The Twelfth Fret ~ Since 1977 ~

Robinson Filmosound Specialist Amplifier, 2019

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The Robinson Filmosound amp is an expression of a recent trend towards repurposing older tube amplifier sections – in this case, the amp from a 1950’s Bell & Howell 385 Filmosound projector using 6V6 tubes!

Dave Robinson runs Robinson Amplification, sometimes also known as Dave’s Tube Amp Repair in Georgetown, Ontario, northwest of Toronto.

In the 1950’s and into the 1960’s, amplifiers were generally based on tubes. The transistor did not appear commercially until the mid 1950’s, though the first patent on the transistor was filed in 1925 (in Canada, by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld).

Bell Labs and Purdue University did work during WW2 bringing the germanium transistor to a usable form for use in radar receivers. On December 23, 1947, the first working germanium transistor was demonstrated to Bell Labs staff and management. The first transistor radio, the Regency TR-1, appeared in 1954 and used four transistors. The second, the Raytheon 8-TP-1 appeared the next year using eight transistors for much better sound. Transistor radios started appearing in cars in 1956, as a fairly expensive option ($150 in 1955 dollars, about $1436 in 2019 dollars).

Bell & Howell, not related to Bell Labs, was started by two projectionists in Chicago during 1907. In 1934, the company released theie first consumer grade projector. This was the start of a line of amateur film equipment line that rapidly dominated the market. All of the audio sections in these projectors were based on tubes.

The Bell and Howell Filmosound Specialist was built from 1955 to 1961, and features 6V6 tubes. It wasn’t known then that these circuits would work well for guitars with a bit of tweaking!

In recent years, tube amp fans have realized that a number of 1950’s devices, like the Bell & Howell Filmosound line, can be successfully adapted to guitar use and a number of companies have taken on the task of modification. The Robinson Filmosound Specialist is one of these.

This amplifier is in very clean condition, having been rebuilt this year.

Price: $995 CAD
  • Model: Filmosound Specialist
  • Year: Current |
  • Class: Used
  • Serial Number: N/A, rebuilt 2019
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Excellent
  • Date Posted: 05/09/2019

  • Consignment Item

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