MORE ITALIAN AMPS
Let's start with this cute GELOSO amp. It seems that GELOSO were somehow a leader in the Italian audio world of yore, as they sort of impose their plugs to numerous other manufacturers including our beloved BINSON who used their rendition of the XLR plug, which is smaller than the actual one. They even had a smaller jack plug, like 1mm smaller than our now standards, which were used on early WANDRE guitars. Like this one, their amps were very versatile, hifi, PA, or instrument use, and of very good quality.
Another quality builder, but of
lesser fame. In fact , this is the only LOMBARDI amp I have ever seen. Extremely
well built and becoming, this 30 kg monster delivers a whopping 200w with the
help of the wonder KT88 tubes, just like nothing less than a MARSHALL
MAJOR ! Quite a surprise for a vintage Italian amp !
Interesting arrangement, featuring the audio preamp on the top, far from the amp section, while the function and driver tubes stay on the main chassis. The transformers look British to me, but then again I could be wrong. Here is a view of the top preamp:
Hey, once again those ubiquitous GELOSO three prongers ! About the home city of this amp, the T. stands for TERME, which means that CASTROCARO TERME is a spa city, just like my beloved ABANO TERME, where I spend most of my summer holidays. Romans loved spa, this is why you find so many TERME in Italy. I am not sure but this firm seems still into business in hifi stuff. You could try the phone number .
OK, the GEM amps may not be as good as the 2 above, but they bear cool monickers from the solar system planets. Here is MARS , the 15w 2 x EL84 portaflex wannade. This amp is historic. It still bears the SCOTTO sticker, a music shop in Marseille we used to haunt in our teen age. And it could be the same amp I borrowed to my buddy Thierry for some low budget gig back in '75. Go figure.
Going cheapos, you'll find the very
common EL84 Italian usual suspects, marketed under numerous brands, such as
Manhatan, Brooklyn, Stal, etc... Those amps are poorly made, and it's some kind
of miracle most of them are still working today. And their tone is far from
being dull, as they are after all 100% European tubes fitted , point-to-point
handwired , low headroom amps.
My adviece: Dump the heavy inefficient chipboard speaker cabs , plug those maffiosi into a Brit 4 x 12 , gobble a plate of Fettucine al pesto with cheap Chianti , and rock on!