"Yeah, I have one myself. That is the Gretsch labeled version of the Supro 1605R amp. Same amp and circuit just with Gretsch appointments. I agree that it is one of the coolest sounding little Valco amps. Basically it is a Supro Supreme amp with…"
"The National 1212 was basically a Supro 1600 Supreme circuit with a few differences including a 6sn7 phase inverter tube, a different circuit for the screen grid of the 6J7 and a 12" 8 ohm field coil Rola instead of a 10" 4 ohm field coil…"
"The serial number indicates your Supro was made in early 1950, you have a model 1600 Supro Supreme. The earliest Supreme amps made after WW2 used a 10" Jensen 8 ohm permanent magnet speaker and quickly went to a 10" 4 ohm field coil Rola…"
"That is indeed a Valco made amp, what was called a "jobber" amp for another company or store to sell. Conan is right that it is the same amp as the early Supro Super model 1606. A nice little amp, not very loud but good tone and fun to…"
"The Tremolo oscillator tube in yours and most Valco amps shares a cathode resistor with the preamp tube in the tremolo channel. When the Tremolo is engaged the volume drop is the result of the two tubes using that shared resistor to couple the…"
Thank you so much for your help! I will employ all suggestions. I'm blessed to be able to ask you for help, and I learn something from you every time I get in a jam. In the end, I hope I can tell you the one thing that made this noisy amp problem so bad. Until then, I have no one to blame but myself! Talk to you soon.
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The Valco company has its roots in the National String Instrument Corporation, which was founded in 1927. The company is famous as the first manufacturer of resonator guitars, which were hugely popular in blues and (a bit later) bluegrass music. National merged with the Dobro company, another maker of resonator guitars, around 1932 to form the National Dobro Corporation. The company began producing electric instruments in the 1930s that included electric guitars, lap steels, mandolins and amplifiers. These pre-war electric instruments are fairly rare today, though the lap steels pop up with some regularity. The archtop bodies for the guitars were sourced from Regal and then from Kay, but the electronics were developed and manufactured by National-Dobro. The Supro brand name was introduced in the mid-‘30s for cheaper electric instruments.