Right. Germany was on the agenda

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Racing, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014


    Now. This truly IS history. That there is a Winston PA-200 i picked up DOA on german e-bay.
    Way back Hans Bauer setup the brand Echolette,and Echolettes amplifiers were designwise bar none,manufactured by the VERY competent men of Klemt down in Munich.
    Now..there´s a plethora of Klemt amps around and they were often used for backline when pop and rock hit the continent way back.
    Hans Bauer recognized this and wanted to market his amps in english speaking countries too..why it was decided that the word Echolette wasn´t really what was needed.
    So,on a whim Winston was born.

    To my knowledge there´s all in all three different amps to look for. That above is the PA-200.


    That there in turn is the GA-200...and then there was a BA-200 as well. P for PA,G for guitar (sports a tremolo just as the earlier Showstars) and in turn B for bass.

    The GA and the BA are about JMP sized while the PA is rather compact. They all sport the same basic setup and layout. Quoted at 135w clean and 200w musicpower these amps are NOT for the faint of heart!
    In fact...they´re friggin MONSTERS!

    That PA-200 though..picked it up dead via german e-bay and what greeted me as i opened the old girl up was in essence 40yrs of being run hard and put away wet.


    While the BA-200 is all tube the PA and GA are hybrids. Hybrids in as much that the entry stages are transistorized,rest is..tubes.
    In turn the PSU as well as the transistor parts are on PCB while all things tube is hardwired. Rather peculiar..

    Well. I cleaned her out first thing and then yanked the powertubes out of there and let her have it. Soon enough the issue stood clear,and that was that the bias circuit had sure seen better days.
    Started by replacing the main e-lyte for it,but ended up replacing all of the resistors as well.
  2. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014

    The main PSU PCB in turn grounds at the upper right corner in the picture and that nut was way lose so...


    Well. The coupling caps between the powertubes and the phaseinverter was shot too,so replaced those as well and in turn installed 1 Ohm resistors vs each socket and ground to be able to read bias simply.

    Fired her up again and..sure enough. The old Siemens EL-34´s still had ample life left in them,no doubt.

    Set bias to approx 35mA at a B+ voltage of ~560VDC in idle..and let her rip. Not to shabby TBH!
    After all..this is a PA amp.


    So. PSU,transistorparts and in turn the "tone PCB" are indeed PCB´s. In turn..all things tube hardwired. Rather cumbersome way of handling things i guess,but it sure works and works very well!


    Here´s one of the transistor PCB´s and the "tone card".
  3. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014

    At first it strikes you as being 4 channel right...not so! There´s actually an entry jack out back as well,one marked "Organ". Tried that out..and the thing is that it is all tube.

    The amp holds them 4pcs of EL-34´s,but atop that two pieces of ECC-808 and in turn an EF-86.
    The latter there...someone had installed a 12AX7..and i presumed it had been repinned to handle that,but nooooooooooooo...
    So after pushing an EF-86 in where it belongs i have to admit to being rather impressed by the amps cleansound!



    That said this thing was most likely made in -69 or -70 and seing that it is a rather compact build for its immense power.
    Cause a loud customer...most certainly. These things are INSANELY loud and carries with ´em THE largest trafos at both ends i´ve ever encounted for a "100 watter". Marshall go hide!


    That there is the EF-86 socket. The thing is that it is triode hooked and in turn lacks any and all conventional plate and screen resistor-s. Instead that puny little trafo performs that task and i wild guess is that it is a way of changing impedance out of what the tube brings vs what the transistor side of it sees.

    55cm wide
    21cm high
    29cm deep.
    For an amp of that age..that´s rather compact.

    Now. What to do with it?
    It´s been voiced that it might be an idea to turn it into a bassamp. We´ll see where that touches down.
  4. S. Rock

    S. Rock Friend of Fred

    Cool !!!

    is this a "project" that you are starting ?
  5. chairman

    chairman Gretschie

    Jul 9, 2014
    St. Louis Mo.
    Wow, that is a robust looking amp. There must be a few pounds of solder alone in there and it sure looks heavy. Very cool looking though, thanks.
  6. The Marlin

    The Marlin Friend of Fred

    Feb 2, 2011
    Impressed. I wouldn't know what the heck is going on under the hood.

    Wish I'd kept up my rudimentary Electronics education. Would be of so much benefit now.

    Great thread!

  7. Dennison

    Dennison Country Gent

    Jul 17, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Well that's impressed the hell out of me. It looks a great piece of kit, even if I did get lost very quickly. Anyway, I like the idea of a German amp called Winston!
  8. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Just like your last thread this brings me back to the "70s when I was learning how to repair 5 tube radio's ( the Bakelite kind your Mom had on top of the refrigerator with volume , tone and a BIG tuning dial ) and learning to repair Televisions ( Yes the real ones with tubes and sometimes they were called " consoles " and some TV's had stereos built right into them with record players too ) Wire wound resistors , capacitors , tubes , B+ , solder, all the good stuff . Racing , I enjoy your threads and thanks for sharing .
  9. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014
    Thanx boys.
    Nah. I wouldn´t call it a project per se. As is..it´s a working,very,highpower tubeamp.
    However..all things can,and should,be catered to as far as i´m concerned. Ie;noone uses an all tube PA amp anymore and as such this amp has rather limited practical value.
    Sure..they weren´t exactly produced by the bundle and sure..they REAL high quality items. No argument.
    Be that as it may..an amp that just stands around make noone happy so.. Might as well modify it into something way more useful.

    As such first thing that comes to mind IS a bassamp. Point in case being the immense amount of power this thing produces seing its age and size. As such i for one at least can foresee how the amp would be used by someone in the market for an all tube bassmachine.

    Thinking as of current is to keep the one transistor entry card. Idea here is to make the amp multichannel is as much that we´d have ourselves one entry for active basses (straight for the tubes) and in turn one for passive,regular,bassguitars.
    The actual amplification by the transistors can of course be balanced and controlled..so why not.

    In fact..might be an idea to make all that happen,two sides of it,and for good measure toss in a guitar channel too. Mainly as most good bassist know how to play both..

    As is..it´s back on track no matter. Will have a fresh faceplate cut for it asap. One WAY smaller...and thus make up a piece of wood to fit the opening left...covered in black tolex i guess.
  10. T simmons

    T simmons Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2013
  11. MaBerY

    MaBerY Gretschie

    Ah Yes, I remember the Bass player in the band I was the roady/sound man had a BA-200 animal. I remember the fancy plates. Had it on the bench for a recap I vaguely recall. This was 30 years agoo.
  12. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014
    As with many an older German made machine what they never got right was the sound of them.
    In summary it´s just mainly "cold" harsh and shrill-to be blunt. IMO many of the German amp makers have a hard time getting it right to this day. :D

    From a tech POW though them German builds outshine their English brethrens it isn´t even funny.
    As with cars and what have you not made in Germany they fool around with tech designs until they´re friggin DONE.
    None of that "we´ll fix that later" thinking.

    The boys of Klemt in turn in many a way was the pinnacle of it all IMO. As previously stated they focused on medical equipment and in turn made much of the gear used in the field by European film industry at the time. In short? They were accustomed to making crap that works long term under harsh conditions.

    Them Winstons in turn...immensely powerful amps seing their limited amount of tubes and running voltages.
    Rather useless these day tho...:D. None the less...they ARE "dinos" from that respect i guess.
  13. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    Do you buy and fix these German amps for resale or just for fun and to keep? After hearing the backline Echolettes (what I believe to be) Showstars on the Small Faces German appearance on youtube from 1966, I am very interested. It's one of the best sounds I've ever heard with a filtertron Gretsch (Marriott''s got a mid 60s White Falcon).

    I wonder if there is a way to get that sound out of a lower powered Echolette. Is there a lower powered Echolette. I am very tired of the sound of my old Fender amps and I have checked out all your repair threads with interest.

    There is better quality of the video from this show so the amps are easier to see, but they all have the studio versions of the songs overlaid.

    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oaw7evBdrE"]The Small Faces live in German TV 1966 - YouTube[/ame]
  14. knavel

    knavel Synchromatic

    Dec 26, 2009
    London, England
    "From a tech POW though them German builds outshine their English brethrens it isn´t even funny."

    This shouldn't really come as a surprise. That relatively little country very nearly took WWII in no small part because of these sorts of engineers. It's not like they all disappeared when the war ended. Rather I am surprised the Soviets appear to have built nothing of interest in this sector whatsoever in the same time period. I tend to give deference to a country that can put a man on the moon. I can only guess that the Soviets suppressed any innovation in this area as music was seen as some western decadent thing. The few guitars I've seen from the Russians in his period are laughable and make Japanese Teisco stuff look like D'Angelicos.
  15. The Kid 123

    The Kid 123 Gretschie

    Mar 28, 2013
    wow! that WINSTON amp looks beautiful! would love to try it. please make a video or recording where we can hear the sound!
  16. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014
    @ Knavel.
    Yes and no. There are lesser powered Klemt amps around,however most of them are not setup as are the Showstars or BS-40´s. By now i´ve had my nose into most of them,and the S-40+BS-40 are by any means the ones to look for.
    True "low wattage" amps were never produced however. To my knowledge Klemt never made SE amps for instance.

    So. How to remedy the situation?
    Simple. Just install a PPIMV. That way the actual wattage of the amp becomes secondary,what´s more it´s dirt cheap to pull off and finally..it works and works very well.

    The only true tube Showstars are the -63 vintage ones. These can be pinpointed by the colour of their controlknobs,they´re sort of milky/grey-ish white.
    Later Showstar L´s and regular just...Showstars either uses black controlknobs or a mix thereof (black n white).
    As such,if you´re not diehard set on the lighted fronts of them,i for one think a BS-40 is the better alternative from most aspects. It is all tube and all in all sans the tremolo setup asf.
    The REAL genius part of the Showstar is its presence control however,which is in effect a reverse run Twin-T filter.
    Just coming up with the idea to implement it backwards in a guitaramp says a thing or two of the boys at Klemt.

    Winston in turn was a later offering. Better or worse? You tell me...what they ARE however is way more powerful. Amount of power out of them is downright insane....unusable even,for modern day n era work.

    As for german tech..yeah. I´ll just nod to that...

    @ Kid.
    Will do,time permitting. That amp is on the workbench as we speak. Cut a fresh faceplate for it and intend to pull a "JMP" of its front.
    Thing is that that massive faceplate is just for show IMO. Rest of the build is so compact it becomes kind of silly even.
    What´s more..going to pull a few mods-to say the least. Idea is to make it into a bass and guitar amp both. Emphasis on bass though. Master control and a PPIMV will be installed.
    Bass side of it will keep one of the transistor front ends intact and thus have the option of "regular or active" bass inputs. The output of the transistor side of it is limited to say the least,ergo it will be used as sort of a linedriver if you wish.
    Guitar side in turn...will have two input options as well,however this time more based on what you want out of it.
    One jack for regular old school distorting rocknroll and the other i plan to install as an EF-86 put "ontop" of the already existing preamp.
    Have pulled that mod off before with very good results.
  17. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014

    As stated...gettin there..
  18. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014

    ´N work has commenced. As a starting point i as stated got the amp up and running at first and as such now have a platform to work from.
    First thing´s first though and that mainly entails cleaning up. LOTS of wiring and components got ripped out of there to basically leave me with a clean slate.

    All good i guess. Now the sockets will be repinned for russian 6n2p tubes and in turn yet another noval socket will be installed.
    The wiring needed to be rerouted to cater to my ideas so...
  19. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014


    So. Replaced one of the novals and added yet one. Replaced the heater wiring and layed it out differently. Then took to ditching the hardwire concept and installed a rather compact turretboard deal.
    Neat to work with seing its rather compact size and build.

    All main e-lytes got replaced and strategy of them was redone slightly. Right...so,we´re off :D
  20. Racing

    Racing Synchromatic

    Aug 30, 2014
    [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0WcgJGw6L8&list=UUgzyyT9tG9CshFhVWsXxDsQ#t=84"]Hideaway Cover by Dylan Brock - YouTube[/ame]

    Speaking of very close friend Dylan n being different...this is the tones of a Showstar i built for him a couple of yrs back.
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