Sound City Music In London, The Fuzz Face and Gretsch

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by ZackyDog, Jul 14, 2020.

  1. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    56
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  2. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Well, I used to own one of those Sound City One Hundred. Mine was 1968, serial no.746 (if I remember well, but it may also be 476), I bought it in Zurich for peanuts as it was completely messed up. No tubes, no back panel, no logo, with the original tolex partly sprayed in blue.
    It took me 450 euros to bring it back to life. My guitar loved it, club owners not really (100w, although one of the quietest 100w I ever played... my 50w 1974 Hiwatt had almost the same power). Funny enough, the only place where they asked my to turn up have been at The Betsey Trotwood in Central London, not so far from where the amp was built. They knew. ;)
    It had 4 different channels, not linkable, with 4 volumes and 1 eq, each channel voiced differently. It loved all my fuzz boxes (for some time I played with 2 muffs, Russian+US, and a MXR Hendrix fuzz face clone all together).
    I sold it because I was tired to tour with 2 half stacks (and I needed money for a ‘66 330). I regret it now.
    Thanks for posting the story, I didn’t know it in details. Unfortunately, after Mike Reeves left to found Hiwatt, everything went south. A London friend use to tell me they nicknamed their mid 70s products ‘Sound Sh***y’ :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
    loudnlousy, ZackyDog and Jeff67 like this.
  3. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Man, that's some sweet gear in that picture. I would keep the Country Club and fawn AC30 Super Twin, and sell the Black Beauty and Strat.
     
  4. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Age:
    54
    Oct 18, 2015
    Germany
    Nice article. Thanks for sharing it, Zacky.
     
    ZackyDog likes this.
  5. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Age:
    56
    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    De nada :)

    That's too bad re: Sound Sh---y :( Interesting info that Reeves was at Sound City. I read that when he passed away, Hiwatt wasn't quite the same again, or something to that effect.


    De nada, Frankie :)
     
    loudnlousy likes this.
  6. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Absolutely. When Reeves died (and subsequently they lost Harry Joyce and another of the chief techs I forgot the name) Hiwatt suffered big money problems so they had to lower the quality standard to survive. Also, new and more versatile stuff started to surface in the early 80s, so to keep the pace with that they started using PCBs, changed the tranformers to Drake and run the (losing) race with Marshall and Mesa on the high gain front. That put the nails on company’s coffin, and they had to sell the property.
    The early 80s aren’t bad, they’re just not Hiwatts in the classic sense.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.