Customized 1960 RCA tube amp, sounds good !


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Feb 9, 2014
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I finally got to hear some guitar through an old 1960 RCA TV/radio/phono console amp that I modified/resurrected today.

To boost the guitars level a little first, I used a small solid state Vox amps pre-amp , nothing special.

I was getting some really unique runaway feedback and sustain.

In sequence, each of the 3 dual EL84 amps inter-acted with the common 5U4 power supply, in dare I say, a magical swirling effect !

It needed about a dozen capacitors and resistors replaced, a power cord, a power switch & fuse holder, input jack, 3 speaker jacks and volume control installed.

. . . and a lot of time and effort !

Its got -

6 - EL84
4 - 6CG7
1 - 5U4

A power transformer and choke like what you'd see in a Super Reverb amp.

And 3 different output transformers, all with that shimmering tube glow . . .


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Nov 20, 2021
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Hattiesburg, Mississippi USA
Interesting. I have an old solid state Magnavox console stereo I'm planning on rehabbing, but never thought of trying to play guitar through it. It needs some caps replaced and pots cleaned, but it plays records and sounds okay as is. This reminded me that a band from the 90's, Mercury Rev, had a guitarist that played most of his tracks on their debut through an old console stereo/TV. He said he could get all kinds of unusual sounds from the guitar by interacting with video white noise and his pickups. Like feedback, but with a video signal. Very experimental band. They also have a track of "guitar" on some songs that sounds like a psychedelic swirling drone, that is actually a mic laying on the floor while someone runs a vacuum cleaner on a rug next to it.

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