Goodsell Clairmont 17 appreciation thread.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pfrischmann, May 16, 2005.


  1. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I just picked up clairmont 17 #22 head. I honestly have mixed feelings about it. Just from the outside, it looks like a garage project with a poorly fitting ACplug , mediocre tolex...etc but everytime I get it dialed in, I'm really impressed with the shimmery, old school tones. This amp has an old soul.

    Has anybody found a really good speaker match?

    I thought the 1x12's were a bit boxy (I feel that way about all 1x12's)


    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  2. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Paul,
    Congrats. That is a fun little amp, huh?

    I got to borrow the #31 combo for a few days recently.

    They have apparently improved the tolex work lately, but also raised the price.

    It runs the crap out of the EL-84, at around 14-16 watts dissipation, so have an extra pair on hand when they burn up!

    It wants to see a 4 ohm load for maximum output. I would think that an open back G12H30-ish and Celestion Blue-ish type combo at 4 ohms would be ideal. Or, a pair of Greenbacks or the new 20 watters in a closed back cab.

    Inside, there is not a lot going on circuitwise. Simpler is often best.

    - Ken
     
  3. The Eristic

    The Eristic Member

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    The more recent pieces have gotten better as far as quality goes. Stock speaker is now an Emi Private Jack, I believe. It really is an impressive little box, tonewise. I put some more money on mine this weekend.
     
  4. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    Are all of these being sold through Discount Music in Atlanta? Or are other dealers running them too? George is just all grins about this little wonder. I played one a few months back, and I loved it for its pristine clean.
     
  5. iluvstrats

    iluvstrats Member

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    I'm really enjoying mine. I have the 1x12 which currently has a celestion classic lead 80. I may try the private jack.

    I don' t think I've ever had an amp that records better.
     
  6. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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    I played one, and I think it was a fantastic clean amp, but I still was left thinking is it really more fantastic than the fenders I already own. I think the two things that kept me from buying it really had nothing to do with the amp.

    1) I have several clean amps and no crunchy ones. So I need another clean like a hole in my head and I don't want to part with any of my Fenders.

    2) A friend of mine whose guitar advice I really value was ripped off by Discount music so I am more than nervous to do any business with them.

    In the amps defense though, its clean is definately a different sound than what you think of for Fender clean and it is hands down the best sounding non-Fender clean amp I've heard.
     
  7. iluvstrats

    iluvstrats Member

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    It's funny but I think of this as amp as a crunch amp, not a clean amp. It has a really good master on it.

    Sorry to hear that your friend was ripped off as I've always had good experience with them.
     
  8. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    Sorry your friend had this experience. I've been dealing with George and his crew for 20 years now, and he's always taken care of me. (And I'm not a pro.)

    Damn, 20 years! I can remember Peter Stroud working there, selling me gear. Jim, Robert, Chick, Bill, they were all pretty cool with me.
     
  9. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    I'd be very interested in hearing what others think about the build quality everyone else sees.

    I really like this amp but when I took a look at it I'm suprised to see what I can only describe as a majority of parts that came from a back shelf parts bin.

    Mine is ser# 22 so it may be old by comparison...

    The components were wired very well. I'm just surprised at the "garage" project level of such a simple...$1,000+ amp

    It does sound good,It now seems REALLY expensive
     
  10. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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    I would agree, from what I saw that the amp wasn't the picture of boo-teek amp glitz, but the build quality seemed spot on and the amp was definately more than the sum of its parts in the way it played. I'm generally a cheap-skate when it comes to gear and quick to gripe about price, but that amp is on my short list of expensive (by my criteria) gear that is worth every penny.
     
  11. cvansickle

    cvansickle Member

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    From what George told me, it's definitely made from salvaged parts. Some of those parts are no longer available, so when they're gone so ends production. That could be hype, but I've seen the insides of one and it looked like Andy and Opie built it in the garage with parts from Aunt Bea's old radio.....

    Of course, it SOUNDS like Zeus hit it with a lightning bolt!
     
  12. KLB

    KLB Member

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    From what I saw, the major "salvaged" parts were the transformers, and possibly the chassis.

    When I had one for a few days, I thought it sounded better with a 5Y3GT instead of the stock 5AR4. This also dropped the plate volts and bias current to a more reasonable level. Even so, if it were mine, I'd swap out the 125 ohm bias resistor for something like 160 or 180. This would put the EL84 closer to it's 12w max dissipation.
     
  13. The Eristic

    The Eristic Member

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    That's just about the whole point! The guy building them is/was a major Hammond organ repairman. All the transformers came out of vintage organs and old stock, afaik.
     
  14. BozoTone

    BozoTone Member

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    ...Yeah, the Hammond OT is the Magic Mojo...I also think of mine as a "cruchy" EL84 based amp...mine came with a GZ34 rect. and Private Jack...mine is #43 and the tolex looks great...not perfect, but I like the handmade, personal look...even if it looked like crap, the TONE is killer and thats why I bought it.....
     
  15. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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    Yeah,
    That's where I'm having trouble...This thing could really use an extreme makeover from someone with an eye for aestetics....but the tone is great.
     
  16. DestroyAllGuitars

    DestroyAllGuitars Member

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    The tone is all that matters here. There's no need to give marks based on appearance. Especially at the level of creating and choosing tone, one of the primary building blocks of music.......
    A little spray paint and duct tape should fix it just fine!

    One of my favorite "boutique" builders receives constant
    criticism for the innards of his amps not being the neatest.
    Who cares! His tones crush, and that's all I care about.
    I don't even look under the hood. I change strings when
    they break and change tubes when they blow.

    If you've got the tone, than just use it to create. Don't get
    caught up in all the trappings, just crank it and everyone
    else will ultimately start trying to cop your look and sound.

    Now crank that puppy and smile!!!!
     
  17. The Eristic

    The Eristic Member

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    *has idea*

    My family has built and upholstered custom furniture for over 50 years. We also do interior design and the like. Perhaps when I get mine, a custom cab is in order. ;^)
     
  18. Thelonius

    Thelonius Member

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    I don't see why anyone would want to change the appearance of this amp, it definately has a charm all its own.
     
  19. pfrischmann

    pfrischmann Member

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  20. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Paul,
    Your Goodsell head is laid out better than the combo I inspected, but the wiring isn't as neat. On the combo, all the tubes were crammed together in a line on the back edge. Your head has ample spacing around each group of tubes.

    The transformers are different. On the combo, both were laydown type. I believe the OT was smaller on the combo.

    This means all the amps don't use the same iron. Interesting, since the transformers are supposed to be perhaps the main special ingredient.

    I suggest a 5Y3GT to lower plate volts from approx. 345 to 310, and reduce idle current to closer to 12 watts.

    - Ken
     

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