1964 Gibson Falcon GA-19RVT for $480; worth it?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by smitty.west, May 27, 2015.

  1. smitty.west

    smitty.west Senior Member

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    Local CL has a very clean '64 Gibson Falcon GA-19RVT listed for $480 with non-original speaker (a vintage 30). How are these things and is it worth that price? Other than speaker, all original and very clean. Was planning to save for a Sampson-era Matchless Lightning that's also for sale locally (albeit @ $1600), but am considering this.
     
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a very clean sounding amp with great reverb and tremolo. About the same volume as a Deluxe Reverb, without quite the same amount of grind. That price seems in line with many that I've seen lately, although I suspect with the changed speaker you might be able to pick it up for a little less... Tubes are a little hard to source, and save some money to have it gone thru. BTW, the vintage 30, if it's a 16 ohm, is the wrong speaker for that amp.
     
  3. Steppin' Wolfe

    Steppin' Wolfe Member

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    +1 with Dr. Bob on the load thing. However, ime, these amps can vary quite a bit as far as clean/distortion is concerned. I had one that had the most wonderful creamy distortion when pushed....but the others I have been around never went there. I prefer the earlier GA19RVT's in the tweed cabs with rear-mounted controls...circa 1961. Those cost more, too.
    $480??? Unless it has been serviced....fresh electrolytics etc....that is a bit much, ime....but then, the market may be moving up. IF it needs electroytics...meaning if it has not been recapped..then that is high, mho.
     
  4. Peteyvee

    Peteyvee Premium Platinum Member

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    That's way high. I had one that had been modded to crap (I got it for free) and the only things I were able to salvage was the original speaker which is a Jensen C12N that sounds killer in my DRRI and a pair of RCA 6V6GTs which are also in my DRRI.

    Then I gave the rest of it (it worked but the tremolo was disabled, switches had been added, tube rectifier changed to solid state. 12AX7s instead on the original 7199s) and just generally turned into a gain monster sometime in the 70s) to a friend who is a member here for free who completely restored it and it sounds great now, nice and smooth with great tremolo and reverb. I wouldn't pay more than $350 for one and it would have to be completely unmolested. I still have some NOS RCA 7199s and the other weird preamp tubes (6EU7s, I think?) I bought when I thought I was going to restore it.
     
  5. Fishtale

    Fishtale Supporting Member

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    I have several GA19RVT's. I also had a couple Gibson Scouts. All were 1963 to early 65 Crestline Series.They are sweet amps. Similar in power to a Princeton. I do not have any of them anymore because they just don't hold their own with their Fender equivalents. They are really fun amps but if it were me I would save for the Matchless. The price is a bit high unless it has been completely gone through. The speaker should be replaced. A Cannabis Rex is sweet in their.
     
  6. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    They are good amps. Pretty clean and darker sounding than a similar Fender. If you can get it for $400 I'd say go for it. Play it first though, it is 50 years old, it may need a bunch of work.
     
  7. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I'd like to see pics if you've got them - happy to confirm for you if it's a '64, etc.

    $480 for a clean 15w vintage amplifier with reverb and trem is steal regardless of make. The fact that Falcons have some of the best reverb and trem on the planet? Well that's a steal.

    A clean '64 with replaced speaker (the original would have been a CTS - good but not as great as the Jensen C12Rs that come in the '61-'63 models) would easily fetch $600 where I live. That amp is no where near overpriced unless there's something electronically wrong with it.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  8. jlinde

    jlinde Member

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    I've got a 62' and love it. Great reverb. Awesome breakup when dimed. A little thin sounding, but a simple tone stack bypass mod helps the problem. No a lot of output. One of if not the best "bedroom" volume amps out there. Takes pedals like a champ. Has a monitor out to run into another amp. Neat little unit.
     
  9. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    It's no substitute for a Matchless Lightning...but it might be a very cool amp. Listen to Erksin...he's made some very good points!

    That said...try it first. I owned a '63 and while I really LOVED the tremolo and reverb (they were absolutely stellar), the basic voicing was just impossibly bright on mine. I've run into others with the same experience...but that is NOT true of all of them. So like I said...try first, if at all possible.
     
  10. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

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    I agree that $480 is a good price for a clean one but you need to hear it first. Like others here they can be hit or miss. Also, not as easy to move as it seems that with most players and Gibson amps, you either love them or don't.. Most average techs are not very familiar with Gibson amps. Something to keep in mind if it needs service.

    Gibson tweeds are much more popular. JMHO
     
  11. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Keep in mind he's using a Jazzmaster here so a little brighter sounding pickup and he's running the TONE control rather high, but this demo is a very accurate depiction of what my two '63 Falcons sound like:

     
  12. markjsmith

    markjsmith Member

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    Kinda like a brown era Princeton tone wise. $480 is a steal IMO. Grab it and put a more period correct speaker.
     
  13. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Not really brown Princeton-ish - I have a '64 Princeton as well and it has MUCH more gain, a very focused midrange, and spongier attack - the Falcon is a big hi-fi clean machine until you wind it up full then it's got a nice tight crunch to it. Most healthy examples don't start to break up until about 6 or so on the LOUDNESS control even with a decent output pickup. I guess Seth Lover designed this circuit so it's no surprise that it's pretty high fidelity with a lot of headroom for a 15w 2-6V6er.
     
  14. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I can vouch though that running the Falcon and a brown Princeton in stereo is the fookin' BOMB. lol
     
  15. erksin

    erksin Member

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    So did you check it out..?
     

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