Author Topic: changing face of a 200S  (Read 215 times)

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Offline RayK

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changing face of a 200S
« on: November 19, 2021, 12:14:03 pm »
Hey folks,
So now that I've acquired a 200S, and re-claimed fond memories of playing gigs with that amp, I'm curious if there is any info re: the different faces of the amp. Mine has solid red numbers and letter. I've seen others with a red box around the numbers and letter. Also a black background with numbers and letter. I'm assuming these changes reflect various production years.



Offline Isaac

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2021, 12:40:57 pm »
I'm sure that you're right about that, but I can't tell you which years each came from, or even which came first. But another clue is the knobs and numbers. The upper photo has knobs with just a pointer, with the numbers on the faceplate itself. The lower has numbered knobs, like my own 200S. I think that the numbered knobs came later.
Isaac

Offline Ryan Phelps

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2021, 07:53:59 am »
Issac is correct. Both amps have the 1st generation grille cloth with the diagonal pattern .....this dates them to 1968 or earlier. The pointer knobs with the silk-screened numbers on the face plate were earlier than the knobs numbered 0-10. So I would guess that the different style silk-screened model numbers follow this same progression. Often the chassis is dated in red wax pencil. Or you can check the pot date codes to help confirm the amp build date.

Also note that the 0-10 numbered knobs (made by Rogan) are original to Sunn amps. Some guys will substitute Fender knobs for missing Sunn knobs as they are very similar, but numbered 1-10.

Also, the 1st generation grille cloth is unobtanium! The 2nd generation grille cloth (square pattern) is still available from Mellotone, but it's a 5 yard minimum order.

Offline EdBass

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2021, 09:55:11 am »
I think the boxed logo and pointer knobs were only 1967. I've got a 100S with pointer knobs, but it's been forever since I've had the chassis out of that one and I don't remember for sure what the date was.

The 200S complete rig in any year is all the amp most players will ever need in this day and age, better for live gigs than the 2000S IMO. I love gigging a 2000S rig, and it's sound, power and presence is awe inspiring.
While winding out a two cab 2000S rig a couple decades ago at SIR Nashville, I had a well known bass player tell me that it sounded like the voice of God.

However, the older I get the more actually moving one gets to be like wrestling a bear.

In the 70's, the 2000S (or multiple 2000S's) was needed to keep up increasing venue sizes and the related db required. With the advent of portable sound reinforcement getting dramatically more efficient and more compact/lighter every year, IMO the 200S takes on new relevance. It's not too big or heavy, and tonally it's like the "P Bass" of the amp world; it just works so well across so many genres and in so many applications it's an icon.

Time for that phoenix to rise out of the ashes I think...   :wink:

Offline RayK

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2021, 10:17:11 am »
Yes, from what I can recall - my original, brand new 1968 200S had the same red letters and number. The boxed in logo and pointer knobs were earlier than '68. Then the black background logo must have come even later. Maybe in the '70s.

BTW: are the Rogan numbered knobs available anywhere?

Offline EdBass

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2021, 12:07:02 pm »
Yeo, that's how I determined that '67 was the only "pointer knob" year. The '66 models were top control amps I believe, no smiley face logo but still top control, and my rel letter '68 is absolutely a '68.

I've got some repro Rogan knobs I bought from another forum member, might be a few of them still floating around.
I bailed on funding another round of those from Rogan, it would have been a grand or so to get them to run another batch, and I didn't feel there would be a strong enough market to keep me from ending up with a bunch of unsold knobs.

Offline RayK

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2021, 03:23:23 pm »
Thanks EdBass. I saw a top control Sunn for sale on Ebay.  A very nice, very expensive 1965 Sunn C-45 aka 200s amp matching 1x15 w/JBL-D140F. Pullman Tolex
Wow!

Offline EdBass

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2021, 02:03:43 pm »
I've only got one top control Sunn, but it's the EL34 40 watt version. Pullman vinyl but the later, not "smiley face" logo plate, I think it was replaced at some point in it's life. 

It literally looks like a Dynakit Mk IV chassis in a Sunn box, which is what it likely is. I sent a pic of it to Mr. Sundholm when I got it, he said "That's an oldie, I built that at my house".
At some point I'll sell off my old Sunn gear, that one however is a keeper!  :wink:

Offline EdBass

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2021, 02:26:25 pm »
Yes, from what I can recall - my original, brand new 1968 200S had the same red letters and number. The boxed in logo and pointer knobs were earlier than '68. Then the black background logo must have come even later. Maybe in the '70s.

BTW: are the Rogan numbered knobs available anywhere?

I just noticed there are a ton of 0-10 Sunn repro knobs on Reverb, and a Sunn P.A. 6 manual.

Offline RayK

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Re: changing face of a 200S
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2021, 02:39:00 pm »
I'll look at them. Thank you. If anyone has a set of three handy, I'd be willing to purchase them.
I had not seen the Pullman tolex before. Quite nice! Perhaps someday I'll search for one.