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View Full Version : Sovtek and Red Bear amps?


ericjohnschwab
10-20-2010, 08:46 PM
Remember these russian phenomenons? I had a Sovtek Mig 50 that I was an IDIOT for trading. Great plexi tone

Hulakatt
10-20-2010, 08:51 PM
Just traded mine a little over a week ago here in the emporium. It certainly was a beast but way too loud for me.

JStizz
10-20-2010, 08:57 PM
i had a Mig 50, too. im not sure if im a big Plexi tone fan as ive never played a real one but i liked it.

downside... EXTREMELY problematic. i was always blowing power tubes and fuses, the capacitors went out, and even the power indicator light went out.

but damn that thing took pedals well. i kinda miss it.

Ampegasaur
10-20-2010, 09:23 PM
Mig 60 is a beast.

flcmcya
10-20-2010, 09:31 PM
I just sold my Mig 60 yesterday....oops !

What a killer amp. :bow

Primakurtz
10-20-2010, 10:16 PM
I'm on my second Mig 60, and I plan to keep it. A few mods and yowza - what a great amp, at moderate and loud volumes.

ScienceFriction
10-20-2010, 10:25 PM
I have Mig 30 myself, amazing amp. :love: It's probably little bit less than a full 30 watts, and has some great natural compression. The matching cabinet isn't too shabby either, I really like the stock Eminence speakers in them.

I'm not the best at making amp tone comparisons, but I think it definitely has that Bassman/Plexi sound going on. I haven't had any problems with mine, knock on wood. I don't know how you guys sell yours, you can't give these things away for what their worth these days, haha.

I'd love to get my hands on a Mig 60 at some point, and probably a Mig 100. I could buy them without trying them, haha. I'd really love to see a quality site dedicated to Sovtek amps, or at least some good comparison sound clips. They are under appreciated amps for sure.

I've never played a Red Bear. I'm not sure how similar they really are to the Sovteks, and I've heard various conflicting things about them. Like they're like JCM800s but smoother, and also like JCM800s but harder, So no idea there!

RocksOff
10-20-2010, 10:59 PM
Mig 60 owner here. Marshall tone, but a little grainier. What mods are you talking about, primakurtz?

jgyn
10-20-2010, 11:45 PM
Have a Red Bear mk 120 that's alright. Kinda like a JCM 800 with more bass.

chillerthanmost
10-21-2010, 12:04 AM
I used to love my mig100h until I got an Ampeg v4 which just blew it out of the water. but once in a while I'll miss that mig sound. I found it sounded best with the master up at 8/9 and the gain at 2/3. plenty of break up and louder than most amps out today. sold it for a Traynor yba-1 a few months ago.

great heads. built solid. never had a problem and would recommend to anyone over any modern high gain head today.

Joe Porto
10-21-2010, 12:37 AM
I had a mig 50 in the early 90's. It was a piece of crap. Bought it as a backup to my JCM800. Was noisy as hell. Cheap plastic switches. Sounded mediocre. I actually lost it when our rehearsal building burned to the ground (along with an old 100 watt Plush). I guess they're vintage now?

Maruuk
10-21-2010, 01:56 AM
Also a 30 owner, clean for miles. Almost no distortion even cranked. A terrible rock amp, nothing remotely like a Plexi, unless you mean just a clean Plexi. It's supposed to be based on a Bassman, with a slight Marshally flavor on the second input. It's a touch darker. This makes a great PA amp, bass amp, jazz amp, and is perfect for pedals since it doesn't add any of it's own OD. It just warms and compresses a bit. A real collector's item these days.

b2sc
10-21-2010, 05:50 AM
For all you guys who are kicking yourselves for selling one, this one popped up on my local CL this morning...

http://charlotte.craigslist.org/msg/2017444616.html

AudioWonderland
10-21-2010, 06:28 AM
i had a Mig 50, too. im not sure if im a big Plexi tone fan as ive never played a real one but i liked it.

downside... EXTREMELY problematic. i was always blowing power tubes and fuses, the capacitors went out, and even the power indicator light went out.

but damn that thing took pedals well. i kinda miss it.

I have an original plexi and had a mig 50. I don't think they were all that similar. It was a good amp. Nothing to sneeze at. I traded mine back then for a Bassman head

Primakurtz
10-21-2010, 07:31 AM
Mig 60 owner here. Marshall tone, but a little grainier. What mods are you talking about, primakurtz?

These amps came with terrible plastic jacks & pots, which are pretty easily replaced. Crafty techs can do some other circuit tweaks; mine was modded by Lord Valve, and he won't really say exactly what he did. Properly biased good tubes make a big difference. If you check out the High gain Amp Shootout videos & clips, one of the winners was a Mig 60 modded by a guy in LA. Here's a gut shot of mine:
http://i684.photobucket.com/albums/vv203/Primakurtz/th_Mig60HotPlate007.jpg?t=1287664308

Pretty clean & simple!

ScienceFriction
10-21-2010, 11:01 AM
Also a 30 owner, clean for miles. Almost no distortion even cranked. A terrible rock amp, nothing remotely like a Plexi, unless you mean just a clean Plexi. It's supposed to be based on a Bassman, with a slight Marshally flavor on the second input. It's a touch darker. This makes a great PA amp, bass amp, jazz amp, and is perfect for pedals since it doesn't add any of it's own OD. It just warms and compresses a bit. A real collector's item these days.

I don't exact how to explain it, since I've never played a plexi or a bassman. That would be a cool shoot out though, a Mig 30 vs Fender Bassman vs Marshall JTM45. I think the Mig 30 is definitely inspired by the Bassman and has that sort of flavor.

RocksOff
10-21-2010, 06:37 PM
These amps came with terrible plastic jacks & pots, which are pretty easily replaced. Crafty techs can do some other circuit tweaks; mine was modded by Lord Valve, and he won't really say exactly what he did. Properly biased good tubes make a big difference. If you check out the High gain Amp Shootout videos & clips, one of the winners was a Mig 60 modded by a guy in LA. Here's a gut shot of mine:
http://i684.photobucket.com/albums/vv203/Primakurtz/th_Mig60HotPlate007.jpg?t=1287664308

Pretty clean & simple!

Thats weird. Mine came with rocker switches, like a JCM800 but more narrow, and metal pots. Also, the jacks look kind of like cliff jacks. It's white face with chicken head knobs. It says Canduzo or something on the front in red letters. Made in Novosobirsk City! Alright!

Alvis
10-21-2010, 07:10 PM
My European backline .....:aok

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/ayhcult/migrig.jpg

ScienceFriction
10-21-2010, 07:17 PM
Do you notice any differences between the Mig 50 and the Model 001 Mig 50?

bizzwriter
10-21-2010, 07:33 PM
I used to have a Red Bear mk 60. It was just okay. Reliable, but definitely no Marshall. Sold it.

Ampegasaur
10-21-2010, 07:46 PM
The same guy in LA modded my Mig-60 as well. Mine came with metal jacks, and a much better build that what I found with the 50 and 100. I can do plexi type bluesy and rock tones in the low input, and metal in the high input.

Maruuk
10-21-2010, 07:55 PM
Yeah, the 30 is like a very clean Bassman. You can get a little grind if you hit it with hot HBs, especially in the Marshall channel input, but it's overall happier in Cleanville. With that huge, warm bottom end. Mil spec trannys will do that everytime.

ScienceFriction
10-21-2010, 08:03 PM
I'd really like to hear more Migs, most of the clips on youtube aren't much help, and too few.

Does anyone else use a Sovtek speaker cabinet? I have a 4x12 and I actually like it a lot. Of course the speakers are nice and broken in, but I've never compared it to anything else. It has those custom Eminence speakers based on vintage Celestions, comparable to Eminence Legends.

Also, next time sell me your Mig 60 guys, I've been gassing for one. :)

blackba
10-22-2010, 09:46 AM
I used to have a mig-60, really cool little amp. It was kind of a one trick crunch pony, but what a crunch/distortion sound.

Don't really miss the mig 60, but I think a cool rig today would be my Fender Bandmaster reverb for clean with an AB switch to switch to the Mig60 for dirt.

Primakurtz
10-22-2010, 09:57 AM
It says Canduzo or something on the front in red letters. Made in Novosobirsk City! Alright!

I'm told that what looks like "Cudano" is Cyrillic/Russian for "Siberia".

RocksOff
10-22-2010, 12:22 PM
Made by prisoners of the state, maybe?
"You have a choice between the salt mines or the guitar amplifier factory..."

5992
10-22-2010, 12:32 PM
I'm told that what looks like "Cudano" is Cyrillic/Russian for "Siberia".

You can see the Cyrillic up close here:

http://franck.davot.free.fr/mig50/mig50-xl1.jpg

SDELANO V ROSSII SARATOV

It means:

Made in Russia, Saratov

ScienceFriction
10-22-2010, 04:32 PM
It's interesting to see all the variations between different Sovtek amps. The front of mine says Made In Russia and Lead Tube Amplifier. Here's a picture of what it says on the back.


http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e64/seifer_alamasy/DSCN3314-1.jpg


By the way, pertaining to Mig 30/50s, has anyone tried replacing the 6L6 tubes with KT66 tubes? I mentioned this before on here but that thread was abandoned.

Maruuk
10-22-2010, 05:37 PM
My metal Sovtek MIG-30 nameplate fell off. Wasn't really glued on very well. The rest of the amp is made like a tank. Will outlive me, no doubt.

garfight
10-23-2010, 03:06 AM
I've had several of the redbears and love them to pieces.I've been trying to get my hands on a midget 50 for a couple of years now but knowing how they are built, there's no way i'd pay what they usually go for.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v235/ianleague/amps2/stackofdoom2.jpg

Alvis
10-23-2010, 10:44 AM
SoV'S sound great when they're workin
I've had to pretty much rebuild one of mine over the years (since 1999)
But now it's got good German mad scientist components in it rather than the Soyuz space program era s**t it came with

My spare is one of the 1st issue 50s ,with presence spelled wrong
They both sound about the same

I wouldn't pay what they're going for nowdays either
Better spent on a bassman head or a Traynor bassmaster

ROCK !
9Kat4QocV08

ScienceFriction
10-23-2010, 11:10 AM
I have to agree about prices. I saw a local guy selling a stained, but overall pretty good condition blackface Fender Bassman head + cab for the a better value than what it costs to get a Sovtek head + cab these days. Glad to hear the Mig 50s sound the same. I imagine the 30 is pretty similar to the 50 as well, I'm not sure how much difference there is.

shaype
10-23-2010, 02:02 PM
I have a Redbear MKE60 I got for $400. A good deal IMO. Very picky with cabs though. I originally just had a Behringer cab with Jensens, was super bright, and had this high end fizzle I couldn't get rid of. Then had an older Traynor cab, allright, but still eh. Now I have a cab with 2 g12-80 and 2 g12-65. The other day I had it really cranked up, and with a little boost from my Marshall Guv'nor 2 sounded sweet. Reminded me a lot of Iommis tone on past lives. So much distortion, almost bordering on fuzz. It also has massive low end, having it on about 3 or 4 is probably more than enough for most people.

I've found that the best way to run it is by cranking the master and using the pre to adjust the volume. Overall I like the sound of it, but it has to be really loud to get it sounding great.

Miles
10-24-2010, 03:06 PM
I have a MIG 60. My main amp right now. Very rude & crude - which is good for most of the sounds I'm going for. It definitely cuts in the mix without any issues.

Mine didn't have plastic jacks or switches - that's generally what Mig 50s have. Mine is all stock w/ metal jacks, inputs, big pots, etc...

It's handwired, which is good and loud as hell. These amps have a lot of muscle and with a few choice pedals, they're a sweet working man's rig.

What's cool is that they're cheap and often seen as crappy gear. You don't have to worry about theft if you're playing some more unscrupulous areas of town.

My MIG + a beat up fender cab a telecaster and a dirt box = big...crude...sound. They're very raw. A more garagey tone, for sure. If you're after pristine Marshall crunch or fluid blues tone...NOPE. These amps just grind.

My MIG 60 is pure unadulterated slavic mayhem and it would probably eat my kids if I turned my back on it.

Baxtercat
10-24-2010, 03:50 PM
My MIG 60 is pure unadulterated slavic mayhem and it would probably eat my kids if I turned my back on it.
:rotflmao

Alvis
10-24-2010, 04:54 PM
I have to agree about prices. I saw a local guy selling a stained, but overall pretty good condition blackface Fender Bassman head + cab for the a better value than what it costs to get a Sovtek head + cab these days. Glad to hear the Mig 50s sound the same. I imagine the 30 is pretty similar to the 50 as well, I'm not sure how much difference there is.

Yeah, I paid 175 for my 1st one in '99
350 for the other ,this year
I recall passing up many at 250 over the years because I didnt think I wanted to pay anymor than I paid for the 1st one........
I think if most people knew how they were built , they wouldnt be to eager to spend the kind of money they're fetchin nowdays

What really came in handy for me was the fact that it has a switchable power tranny ,so I could use it in Europe .It's small ,so easy to carry on a plane .
Besides, try finding inexpensive amps in Europe that do the trick ..........Not much luck

Ampegasaur
10-24-2010, 06:44 PM
Yeah, I paid 175 for my 1st one in '99
350 for the other ,this year
I recall passing up many at 250 over the years because I didnt think I wanted to pay anymor than I paid for the 1st one........
I think if most people knew how they were built , they wouldnt be to eager to spend the kind of money they're fetchin nowdays

What really came in handy for me was the fact that it has a switchable power tranny ,so I could use it in Europe .It's small ,so easy to carry on a plane .
Besides, try finding inexpensive amps in Europe that do the trick ..........Not much luck

Everyone keeps saying how badly built the Sovteks are. This is the 50 and 100W not the 60 totally different animal. Never played a 30, so cannot say.

Mig60
10-25-2010, 08:56 AM
i've been using sovtek heads for years and never had a problem with them.

ScienceFriction
10-25-2010, 05:44 PM
I just bridged the channels on my Mig 30 for the first time, wow! That thing grew some teeth and got vicious, sounded great! I only pushed it for a short time, and my pickups are pretty hot, but it was cooking. Not sure how to describe the tone since I didn't play it very long like that (oh apartment, you have to stay so quiet), but it was dirty.

ScienceFriction
10-28-2010, 06:58 PM
When did these amps become so sought after?? :bonk

http://cgi.ebay.com/SOVTEK-MIG-30-SOVIET-MARSHALL-VINTAGE-TUBE-GUITAR-AMP-/220687550203?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item336200c6fb (http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=5336713463&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fcgi.ebay.com%2FSOVTEK-MIG-30-SOVIET-MARSHALL-VINTAGE-TUBE-GUITAR-AMP-%2F220687550203%3Fpt%3DLH_DefaultDomain_0%26hash%3 Ditem336200c6fb)

Miles
10-28-2010, 08:52 PM
Everyone keeps saying how badly built the Sovteks are. This is the 50 and 100W not the 60 totally different animal. Never played a 30, so cannot say.

Right. My 60 is hand wired and seems built really well. Tubes are chassis mounted not PCB mounted. Nice pots, switches, jacks, etc... Certainly built better than a lot of popular gear out there these days.

The 50s have the plastic switches/pots. Not sure about the 30s either.

My Mig 60 seems built really well. The only issue it's had in its life was a worn resistor and a jack that shorted (after 16 years of use!)

EVERY amp is going to have some bumps and bruises if you use them a great deal. Much like an automobile, they will require some part maintenance.

Alvis
10-29-2010, 01:14 PM
They aint well built ,BUT they sound great and not that hard to fix ,luckily

Gary Moore always asks about mine . I think secretly , he desires one for himself ........

ScienceFriction
10-30-2010, 09:16 AM
Speaking of build quality, does anyone have any problems running their Mig on 110 volts? I haven't changed anything on mine (except fuses), and I'm not having any problems, but I was just curious. I know the average voltage in the US is 117 because it ranges between 110 and 120 based on variables.

Miles
10-30-2010, 10:04 PM
I have had no problems running on 110V. When I asked around w/ repair shops and such, they had mentioned that most amps actually have the capability of taking a reasonable deal more voltage.

I love my MIG 60. Yes, the prices are a bit high. I probably wouldn't have snatched mine up if I hadn't found it at a pawn shop for $185.

The Mig 60 is a pretty rude & crude tone. I like to run mine on the HIGH input with the Preamp almost zeroed out and the Master running around noon. I then push a rat box into that.

Our new demo "Wrong & Whatever" on my myspace page (below on my sig) was recorded with my MIG 60.

Setup for that tune = Tele --> Big Muff --> POG2 --> Mig 60.

Gr8Scott
10-30-2010, 10:26 PM
I had an old plastic jack/switch mig 50. It didn't remind me of a plexi in any way/shape/form. It was darker and cleaner than a plexi. Sort of a dark bassman IMHO. Tone controls only worked on one channel and the other was set by itself. Not a bad amp, but not a great one either. It eats power tubes like nobody's business. High plate voltages. A bit higher than most 6L6 tubes can withstand for long. I gave mine to my nephew with a cab. He uses it a lot and loves it.

Primakurtz
11-08-2010, 03:02 PM
Our new demo "Wrong & Whatever" on my myspace page (below on my sig) was recorded with my MIG 60.

Sounds great - a really good tune!

ScienceFriction
11-09-2010, 02:10 PM
What constitutes poorly built with the Sovtek amps? Is it the plastic parts? I took a picture of the underside of my Mig 30's chassis. It has chassis mounted tubes and looks like standard pcb construction. After the holidays I'd like to take mine to a good amp tech and upgrade anything that needs it and just try to learn more about it. I've never seen a Sovtek that looks just like it, the variation between amps is a headache sometimes.

Miles, your Sovtek Mig 60 sounds nice! I'd like to get one of those myself eventually, seems like it makes a great rock amp.

Baxtercat
11-09-2010, 02:55 PM
My Sovtek 50 had flimsy plastic pots and switches, which tended to break one by one over time. I rewired it all w/ new pots and enjoy the amp still.

ScienceFriction
11-11-2010, 08:51 AM
Thanks Baxtercat, I just wanted to be sure that was the only big problem people had. I've heard the leads on the circuit board can be flimsy too, but I don't plan on messing with that too much..

I did so research and my Mig is pretty interesting I think. It has three 6N1P-EV (6DJ8) in the preamp and two 6N3C (6L6C) in the power amp. I can't think of any other guitar amp that uses the 6DJ8, but I know it's like a lower gain 12AX7 type tube. I guess they ran out of 6N2P's that day, haha. Also, does anyone know if I it's possible to add a 5AR4 rectifier to my Mig 30, or a switchable ss/tube rectifier?