- Tubes: 2-EL84/7189; others to be determined
- Speakers: 2-12″; 1-3″
Click to enlarge:
Every time I stumble over a new Lectrolab model I think “hmm, there is no data on this thing anywhere, this model must be really rare”. And you know what? Most of them are really rare. But this one is really obscure! It’s a twin 12″ speaker combo with a tweeter like the Lectrolab R700C, or more accurately, some Lectrolab R700C’s, since they were not all produced with the tweeter installed. Otherwise it’s similar to the Lectrolab R800D, but the Lectrolab R800D came as a single 15″ speaker combo. Like the Lectrolab R800D, the Lectrolab R900D has these controls:
- Channel One: Volume; Tone; Tremolo Intensity; Tremolo Depth
- Channel Two: Volume; Tone
- On/Off; Standby; Tremolo Footswitch Jack
So is it the same amp in a different cabinet? I think not. In the only photos I can find of an amp which I suspect is a Lectrolab R900D (above), there are significant differences.
- Lectrolab R900D has eight tubes, the R800D has six
- Lectrolab R900D has an additional small open-frame transformer nestled among the preamp tubes
The small transformer looks just like the one in the Lectrolab S950 where it is used for a unique two-tube tremolo circuit, not seen in any other brand of amplifier. You can read all about that tremolo circuit here. This would make the Lectrolab R900D a significantly different amplifier than the Lectrolab R800D.
The photos above are from this HarpAmps Page. The amp was found “abandoned and left OUTDOORS”, which is not surprising. Lectrolabs just don’t get the respect they deserve. Look at the rust on those transformers – don’t believe those guys that say rusty transformers are a problem – if its making a good noise it’s not a problem! The writer of the article, Jeff Brobrofsky, put a new baffleboard into the cabinet to house 2-6×9 speakers because he’s a harp guy, and this is what harp guys do. They love those teeny speakers! But you can plainly see the original speaker cut-outs in the “before” pictures. I originally put these photos on my Lectrolab R800D page because I mistakenly thought the whole cabinet was a redo from the git-go. That, and because the article is titled “R800 Project”. Maybe the ink had worn off the control panel, and/or maybe there really were different versions of the Lectrolab R800.
That’s what I thought until I got this email from Ron Slizewski:
I visited your site and looked at the R800D post. It had the same controls as the R900D I have. I bought it around 1970 and it works as good as new. There are 6 tubes and three speakers. One tweeter that 2W and three inches. Two Jensen 12″ Special Design speakers. At the time the store, Bennett Bros, was selling it to get rid of it for $50. It was a bargain at anytime.
The chassis is 26 1/2 W by 21 HI. I can’t find any tags of other info inside. I looked at a lot of sites that showed Lectrolab amps but none were the R900D. Any info would be helpful.
But wait, what’s that!? Ron says his amp has six tubes, unlike Jeff Brobrofsky’s which had eight? Maybe Ron didn’t see a couple of tubes between the transformers? Hopefully Ron will send in some pictures that show the chassis and the faceplate. Then we will know.
Jeff said this about his Lectrolab (probable) R900D:
…the Lectrolab kept up with anyone and anything on the stage, including a Fender Twin. It just sounded awesome and the tone has inspired my playing to say the least. I’ve got many positive unsolicited comments from friends and congratulations on the amp acquisition from all of the musicians.
Anyway you slice it this is an interesting story, if you’re a Lectrolab geek like me, that is…
IF YOU HAVE A LECTROLAB R900D PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT! Thank you.