1200S review by Sunn

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (4 votes)
Sunn: 1200S

Price paid: $ 1000

Purchased from: jeff's warehouse music

Sound — 9
it sounds big, clean, and loud. Gets great surfer tones with the reverb and trem. Add a wah and a phaser to this thing and yer making classic rock. It likes pedal quite a bit, and it will get very grizzly with distortion pedals. But just plugging in the front of it gives less options, so while it does have trem and reverb, it doesn't have too much flexibility in modern times. I generally play this amp out of an Orange ppc212 with 1 weber blue dog alnico 12" speaker and 1 weber silver bell ceramic 12" speaker. Sounds sweet and Vintage. I still rate it high because it's tone is so easily molded with pedals in the front, and you will be hard pressed to find an amp like this today.

Overall Impression — 10
I am eclectic, I guess that means I play to what my sound lends itself to, and this lends itself to a ballsy tone with more headroom than any modern man can stand. This product is more or less for people Who would appreciate old Sunn amps, if you don't have a love for them then this probably isn't your amp. This amp is irreplaceable in the condition is got it in, it is damn near a museum piece. If mine wasn't in such good shape I would give it an 8.

Reliability & Durability — 5
couldn't say, I guess it actually broke when someone first bought it in '69 and it stayed in their closet til he sold it to a shop, they fixed it and I bought it. Lucky for me though it is almost completely stock sans a couple of capacitors and a resistor. I don't play it out live, mostly used to fun, novelty and studio work.

Features — 8
1969 Sunn 1200S. The 1200s is from the 1000 series of Sunn amps. All 1000 series had a '120 watt' power section that consisted of 4x6505 power tubes(more like 150+ watt power stage if you ask me). All 1000 series came with 2 tube rectifiers(gz34). The difference between the 1000 series amps was the cabinet that you bought them with, either 6x12 or 2x15 setups. In 1969 I believe they introduced reverb and tremelo into the 1000 circuit, so earlier models just came with 4 knob volume, mid, low, high; while later models came with 7 knob volume, mid, low, high, rate, intensity, reverb. All 1000 amps had 4 inputs: 2 normal, 2 low(perfect for jumping). There is also a mids Switch to help this thing cut in the mix if need be. It is said old sunns were just homemade dyna kit hi-fi tube amplifiers that made 60 watts, I have heard that the 1000 series were just 2 of these hooked together. It is also my belief that Sunn sandbagged the power rating of their amplifiers because the head unit's out rated the speaker cabinets tolerances and that way it didn't look like they were selling heads that would blow their cabs. no effects loop, no channel switching. But for it's era, this thing is loaded.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Through a 4x12 with 100watt Celestions mine created it's own chorus effect.nice presence!