Sound City L.120
Sound City L.120

Tube Guitar Amp Head

User Reviews: 44 Average used price: $862

All user reviews for the Sound City L.120

Average Score: 4.0 ( 4/5 based on 4 reviews )
  1 user review 25 %
  2 reviews 50 %
  1 user review 25 %
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James... 02/26/2012

James...'s review "Old but good"

1971 English made L-120 (seems to be all original, including the factory tubes). Has 6 inputs on face, headphone jack, and "active" EQ? No channel switching, but you can bridge th2 together (like a Plexi). No effects loop. This is a mark 4 L-120, and resembles a Hiwatt DR-103


It suits my needs just fine. Not as loud as you would think, but this is good since I don't actually need all that wattage. No manual. learned to use it myself. It's not a hard amp to dial in.


I remember the seventies (whoops), and I recall these things being extremely LOUD! I also remember seeing Hendrix, Page, Rick Neilson, Nugent, and a host of others (Leslie West not withstanding), cranking away on this particular head, (all using different bottoms). Surprizingly, this thing is reletively quiet for an old class A amp. I have tried a 57 Black Beauty, and a Gallagher strat through it, and (GOD I hate to say this), sounds a little edgier than my Plexis. Try to immagine a cross between a Marshall(brutally loud), a Hiwatt (clean with headroom to spare), and a Fender Bandmaster (good ole rythem machine). There you have it. It has an active EQ, and is very sensitive, but the presence control is fucking useless! Like a Plexi, (but to even a greater degree), this thing doesnt distort or break up at all till you hit the stratosphere! Hey, with todays pedals...a non-issue.


Like having a Hiwatt, a Marshall, and a Bandmaster all in one, with the ability to switch tones, and cripple eardrums all in one neat package. You really dont see these every day anymore, but Ill be keeping my eyes open. The price is right and youre getting a monster.
yoTrakkz 12/11/2011

yoTrakkz's review "clean tones"

This is a pretty warm tube amplifier. It is made in America. There are two quarter-inch inputs, as well as the external speaker output. There is also a unique speaker impedence selector. The amp is only 15 watts, but this is not a problem as there's enough power to rock this thing well. There are controls for volume, Cut, Reverb, Master volume, and also a unique selectable 5-way Rotary Tone Switch, which can be used in that capacity, or can be changed to custom bass and treble selection.


Getting a good sound out of this amp is pretty much a piece of cake. I really like the fact that you can get a warm, popping sound without having to crank the amp up to ungodly volumes. The manual is a pretty good resource for figuring the amp out, though I'm sure almost anyone can figure it out without using the manual. The 5-way tone switch is cool for awhile, but I think most people will either stick with one of the tone presets or find a custom setting that they really like and stick with that. That's what I did, at least.


This is a great sounding amplifier. The tones that you can get range from clean and pleasant, to warm and slightly fuzzy, to outright dirty. This is all natural-sounding, so you know it's great for blues and rock (at least real rock and roll).


I'd highly recommend this amp to guys who play electric country, or blues, or old school rock music. This thing kind of needs to be pushed really hard to get a good tone, but it doesn't get TOO loud when doing so. Plus, most amps are built like that anyway. So I'd have to say that for the price, this is a great buy. You could do a whole lot worse for the same price.
iamqman 09/14/2011

iamqman's review "Hiwatt to Sound City"

Sounds city amplification builds some decent amplifiers but nothing that really takes a good hold of the market. This amplifier is similar to a Hiwatt amplifier and it's voicing and tone. Basically overall is a very British sounding amplifier but more in the vein of the hiwatt amplifiers. This is a 120 watt all tube amplifier the features three 12Ax7 preamp tubes a 12at7fees phaser inverter preamp tubes as well as the EL34 power amp tubes.


The front panel of this amplifier is extremely interesting as I haven't seen another one like it. First off it has six inputs and they look kind of strange to me. You have two that are listed as slave and another two that are normal and brilliant that are a attenuated inputs and then you have two regular inputs as well as another input that has a goofy looking emblem on it. Also the EQ control knobs are very unique as I have never seen another like this before. They have a look similar to the Fender control knob. But each one has a different color. In my opinion it's kind of stupid looking and not consistent.


The tone of this amplifier is extremely British sounding and at very close sounding to a hiwatt amplifier. It's going to take a lot of volume to get this thing saturating into tube distortion because the high wattage that this amplifier has. These amplifiers probably sounds best with a comparable British sounding speaker. So a FAne speaker will work good with these amps as well as a greenback speaker. I would probably stay in those ranges of speakers with this type of amplifier.


If you can find one of these amplifiers then you're pretty lucky. They're kind of hard to find because of the rarity of them and how old they are. Not a lot of them have lasted over the years so it will be very hard track one down. If you do you get a chance track one down play it first to see if you can like the feel and the voicing of it. But if you like a Hiwatt amplifier then you're probably going like this amp as well.
blaez_minkoff 02/08/2010

blaez_minkoff's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

It's at Sound City Dave Reeves has its debut before Hiwatt cr. This explains the many similarities between the two marks as well cosmtique qu'lectronique.

120 Watt all-tube amplifier except correct (solid state).
In Pramper: four 12AX7 (3 of the triode ddies qualisation active)
For the Tagus power: a 12AT7 phase inverter followed dun push-pull EL34 six.
For rglages: normal volume and shine. Then lqualisation active bass, mid and treble controls, monitoring presence. There is no master original volume. I saw an amendment to add one but I can not find a place to put a knob on supplmentaire facade.

The connectors are the same as the old Hiwatt:
Six inputs: 2 Slavonic, 2 normal and 2 Clean (attnues or not)
A slecteur voltages (105, 115, 225 and 245)
Deffet loop.
Output: 4, 8 and 16 ohm line output 100V + I do not see lutil here (100V cest quon uses this when lon long lengths of cable for example to connect the speakers at a station).
One of slecteur sensititvity. It's kind of attnuateur power that works by varying the bias of the 3rd 12AX7.

Ours is a B120 yet I havent found that 2 or 3 condos diffrence between Lead and Bass models (L120 and B120). APRs of large internet search it seems that no one ever found other nai no diffrence in schmas or even in their amps.


Tone Stack is unique and has nothing to do with the Tone Stack classic marshall, fender, vox and Baxandall. It is an active qualisation, a triode is affecting every rglage, which means that there some sort of gain for each range frequency drives (low, medium and treble. Unlike classic tone stack it is not attnuer of frquences but to amplify Self-Employed.
It's been a somewhat rglage spcial o interact all the buttons, difficult to take control, but beginners with some test found his happiness.
This is the main diffrence between Sound City and Hiwatt.


The result is excellent that has either a bass or guitar. Cot's EST dhiwatt close. Many dynamic and too much power to do so without saturating lhpital finish.
Personally I the User for the low where I can really tap into its reserve of power.
Only problem, a lot of noise. I did some mods To reduce this noise. It worked well, To reduce the high frequencies but there is still hum in the stack 100Hz. Perhaps there should be change of the condos filtering of power supply is a bit expensive but not in the program.
That said, it is a common problem many old amps.


Purchased in August 2009 for 530 with the baffle sound city 4x12 original.
C'tait a good deal. Since we have changed the city for a speaker sound more suited to use Ampeg bass that is made.
It is overkill, I particulirement the active EQ is very effective even if difficult to take in hand.
It is a fairly rare amp and I have absolutely no intention of me spare.
It seems immortal.
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