Vintage Guitar wanted to see how the Thunderbolt+ stacked up against the original S6420 from 1964 and 1965. They were very impressed with their findings!
After initially looking over the stunning new amp, we wanted to be believers. But the point of a comparison with a rare, topdollar, highly coveted vintage amp is to find faults. Try as we might, we couldn’t. These two amps sounded so similar, we couldn’t tell them apart.
The original T-bolt is renowned for its bold sound, and the new amp delivers. At lower volumes, it’s clear and big, just like ringing a bell (Johnny B. Goode would be thrilled). Turn it up, and the sound just keeps getting bigger. Chords remain defined with lots of headroom even as the tube overdrive and output-stage saturation reach a wonderful peak. The only real difference we could find is that the new Supro is louder at similar settings – and can get a whole lot louder yet.
Original T-bolts ran into problems with cabinets and baffleboards that couldn’t always handle rock-and-roll abuse. At 45 pounds, the new Supro weighs about half again as much as the vintage example, and a goodly portion of that is thankfully in the more-solid cabinet construction. T-bolts old and new boast just two control knobs – Volume and Tone. And that’s all that’s needed, with neither tremolo nor reverb to get in the way of that tone. The Thunderbolt does one thing – and it does it oh so well.