R800D

The Lectrolab R800D is a rare bird.  Only two examples have been found, and only one of those is intact.  It appears to have been a combo with a 15″ speaker.  The example below with 2-6″ X 9″ speakers is not the original cab, it’s been customized for harp purposes, those guys love the little speakers!

The Lectrolab R800D looks much like a Lectrolab R700C with tremolo added.  It also loooks like the Lectrolab S950 without reverb.  It shares chassis construction, faceplate and knob cosmetics with both models.  Production was in the mid-late 1960’s.  All of these could be expected to put out 15 watts to 20 watts of clean power.  No one has posted a schematic, or a tube set for the R800D, but our reports say it has 4-12AX7, 2-7189 tubes and like it’s brethren, a fixed bias output stage.  Given the tube count, the Lectrolab R800 should be capable of more gain in the preamp than the Lectrolab R700C.

The EL84 is the closest current-production equivalent of the 7189, but the 7189 could also withstand higher plate voltages than the EL84.  Old 7189’s are somewhat expensive now.  If the plate voltages in the amp are not too high (they’re probably not), and the amp is biased correctly, the EL84 may be used as a replacement without requiring any modification to the amp.

This amp should sound great if it is in good working order!

Click pictures to enlarge:

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One Owner’s Report

I have a Lectrolab R800D. Love it.

Years ago it was stuck into an ancient late 70’s big Peavey Tweed cab w/ 2 really good 12″Utahs… Not sure if the Utah’s were originally in the amp but they sure sound good. 

1 channel is fairly clean and sparkly and the trem channel (w/ epic trem) is very gainy and warm. Can get crunch at fairly low volume.

I think it was one of the very last ones built because it has solid-state rectification. The holes are there for the tube rectifiers but it’s obvious it left the factory w/ solid state.

Oh – it had EL84’s in it when I bought it, and 4 12ax7’s.

Date stamp on chassis is 1965.  Control panel looks just like one you posted :

Has the holes in the chassis where they originally put 2 tube rectifiers but a couple really good amp techs both said this was factory original w/solid state rectifier.

No schematic. I’ve looked high and low for one but – no.

It’s had a checkup and seems fine. Like a raucous AC-15.

Can be hummy/static-y but I think it’s just a bad tone pot on the non-trem channel.

I use both channels w/ an A/B/Y box.

Trem channel is way more gain-y than the non-trem one.

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3 Responses to R800D

  1. Pingback: VINTAGE 1966 LECTROLAB 2X12 TUBE AMP (FERNDALE) $325 | Free Detroit Classifieds

  2. JJ says:

    Great to see a site dedicated to some great amps! My R800D is the one at the bottom. That is an 15″ Olson speaker. I’m almost positive it’s the original. Let me know if you’d like some better pics. Depending on the guitar used, my R800 can do any sound you can imagine (no death metal 🙂 The only thing that would make this amp better would be verb.

    • Tyler says:

      Hey JJ!
      Funny story, I’m now the current owner of that R800D with the 15″ Olson. I fully agree with you, it’s an amazing amp that could only be improved with a reverb channel. As far as the Olson, I believe it is original. Both Olson and Lectrolab were out of Chicago at the time, and seeing that most of the other parts in the amp (tubs sockets, chassis, pilot light holder, etc) were also made in Chicago, I’d say the speaker has a good chance of being stock. Another interesting point, after taking off the bell of the speaker, I found that the date code was 220904. 220 signifying that it’s Jensen-made, 04 signifying that it was made in the 4th week of the year, and 9 specifying the year as 1959. After comparing the design and codes to Jensen C15N’s of the same era, they seem almost identical. Seeing that Jensen also was based in Chicago at the time, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the speaker was just a rebranded Jensen. Either way, it sounds great. I hope this info helps!

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