Black Lab

8″ Quincy* speaker, 1-12AU6, 1-12AV6, 1-50C5, 1-35W4 

Ahoy, what have we here, mateys? 

It is an uber-rare Lectrolab R204D.  Evidence of the R204D was first discovered thanks to Howard Bilerman (and here). 

hotel2tango (home page here, Wikipedia page here), a recording studio in Montreal, listed the Lectrolab R204D on their equipment page, which I stumbled over in in August 2010 in my eternal trawl for all things Lectrolab on the web.  I never heard of a R204D so I contacted them and asked “are you sure about this model number”?  Howard, one of the owners, replied: 

hey george… 
at first i thought maybe i had a dyslexic moment when posting our model number.. 
but lo & behold… 
we do have a r204d. 
i bought it in the summer of 2004 while on tour… 
somewhere in the midwest.  [ed. note: I think Howard was with Arcade Fire at this time]
our guitar player said the day before, i wish we had some small amps! 
and then i found this one & a harmony in a music store. 
both were $50. 
maybe $65. 
i let him have first dibs between the two, as it was his idea. 
he chose the harmony. 
i was bummed a bit, cause it was in better condition, and was “a name”… 
but, we use the lectrolab in studio, and it does something no other amp does. 
if you run it wide open, it sounds huge. 
my partner calls it “the cardboard amp” 
and it’s his favourite of all the amps we have. 

all the best, 


$50 or $65 for a great sounding amp is poetry.  Howard was gracious and kind enough to also send along these excellent photos.  Thank you, Howard!

Another example appeared in a forum posting since then.

This amp is unique among known Lectrolabs for its black faceplate.

Described in an Aldens 1968 Catalog (image below) as:

  • 7-watt peak power.  3 tubes, 1 tube-type rectifier,  8-in. speaker, 3 inputs. Top-mounted chassis.  Use as stereo channel for tape recordings or phonograph, or as PA system.  About 13 x 11 x 8 in.  Versatility at a low Aldens price!  $4 Monthly.  Shipping weight 16 lb….$38.88

Click image to enlarge 

* Quincy Speaker, in Quincy Illinois, was a spin off of the DuKane Corporation in St. Charles Illinois that built conventional cone type speakers for DuKane, Zenith and other radio manufacturers. They used paper cones manufactured by Hawley Products in St. Charles Illinois. (from http://www.ionovac.com/dshistory1.htm).  Now you know.  They have been seen in other Lectrolab amps as well as this one. 




8 Responses to R204D

  1. dan hill says:

    friend of mine in montana has one in good condition, got it for $10 at the thrift store. says it screams

  2. J.Y. says:

    I found one of these in the trash without a speaker. I put a Celestion Rocket 8 in it, and along with some other small repairs, it sounds great. I have thought of selling it, but every time I plug into it I decide to keep it. Maybe I would part with it for the right price. If anyone is interested, reply and i will try to get back to you.

  3. greg says:

    I have one of these amp’s.The only difference is it has metal flip up handle and it say’s sound projects model s100. works great. would anyone know the value

  4. dan hill says:

    anyone have a schematic?

  5. VMUNIX says:

    I would be great to have a schematic of this, I’m wondering what is the purpose of the 12AV6, assuming the 12AU6 pentode is the guitar input and the amp does not have a vibrato or tremolo, then the high mu triode should be a second input for phonograph ?

  6. kt baker says:

    I have a model r204d in fair condition i picked it up at an auction several years ago just wondering how rare it really is and approx value of it thank you for any info you have on this

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