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  1. #1

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    I have a Polytone Mini-Brute II that I purchased new in the late 70s when I used to work at a music store up in Cleveland. This amp has been a workhorse and has never had an issue over all these years. Yesterday, I flipped on the switch and BAM.. It blew the fuse. I replaced the fuse and the same thing happened. So, now I am left with the dilemma of whether to get it repaired, or just pitch it and get a new amp. Any thought? Is the repair worth it, or does anybody even repair these anymore?

    Thanks for any help and direction.

    Regards,
    Dave

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Power supply. Could be a $2 part. Can’t imagine it would cost much to fix it. If you love that amp, fix it. Or, use this as an excuse to buy a new amp.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave325
    I have a Polytone Mini-Brute II that I purchased new in the late 70s when I used to work at a music store up in Cleveland. This amp has been a workhorse and has never had an issue over all these years. Yesterday, I flipped on the switch and BAM.. It blew the fuse. I replaced the fuse and the same thing happened. So, now I am left with the dilemma of whether to get it repaired, or just pitch it and get a new amp. Any thought? Is the repair worth it, or does anybody even repair these anymore?

    Thanks for any help and direction.

    Regards,
    Dave
    Good question.
    Old Poly amp but I do not think the new one will work so long time without any problems.
    To repair it is a good idea.
    Kris

  5. #4

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    I have one that I wouldn't want to do without. If it breaks, I'll try to fix it.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave325
    I have a Polytone Mini-Brute II that I purchased new in the late 70s when I used to work at a music store up in Cleveland. This amp has been a workhorse and has never had an issue over all these years. Yesterday, I flipped on the switch and BAM.. It blew the fuse. I replaced the fuse and the same thing happened. So, now I am left with the dilemma of whether to get it repaired, or just pitch it and get a new amp. Any thought? Is the repair worth it, or does anybody even repair these anymore?

    Thanks for any help and direction.

    Regards,
    Dave


    you have an amp which you know ran perfectly for 40+ years. It is 20 years past needing basic service.


    why in the world would you ditch it for an amp that you have no idea how long it will last/sound/etc, when you could service your amp for 100 bucks and get another few decades out of it?





    unless you’re just gassing for a new amp. In that case...

  7. #6

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    Get it repaired.

  8. #7

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    I own a Polytone amp and have owned 6 others over the years. Some developed rattles that I could not fix, one had a speaker blow (and that was after Polytone had folded so I was not able to replace with a Polytone speaker), one had a reverb that quit (easy fix, $17 part, did it myself), but one died on a gig (luckily, the venue had a PA that I plugged directly into). The problem was a blown bridge rectifier, whatever that does. It was a $5 part but the repair took 2 hours @$95 per hour).

    It could cost you almost as much to fix it as it is worth. But as they say, it is the devil you know....

    Good luck.

  9. #8
    Thanks everyone for all the input and suggestions! I am going to try to find a repair person in the area I live in (Cincinnati). I let you know how it goes. And wow, I cannot even believe the prices they are charging for a new amplifier. Oh my :-)

    Regards,
    Dave

  10. #9

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    Repair it, norhing sounds as good as those old Polys, except Mambos - which are a little different.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jorgemg1984
    Repair it, norhing sounds as good as those old Polys, except Mambos - which are a little different.
    +1 I'm so fond on my old 102V Polytone I don't understand how they went out of business.

  12. #11

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    The Polytone folks were not particularly good at the business end of the business.

  13. #12

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    Always wondered what the approach would be to the combos if someone resurrected the Polytone company. Go for a more modern build of the Polytone or go for the closest to the old circuitry/build (preferably the diamond tolex era). I assume if Polytone was ever resurrected it would be a very small market for them and a high price for them as well.
    Last edited by curbucci; 03-11-2018 at 01:59 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by curbucci
    Always wondered what the approach would be to amp building if someone resurrected the company. Go for a more modern build of the Polytone or go for the closest to the old circuitry/build (preferably the diamond tolex era). I assume if Polytone was ever resurrected it would be a very small market for them and a high price for them as well.
    I think it could be done, but the problem is, could a great amp without modelling make it?

    I can hear the prospective owner (self appointed design committee members) now...

    Not enough EQ, no overdrive, only 100 watts? 100 watts? Who needs that power? Combo only? why no head, where's the USB port... or the second input, No TWEED? Jeez, isn't it much too big and heavy? I would have used xxx speakers and white pine, NOT yellow pine! MDX? that's one amp off my RADAR list!

    I changed my mind, it cannot be done :-)

    RIP Polytone

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by curbucci
    Always wondered what the approach would be to the combos if someone resurrected the Polytone company. Go for a more modern build of the Polytone or go for the closest to the old circuitry/build (preferably the diamond tolex era). I assume if Polytone was ever resurrected it would be a very small market for them and a high price for them as well.
    I think the esteem in which Polytone's are held here is probably not representative of the larger market. The amps definitely have their fans, and a lot of people sound good through them. IME, though, a lot of the people who bought Polytones back in the day didn't actually like them very much. But they were pretty much the only game in town (loud, lighter, portable, better sounding than cheaper ss amps) for a long time. As more manufacturers got into that niche (e.g., Roland, GK, and then Henrickson, Evans, AER., etc.) with amps that had more features and flexibility of tone, you started seeing fewer and fewer Polytones on bandstands. I'm sure their being not very good at the business side didn't help, but I think the writing was on the wall for the product itself. I think if someone were to try to resurrect the actual original P-tone design (or as close as possible with currently available components), I think the result would be a $1000 one-trick pony competing with the many amps that do that trick and more for the same $'s or less (some for a lot less).

    John

  16. #15

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    Polytone was a niche piece of gear. They were designed by jazz people for jazz people. Tommy Gumina was an expert jazz musician who longed for an amp that could hold up (i.e., had the balls) for jazz accordion playing. He ended up opening up his own company and ran it successfully until his death in the early 2000s. He sold many amps worldwide on the strength of endorsements from Joe Pass, George Benson, and Ray Brown. For a couple of generations of jazz guitarists and bassists, these guys were simply as good as it gets. If Joe, George, Ray--and Herb Ellis, by the way--played your gear, your gear sold. It did.

    I have played Polytone amps since the 1970s. Other than Ampeg and Fender tube gear, I don't know of amps that I like as much. Let me add that I have tried and owned MANY, MANY different brands and models of guitar and bass amps. Evans, Henriksen, AER, and Acoustic Image amps are all excellent. I could be pleased with any of them. However, no solid-state amp has the soul and warmth of an old Polytone. The designs that Tommy Gumina employed were just fine for jazz.

    Ultimately, Polytone was a family business with no provision for succession upon the death of its founder. Things just unraveled when Tommy Gumina died. We have all seen music retail businesses do this, too.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    (i.e., had the balls) for jazz accordion playing.


    sorry, i:

    -have never seen those words together in that order
    -didn't know that was a thing
    -never considered the amount of balls required for jazz accordion

    carry on!

  18. #17

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    Yeah, accordion is not too popular in jazz. Here's the deal. I have an old electric accordion. The dynamic range on it is incredible. The amp needs guts to cleanly handle it.

  19. #18

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    This is your chance to get that wall of Pignoses you've always wanted. Just think how cool you'd look standing in front of THAT!

    My Polytone amp just died... Repair or Replace?-capture-jpg
    Last edited by Jonathan0996; 03-13-2018 at 10:27 PM.

  20. #19

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    Accordion and a wall of Pignoses! Positively Weird Al Yankovic!

  21. #20

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    i come from a tango-y people and am awash in nortenas so i don't knock the accordion. its just extremely funny to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Accordion and a wall of Pignoses! Positively Weird Al Yankovic!
    you'd need a lot of roadies to open and close them really fast, though

  22. #21

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    Here's the Joe Pass/Tommy Gumina Trio on Secret Love


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Yeah, accordion is not too popular in jazz. Here's the deal. I have an old electric accordion. The dynamic range on it is incredible. The amp needs guts to cleanly handle it.
    Always loved the accordion. I grew up near polka country ... Florida NY, home of the very popular Jimmy Sturr ... maybe some of that local accordion love rubbed off. Not sure I'd want to have the thing hanging off me for hours at a time, but sure wish I could play one.
    MD

  24. #23

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    ... is NOT a funny instrument, gents! (at least, not when played by Galliano)






  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet


    sorry, i:

    -have never seen those words together in that order
    -didn't know that was a thing
    -never considered the amount of balls required for jazz accordion

    carry on!
    Back in the day, the old joke was... "What is the definition of an optimist?"

    .....

    "An Accordion player with a pager!"

    I'll be here all week ba-da-boom

  26. #25
    So, it's official... My busted Poly is now in the repair shop. I'll follow up with the diagnosis.

    Loved the amp convo... Interestingly enough, I owned a lot of different amps in my rock days from the early 70s.... Fender, Sunn, and finally a white Marshall Major (200 watt) that was once owned by Alvin Lee. I had all effect I could muster.... When I fell in love with jazz during those year, I was working at a music store when Joe Pass and Herb Ellis came through. We started selling them and I was hooked with the simplicity and clean sound. Actually, I played a couple years during that time with a cordovox (accordion) front man and it worked great. Now, I still love the simplicity... But keep a Boss effects board that adds a touch of presence and flavor to the sound. However, there are some days I wish I had the old Marshall, but mostly keeping it simple. For that, I have Studio One with guitar amp modeling to revisit that day (a lot easier on the back too... Hehe). Best to all.