My Valco dream came true

nmiller

Drowning in lap steels
Messages
7,450
I've had a 1958 National Town and Country for a few years, and it's one of the best guitars I've ever played. A couple of days ago I received the perfect matching amp: a 1960 National 1210. Without checking the serials, there's no way to know they weren't purchased on the same day, and they're both in superbly clean and original condition.

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The 1210 is a classic '50s Valco small amp design (Terry Dobbs dissected the circuit here). A single 12AX7, 6V6 and 5Y3 power two Rola 6X11" speakers; a similar tube configuration powered the smallest Gretsch-branded amps in the '60s with a single oval or circular speaker, but I can't seem to find a similar Supro, Oahu or Airline design. While it may look suspiciously like a Champ with two speakers, it has the classic Valco tone and growly overdrive. I think it's also a bit louder than a Champ.

Remarkably, the amp has what appear to be the original RCA blackplate tubes. I suppose this sat in a closet for the past half-century, because it's clean as can be. I probably paid more than market or blue book for it, but as a huge Valco fan with a matching guitar, it's worth every penny to me.

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Trout

Member
Messages
7,549
STUNNING!!

I have been a Fan of Valco & National forever, I would just love to see some gut shots if you ever open her up.

Great Find!
 

Trout

Member
Messages
7,549
Awesome!!

That was exactly what I was looking for.

:AOK


That amp is REALLY clean, the only one like it I have seen was in a barn, full of mice that ate the speaker cones and the cloth off the wires.
Not a pretty sight.
 

parker

Member
Messages
3,489
That's just beautiful. I'm a huge National/Valco fan I'm sure they sound great together..
 

52ftbuddha

Member
Messages
1,374
Absolutely magnificent. Thanks for the posting, I need to go wire up an amp that is just what I needed. Please put up some clips I would love to hear what it sounds like.
rob
 

Timbre Wolf

>thermionic<
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,725
Wow!! That's such a gorgeous guitar and amp set. I'm sure they sound unique together, and I'd love to hear a sound clip. Are you going to get a matching ivory tux?





the only one like it I have seen was in a barn, full of mice that ate the speaker cones and the cloth off the wires.
That was probably the reissue "reliced" version of the amp. You pay extra for that :D

- Thom
 

nmiller

Drowning in lap steels
Messages
7,450
The problem with sound clips is that I live in an apartment building with thin walls, and even at 5W this amp can be heard several counties away when cranked. Here are a couple of brief clips with the above guitar/amp combination; I don't want to overdrive it any more out of respect for the neighbors. I'm thinking of getting it modded so that I can run it through my attenuator - my local tech has done that to another amp in a nearly invisible and easily removable way.

You might get a warning from Internet Explorer because my school's server is set up in a bizzare way - don't worry about it and click through.

Clean

Cranked

3/4 max volume

It's worth noting how noise-free the setup is, considering these are old single-coil pickups into an old amp, unsheilded from the comupter five feet way. I added a little reverb because it sounded terribly dry, but otherwise no effects or pedals were used. The tone control was maxed for each clip; I've found that Valco amps usually sound their best that way.
 

Timbre Wolf

>thermionic<
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,725
That amp sounds fantastic. Dare I say - as good as it looks. Wish I could get my Victoria Regal II (Valco - inspired) to sound that good!

Sure sounds like Chicago. :BluesBros
Yeah - but not the lite-rock radio-friendly band.

- T
 

6789

Member
Messages
2,854
Wow. that's a cool set up.:eek::AOK

If you were my neighbor, I'd like the cranked setting best.
 




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