Another kickin 'lil old Ampeg!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Leonc, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    In my on-going love affair with funky old amps, I recently picked up a '62 Ampeg Mercury. It's a blue-check model with 6V6s and a Jensen C12R. Thing's in great shape overall. I have to say, it's one of the best sounding old Ampeg's I've had. Warmer than either of my Reverb-e-Rocket IIs or Gemini II. Gets good and mean when you dime it too.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    As much as I'd love to love the 1x12 cab, I can't say I do. Maybe if I was just a straight up blues player, I'd love it. But to me, it sounds a bit "small" and midrangey. I popped a C-Rex in there and that helped a bit. It does sound killer in combination with my old Gibson Invader GA-30RVT which has gobs of top and bottom (and is notably weaker in the mids).

    While the C-Rex was an improvement IMO, it absolutely paled when I tried it through my VT-40-style 4x10 cab. Wow, now that was a killer sound!! Big, clear, full. So I'm gonna build a head cab for the Mercury and play it through the 4x10.
     
  2. doc

    doc Member

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    I just got one of these too! Yours is in better shape than mine, but mine still works okay for the most part. The tremelo doesn't work, and the speaker cone was torn. I replaced my speaker with a Jensen Neo and I think it sounds pretty good. I thought about putting a Blues in it, but I think the Jensen fits with the character of the amp better. Its going to be a great jazz/blues amp.
     
  3. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice, doc. Yeah, the Mercury is clearly a great blues/jazz amp. All my guitars (humbuckers, P90s, single coils) sound great through it.
     
  4. doc

    doc Member

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    Does yours have a piece of wire through the side to hold the footswitch during transport? Mine had several weird things done to it (including, for unclear reasons, a piece of pipe bolted to the back vertically) and I'm wondering if the wire is original or not. If you open it up to recap or something, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a photo and send it to me so I'll know what a fairly original copy looks like (somebody had done some amateur repairs and I've been slowly undoing them). One thing that took me a few minutes to realize in looking at it with the schematic is that the second preamp tube is actually where the signal goes first - the first tube is the one associated with the trem.
     
  5. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    Leon:

    That is such a cool amp. I played a slightly older one for all of 10 minutes once ... enough to be quite impressed. It's a classic 6v6 low wattage amp, not quite tweed deluxe, not exactly like anything else. Hope you'll post some clips when you get your cab setup going. Good luck with it.

    Michael D.
     
  6. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    hahah! Yeah, I've been inside this one a few times already. It was already re-capped (like just about every cap in the thing and a lot of resistors were replaced too). The previous owner put in a 3 prong cord, but just tied it in a knot, so untied it, drilled the hole out a bit further and put a proper strain relief in it. Anyway, yeah, I did notice that inputs went to the second tube! Not what I was expecting at all. It goes V2 - V1 - V3. Funny!

    No, unlike some of my later Ampegs, this one doesn't have anything inside to hold the footpedal. A pipe on yours? WTF? Man...people do some weird sh1t to amps...

    I'll post some gut shots later, but like I said, it's largely been reworked, and a pretty nice job was done.
     
  7. themusicboxstudios

    themusicboxstudios Member

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    leon ... you need to give my gibson mariner a run. :Devil
     
  8. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Michael - yeah, I played one like this last summer at a Guitar Center, of all places. They wanted an arm and a leg so I passed...and proceed to kick myself until I stumbled into this one--which is really in WAY better shape--a month ago or so, and for about half what GC wanted. Yes, there are some tweed Deluxe-ish qualities to it...but as you say...it's different. The speaker on this one is stamped '61 but one of the transformers is stamped in early '62.
     
  9. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Jonathan - ha! yeah, I do. Bring it on by :) Hey you'll dig this Invader too.
     
  10. thesnowyforest

    thesnowyforest Member

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    how does this compare to the ampeg gemini i ?
     
  11. telewacker

    telewacker Supporting Member

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    The Gemini 1 is the amp to get. Paired with a Weber ceramic Blue Dog it's killer. The ultimate is to add a cathode bypass cap to the second channel and then jumper them for gain near Marshall territory. The slotback cab, cathode biased 7591s make this the best design of all the old Ampegs for a full sounding amp with great cleans and smooth breakup imo. I have a live clip that shows how good the amp sounds with just a Strat plugged straight in that I can send via email if someone wants to hear it.
     
  12. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    I wish I still had my Gemini VI. The guy I sold it too many years ago still has it!
     
  13. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Been a long time since I played a Gemini I but I remember loving it. The Gemini II is great too, had one more recently, but it's a bit different tonally due to 15" Alnico Jensen and bigger cab. Of my Ampeg's this Mercury is my favorite to date.

    BTW, once I tried it through my "VT-40" 4x10, I couldn't go back to the 1x12. I built a head cab for it and now my Mercury lives in it. This has got to be one of the best sounding rigs I've had:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. thesnowyforest

    thesnowyforest Member

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    ******** !

    THat looks cool

    I have the same model vt-40

    how do i hook it up so i can run an external amp using the 4x10 cab?

    any chance of hearing how your amp sounds????


     
  15. thesnowyforest

    thesnowyforest Member

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    btw what speakers are you running in your vt-40?

    last week in stalled 4 webers in my vt40.

    2 Ceramic 10f150's on the bottom
    2 alnico 10a125 on the top

    To my ears eveyr time i play it it is just sounding better and better.

    will be interesting to see the differences in the speakers when i stick a mic in front.

    the tone just seems so pure...you just hear the sound of the guitar and that amazing vt-40 tone.

    heaven.

    my p bass also sound THUMPING! at low volumes before break up.
     
  16. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    Picked up this 1966 Gemini II for $600 a year ago. This is a fine sounding amp. Has a Weber 15 inch Michigan in it with a California Bass cone.
    Beautiful reverb -- among the best I have heard.

    Got the two Nocasters in January, and am thrilled with them.

    Just getting around to photographing this gear and learning how to post pics.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. SG John

    SG John Member

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    I have the same amp. I bought it off my guitar teacher in 1977. It has a huge, extremely heavy Altec-Lansing 15" speaker. I love the sound of that amp. It was my only amp for about 10 years. Every once and a while I plug it in, and it still sounds awesome. I've never done anything to it, except play it. I wish mine was as pretty as the one you have.
     
  18. digthosetubes

    digthosetubes Senior Member

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    I don't play this amp all that often either.
    Each time I play it, I am transported.
    Saying the reverb is really great I guess is not new with old Ampeg amps. But it always bears repeating. Lovely tremolo, too.

    Big, full, round tones. With those nocaster plugged in, the vibe is special.

    The amp also makes it easy to nearly eliminate single coil hum.

    Here is another shot.

    [​IMG]
     

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