Selmer Thunderbird - I'm intrigued

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by MrWookiee, Oct 9, 2021.

  1. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    I make an amp that has a vox ac30 '59 front end and the class A pwr section uses EL34 tubes, plus the trem is pwr tube bias trem, and spring tube reverb, it defo can get a good deal of those sounds but it wasnt on my radar in the amps development. the Raygun'59 has only ever been produced a few times. Its an amazing amp, and an amazing waste of time and money. too niche and chinese vox amps are almost free in comparison to the price of building one off tube amps.

    I do like the mystic eye but it would need to be JUST like the original in that amp, and the usual time table for me is a year of development, $3-5K investment to bring it
    to market. If I dont see myself meeting all my costs w a 20% profit in one year, then its not something I want to pursue unless I get over emotional about it and dont think it out clearly. (ie. the Raygun'59 amp for example)
    The Mystic Eye is a tube w phosphorus and yes one could fabricate that trem circuit using this tubes cool indicator visual but tubes like that are $40-80 EACH, just the tube. I've seen a couple guys use mini LEDs in an array to catch that look w solid state but.. ironically sound wise, my Nailhead is really close to that amps tremolo and I do use the throbbing LED in the circuit path. ..but its just an LED, not a gloomy pulsing tube eye :) :)
    MrWookiee likes this.
  2. MrWookiee

    MrWookiee Synchromatic

    Jun 17, 2020
    SoCal, USA
    WOW! I had no idea it cost so much to do something like that. :eek:o_O
    Might be cheaper to find an original. Not that I would, unless I won the lotto and had much better chops.
    TV the Wired Turtle likes this.
  3. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    Over here in Italy they're not that common but if you dig deeper you'd be able to find some good stuff.
    Pricey, btw. Last time I checked, a guy from Florence (where I live) had a Zodiac (in pretty good conditions, all original) for sale at 3200 euros.
    You need to be very, very sure that's exactly the sound you're looking for to spend that money. I'm sure that many of us, at some point in our musical journey, sat in front of an original '50s/'60s Fender, a '60s Marshall or '60s Vox so we all know (more or less) what we're talking about, but very few have heard the tone of a Zodiac or a Thunderbird in person. So it's hard to spend all that money on something you're not sure at... just to say that probably a Selmer it's not an everyday amp, but something that you fall in love with.

    I know what I'm talking about, I'm an Hiwatt lover...;)
    afire and MrWookiee like this.
  4. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Here's a nice place to get GAS for amps I'll probably never hear, and may not even like.
    But they seem so damned cool, I still GAS for them. I'll take one Selmer Zodiac 30, one Watkins Joker, a Bird Golden Eagle 4/25, and a Fenton-Weill Gold Arrow Twin 30.
    MrWookiee and stiv like this.
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