Leslie West's Sunn Amps

townsend

Member
Messages
1,500
I saw Mountain in 1971, right before "Nantucket Sleighride" was released. He played the Jr. through the Sunn amps. Three stacks. Cab, head, and cab on top of the head. His guitar solo was spectacular, but Felix Pappalardi's bass solo was awesome. I can't recall if he had the V or if I have just seen so many pictures of him with it.
Was that the tour where Mountain opened for Black Sabbath (IIRC)? Sometime around, I saw this fabulous twin bill when they came through Houston. And I distinctly remember hearing Nantucket Sleighride in their songs.
 

zombiwoof

Silver Supporting Member
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5,885
Randall Smith was working at Prune Music and doing master volumes well before the SUNN thing. But the cascaded gain stages, with individual volumes, appears to have happened in 1970 building a preamp to drive Crown power amps. At least according to his own story.
I was referring to master volumes on commercially available guitar amps. The P.A. head has it to set a master volume for the mic inputs, which each have their own volumes. I don't think there were guitar amps available with that feature at that time, even though techs may have been putting them in amps as a custom thing.
Al
 

teemuk

Member
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3,150
AFAIK, Quilter built amps with master volume controls already in 1968 and there's a master volume control in, for example, Fender Super Showman amp (1969). I recall Quilter labelled the control differently though, and while control in Fender was for overall loudness the Quilter feature was for controlled preamp distortion. And like I wrote earlier, from the mid 1960's several transistorized guitar amps (Vox, Acoustic Control, Mosrite, Sunn, Peavey, etc.) with built-in distortion effects were released. Back then it was called "fuzz" though. Come to think of it, that Super Showman amp had a fuzz effect as well.

If you want to find out what pioneered things you need to look at pioneering techology of those days, which was solid-state. Santana's transistorized GMT amp "boogied" at Woodstock before Mesa even got famous and when Marshall still advertised how loud and CLEAN their amps are. Things like distortion effects, channel switching and master volume ALL appeared first in transistorized amplifiers.
 
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Loudguitar

Member
Messages
352
Was that the tour where Mountain opened for Black Sabbath (IIRC)? Sometime around, I saw this fabulous twin bill when they came through Houston. And I distinctly remember hearing Nantucket Sleighride in their songs.
No. Mountain was the headliner. Mylon LeFevre was the opening act. Felix had produced his album and they were out together.
 

Steppin' Wolfe

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,991
The only Sunn amp I a have owned or heard in person was a 1200S head with the 6x12 cab under it. Awesome amp. The Mdiboost was the secret there,imho. And yes, it would do that L. West sound...but it was very loud by the time it would happen.
pit had ‘Jimi Hendrix’ in black marker on the back panel of the head, but there was no provenance to establish the connection.
 




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