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  1. #1

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    Does anybody knows anything about the Polytone Mini Brute II combo?

    Is it good for semi-hollows if I need warm jazz sound and acoustic cleanness?

    How much does it costs approximately?


    Polytone Mini Brute II - A Good Choice for Jazz?-polytone-mini-brute-ii-jpg

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  3. #2

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    I play through one..Mini Brute II...since 1985...

    My axe is a 1977 Ibanez 2355 (ES-175)..with .014" flatwounds and a lower than most string action....a nice smoothe sound...you do lose the percussive effect with lower action but it's developed with me and my sound...

    I like the polytone...

    time on the instrument...pierre

  4. #3

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    I have a MB2 also, in fact it is my only amp currently. And very nice for jazz IMO. For me it has a warm, fat, dark kind of character, very jazzy, and it does seem to bring out the woody character of an archtop guitar. In fact almost any guitar sounds somewhat jazzy with the right tone settings. However, one slight issue possibly is what you refer to as 'acoustic clearness' - I would not say it has a massive amount of high-end sparkle to the sound, so if you want crystalline highs to come through, it just might not be what you are after. But really, see if you can actually try one before buying - you might just love it!

  5. #4

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    Meggy, do you have the latest version of the MB II? Polytone reuses the Mini Brute names. The latest version has these controls:



    There is more flexibility here that in the 80's simpler "treble/bass" controls. If one wanted a Polytone that might (?) work better with acoustic guitars, perhaps they could try the MB V, which has tweeters.

  6. #5

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    i love my polytone (MB III, 15" speaker, no 'verb) but i will admit--polytones have a "sound." they are not necessarily about transparent reproduction of a guitars tone, they color things pretty heavily in the midrange and lower midrange areas. the nice side of this is that just about any guitar will sound jazzy thru a polytone...the bad news is, things can sound kinda--"samey" i guess. but that sounds like a worse complaint than it is...

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Meggy, do you have the latest version of the MB II? Polytone reuses the Mini Brute names. The latest version has these controls:



    There is more flexibility here that in the 80's simpler "treble/bass" controls. If one wanted a Polytone that might (?) work better with acoustic guitars, perhaps they could try the MB V, which has tweeters.
    Mine is from the mid to late 90's (which is about when I got it, from Ivor Mairants shop in London, for £600 ish, even then! - You really are spoilt over on your side of the Atlantic! ). But to answer your question, the controls look exactly like the ones you show, so I guess they must have been using this design for a while now. I've also seen more recent models on the web which look pretty much like mine, though there may be some non-visible design changes. The MB V might be a very good suggestion by the way, perhaps the best Polytone to go for if versatilty is key.
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    i love my polytone (MB III, 15" speaker, no 'verb) but i will admit--polytones have a "sound." they are not necessarily about transparent reproduction of a guitars tone, they color things pretty heavily in the midrange and lower midrange areas. the nice side of this is that just about any guitar will sound jazzy thru a polytone...the bad news is, things can sound kinda--"samey" i guess. but that sounds like a worse complaint than it is...
    That's kind of what I was trying to say Mr B, although I think you put it better than me. They have a "sound" which you either like, or you don't LOL! I would also add that IMO the Minibrute makes a nice amp for fusion playing, and works well with an effect chain in front of the input. I wish I had another one for a stereo setup!

  8. #7

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    Yeah, I think in the end Polytones are not "acoustic" amps. They are used to colour the sound: they are dark with a midrange "honk". I think I'm being optimistic thinking a jangly flattop could ever sound right through a MB, even the one with the tweeters. But no one amp can do it all.

    And I know this has been mentioned before, but if you are looking at a MB with the "red knob" (distortion), don't touch that knob! The distortion is horrible. But then, SS amps with a distortion knob have always sounded bad to me. What's up with that? Almost all distortion pedals are SS (Tube Screamer, Klon Centaur...), so why do the onboard overdrives not sound so good? In any case, it makes sense to keep this separate, so that you can mix and match to the amp, or not at all...

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles
    Yeah, I think in the end Polytones are not "acoustic" amps. They are used to colour the sound: they are dark with a midrange "honk". I think I'm being optimistic thinking a jangly flattop could ever sound right through a MB, even the one with the tweeters. But no one amp can do it all.

    And I know this has been mentioned before, but if you are looking at a MB with the "red knob" (distortion), don't touch that knob! The distortion is horrible. But then, SS amps with a distortion knob have always sounded bad to me. What's up with that? Almost all distortion pedals are SS (Tube Screamer, Klon Centaur...), so why do the onboard overdrives not sound so good? In any case, it makes sense to keep this separate, so that you can mix and match to the amp, or not at all...
    Although the tweeter might be good on a MB for a carved archtop to bring out the acoustic qualities in the sound. As you say though, maybe not a flattop - but who wants to play a flattop anyway... Just kidding flattop fans, honest.

    I don't have the red knob, but my amp still has a distortion channel - as you say... horrible! In fact, Polytone distortion is famous for it's horrible-ness! And yet, also as you confirm, I have a couple of solid state distortion pedals that sound great when used with the Polytone. Why can't they build it into the amps? A very good question, but there it is.

  10. #9

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    I bought recently a Mini Brute II 2002 model, no distortion but with the sonic circuit. I never had much interest in amps and sounds. I play 'classic' jazz so I only need a clean sound with head room, some reverb, I will add my content into the mix and that is it. I use mostly an Ibanez gb10, flat wounds.

    The amp is well designed with the controls on top. It is small, and the weight is acceptable - on the lighter side. The box is massive, and it has a metal grill to protect the speaker. It has all the features one might need: line out, headphones, external speaker out, tone controls, reverb. It has stuff what I won't use likely: fx loop, sonic circuit and boost switch.

    My guitar produces a warm tone with an accent on bass. My biggest issue was to find an amp what doesn't really want to add artificially to this, in the name of 'lets make a nice bass boosted jazzy sound'. I like very much the way as it amplifies the sound of my guitar. I didn't notice that it wants to make my guitar sound 'nice' or 'warm' or 'somehow'. As far as the tone quality goes, it is quite nice if nothing is set to the extreme. I wouldn't keep the sonic settings on for jazz, but for blues it can add a very tasty kick to the sound if it is not overused. It was not too hard to find a pleasant setting for my style and guitar, and since then the knobs are there in the same position. Except if someone changed them and I didn't notice it cause the amp still sounds nice.

    I think the weak point in this amp is the quality of the speaker. I don't want to say it is bad quality. It does the job and it sounds nice - for an instrument amplifier in this price range. But in my opinion the electronics produce a better sound quality which is somewhat degraded by the speaker. It is more noticeable when I need to play loud and the tone loses the balance. Probably a quality external speaker can make an improvement.

    I consider myself lucky to find this amp for sale on a reasonable price in a reasonable distance. This will be my amp likely in the next 15 or so years if it holds up well. I'll let you guys know if it is for sale

  11. #10

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    Mini-Brute2, Serial Number P-29428
    Inst : '67 ES175DN V8 T10, Belden 9778/1.5m(guitar~Sw-box), 2m(Sw-box~Amps),Amp Stand/Ultimate AMP-150
    Reference Amps ; '65 Twin reverb and '66 Vibrolux Reverb(C10NS),the two amps switched by footswitch in quickly for comparsion and close match.
    The both amps tilted and listen the front sound directly from about 1.5m distance posision.

    Setting : Master/Max(Normal Way for Master VR Type, Equal to Without Master VR.
    Tonal Color Switch/Normal(Center Posituon)
    Gain/3(Use to VR)
    Contour/9~11 O'Clock Position
    Program/Edge Position
    Treble/+1
    Mid/+2
    Bass/+1
    Results : Excelent Jazztone by use to "Sonic Circuit"

    Impression : 1E and 2B's traditional Polytone rounded tone by special Eminence.
    3G,4D and 5A's 5flet area tone is thin. Dynamics and rezonant are little less, then I try the Sonic Circuit and got the good sounds .

    Notice !!! : Side Handle Design !!! , Prevent for the reverb unit troubles,
    As well as keeping the "Upright" (in the car etc) http://www.murchmusic.com/polytone.htm

    The any good amps has good characteristecs, pull up the goodness and don't over demands.
    Last edited by kawa; 04-18-2010 at 07:05 PM.

  12. #11

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    Mine is a MB II, 12 inch speaker, made in Aug '99. Does NOT have the Sonic Circuit. I was GASsing about changing the speaker to a higher efficiency one but was not sure if the stock one was 3 ohm or 4 ohm so I opened the back of the cab, it was 4 ohm. I decided not to change the speaker yet (it might be one of the factors for the tone) but I think the fact that they sealed the cab with fiberglass night have something to do with the dark tone too. Be careful with the fiberglass dust if you open the back !

    I bought this off Ebay, it came with the reverb already dead and I never bothered to fix it because it sounds right without it (Pat Metheny is rumored to like it better that way too :-). I have a good reverb pedal and I can always use that.

    I experimented with the overdrive channel, by playing with the EQ and turning the gain up only a touch, you can get some useful and interesting tones from that channel.

    It has an effect loop which also allows you to go into the power section but this feature is not described at all. The manual for these amps is very bare bones. There are no specs and it does not even state what the output wattage is (I suspect between 80-110 W). Only by experimentation, I discovered the internal speaker stays on when you hook up an external cab.

    Mine has very low hiss/hum (some people complain about this).

    At some point, I will take the preamp line out and feed it through my high watt PA but I don't have any nice cabs for this yet.

    At lower volumes, it did a fair job of amplifying an electric bass guitar. I got scared and did not try it at higher volumes.

    I used it as a power amp stage for Line 6 Pod, Korg Kaossilator, Korg PX5D and Damage Control Womanizer (direct into low gain input or effect loop return) and I was satisfied with the results. There is a more audible hiss when cut switch is not engaged or pushed up to bright.

    Hope these bits help those who have a similar model.

  13. #12

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    Last week I was performing at a jazz gig (for only the second time, after a 20 year lay-off!) using an Ibanez Joe Pass JP20 (fitted with an extra Kent Armstrong pickup) and through my Polytone Minibrute 2 amp (mid '90s). I had the tone controls pretty much set flat, except that the bass was rolled down just a tad. Two other guitarists also playing, were both highly complementary about my tone. One was the local jazz guitar wiz (actually one of the best players in the UK IMO), who said my guitar sounded "amazing". I thought it was pretty good too, pity about the guitarist, but still a nice complement to receive. A great jazz amp!

  14. #13

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    Did you have the reverb on ? Do you know how many watts it is ? Finally did you play around with the effect loop, line out and the other channel ?

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by medblues
    Did you have the reverb on ? Do you know how many watts it is ? Finally did you play around with the effect loop, line out and the other channel ?
    I had just a hint of reverb only (control pointing to about 10 o'clock) which seemed fine. I think it's 100 watts, or about that anyway, and I was using the "low-gain" input which seems to give a more subtle tone to me, although with less volume. I've never used the effect loop or line out (though I'll have to have a play at some point), but this was more a straight-ahead jazz/bebop type gig. It does have a distortion channel, but IMO it sucks! - much better results can be had from a cheap effects pedal even. I just regard the amp as a very good "clean jazz tone machine" really - a one trick pony perhaps, but it does that trick very well I think. Although having said that, I have got good results in the past with effects placed simply between the guitar and amp (distortion, eq, chorus, delay, digital reverb), and I think 2 of these amps in stereo could make a great setup for fusion - wish I had another!
    Last edited by Meggy; 04-11-2010 at 12:01 PM.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by kawa
    Mini-Brute2, Serial Number P-29428
    Setting : Master/Max(Normal Way for Master VR Type, Equal to Without Master VR.
    Tonal Color Switch/Normal(Center Posituon)
    Gain/3(Use to VR)
    Contour/9~11 O'Clock Position
    Program/Edge Position
    Treble/+1
    Mid/+2
    Bass/+1
    Results : Excelent Jazztone by use to "Sonic Circuit"
    Thanks kawa. I am sure it is possible to find a good jazz sound with Sonic, and it can work many cases but not for me. I tried your settings but it is way too bass heavy - not working for me. I play with fingers, nails and pick as well. For a walking bass line I am simply overpowered using those settings.

    Yes, and forgot to mention that the reverb is really nice and plenty, at 2-3 it is just enough having a tasteful effect.

  17. #16

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    Thank you iao ce, yes !!! 6E's rezonant is deep, but 5A-4D-3G's are less,1E and 2B's rounded tone are special than other amps, "That is Polytone" and "Why Polytone" thease are speakers frequency characters.
    All the things decided by Polytone include relationals musicians and their guitars. We use just how to pull the goodness by setting etc. I learnt 1E and 2B's rounded tone by this amp, then I could change other amps setting for same tone. The reverb sounds is very good, Set : 0~1.5(a littel bit Reverb is good complement of SS sounds)

    Sonic Circuit is very good, I could get the almost of the same sound by use the Sonic Circuit at last(which one selected by footswitch ? ) to the '67 Vibrolux Reverb(Normal Ch, T2, B3.5) and '65 Twin Reverb(Normal Ch, T1, M7, B3)(in case of Fender, 1 is minimum). Program : Edge, Countour: 9~11 O'clock(9 is STD).
    (Sorry! several writes again for the database)

    Results my test : Good Amp !!! , only one speaker(reference amps has two speakers presence sounds), solid state, compact.
    Enough Sounds !!! and Good Tightness and as a Record Sound.

    Please decrease the Bass for your style and guitars and adj the Countour as you like positions.

    Best regards

    kawa
    Last edited by kawa; 04-15-2010 at 04:22 AM.

  18. #17

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    Just bought one today 1998 min brute ii like Big Daddy pic above.

    Have a few questions:

    1.boost cut switch???

    2. FX loop and overdrive...don't use. don't even know whats for?

    3. High/low gain inputs...best of two??

    Any advice on this amp would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks, Sailor

  19. #18

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    1. Switch : Boost/Cut is (High)Boost/(High)Cut, In normaly for the Jazz Tone, set it the "Cut" positions.(please check the both sounds)
    2. FX Loop and Over Drive : For External Effector (Pedal Box etc) Out/In (To/From)
    3. High/Low Inputs : In normaly use the "High (impedance)Input" please check also the "Low(impedance)Input" sound, Jim hall like this sounds (He told).

    Best regards.
    Last edited by kawa; 04-20-2010 at 07:46 AM.

  20. #19

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    Hello I'm Guido from Italy
    I have found a Polytone mini brute II with Sonic eq .
    A second hand ampli but in very good condition 8 years old for about 500€ .
    By your opinion is a good cohice today for jazz and blues with Ibanez AF151 and Telecaster 1952 reissue ?

  21. #20

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    I am probably the biggest polytone fan on this site, and I would advise against buying that one. First it's not the classic simple polytone circuit. Reliability will be an issue in the next few years, and There is a lot more to go wrong. I can't say how good the techs in your area are, so keep that in mind.

    Second it's too expensive. If you're going to spend that much on one, I'll consider selling you the classic polytone minibrute II (12 with reverb). I have four polytones, my favorite jazz amp.

  22. #21

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    I have found a Politone mini brute II 12 with reverb and sonic eq why you say it is not good ?
    What problem it has ? Why I need a good tech ? I know issue of reverb there are other issue that cause problem and repair ?
    Do you think 500€ too high ?
    I see that is the price for this amp in my area and friends guitarist say me it's ok if in good conditìon
    Bye

  23. #22

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    500€ is not high for European average values. Old Polytones sound better than new ones, no doubt - they can be a little unreliable, both new and old. When I go to my amp tech there's always a Polytone there. For a little more, since you're in Europe, I would consider a Mambo.

  24. #23

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    I heard something about Polytone problems.but what are this problems ?
    Reverb problem is no problem for me I use a pedal

  25. #24

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    I've seen speaker problems, power amp problems, etc... but some go for a long time without any problems!

  26. #25

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    I see a second hand Polytone mini brute II SONIC eq 8 years old but someone says this amps has a lot of issue and problem . What are this problem ? I know for reverb that is not important for me.
    What are the others problems ?

  27. #26

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    Guido,

    I have owned 3 Polytones with the sonic circuit. I disagree with many about the tone, if you do not use the sonic circuit, they sound pretty much the same as the older models, but I do agree about their unreliability. I had a reverb go out in one ( a cheap fix), a speaker go out in another ( an impossible fix to OEM specs as they are no longer made) and a bridge recifier go out in one (a very expensive fix).

    They are wonderful amps, just not the most reliable.

    If you like the sound of the one you are thinking about and are okay with the price, go for it. Just be aware of the possiblity and expense of a breakdown.

    Cheers,

    Marc

  28. #27

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    I have a sonic circuit MB III, it was at least 10 years old when I got it about 10 years ago. Still works fine.

    Biggest issue with the sonic circuit is it doesn't sound very good. So it doesn't get used.

    Basically, with Polytones, there's those that will work forever and those that never worked.

  29. #28

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    I don't know of any problems other than the reverb. I use these amps all the time at the Jazzschool in Berkeley CA, they always work and they sound great. I like the later polytone amps better than the early ones with the stacked controls because they're easier to use (when adjusting the stacked controls often the middle one turns when you only want to turn the outside one or vise-versa). For playing jazz on an archtop guitar these amps are super convenient, do a good job and have less of a feedback problem than open back amps such as Fenders.

  30. #29

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    Few data point I can share.

    In my experience, the spring reverb broke on mine. It is easily replaceable with out soldiering, cost about $30USD.
    The newer Polytone use a speaker with bigger magnet which is made in China. The older one use an Eminence custom speakers. I have both. The older amp was bought as a Cab. I only use the speaker. The amp works for about 5 minutes and the fuse will burn. In my research, it is likely cause by old caps.

    Sound wise, very similar. I felt the Eminence speaker is a bit more crispy and less bassy.

    After getting the sonic circuit, I don't care that much about it. 99% of the time I use the normal channel.

    I also felt the match between the guitar and the polytone is very important. All my guitars sound very different on this amp.
    If possible, try it before you buy.

    If you are looking for a true traditional jazz amp, do consider Fender Deluxe Reverb and Twin Reverb.
    If you like a darker muddier sound, Polytone maybe for you.
    I also have a Mega Brute (8" speaker). Using it to drive the 12" Polytone Cab sound the same as a Mini Brute II.
    The 8" speaker is not as Muddy as the 12".

    Note: when I say muddy, it may not be a bad thing. It is THE SOUND.

    Good luck and enjoy every moment of Jazz guitar playing!

  31. #30

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    Polytones with a mid eq control don't sound like the classic polytones ime.



    the classic diamond tolex ones are so simple, not to mention the "lemons" all hit the dumpster 20 years ago. Any your likely to find in the wild are proven reliable. Put a couple bucks into them and you're good for another 25 years.

    These polys are very easy to repair.

    Newer ones were not constructed as robustly, plus more stuff to go wrong, and that mid control....

  32. #31

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    The ones with sonic circuit don't sound as good as the previous ones. Regarding the price, as Jorge said, 500€ for a Polytone in Europe is the average price

    Btw I'm selling my Polytone Megabrute, just in case you're interested

  33. #32

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    Sound is matter of taste of course, but I own a Polytone Mini Brute 2 and cant find nothing wrong with it. Btw it takes pedals very well IMHO


  34. #33

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    I think the point here is that the "Minibrute II" has at least 2 productions. The more recent have the "Sonic EQ" that many jazz players think is a serious step down from the classic tone that made so many of us lovers of the Polytone Minibrute. So much of what makes the Polytone a great amp is its closeness to the sound of the great players of the 60's and 70's. I heard that the Sonic EQ is an attempt at a more modern approach, and that people who love the classic sound of the Polytopes don't like the Sonic EQ version.

    I have the older Minibrute II and love it, though I never use the overdrive channel, just the clean. The effects loop also has a gain control, which is nice for inputting practice/background tracks because you can control the volume at the amp without having to change the device from which you're playing.

    So we need, as usual, to be precise about which iteration(s) of particular products we're discussing.

    If I'm off base here, someone please set me straight because I have no direct experience with the "Sonic EQ" versions of these amps.

  35. #34

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    I think you are off base. I have owned three sonic circuit mini brutes (2000's) and three earlier mini brutes (70's-80's). Not much difference in sound (so long as you are not using the sonic circuit, which was switchable).

    IMO, Polytones sound great, but are heavy compared to more modern alternatives and are unreliable. Now that they are defunct, original parts are hard to come by.

    There were no better choices in the 70's for a jazz oriented solid state amp that was portable. Today there are many options.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    I think you are off base. I have owned three sonic circuit mini brutes (2000's) and three earlier mini brutes (70's-80's). Not much difference in sound (so long as you are not using the sonic circuit, which was switchable).

    IMO, Polytones sound great, but are heavy compared to more modern alternatives and are unreliable. Now that they are defunct, original parts are hard to come by.

    There were no better choices in the 70's for a jazz oriented solid state amp that was portable. Today there are many options.


    Soooooo not true. Classic polytones have almost nothing in them and are dead easy to repair. Any 35 year old amp will need to see a tech soon. I'd argue polytones are far more reliable and more importantly, proven than anything new on the market.

    How many new modern ss amps will go 35 years with no breakdowns??? Nobody knows, but if you buy a polytone, put two hundred into refurbing it, you'll have an amp good to go another twenty years.


    lasty a good chunk of the polytone Magic comes from the baxandall tone stack. If you're polytone has a mid control, it's not baxandall. Whether you can hear it, I don't know. I know I could, and it bugged the hell out of me.

  37. #36

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    Polytone started using a mid control in the late 80's, way before the sonic circuit (which was a replacement for the overdrive channel ).

    With the mid knob set flat, my ears cannot hear the difference.

    There is some merit in the idea of revitalizing a simple USA made amp for the long haul (kind of like a vintage Nova with a straight six). IMO, much of the Polytone sound came from the 4 ohm Eminence speaker. These are unavailable today. At some point all vintage Polytones will have replacement speakers and will sound......different.

    I bought my first Polytone in 1975 and my last in 2008. I still have the last one (a Mini-brain reissue ).

    I had the pleasure of meeting Tommy Gumina and think all of us in the jazz guitar community owe him a debt of gratitude.

    I wish someone had kept it going after Tommy left us.

  38. #37

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    I've also had a few pre and post-sonic circuit polytones; I hear a difference, although not a great one. If anyone is geeky enough to look at the schematics, like me, you can see why earlier red-knob models might sound a bit different; the circuits and IC's are slightly different. It's all detailed in the various polytone threads on this forum.

    Reliability; I'd say average, for simple SS amps. Repairability; most parts are readily available; one or two are difficult to get but are obtainable with effort. In any event, some modern parts can be easily substituted. The most difficult part to get can be the special square-magnet 4 ( or 3) ohm speaker. The circuits are mostly simple. The bizarre multi-connectors can get corroded and make poor contact, but that's an easy fix. The reverb tanks break eventually, but are replaceable.

    But it's true that there are several modern 'improved polytones'; Hendriksen, Mambo to name a couple. The Polytone was pretty much the only serious SS jazz amp in the 70s, so there was little choice apart from tube amps. The Polytone sounded very different from the usual Fender DRs and TRs, due to the baxandall stack, as pointed out.

    BTW If your Polytone has a middle control, it DOES have a baxandall stack. They all have bax stacks. Just look up the schematics.

  39. #38

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    I've never been able to get ahold of the schematic for the polytones with the mid eq control, I'd like to take a look if you have it. I assumed they were using a typical tmb tonestack.

    As far as a speaker goes, the eminence has a certain charm, but any 4 ohm driver works fine. I even have a mb2 with an aluminum coned pyle speaker. Got it like that, used to belong to a local older jazz player who owned a music store. He could have "borrowed" any speaker he wanted, but that one really sounds great, it opens up the top end in a natural way. Anyway the speaker is 8 ohms, fine for a polytone, worked fine for the last 20 years... I've also tried webers, new eminence, and I'd love to try something from wgs. Point is, they all sound great and work perfectly.

    Best part is compared to modern offerings, they are cheap!!!

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    I've never been able to get ahold of the schematic for the polytones with the mid eq control, I'd like to take a look if you have it. I assumed they were using a typical tmb tonestack.
    Happy to share a typical schem if you PM me - altho' they are also on the net, if that's easier. I find the bax mid control a big asset, and have fitted a couple to T&B- only red-knob models in the past.

    I agree that speaker swaps can work fine in polytones; I suspect the low-fi, dark sound of the square magnet speaker has a lot to do with the " poly sound", though. Eminence Betas come close-ish.

  41. #40

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    MB II settings? Vol=4, Switch=Brite, Bass=5, Treble=5, Reverb=4

    Closest to MB? Ampeg B12sb

    vs Tube? Lighter, more midrange warmth in Polytone, less airy top end

    you might prefer a more modern SS amp, ie, Evans RE300...but it's finicky to dial in compared to Polytone

  42. #41

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    Hello vintage. I've been searching the net for info on a polytone amp and came across this thread. Question for you and others here: which version of the mini brute II is this?: Polytone Mini Brute II - A Good Choice for Jazz?-polytone-jpg


    I read some folks talking about different versions which are both called mini brute II. That's confusing and kinda sucks in my opinion. There are two different "eqs" w/ different tones? "Sonic EQ," or something? But they're both called mini brute II? Is this correct? confusing. Plus, in the vid, the amp is labeled III. Hmmmm. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance...

  43. #42

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    Unfortunately in Italy three are s few MB II all with normal eq not with sonic circuit
    Without sonic this amp is not for other genre than jazz
    And in General I think t his amp is too dark with normal eq
    I ha ve found a good replacement in "80s Roland Cube 60 chorus
    Listen itbon Tube is very very close to MB for less money

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    Last edited by Guido_59; 06-25-2016 at 03:55 PM.

  44. #43

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    Thanks Guido. Could you tell me if the mini brute I pasted into this thread above has this "sonic circuit," or the "normal" EQ? Or anyone else?

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by jd65
    Hello vintage. I've been searching the net for info on a polytone amp and came across this thread. Question for you and others here: which version of the mini brute II is this?: Polytone Mini Brute II - A Good Choice for Jazz?-polytone-jpg


    I read some folks talking about different versions which are both called mini brute II. That's confusing and kinda sucks in my opinion. There are two different "eqs" w/ different tones? "Sonic EQ," or something? But they're both called mini brute II? Is this correct? confusing. Plus, in the vid, the amp is labeled III. Hmmmm. Any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance...
    This one does NOT have the Sonic EQ. You'd see the words "Sonic EQ" on the controls.

    The Minibrutes I and II have 12" speaker, III and IV have 15" speaker.

    Then, I think (I might have it confused) Minibrutes I/III have no Reverb, II/IV have reverb.

    The features change over the years for the same model, just like they do for any other product. A Gibson L5ces guitar from the 50's has P90 pickups, from the early 60s, PAF pickups, in the 90's, a later version. All products evolve, and when we are shopping for such products we have to know the history of it to find out what we are getting. If you bought a car from the 1930's it would not have an automatic transmission, but buying a car in 2016 you almost have to ask for a manual transmission if you want that instead. It's just smart shopping.

  46. #45

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    Absolutely. Thanks so much for the response, Lawson. So this one does not have the "sonic eq." Last related questions: Can anyone tell from the pic, or due to its not having that sonic eq, what year it may be from? And from what I've read, I guess some folks think the version WITHOUT the sonic eq has the more "classic" or "traditional" tone. I assume this has been covered ad nauseum in other threads, but I'd appreciate thoughts here. Thanks again, Lawson S.

  47. #46

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    That blue one is from the 90s and souns great. I have 70s, 80s, ans 90s MiniBrutes. They all sound great. They all have baxandall tone stacks, by the way. The blue 90s amp is tough as nails. My favorite is my 70s amp--slight preference for the CTS speakers back then over the Eminence speakers that came by the 80s. Otherwise, it's all good.

  48. #47

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    You see SONIC eq on panel instead oh chi drive and has Red knobs
    The other feauture you can dead in post over mine

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  49. #48

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    In my opinion Polytones sound better than Henriksens. It seems as if Henriksen amps miss some nice high frequencies.
    Btw, I own two Henriksen amps.....
    Last edited by Jazz_175; 06-26-2016 at 01:36 PM.

  50. #49

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    Every opinion id right but we must conder Polytone out of production from many year and of you fine an old amp hai component may have problem in e few time
    So we would consider what you find on modens market
    Henriksen Mambo and other modern
    For me Mambo sound best the Henriksen IMHO

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  51. #50

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    Like my other amps (except for a 90s MB III I use for gigging with bass), my Mini Brutes are all 70s and 80s amps. They are either the fuzzy covered ones (Pre-diamond Tolex), or diamond Tolex versions, all featuring Bass and Treble baxandall tone stacks.

    I have a "fuzzy" MiniBrute II, III, and IV. I also have a Diamond Tolex MB III Extension Cabinet that I use with a Diamond Tolex MiniBrute PA head to create another MB IV. Finally, I have a mid-80s black panel with red line Baby Brute--that may be the best of the lot, although it has Bass, Mid, and Treble.

    The amp that got lost in the shuffle was the old MB II. However, I put the other Polytones into storage and got the II out. Hmm? I had convinced myself that the 8" and the 15" cabinets were much superior. Well, the 12" cabinet of the II is really very, very good. I hadn't paid it much attention, I'm afraid. It sounds super with the PE-180/EL-300 Matsumoku L-5 copy. What a combination.

    Anyone else playing the "II" these days?