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johnnysomersett

"Circle Sounds" 1970's Vintage Amp??

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Hey all, hope y'all can help!

 

I recently acquired an old head & cab and cannot find ANYTHING on it online!

 

Its labelled a 'Circle Sounds' 100W. Id say its of 1970's vintage by the font on the front.

 

Looks like this:

 

3498767796_3cc398bec2_o.jpg

 

Anyone ever heard of them/know about them/etc etc??

 

Cheers

 

JS

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my google-fu is usually rather strong, but this one is completely eluding me. you very well may have an amp from a small boutique type company, or a prototype / one-off model.

 

what tubes does it use? does it sound good?

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Well, it hasn't got any tubes! Which i was pretty surprised about when I opened it up.

 

Here's some shots of the guts of it for you to examine:

 

3586556152_3b93264bcb_o.jpg

 

3585748101_4952f2275b_o.jpg

 

3586556340_b351fbea46_o.jpg

 

3585747799_2ce948a6e4_o.jpg

 

3585747871_82e9b64b34_o.jpg

 

3585748371_f8101f557f_o.jpg

 

3586556432_5e1ab13eb5_o.jpg

 

It's definatly hand-wired too:

 

3586556084_6ff5d4b71c_o.jpg

 

 

Sound-wise... it's pretty glorious! Real crisp sounding and crunches like a mother****** when you drive it up

 

Pots need a clean out but apart from that its A*

 

And It cost me

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Don't know if anyone is still monitoring this thread, but just found it by chance.

I was the owner of Circle Sound, which was a small business I set up in Chatham in the UK in 1970. I started by building loudspeaker cabinets and after a while found a small electronics company on the outskirts of London that could build the chassis amps to my specification. The one in the photo was the later development and we also had a line of PA amps with the same amp but 4 inputs and tone controls. We also ran a range of Valve(Tube) amps that were a similar design to the Marshall 100w board. We produced a large range of speakers from 1x12" up to 4x15" and a line of modular mixers that you could choose the number of inputs, effects and power that you wanted. There was also a 100w combo amp with 2x12" Celestions. Our equipment was sold in shops around southern England including our own and we also manufactured cabinets for other companies to rebadge. At our height, I had 17 people on the work force.

We manufactured a lot of amps and cabs over an 18 month period until we took a huge order from South Africa for 3 months production, which made us the subject of a massive fraud involving a Swiss bank guarantee and sent us sadly into liquidation after receiving no payment.

Roger Gunkel

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Thanks for the information Roger, that was interesting, if a bit sad what happened to your business. The certainly looks to be well-made. I see it has an interstage coupling transformer, apparently that was common with early solid-state amplifiers. 

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Roger, thank you for posting. I saw this thread title, and vaguely remembered the name/logo, and it being a British company from the early 70's, and I did recall having seen [decades ago] a photo of PA system with your logo on it, which was being used by an old friend's [sadly, now deceased] band in England.

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Thanks for responding Mr Grumpy and daddymack.

@Mr.Grumpy, I was young and enthusiastic in those early days but lacked in real business experience and a little naive which led me to trust people when I probably shouldn't have. The demise of the business was sad as I had so many ideas that were pretty much ahead of their time, but life moves on.

@daddymack, any idea of what the band was called as I may even remember them?

Roger

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Gee, Roger, I'm sorry, I really can't remember...IIRC, the band never amounted to anything, my friend came back to the States after a couple of years.  Can't even find that photo anymore...40+ years later...what had caught my attention was the logo/name because my then partner [also deceased] and I were just getting our sound business [PA rental, mixing, lights] off the ground, and it was called 'Circadean Sound', so the similarity to 'Circle Sound' was the gist...

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Many of the bands who bought Circle Sound gear were from around our area in Kent in South East England, so it is quite likely that I would have known them both as fellow musicians and customers. I was using our equipment in a band called Silver Rain at that time and one of the members, Pete Butcher, moved to the States and married an American girl he had met in Germany while we were playing US bases there.

What is surprising is that inspite of the large amount of equipment that Circle Sound produced and sold over a short period of time, this is the only reference to the amps that I have ever found, plus one advert for a pair of Circle Sound 2x12" speaker cabs from a UK vintage equipment company recently.

That's interesting that your old company had a similar name! 🙂

Circle Sound speakers.jpg

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