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Thread: Guild Thunder 1

  1. #1

    Guild Thunder 1

    Would a Guild Thunder 1 from 1966 be a good introduction to Guild amps? There is one that is functional on C/L for $300.00 and I may go check it out tomorrow. I would appreciate any comments.
    thanks John

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Coopersburg, PA
    It depends! If you're looking for a "vintage" aka "50's tone" then No. Guild amp designs changed significantly in the mid 60's with the introduction of the Thunder series. If the amp is a Thunder1 RTV for $300 and all working then snag it!

    A RTV has 3 inputs so it is easy to spot. It comes with a hard wired footswitch to activate Reverb and Tremelo. This amp actually has two power amplifier output section. One amplifier, around 18W, normally drives a clean sounding 12 inch speaker. (I say normally because I have seen one sample that had a 10 inch speaker attached to an adaptor board that mounted to the studs for a 12 inch speaker.) The second power amplifier output, around 5W, drives a 8 inch speaker with the Reverb circuit. A highpass circuit, Cap and Res, rolls off the lowend in the reverb output.
    They usually sell for more than $300.

    I was weened on a Thunder1 RTV and the unique spacial "psudo stereo" effect that resulted when sitting in front of a RTV when playing. I was initially dismayed when I played other amps that had the reverb mixed internal to the amp and coming out combined through the speakers.

    The Thunder amps can get very bright if you want them to. I recommend the RTV for a few reasons. 1) Reverb, 2) speaker driven reverb, 3) Tremelo controlled by footswitch (Thunder1-12 uses a switch on front of amp.), 4) Three (3) inputs that offer a wide range of tones. This may not seem to matter but I found their is significant difference between inputs. If I recall their is High, Normal and Mic.The Mic input is more sensitive so you can overdrive the input of the amplifier easier. The High input is Brighter. Additional their is a Pull Pot on amp to make it very bright.

    The Thunder 1 RTV comes in two colors/versions. The initial release was Black Tolex with a bright Silver fish scale grill. Usually the grill turn yellowish. (I did once own a Thunder1 that came with an origin cover and the grill never faded revealing a sharp looking bright silver grill cloth.) An updated RTV in '67 came with beige tolex and a two- tone beige grill.
    Guild updated the cosmetics of the Thunder1 amp and introduced the Thunder1 Twin. These amps have Black tolex, two tone black grill cloth and 1-10 inch speaker in the Thunder 1 or 2-10 inch speakers in the Thunder 1 Twin. The Thunder1 RTV was dropped from the line in '69.

    Provide more info on the amp your looking at.


  3. #3
    Super Moderator Default's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Philly, or thereabouts
    I think I see which one you are looking at. It's a little rock and roll amp that won't piss off the neighbors too much.
    "Steve, you are a man of many goats."~ capnjuan

    "Alternatively, you could just go the ultra-relic route with it. Basically go for a look that says the amp was on fire and they put it out using belt sanders."
    (amps - I need a "99" & "50")

  4. #4
    I live on 3 acres and haven't pissed off my neighbors in years! In fact the wife is out tonight and I have the 1962 Pro, 64 Tremolux, 66 Ampeg Gemini II and a 1976 Sano 250R all cranked about 1/2 way or so. Maybe I don't need another amp? We will see, when did need matter!
    Thanks John

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