Monday, October 29, 2012
Comparison: Masco ME-18 vs Sonny Jr 410
At Ziggies last night Dan compared two amps: My 1953 Masco ME-18 and his Sonny Junior 410 amp. It is an interesting study in contrasting tones.
The SJ amp sounds like a lot of Bassman-type amps: Smooth and strong; not a lot of crunch. The Masco, because of it's more primitive cathode biased circuit, crunches happily along. At 20 watts it does not get the big thump of the 410 but it sure gets more color.
For you guys who love tube amp distortion (like I do) this is about as good as it gets.
UPDATE: Dan decided he liked the Masco so much be bought if from me. Now it is his.
I didn't need the money, and I loved the amp, so why did I sell it? I almost never played it any more because it plays in the same power and tone category as my Mission Chicago 32-20 amp, whose milder crunch I actually prefer. I was thinking it was time to find a good home for the Masco. Dan is a great local player who is devoted to vintage tone, so I know the amp will get played and appreciated a lot. I bought my Bassman from Dan and he gave me a great deal, so I sort of owed him one. Mostly I sold it to Dan because he is a friend and a true bluesman.
Now I have three harp amps: The hot-rodded 1971 Fender Champ, the Mission Chicago 32-20 1x12, and the beastly Fender Bassman RI. I'm good with that for a while.