Tone Report Weekly 203 - Page 17

SELMER TREBLE N’ BASS AND SUPER ZODIAC For those unfamiliar with the Selmer Treble n’ Bass series of amplifiers, which remain mostly unknown to many North American guitarists, I will direct you straight away to Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine,” from the band’s 1967 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn LP. The leadoff track from this classic work of psychedelic space rock, with Syd Barrett on guitar and vocals, is a perfect example of the deliciously rich, chimey, overdriven tones these highly underrated amps are capable of. With their characteristically British mid-range, they lived somewhere between Vox and Marshall, in the broadest tone terms. They came in a few different variations, including EL34- based 50 and 100-watt heads. Barrett used a 50- watt Selmer TnB and a Fender Esquire for most of his distinctive Piper tones, and this seems to be the most common wattage for these heads. Another similar model is the Selmer Super Zodiac, which also came in 50 and 100-watt variants. The Zodiacs are further outfitted with tremolo and reverb, and the tremolo in particular is fantastic and deep sounding. Earlier versions of the Selmer heads are by far the most aesthetically pleasing (and thus the most expensive), as Selmer decided at some point to dispense with its Vox-y grill cloth and control panel arrangement, adopting instead a one-size-fits- all aluminum faceplate more reminiscent of an old Peavey PA head than a fine piece of British guitar amplification. It was a money saving gambit that ultimately contributed to the company’s failure in the amp market. Good working examples of these amps can be had for &WGvVVSBF'2"6vFV֖Vf6WFPFV2&VrFR7@ff&F&R&V6W6RFW( &PVvǒFU&W"B6