Solarus review by Sunn

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.3 (3 votes)
Sunn: Solarus

Sound — 9
I am running a heavily modded Epiphone G400 SG (Seymour Duncan Screamin Demon pickup) or a Fender Custom Scorpion with a GFS Fat Pat, both with coil cuts. Those run thru a pedalboard of a Boss TU-3, Keeley modded blues driver, homemade fuzz, modded NYC Big Muff, Russian made EHX bass balls, chorus, delay, and EHX power booster. I'm running it thru a huge early 70's Ampeg V2 cab (4x12, ported) I haven't had a chance to crank it up super high, but did get a nice rolling stones-ish distortion out of it around 3 or 4 on the volume knob. Its a bit muddy on the normal channel through my cabinet, which is very bassy, but is better on the brite channel. The blues driver sounds fantastic through it. I've kept the mid boost switch on so far as it sounds a bit thin without it. It is very responsive to picking, and cleans up nicely with softer picking (even with the blues driver). The vibrato is nice and subtle, and adds a nice bit of color to the sound. The reverb is fantastic, very surfy.

Overall Impression — 10
I think this is a great match for my style of music, although pedals are a must if you want versatility without touching the amp settings. I also own a Sunn beta bass and a silverface concert lead, and this amp is easily the best sounding. If it were lost or stolen, I would definitely look for another, or go with a similar Sunn amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Cosmetically, the amp is in very good condition for its age. There is some rust on the chassis, which seems to be common with old Sunns. The construction is super solid. The inside was in fantastic condition when I got it. I replaced the 2 prong cord with a three prong, and removed the death capacitor. I haven't gigged with this amp yet, but it has been thru a few band practices so far with zero issues. However, because of its age, and because I like to be overprepared, I would probably take a backup.

Features — 8
Amp was made in 1969. 40-60 watts (I've read both) 4 inputs (two each for brite and normal channels) outputs for 16 and 8 ohms, but has a tap for 4 ohms, so can be rewired. When both output jacks are used, it defaults to the lower impedance. Controls for volume, bass, treble, contour, rate and depth (for the onboard vibrato) and reverb level controls, and a mid boost switch. The vibrato and reverb are both footswitchable. No FX loop. 2 EL34 power tubes, 7025 (12AX7) and 12AU7 preamp tubes, 7199 phase inverter, and a gz34 rectifier tube (solid state reverb and vibrato drivers). I play everything from alternative/indie rock to metal, and this thing is more than loud enough to play with a loud drummer and full band. Its louder on 2 than my Sunn concert lead is on 5 or 6. It currently has mullard tubes (aside from raytheon 7025 and 7199).

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