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My Valco dream came true

nmiller

Drowning in lap steels
Messages
6,704
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.



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.


 

Trout

Member
Messages
7,551
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
7,551
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

Hyperspatial Gravity Surfer
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,090
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
6,704
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

Hyperspatial Gravity Surfer
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,090
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
2,855
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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