Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

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Zork
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Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

Post by Zork » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:15 am

Hi, I'm about to check out and most likely pick up a vintage Roost SR100 amp from the mid 70ies. As far as I know, these were handbuilt in very small numbers in the UK and share a lot of similarities with Sound City and Hiwatt amps of the same era. Compared to a Marshall they are cleaner, bassier and have lower mids, otherwise a straight forward 4x EL34 amp but with a master volume.

The one I'm looking at is in very decent cosmetical condition, has been - according to the seller - last serviced about 5 years ago (including a new set of tubes) and comes with a case. Seller is asking 750€.

I'm a pretty exited, but I haven't owned or bought many vintage tube amps before and the two I had had caused me more trouble than joy. So I could well use a few tips from the pros on what to look out for. Specifically I'd like to know how to tell if the elkos are okay or need replacement.
Last edited by Zork on Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Drill
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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - what to look out for?

Post by Drill » Sat Jan 16, 2021 4:37 am

I don't know that brand and that price seems a stretch given that you can buy a legit Sound City cheaper than that and Hiwatt (though not one of the good ones) for a bit more. In both cases you would get the legit version of what you want instead of an amp that is just "like" them.

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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - what to look out for?

Post by s_mcsleazy » Sat Jan 16, 2021 12:42 pm

i love roost amps but that seems a bit high. maybe talk them down a bit. i've seen those amps go locally for the £400 mark.
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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - what to look out for?

Post by Zork » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:08 am

Well, I bought it yesterday. ;D
The amp is in excellent condition. Very clean, no scratches or major damages in the tolex, no rust on the corners, only very minor things. Certainly doesn't look like a 45 years old amp. The amp has been serviced 5 years ago but has been mostly in storage since. It is equipped with a nice set of JJ tubes. First thing I noticed was the exceptionally low noise floor of the amp. I payed 710€ including a brand new looking custom flightcase and I think that's a pretty good deal.

There was another early Roost in the classifieds for 600€, but in very poor cosmetical condition, with a very vague description and without a case. On reverb they seem to sell between 600 and 1000€. Also, there's this totally crazy dude:
https://reverb.com/item/30374176-roost- ... dium=share - but there's at least a nice little history lesson in the listing.

How does it sound? I can best describe it with ballsy and bold, very present and in your face. It has a huge bottom end, but isn't muddy at all. It kicks you in the stomach but has this very clear and strong definition over the whole frequency range. Compared to a Hiwatt - I know these pretty well from friends who used to run three DR103s for keys, guitar and bass - it is much crunchier and more prone to distortion and the mids are deeper. With the channels bridged and all the dials cranked it is the perfect stoner rock tone. Roll back the bass a bit and you enter early Sabbath territory.

And finally, a little picture for you:

Image

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Pacafeliz
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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

Post by Pacafeliz » Sun Jan 17, 2021 12:44 pm

Dude, I've been watching that (and others) one on Kleinanzeigen, too! Congrats!
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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

Post by Zork » Sun Jan 17, 2021 2:56 pm

Hey, thank you. I thought you might be into it. :)
The dude is actually selling quite a bit interesting stuff, among others a Guyatone Twin Reverb clone as a head and a Sound City 120.

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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:21 am

Very cool looking amp!

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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

Post by Zork » Mon Jan 18, 2021 5:50 am

Unicorn Warrior wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:21 am
Very cool looking amp!
Thank you, yeah. I'm usually more into colorful and "hippiesque" gear but the Roost really has a cool evil Darth Vader vibe to it. Now if only my cab was a little bit wider... :fp: :D

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Re: Vintage Roost SR100 tube amp - NAD!

Post by Racing » Mon Mar 29, 2021 9:44 pm

Rather underrated amps IMO.
Still got a Sessionmaster (is it?) at the shop. The 4*EL-34 212 combo, inc reverb. PCB based tho.
Loud as F.

As i got it the cab was shot. Put it on the scale which dialed in at 45kg!! :wtf: :o

Built a fresh cab for it out of solid pine and replaced the boat anchors for speakers in there with a pair of neo ones, added caster wheels. Scale now tipped at 26kg.
NOW it is a usable gig amp IMO.

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