Music Man was the brainchild of ex Fender employees Forest White and Tom Walker. Leo was a silent partner at this time because his non compete contract after selling Fender to CBS was not complete. Leo and Tom designed their amp line as hybrids, a solid state pre-amp with a tube power amp circuit. They are clean and loud. This is a great example with 130 watt power amp that you can switch to 1/2 power, 65 watts. They are small amps but don't let size fool you, not only are they loud, they are heavy! I found this one with JBL E110s. It sounds great, clean and loud. The problem is the magnets are so big, they are wedged against the transformer. I have some K110s with smaller magnet structures that fit correctly so I replaced the speakers. The K110s are 16 ohm so I run it at 8 ohms, the beauty of that is I can run it with my RH 115 cabinet with a K140 in it and have a killer bass amp. Most guitar players prefer the HD65 because it is easier to work with in lower volume situations. One of the greatest small tube amps made.
Music Man HD130 2-10
While I'm at it, I my as well show off my most recent find, another Music Man HD130. There were several speaker options from 2-10" to 1-15" as well as head versions with or without reverb. As mentioned with the 2-10, you could get all these options with a HD65 too, a great idea to have lots of choices. The 2-12" option was probably the most common option and a definite Twin Reverb killer with 2-10 close behind, competing with a Vibrolux. The 1-15 is less common. I found this in town, pretty rough with an Eminance Beta 15and it didn't sound very good. I took a chance because I have a JBL K130 setting around the house. The chance paid off, the thing sounds amazing with a JBL.
Music Man HD130 1-15
Acoustic Control amps have been favorites of mine for years. I used a 150 with a small Showman 2 -15 cab with Altec 418b speakers and it was a killer Rhodes amps. This is a local find, a 450 head with a 204 cabinet. The head is a 2nd generation medium duty amp at 170 watts RMS. The cabinet is a second generation 4-12 cabinet that probably wpuld have been part of a 2 cab stack used with a 270 head. A very clean amp that could be used for guitar or bass.
1976 Acoustic 450 with 204 cabinet
I have 20 plus Kustom amps and tell myself no more, but here's another one. I found this one in town right before my birthday so thsi was officially my birthday amp. It's a 1972 K250-1 with a 1-18 folded horn. The Acoustic 360 and 370 were so successful that many companies jumped on the folded horn design bass cabinet, this is Kustom's offereing. I haven't opened mine up but it either has a Vega or EV 18" speaker. Very clean, absolutely like new with covers, dead silent while idling. It called me!
1972 Kustom 250-1 with 1-18 folded horn
The calendar has fired me up for next year, the search never ends. I've found a couple of amps I've been searching for for years. I've had 2 great Twin Reverbs during my career. The 1st was a 72' I used while in LA. Amp legend Red Rhodes went through it and gave it a tune up. I put JBLs in it and anyone who ever used it, wanted to buy it. I traded it even for a new Peavey KB 300. I was touring with Pake McIntire and needed a smaller, all in one keyboard amp. The Twin was getting torn up on the road, the amp deserved better. The 2nd, a 76' I found in Sioux Falls while out with Garth, mint, w/cover. Traded it for a Prophet 5 Rev 3.3 synth, no brainer. Susan gave me a free pass on my birthday for an amp and did not waste the opportunity. I found a 70' Twin, AA270 circuitry, little rough cosmetically, but sounds great! Got a new aged baffle from Larry Rodgers and cleaned it up. I would not be afraid to put this one up against any Twin Reverb!
1970 Fender Twin Reverb
Another rare color, a Cascade Kustom 2-12" combo. This is an Ebay find I got in rough shape. It needed grill cloth, casters, and vinyl patching, it came out great. Great sounding amp I use to practice piano with on my Motif. The kids fuss when I practice the grand upstairs, the nerve!
Kustom Cascade K100-7
I have had a 67' blackface Dual Showman head for several years. Tall 67' blackface cabinets are rare and hard to find. I finally found one here in Nashville. Even though it's rougher than I would like, I bought it empty and put JBL K130s in it. You may have noticed, the head looks different than the calendar. The original grill cloth was ripped and stained. I found some NOS blackface grill and put it on the head. I'll save the original but it looks better with the new. Killer amp!
1967 Fender Dual Showman w/ JBL K130s
I'm a huge Standel founder, Bob Crooks fan. I know he was at Barcus Berry in the late 70s but Dan McKinney wasn't sure if he designed this model. This is a 50 watt 2-10" speaker with an early parametric eq with mid sweep, adjustable input gain plus reverb, way ahead of it's time, had to be Bob. Sounds great with my 76' Blue Barcus fiddle, imagine that! Found it on Ebay at Gravity Music, had to rescue it!
Barcus Berry 1720 acoustic amp
Seems like I'm getting closer to having a complete set of Fender amps. I found a 75' Super Reverb here in Nashville on Craig's List. This on was pretty rough both cosmetically and sonically. Reglued, cleaned up the cabinet, and regrilled it. Not very happy with the new turquoise grill but will replace it when I find something better. Had my amp guru, Jon Davidson go through it. He did caps an cleaned up some soldier joints. Nice sounding amp. I lack a Vibrolux, something to look forward to!
1975 Super Reverb
I've got a couple more but need to do some work on them. I'll close this page with another Kustom. This is a Cascade 200 PA. It's an early 69' even though it says Ross, the speakers are early 69' CTS. Notice the more defined green color compared with the 100 combo in the picture. This is the result of bar smoke! With this PA, I have 3 sets of Kustom amps.
1969 Kustom Cascade 200 PA