at at selling things I wouldnt play myself and dont
believe in.

I'm sold on this blonde and its been a long time coming for a company besides tophat and clark
to finally build a near blueprint 63' Blonde 6G6-B bassman amp.

hey Setzer, I got a new amp for ya. :wink:

http://a914.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/118/l_64541107511949860fe36851e0b82061.jpg

riffmeister
09-05-2007, 05:35 AM
sounds like a winner!

how much $$ for one of these bad boyz?

frank62
09-05-2007, 07:41 AM
My favorite amp. What's the price on these?

Blueser
09-05-2007, 08:59 AM
Any clips available?

wiredturtle
09-05-2007, 10:08 AM
right on Darios website:
http://www.gomezamps.com/el-sonido.html

DGG
09-05-2007, 10:30 AM
Sorry guys no samples on the Sonido yet. Currently, the sounds link is to the Surfer sounds. I've been swamped all summer but will try to get them up ASAP. Stay tuned..

Thanks for the props Tavo!

wiredturtle
09-05-2007, 02:09 PM
I'll try to get something together this weekend, but it aint gonna be
surf music. :):JAM

wiredturtle
09-07-2007, 11:13 AM
guts n glory? ;) c'mon give us bigger pictures..... this is too small

http://gomezamps.com/El_Sonido_Chassis_Thumb1.jpg

DGG
10-14-2007, 12:01 PM
Today is picture day. Gonna be taking some outdoorsy shots of the G Reverb and the Sonido with my good friends and powerful guitar jedis Scott Detweiler and Greg Togawa.

In studio pictures for brochures will be taken shortly thereafter. A whole new look to the Gomez lineup is on the way.

Sound clips will appear on the website in November for ALL the amp models.

stay tuned...

Stay tuned.

DGG
10-14-2007, 12:03 PM
..forgot to mention. A waiting list for all amp models is forthcoming.

Roe
10-20-2007, 10:44 AM
clark only seems to have made one 6g6b. how many did gomez make - 8?

DGG
10-20-2007, 01:38 PM
clark only seems to have made one 6g6b. how many did gomez make - 8?

Quite a few built and sold since their debut in June...

getbent
10-20-2007, 02:17 PM
Gomez amps are amazing. Nice job Dario!

DGG
10-20-2007, 03:22 PM
getbent-thanks man...when are we gonna sit down for some pickin'? Going to NAMM this year?

z3
10-20-2007, 04:59 PM
..forgot to mention. A waiting list for all amp models is forthcoming.

hey dario...

evidently, i'm looking at mid november for my el sonido.
certainly not an intolerable wait time compared to valvetech, glaswerks, standel or any other number of hand built amps.
looking forward to comparing the el sonido to my fave 6G6B (not mine) that resides in one of the studios i work in.

markom89
10-20-2007, 06:50 PM
I read something on Gomez amps a few months ago, and was kinda' interested by them for that "fender" thing... Anyone have any experience with "the surfer"??? I'm thinking that I might pickup their reverb unit for an AC-15 twin that I've got coming... and I could also use it on the Concorde when I finally get it...

getbent
10-20-2007, 07:32 PM
getbent-thanks man...when are we gonna sit down for some pickin'? Going to NAMM this year?

I'd love to! I'll see if I can find a way 'in' to NAMM! Are you gonna go see Wilsey? There is a guy named Greg Collier who is playing in Fullerton soon, I wanna come down and see him, I think you'd dig his music...

If the boss gives me some stock I'll have a Gomez this year... they are awesome.

markom89
10-20-2007, 07:46 PM
Damn. I really want a "The Surfer" now... Thanks for the reviews, DGG ;) I've always been a fan of that classic surf tone, and these amps seem to have just that... I'm officially gonna' start saving up for a "The Surfer", and a nice jazzmaster or jaguar... preferably vintage.

DGG
10-20-2007, 08:05 PM
Thanks Mark ...and get the Jag!

markom89
10-20-2007, 08:08 PM
It's MarkO... and I will ;):D... You'll be hearing more from me, good sir!

z3
10-21-2007, 12:23 AM
I'm officially gonna' start saving up for a "The Surfer", and a nice jazzmaster or jaguar... preferably vintage.

gear slut...
too bad that nash discontinued his jazzmaster. the absolute finest jazzmaster i have ever played was a very light ash nash jazzmaster. i shoulda bought that guitar.
i wouldn't overlook the japanese jazzmasters and jaguars. i think they're absolutely splendid guitars.
marko, maybe we could timeshare Ur surfer and my el sonido?

markom89
10-21-2007, 12:46 AM
If I'm just a gear slut, then you, my friend, are the Mona Lisa of gear sluts!:D Don't you worry, fellow Torontonian, the MIJ/CIJ jazzmasters overlook I will not! It's actually the purple sparkle J Mascis sig one that has tickled the right places... This "timeshare" you speak of... I'm intrigued! I'd totaly be up for it... once I get the "The Surfer".

z3
10-21-2007, 03:36 AM
If I'm just a gear slut, then you, my friend, are the Mona Lisa of gear sluts!

i do have a sh!t load of recording gear.
for the number of years that i've been playing guitar, i actually haven't bought that many guitar amps and i still own all but a few amps that i have ever bought.
TGP has been great for 'shopping' for a handful of amps that i wanted to flesh out my tonal palette for recording & performing. the problem is that, now that all of my needs have been met (ampwise), i'm stuck w/ having played a few amps that i lust after.
the el sonido was totally a spur of the moment choice and really only based on my love of a particular bassman in one of the studios i work in. i'm not under any preconceptions that the el sonido will be exactly like my fave bassman, but we shall see. i'm a bit taken aback myself, because most of my amp purchases are prolonged affairs where i vacillate back and forth before saying - no...
aside from the 65amps london and the Dr. Zed route 66, my current fixation is the swart SST. i played on recently and love the trem circuit and the grindy quad 6V6 vibe. i'm already day dreaming of an SST w/ the master volume replaced by a power scaling module.
curse U, TGP...

markom89
10-21-2007, 12:02 PM
So you finally played a Swart, eh?! You should try the AST out (mine) before I send it off in a trade towards that new JMI I told you about... if you want! I've got a week off school now, but I know yer a busy cat... Man, I hate to "hi-jack", but how DO you like the Dr.Z stuff? I've always wanted to try out one of those, and they're not priced that high. Anywho, I agree fully with you about the whole cursing TGP thing... This site has led to the spending of thousands of dollars. Talk to ya' later, dood! Cheers.

Marko M.

markom89
10-21-2007, 12:49 PM
Question for you, Dario... Would you be able to make a matching cab for it? I dunno' what types of speakers would work best with the sort of amp, though... I'm going for a surf sound... 2x15? 1x15? 2x12?...

DGG
10-21-2007, 01:33 PM
The Surfer has a matching 1x15 tone ring cabinet-just like the originals. The Eminence Commonwealth 15 speaker (JBL D130 type-clone) is OEM. Thanks for the kind words.

z3
10-25-2007, 01:41 AM
So you finally played a Swart, eh?!

i was really impressed w/ the SST. unique, yet iconic 6V6 grind and wonderful trem circuit. very responsive as long as the master volume was past 3 o'clock. i'm sure that power scaling would be the way to go...

Man, I hate to "hi-jack", but how DO you like the Dr.Z stuff?

i've only played the rt.66/z best and the SRZ65LTD. i was expecting some vintage JTM45 type tones in the rt.66, but it's something else entirely. very swampy and funky and exceedingly phat. unlike any other map i have, hence the covetousness. a relative steal compared to most other hand built amps too.

the SRZ65 is, by far the best JCM800 i have ever played. that amp is scary good.

Yup
11-29-2007, 10:12 AM
Does the $1799 price for the El Sonido include the speaker cab or is the price for the head only?

Thanks.

DGG
11-29-2007, 11:11 AM
Head only and includes free shipping anywhere in the CONUSA. FYI-only a few left...Thx. D

Yup
12-03-2007, 05:04 PM
How much for a head cab (2x12) combo?

DGG
12-03-2007, 07:33 PM
Sent you a PM.

astigtigas
12-03-2007, 07:37 PM
how long is the wait?

DGG
12-04-2007, 08:27 AM
Have a few left in stock so no wait at the moment.

DGG
11-14-2008, 10:13 PM
One left at Buffalo Brothers.... www.buffalobrosguitars.com (http://www.buffalobrosguitars.com)

...after that is when we reopen in June of 2009. Prices have dropped nicely.

Dario G. Gomez

Roe
11-15-2008, 12:02 PM
try rtf ecc83s in the 6g6b BTW

DGG
01-11-2009, 01:24 PM
Now taking orders/deposits for spring 2009. Limited production runs.

All the best....dario

Roe
01-11-2009, 02:11 PM
its great that someone builds these amps. :D

dario how does the blonde showman compare to the bassman?

ROKY
01-11-2009, 02:58 PM
dario how does the Blonde Showman compare to the Bassman?

I'd like an answer to this one, as well !

DGG
01-12-2009, 11:12 AM
They're identical in the tone stack (Wild channel of both) only the Sonido uses 5881's instead of the 6L6GC's in the Surfer. Less headroom in the Sonido as you would expect.

I use 6L6GC's in the Surfer only because mainly my customers have desired more headroom for it. I can't get my hands on new production 7581-A power tubes which would give you max headroom (100W max output) on the Surfer so you have to roll the dice on NOS/used market. They are super pricey.

Thanks for the questions and interest.

dario

DGG
01-31-2009, 05:26 PM
clark only seems to have made one 6g6b. how many did gomez make - 8?


Well over 20. All have sold.

As far as the price drop, that is due to the fact I no longer have to raise prices for the dealers so they can get a cut. Since I deal direct I can keep them (all amps) at prices that reflect the excising of middlemen. dgg

toddlee
02-24-2009, 06:03 AM
Just ordered My "el Sonido" Yesterday. Spoke to Dario for a good 30 minutes and he :
A- knows what he doing
B- Cares about the customer satisfation
and C- seems like a real nice guy.

I can hardly wait to get my hands on this thing and make My gretsch sound like its supposed to.

I'm Incinerator
02-24-2009, 12:06 PM
Just ordered My "el Sonido" Yesterday. Spoke to Dario for a good 30 minutes and he :
A- knows what he doing
B- Cares about the customer satisfation
and C- seems like a real nice guy.

I can hardly wait to get my hands on this thing and make My gretsch sound like its supposed to.

Congrats,

I find out today if Uncle Sam is going to be nice to me, if so, hopefully one of these can be in the cards!

Dario seems like a super cool guy from the e-mail convos.

6120
02-24-2009, 12:09 PM
I want one.

DGG
02-24-2009, 05:55 PM
Thanks to you guys for the kind comments. Much obliged....dario

Roe
03-23-2009, 03:37 PM
Dario, which signal/coupling caps do you use?
here's the clark btw: http://folk.ntnu.no/roef/6g6bguts

wiredturtle
05-06-2009, 11:26 PM
I have one still avail. (use to be a dealer) its serial #2
Gomez El Sonido 63' blonde bassman clone. I used once at
the Key Club opening for Junior Brown. (wink wink)
kept by a buddy in studio since. now back in my possession.

trade for:
used Gretsch 6120SSLVO, Gretsch 6120RHH,
or post 2007 Tophat King Royale, post 2007 Tophat Super Deluxe.
maybe even a Dr. Z Stangray.

michael.e
05-07-2009, 12:44 AM
Hmmm...

I am looking for a head that has just a tad more headroom than my '73 DR504. Where on the volume control does this amp beging to break up?

Can you PM me a price also?

Thanks!

ROKY
05-07-2009, 07:44 AM
Hmmm...

I am looking for a head that has just a tad more headroom than my '73 DR504. Where on the volume control does this amp beging to break up?

Can you PM me a price also?

Thanks!

Yikes !
An early 70's Hiwatt has more headroom, by far, than a Blonde Bassman.

DGG
05-07-2009, 08:54 AM
Dario, which signal/coupling caps do you use?


Big reason why my prices are a bit higher. All my chassis are professionally engineered and manufactured (which are thicker in gauge-Fender used 18G whereas I use 16G steel), face and back plates and not use an old Fender to work off of as shown in this pic. Granted the work looks beautiful. Kudos to Clark.

Another thing is I don't use repro faceplates. I ACTUALLY came up with my own names for my amps (trademark infringement is not only wrong but can be very expensive), paid to have the silk screens made and screened them ala Fender (white first then black over top of them. It's pricey but looks so nice and worth it.

Also, I don't use OD's in the Sonido. There are so many other things I do differently in my build work but all stays true to the original schematic.

Dario

ROKY
05-07-2009, 09:33 AM
^^
Dario - I plan on ordering a Surfer amp from you in the fall . :)

DGG
05-07-2009, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the support ROKY!

wiredturtle
05-07-2009, 01:52 PM
Big reason why my prices are a bit higher. All my chassis are professionally engineered and manufactured (which are thicker in gauge-Fender used 18G whereas I use 16G steel), face and back plates and not use an old Fender to work off of as shown in this pic. Granted the work looks beautiful. Kudos to Clark.

Another thing is I don't use repro faceplates. I ACTUALLY came up with my own names for my amps (trademark infringement is not only wrong but can be very expensive), paid to have the silk screens made and screened them ala Fender (white first then black over top of them. It's pricey but looks so nice and worth it.

Also, I don't use OD's in the Sonido. There are so many other things I do differently in my build work but all stays true to the original schematic.

Dario

No kidding, even your solder joints make my original 63' look like it was
built in china :)

FWIW.. the gain in the bass channel is amazing if you turn the presence
way back (..er stoke knob) and crank the treble up.. it'll give angus
young a run for his money any day with an SG

Roe
05-11-2009, 02:21 AM
Big reason why my prices are a bit higher. All my chassis are professionally engineered and manufactured (which are thicker in gauge-Fender used 18G whereas I use 16G steel), face and back plates and not use an old Fender to work off of as shown in this pic. Granted the work looks beautiful. Kudos to Clark.

Another thing is I don't use repro faceplates. I ACTUALLY came up with my own names for my amps (trademark infringement is not only wrong but can be very expensive), paid to have the silk screens made and screened them ala Fender (white first then black over top of them. It's pricey but looks so nice and worth it.

Also, I don't use OD's in the Sonido. There are so many other things I do differently in my build work but all stays true to the original schematic.

Dario

So which signal caps do you use?