#1
Oahu was known for making lap steel guitars from the 1940's into the 1960's. other than that i really don't know much about the company, but i do believe that Oahu was directly owned by the Valco company and this was just a badging for their products.

Valco was started in the late 30's by old employees of the National Dobro Company and was located in Chicago, Illinois. the company released their products under many different names like Supro and Oahu and manufactured amplifiers for many different companies (old Kay and Gretsch amps were actually made by Valco back then, i even ran into an old Greco that had a matching Valco-made amplifier)

eventually the company folded in the late 60's with their Supro line turning into something of a legend with many artists using [or allegedly pinning groupies in closets with] 'unidentified' or 'modified' versions of these amps. with this fame/infamy Supro amps have come to carry a bit heftier price tag than their non-Supro relatives, for this reason all the Valco amps i own are 'off' brands like my Oahu, Kay and Gretsch. i love the little small ones that have 8 or 10 inch speakers in them.

this Valco made amp is a 1961 Oahu (SN#: T66076). it has the original Jenson Special design speaker and the original tubes (RCA). it is a single 6V6 amplifier with a 5Y3 rectifier with a 12AX7 in the preamp (my other Valcos all have octal preamps so this one is a little different for me).

one of the main reasons i obtained the amp is because of it's incredibly low volume. since moving into an apartment about a year ago i have been having a hard time getting a 'driven' amp tone at a volume that doesn't upset the neighbors. i can crank this thing or run it dirty at a volume that won't get the cops called on me and i couldn't be happier.

i decided to make a few clips to showcase it's classic tones, these are the guitars i used with the amp.



all clips feature the tone knob (i know, it had a tone knob, fancy) at 9 o'clock.

1980's G&L ASAT Deluxe. had the amp about a third of the way up with the right ear on the bridge pickup and the left ear featuring the middle position (both pickups). i cranked the amp all the way up and put the ASAT on the neck pickup and placed some leads in the center of the mix.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15421780/music/Asat.mp3

2008 American Standard HSS, ash body and Suhr pickups. had the amp just past half way and used the middle pickup panned to the left ear. i cranked the amp and switched it to the bridge humbucker and recorded the "lead" track in the right ear

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15421780/music/Strat.mp3

it's not high gain, but it does a dirty guitar sound well. it also has some pretty nice clean tones and i wanted to show some complex chord structures on it but didn't have time to do all that. i was also planning on pulling out my 555 custom shop and Bacchus LP but these clips took a little longer than i thought they would. maybe i'll come back tomorrow and do some more if you guys are interested.

****added some more tracks with the heritage


Heritage 555 custom show with the HRW pickups package (complete with coil tapping and phasing). this first clip is just some rock riffs done with the bridge pickup in humbucker mode

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15421780/music/Rock%20Tracks.mp3

the chords are done with the bridge pickup in single coil mode and the neck pickup in humbucker mode. the leads are done on the neck pickup in humbucker mode

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15421780/music/Heritage.mp3

might as well do a family shot of my Valco amps:



(left to right) 1954 Gretsch Electromatic, 1961 Oahu and a 1955 Kay.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 22, 2014,
#4
woah! that is awesome. i am ordering parts for a 5F1, after a hard time between deciding on a supro. i thought that the 5F1 would better, because i can still find a real supro,

damn that is cool.
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#5
Sounds pretty tasty man. Definitely cops those old school recorded tones nicely. HNAD
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#6
nice clips too! yea. now i need one.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
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Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#8
Quote by deadsmileyface
O'ahu is the name of the island i live on so thats cool

nice amp enjoy it bud


i would love to live in hawaii. its so beautiful.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#9
it's from hawaii in the 50s.

so play some elvis tunes baby!

edut: tuesday's gone! nevermind the elvis.

Last edited by gregs1020 at Jul 22, 2014,
#11
Quote by gregs1020
it's from hawaii in the 50s.

so play some elvis tunes baby!




Quote by dementiacaptain
Sounds pretty tasty man. Definitely cops those old school recorded tones nicely. HNAD


yup, they're definitely cool for that. and there is really no dialing in either, you just move the volume knob where you want it. super easy.

Quote by trashedlostfdup
nice clips too! yea. now i need one.


the trick is finding one in good shape. these things are so old that the caps have generally gone bad on them by now, so finding a good tech to work on them is the important part. luckily my tech takes time to find parts as close to stock as possible and does a bang up job restoring the circuits.

you should be able to get a fairly similar tone with an old 5F1 circuit, i have never actually played the old tweed champs but they seem pretty similar. i do have to say i like these old valcos, they have a pretty unique tone with lots of early breakup.

Quote by JGM258
Awesome sounding clips from a tiny little amp. I want one now!



the thing i have been surprised about is the low end this thing can put out. i think this amp only has a 6 or 8 inch speaker but it has some substantial low end output, enough where i am almost cranking the tone knob.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 22, 2014,
#12
When you say you can crank it how loud does it actually get? Like jamming levels?

They are cool amps man. Wouldn't mind one hanging around the house.
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#14
sweet

EDIT: fup me that sounds badass
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 22, 2014,
#16
think i am going to do a clip with my Heritage 555 custom shop. i'll post the clip in a bit and update the main post.

Quote by N_J_B_B
When you say you can crank it how loud does it actually get? Like jamming levels?

They are cool amps man. Wouldn't mind one hanging around the house.


well, the Oahu in particular is not very loud. that is one of the reasons it appealed to me. i really don't know how to describe how loud it gets, and i don't have a dB meter or anything. i guess if you cranked your TV the amp would be a little louder than that, i bet i could still sing over it but it'd be a bit difficult because i don't have a loud singing voice.

the other two are another story, the Kay is louder but it prob wouldn't keep up with a band or drumset. the Gretsch probably could, but i'd have to raise it up off the floor and closer to ear level to hear it properly.

Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
Clips are awesome dude. Congrats!


thx for all the comments on the clips in general guys. tbh i wasn't trying that hard, so a bunch of mistakes were included as well as some sloppy production (i didn't EQ a damn thing). that being said, i did more takes than i thought i would and the quality should be higher because of it.

but all that is not really the point, i wanted to show how the amp sounded across a range of tones (guitars, pickup positions and amp volumes) and i wanted to show how it sounded in a mix. i think the clips served that purpose.


Quote by Dave_Mc
sweet

EDIT: fup me that sounds badass


i can't help but smile when playing the damn things. it just gets a 'chase' sound, and you don't really have to do anything 'tricky' to sound that way, it just does it.

i have a bunch of vintage stuff, but these things really are my favorite vintage amps.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#17
Ahhhhhh. Want.

Plug up all three and crank them!

Also, nice clips. Can't go wrong with skynyrd
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


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τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
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#18
Quote by ibanezguitars44
Ahhhhhh. Want.

Plug up all three and crank them!

Also, nice clips. Can't go wrong with skynyrd


skynyrd is for the people. but that is the only skynyrd song i know, i have faked through sweet home alabama a few times at gigs.



Heritage 555 custom show with the HRW pickups package (complete with coil tapping and phasing). this first clip is just some rock riffs done with the bridge pickup in humbucker mode

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15421780/music/Rock%20Tracks.mp3

the chords are done with the bridge pickup in single coil mode and the neck pickup in humbucker mode. the leads are done on the neck pickup in humbucker mode

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15421780/music/Heritage.mp3
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 22, 2014,
#19
Gumbi, completely off topic but...

Never ended up getting that music man. Actually traded my reverberocket for a '68 bassman and got myself a marshall 1960a. It sounds incredible. So huge.

I think you'd like a look at the bassman. It's a '68 silverface, but has the metal accents and backplate of a blackface. And some of the parts have '66 stamped on them. It's a definite transition era piece. Tons of mojo and even more tone
Originally posted by primusfan
When you crank up the gain to 10 and switch to the lead channel, it actually sounds like you are unjustifiably bombing an innocent foreign land.


╠═══════╬═══════╣
τλε τρπ βπστλεπλσσδ
╠═══════╬═══════╣
#20
Quote by ibanezguitars44
Gumbi, completely off topic but...

Never ended up getting that music man. Actually traded my reverberocket for a '68 bassman and got myself a marshall 1960a. It sounds incredible. So huge.

I think you'd like a look at the bassman. It's a '68 silverface, but has the metal accents and backplate of a blackface. And some of the parts have '66 stamped on them. It's a definite transition era piece. Tons of mojo and even more tone


yeah, they were transitioning then. in fact those early '68 fender silverfaces still had blackface circuits in them, only the cosmetics had changed. it's cool to get these because they are significantly cheaper than their cosmetically blackface relatives.

after about summer of '68 the circuits changed to the non-MV circuits which differ in only a few components (how much different depends on the model). these late 60's and early 70's silverfaces are very easy to mod to blackface spec. i had a '69 twin reverb moded back to blackface spec, it also had the jbl d-120's in it which were hard (impossible?) to find with the pure blackface version of the amp.

another note is that early blackfaces came with a 'dripline' cosmetic (an aluminum strip framing the grill cloth) that was done away with sometime in '69. [edit: ahh, you do mention the 'metal accents'. nvm, you already know about 'em]

it is very hard to tell when exactly you '68 silverface was made, cuz as you mentioned there is quite a bit of inconsistency with the dates of the parts. they used whatever stock was on the shelf and sometimes the chassis number would be 'older' than a speaker or transformer 'date' and sometimes it was vice versa.

i have seen some sites talk about how to identify if your silverface has a blackface circuit in it (if i remember correctly there are supposed to be some huge 'jelly bean' sized resistors inside the chassis connecting pins on the power tubes, not sure though )

if you do some research you could find out. either way, it's not very far from a blackface circuit, i actually like the silverface cosmetics with the dripline more than the blackface era personally, at that is just a cool piece.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jul 22, 2014,
#22
Quote by gumbilicious

i can't help but smile when playing the damn things. it just gets a 'chase' sound, and you don't really have to do anything 'tricky' to sound that way, it just does it.

i have a bunch of vintage stuff, but these things really are my favorite vintage amps.


yeah it sounded awesome in the clip
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?