Remember the Alamo(s)!?!?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by mlj_gear, Jul 14, 2006.


  1. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    Anyone familiar with old low-power Alamo amps? I recently picked up a beat up Alamo Challenger on eBay. It needed some minor servicing (bummer!), but now it's running pretty well. The amp sounds absolutely phenomenal when driven. Throw a nice overdrive pedal in front of it, and it sounds even better (I am pretty surprised by this, actually). This may be blasphemy, but I have a pretty decently-made 5F1 tweed Champ clone, and I much prefer the Alamo. However, it is a bit noisy. Probably too noisy for recording purposes. So I am looking for another Alamo amp with a 6V6 power tube, an AX7 pre-amp tube, a 5Y3 rectifier, and, preferably, a 10" ceramic speaker (that's what my Challenger has in it). I can't seem to find any Challengers like mine, but between eBay and GBase I have seen nice Alamo Embassies and other small Alamo's with similar configurations (although some have trem and/or reverb added). Anyone know which models would sound the most similar to my Challenger?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Colt

    Colt Member

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    haha...not all of them are low powered...not at all :)

    GREAT TEXAS MADE GEAR!!!
     
  3. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    Oh, I know they made higher-powered ones... but I'm looking for one mainly for recording. Since you mentioned it, though, how do the higher-powered ones sound --- such as the ones with two 6v6s? I love my tweed Deluxe clone (much more so than the Champ clone). How do the larger Alamo's compare tone-wise?

    BTW, for those who haven't heard a little Alamo Challenger, they have a great, punchy, growling dirty drive that is a lot grittier and a bit brighter than a tweed Champ (or at least my Champ clone).

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Colt

    Colt Member

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    I've liked every alamo I've pluged into, honestly. II've actually played...I thinhk it was a 50 watter w/ el-34's...could be wrong..but I think so. There is a guy around Denton (where I lived until about 5 weeks ago) that collects them hardcore, he was always bringing one up to McBrides (pawn/guitar shop) for us to check out...very cool.
     
  5. krash

    krash Member

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    I have a couple of Alamo Capri amps here, I think they sound pretty awful.

    I replaced filter caps (one for my brother, another for a guitar student).
     
  6. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    I have one in my album (sig) :)
     
  7. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    I read some interesting stuff about the Capris. Apparently they use tubes that were almost never used for guitar amps and they are really good at shocking people due to their circuit design. It's unfortunate that they shock people with current instead of their tone, I guess, huh?

    Hmm... there's an Embassy on eBay, but it seems a little pricey considering the busted speaker. I am worried that the trem will detract from the tone, too.
     
  8. mprvise

    mprvise Member

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    A bandmate gave me an early 60's Embassy (one 6V6, one 10") a few months ago. Excellent little practice/rehearsal amp, and I've even used it on a gig. Amp volume at about 7, tone knob to taste, and let the guitar volume do the rest. Also sounds great with pedals - OCD is my current favorite. BTW - for reference this amp was purchased for $70.00 in working condition, but it could probably use a cap job.
     
  9. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    Hey Reeek, that's a sweet collection! I'll trade you my Challenger for yours... straight up, of course. :)
     
  10. hogy

    hogy Member

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    I own the big brother to the Alamo 5 above. It's a model 6, 2 Tung Sol 5881 output tubes, push button tone controls and a Jensen P15N stock (I rectified this problem and put in a real speaker, otherwise the amp is all original).

    It has a thick, dark tone that I really love. Those amps are very cool.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Hogy
     
  11. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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    I have a 50's era Alamo Jet, very much like a tweed Champ. 1 6v6, a wierd little speaker with a transformer or something on it. Sound cool, looks even cooler.
     
  12. Tom Gross

    Tom Gross Supporting Member

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  13. S. Hawk Ltd.

    S. Hawk Ltd. Member

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    Dang, Hogy! That is freeeekin' SWEET! I got a Model 3 that has the 'A' and the same shade and finished cabinet. Same kind of handle... Best we can tell it is 1949 or 1950. All Tung Sol tubes with brown bases and the magnet on the speaker... The volume is a little scratchy... But hey, its a couple of years older than me... It is pampered and I sniff the inside once a day...... Man, I jus gotta get a camera... Thanks for sharing that bitchin' amp!
    gerry
     
  14. hogy

    hogy Member

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    Those model numbers indicate the number of tubes in the amp. Model 3 = preamp tube, power tube, rectifier (like a Champ), Model 5 = 2 preamp tubes, 2 power tubes, rectifier,
    Model 6 = same (but 6L6 power tubes), plus tremolo tube.

    I think they always used Tung Sol tubes as OEM.

    The scratchy volume could likely be a coupling cap leaking DC onto the pot, I've seen that a few times in those amps.

    Do show as a pic of your amp when you get a chance.


    Hogy
     
  15. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    I've got a 60's 2564 Jet, reworked it a bit and fitted an old C15N, it sounds fantastic. Unlike Hogy, I dig the 15" speakers. THey are very cool for bluesy rock (or rockin blues) tones. The amp is similiar to a tweed Princeton with tube driven tremelo and ss driven reverb. What's so surprising is the volume level from this little bad boy. It may only be 4 to 5 watts, but it will set your ears ringing!

    [​IMG]

    Then I got this bad boy Paragon Bass amp, w/ 2 x 6L6GC power section, and a couple of old Bugle Boy 12AX7's in the pre. It also has a C15N in the cabinet, which is a bass reflex style. This is one of the coolest sounding amps I've ever heard. I found it sitting in a GC vintage room, being ignored by all the cork sniffers checking out the high dollar stuff. I love finding treasures like this.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. snowman910

    snowman910 Member

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    Can anybody hook me up with an Alamo Galaxie 2571 schematic?
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  17. Tele Wacker

    Tele Wacker Member

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    I have owned several small Alamo amps. I have sold 4 of them over the past 2 years but still own a Challenger. I like the low budget amps. I own a Teisco Checkmate 25 that is one of my best sounding tube amps. But, I play my Fender amps when I do a gig.
     
  18. Custom Deluxe

    Custom Deluxe Supporting Member

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    I also have an Alamo Model 3. Out does a tweed champ/princeton at being a tweed champ/princeton.

    That friggin' octal pre-amp tube just sounds so right with a P-90 guitar and the volume cranked to the max. Jump the two outside inputs and run the cable into the center.

    Seems to get a little dirtier if that's even possible. Best $200 I've ever spent.
     
  19. redchapterjubilee

    redchapterjubilee Supporting Member

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    I have a Challenger and it's a nifty little amp. It sat in a friend's closet for a long time, and she got it from someone who'd left it out in the rain and it has significant water damage to the bottom of the cabinet (I've got it duct taped together at one joint). Replaced a bad power tube and it powered right up. Had the caps replaced last year. Otherwise, still rocking.
     

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