Roost Session Master 100 from the USA

Mark Woolley treats us to the story of how he came to own his 1970’s Roost Session Master SM100:

While looking for preamp valves for a Hiwatt preamp on-line, I did search on Ebay. I got one result “Hiwatt/SoundCity/Roost preamp tube set” – I’m in the US.
Imagine my surprise – The yanks have heard of SoundCity and Roost!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once I’d recovered a bit, I did a search on “Roost” and voila! A Roost SM100 in Chicago, $600, no bids, 2 hours to go. Placed a bid, no competition. Won the auction – $599 + shipping.

The amp arrived well packed. After spending the best part of 5 minutes cutting it out of the box and packing materials, I discovered that the valves had been removed and individually packed.

On closer inspection the valves turned out to be Groove Tubes – 4 EL34’s and 4 preamp valves with just a number on them. A quick visit to the Groove Tubes website revealed these to be one of their Fender tube sets – probably the “Fender Soft Touch” set.

The speakers had also been changed. The originals having been replaced with a pair of Greenbacks –  25 Watts each, for a total of 50 Watts in a 100(110?) Watt combo!!

Has someone been trying to make this sound like an old Fender?!?!?!!? Also, there’s only one selector on the back(impedance). The amp has been hard-wired for 110v.  5 minutes on the interweb and a pair of Celestion Heritage 65’s and a set of 4 Mullard’s are on their way.

2 Days Later:

The valves arrived. Cleaned out the back of the amp. Discovered that the upper back panel is only held on by 1 screw, the other 3 are just for show. The beading that the panel screws onto has been replaced by wood that looks like it was salvaged from a 1970’s kitchen unit.

I replaced the crap wood with decent wood cut to length and painted black. Installed the preamp valves and removed the speakers.

1 Day Later:

The Speaker’s have arrived. A few minutes with a screwdriver and a soldering iron and, Voila!

Now to test the beast. I connected a guitar to the amp, turned on the power, ran a finger over the strings and turned the volume up(slowly). Bloody hell this thing’s loud!

Success. Joy. Deaf neighbours.