This afternoon I went out to take a look at a Kustom bass cabinet for sale down the street. Kustom was a company making musical amplifiers from the 60’s until the early 80’s, and their gear was known for its distinctive tuck-and-roll covering, as well as its powerful sound.
Built in Chanute, Kansas, The Bass 250 was available in black, blue, white, red, green, and silver flecked naugahyde, and put out 250 earth-shattering watts through two separate channels and a matching reflex ported cabinet (where a hole with a specially tuned tube increases the low-range frequency response). Unusual for their day, Kustom amplifiers all used solid state transistors when their competitors were still using tubes.
The seller fired the amp up after plugging in a keyboard, and he noodled around a bit while I tested out the controls. The amp shook my teeth at a volume of 2, so it’s a fair bet these go to eleven. The naugahyde is in fair shape, if not dirty, and the grille cloth is stained and has several small tears; the face of the amp head is suffering from some rust or water damage. And last but most importantly, while standing in front of the cabinet, I caught the distinct odor of cat pee. Further olifactory investigation was inconclusive—I couldn’t tell if the smell was from the big puffy amp or some of the other vintage gear laying around.
Am I considering this? You bet your ass. Do I know his asking price? yes, and it might be a little high. Some cash and a smile might change his mind…