Tag Archives: guitar amps

Kustom & Kasino in the 70s: Part II

Kustom_1972Today at PS dot com: a few images of the ‘later’ Kustom amps, as well as a forgotten entry by sister-company Kasino.  Above:  the 1972 Kustom Hustler, Charger, Sidewinder, Commander, and Challenger amps.   I think someone had a thing for muscle cars back in the day,,,  ironic, considering that dude later went into business making police radar detectors.  Oh wait: you don’t know the crazy story of Kustom founder Bud Ross?  You might want to check out our earlier article about Kustom at this link… including our exclusive high-res download of the complete 1972 Kustom Katalog.

Kustom_1972 copyAbove: this advert uses the non-literal communication method known as SIMILE to suggest that ‘Kustom amps are as precision-made as surgical instruments.’  There is also a parallel structure that relates a musician’s ‘picking’ of a guitar-string to a surgeon’s ‘picking’ of a cyst/tumor/etc.  Aii yi yi.

Kasino_PA_1972Above: a Kasino PA system from 1972.  Kasino products were apparently the same circuitry as Kustom, but repackaged to as to allow different local dealers to carry the same products without competing directly.  Much like Gibson/Epiphone in the 1960s.

KustomAmps_1977Above: the third generation of Kustom amps circa 1977.  The big selling point here seems to be…  a wide-Q notch filter.  Yawn.

Some Weirdo Amps of The 80s


Nothing too heavy today, just some oddball 80’s amps that crossed my plane of perception. Above: “Vibration Technology” (catchy!) of Ontario announces their Nova, Deci Mate (nice), Phasor Twin, and Beta Amps in 1981.  Best offering, tho, is the “6 Mice Mixer,” which sounds like a real fucking mess if you ask me.


Above: The “Tusc,” an obscure tube-amp from 1982.  I feel like I may have seen one of these things, once.  Jesus how much money did this guy lose on this operation?


Above: JMF’s “Spectra” line of solid-state amps c. 1981.  I actually did own their 1×15 half-stack (or was it a big combo….??) with reverb and phase shift, and in all honesty, it was a really good-sounding solid-state amp.  I traded it for (believe-it-or-not) a mint blackface Fender Bassman with a Standel 2×15 cab.  Aaaaaaaaand then traded those on for the worst $300 LDC that AKG ever made.  What comes around…


Above: the Seymour-Duncan 84-40: 4x EL84 combo amp c. 1989.  Looks promising?


….well, that and your circa 1968 graphic design.  The EMC B221 amp of 1981.  Anyone?

Vox_Amps_1981There’s nothing inherently weird about VOX amps, they are rather a staple, but this 1981 advert serves as a good reminder that those things have been re-issued and re-launched countless times by countless entities, so if you are ever offered a VOX amp for sale, be very careful to determine exactly what you are buying.  ‘Cos it probably ain’t “what John and George used.”