The Sunn Shack

For those interested in the M.I. products wearing the SUNN Badge......
Welcome to the Shack.

  

The Sunn Shack…..    My Sincere and Heartfelt Thanks to Conrad and Norman Sundholm and to all those who have been responsible for carrying on the SUNN legacy.    

 

    Please, READ THIS FIRST!!!!!!    
Greetings Ladies and Gents,

You’re about to wander helplessly into an extremely passionate area of my life. HOWEVER, I am not a Techie. I don’t know anything about tubes, wiring, whiffle-dust on the transformer’s muffler bearings and/or how it affects the tone of the amp, etc. I simply know that I love SUNN amplifiers. For answers to your tech questions, or simply to “come out of the SUNN Closet” and find comfort and solace knowing that others “feel our pain”, please go the Un-official SUNN Site

Here are some other cool places to visit    

 

    

 

E-MAIL!! This one’s a biggie: I work a 15 hour day, every day, here in a Northeast section of the U.S. As part of my job I receive anywhere from 25 to 75 Emails a day, sometimes more; E-mails that MUST be answered. See where this is going? I have a stack (several hundred) of SUNN Emails that are expecting, hoping for, and deserve responses. Much to my regret, however, unless someone finds a way to add MANY more hours to the day, I’m totally unable to answer them. My sincere apologies to those of you who’ve written.


Therefore, if you like this site, hate this site or just want to make comments to me privately, I do read every one that you send along. However, many other Sultans of SUNN all over the world would love to hear from you too, so I’d ask that you post ANY and ALL of your SUNN thoughts and memories on the message board at the site, so that all of us may enjoy them. After all, we’re a bunch of sicko’s…and just knowing that others with the same addiction/affliction actually exist seems to give us all a degree of comfort

Bass-ically Yours,

RB

 

    SUNN Schematic of the Month!    Here’s the “thumbnail” (click on it) schematic for the Sunn Coliseum Bass @ 1975/6/7/8

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

    

 

 

Who, What, WHY?

Anyone stopping here who doesn’t know about SUNN amplifiers will probably wonder why on Earth I would find them appealing enough to put up this page. Just know this: Sunn bass amps are, indeed, the Holy Grail for me—they always have been. The late 60’s models are the Cat’s Meow and I still use an original SUNN 200s for recording. The NEW MODELS from SUNN are absolutely Tone-Monsters. I use a SUNN 300T with a 2×15 and a 4×10 for live performances and my stage rig is a personal dream come true. Once you’ve used one it’s very difficult to go back to anything else.


You’ll notice that we have a couple of guests who contribute to this site. It’s a real honor for me to have Conrad Sundholm adding bits of history to this page and you can find a lot more discussion on SUNN products at:    The “Un-Official” Sunn Site  

 

    SUNN Amplifiers The amplifier that spawned the explosion of power line-ups throughout the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. The amplifier used by Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding, Pete Townsend and John Entwistle, by Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, by Geddy Lee, by Brian May and John Deacon, …starting to get the picture?
 

With truly power mad guitarists such as these, the name SUNN had quickly established its musical foothold, becoming synonymous with the blood curdling, bone crunching, rock-and-roll that would infect an entire generation. And all of this can be attributed to the one band who’s music will forever be remembered in rock history: The Kingsmen.
 

The Kingsmen? That’s right! The band who brought you the party anthem “Louie Louie”, and quickly faded into anonymity, also brought the amplifier that paved the way for so many that would follow.

 

“SUNN’s legacy reads like the history of rock,” explains Richard McDonald, Marketing Manager of SUNN Amps. “To paint a little picture, just take a look at the inside cover of your Woodstock album, and you’ll get an idea of the magnitude that SUNN amplifiers had in revolutionizing early rock music.”
 

Jump back a couple of years. The concert scene of the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s was dominated by groups touring together. It was very common to have four or five bands, sometimes more, sharing a bus and playing on the same bill. And remember, “arena rock” was not yet a term. Most venues at the time were either theaters or small clubs, and portable amplifiers seemed to do the trick. For a while at least.
 

Obviously, rock music enjoyed a growing popularity. With that, venues were getting bigger to accommodate the larger numbers of people that were going to concerts. Still though, bands would plug in the same amplifiers that they were using at the smaller venues. Why? Because that’s all there was at the time.
 

Enter the Kingsmen. Norm Sundholm, bass player for the band, frequently complained that his bass amp was getting lost in the noise from other the other members’ amps and from the audience. So he called up his brother Conrad, an electronics enthusiast, and asked if he could rig something up that might help him out.
 

“Things weren’t real scientific back then, not like today with computers,” explains Conrad. “So I built this cabinet I had, which became the 2-30/C60…that first one was a real beast.” That “beast” that Conrad had come up with was a bass amp that would set the music world on its ears.

Other musicians soon heard the Sundholm brother’s amplifiers, and were absolutely in awe with their power. Norm and Conrad started to receive orders from guitarists and bass players who had to have one just like it. So Conrad set up shop in his dad’s garage, started building what would become SUNN amplifiers, and turned a small project for his brother into rock-and-roll legend.

The SUNN had risen!


Unfortunately for Sunn Amps, it was soon to set. Although the Brothers Sundholm had enjoyed a great deal of success, receiving endorsements from the Rolling Stones, The Who and Jimi Hendrix, they had quite different views on running the business. At the end of the ’60’s, Norm sold his interest in Sunn to Conrad and went on to pursue a career in real estate.”….



Then in 1971, Conrad sold the rest of SUNN to the Hartzell Corporation, a Minnesota based conglomerate.

Hartzell continued to make SUNN amps throughout the ‘70’s and into the early ‘80’s, until a tragic plane crash took the life of its President, Tom Hartzell. His surviving family did little with SUNN amplifiers, and decided to sell it a few years later.
 

Enter the next player in the saga, Fender Musical Instruments. Having recently purchased Fender from corporate giant CBS, Bill Schultz (Fender Chairman & CEO) had seen the opportunity to re-build SUNN into the powerful company it had once been. However, Fender still had to tackle the job of re-building itself in the wake of CBS, and put SUNN on the shelf until the timing was more suitable.
 

Now jump forward a few years. With Fender back and better than ever, the timing seemed right to bring in their world-class Research & Development team of engineers to resurrect SUNN from the ashes. And resurrect it they did!
 

The SUNN Model T was redesigned as an all-tube, tonal assault machine. For unrelenting tone and muscle, match it with the SUNN Model T 412 enclosure and get ready to rock. For bassists, the new SUNN 1200S delivers the power and presence to handle any situation. With a supporting line-up of bass and guitar heads and enclosures, SUNN amps are blazing an all new trail into rock-and-roll history.


 

    SUNN Amplifiers The amplifier that spawned the explosion of power line-ups throughout the ‘60’s and ‘70’s. The amplifier used by Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding, by Pete Townsend and John Entwistle, by Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler, by Geddy Lee, by Brian May, by…starting to get the picture?
 

With truly power mad guitarists such as these, the name SUNN had quickly established its musical foothold, becoming synonymous with the blood curdling, bone crunching, rock-and-roll that would infect an entire generation. And all of this can be attributed to the one band who’s music will forever be remembered in rock history: The Kingsmen.
 

The Kingsmen? That’s right! The band who brought you the party anthem “Louie Louie”, and quickly faded into anonymity, also brought the amplifier that paved the way for so many that would follow.
 

“SUNN’s legacy reads like the history of rock,” explains Richard McDonald, Marketing Manager of SUNN Amps. “To paint a little picture, just take a look at the inside cover of your Woodstock album, and you’ll get an idea of the magnitude that SUNN amplifiers had in revolutionizing early rock music.”
 

Jump back a couple of years. The concert scene of the late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s was dominated by groups touring together. It was very common to have four or five bands, sometimes more, sharing a bus and playing on the same bill. And remember, “arena rock” was not yet a term. Most venues at the time were either theaters or small clubs, and portable amplifiers seemed to do the trick. For a while at least.
 

Obviously, rock music enjoyed a growing popularity. With that, venues were getting bigger to accommodate the larger numbers of people that were going to concerts. Still though, bands would plug in the same amplifiers that they were using at the smaller venues. Why? Because that’s all there was at the time.
 

Enter the Kingsmen. Norm Sundholm, bass player for the band, frequently complained that his bass amp was getting lost in the noise from other the other members’ amps and from the audience. So he called up his brother Conrad, an electronics enthusiast, and asked if he could rig something up that might help him out.
 

“Things weren’t real scientific back then, not like today with computers,” explains Conrad. “So I built this cabinet I had, which became the 2-30/C60…that first one was a real beast.” That “beast” that Conrad had come up with was a bass amp that would set the music world on its ears.
 

Other musicians soon heard the Sundholm brother’s amplifiers, and were absolutely in awe with their power. Norm and Conrad started to receive orders from guitarists and bass players who had to have one just like it. So Conrad set up shop in his dad’s garage, started building what would become SUNN amplifiers, and turned a small project for his brother into rock-and-roll legend. The SUNN had risen!
 

Unfortunately for Sunn Amps, it was soon to set. Although the Brothers Sundholm had enjoyed a great deal of success, receiving endorsements from the Rolling Stones, The Who and Jimi Hendrix, they had quite different views on running the business. At the end of the ’60’s, Norm sold his interest in Sunn to Conrad and went on to pursue a career in real estate.”….

Then in 1971, Conrad sold the rest of SUNN to the Hartzell Corporation, a Minnesota based conglomerate.

Hartzell continued to make SUNN amps throughout the ‘70’s and into the early ‘80’s, until a tragic plane crash took the life of its President, Tom Hartzell. His surviving family did little with SUNN amplifiers, and decided to sell it a few years later.

Enter the next player in the saga, Fender Musical Instruments. Having recently purchased Fender from corporate giant CBS, Bill Schultz (Fender Chairman & CEO) had seen the opportunity to re-build SUNN into the powerful company it had once been. However, Fender still had to tackle the job of re-building itself in the wake of CBS, and put SUNN on the shelf until the timing was more suitable.

Now jump forward a few years. With Fender back and better than ever, the timing seemed right to bring in their world-class Research & Development team of engineers to resurrect SUNN from the ashes. And resurrect it they did!
 

The SUNN Model T was redesigned as an all-tube, tonal assault machine. For unrelenting tone and muscle, match it with the SUNN Model T 412 enclosure and get ready to rock. For bassists, the new SUNN 1200S delivers the power and presence to handle any situation. With a supporting line-up of bass and guitar heads and enclosures, SUNN amps are blazing an all new trail into rock-and-roll history. 

 

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