Edify me about old Gibson amps.

Jr Deluxe

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3,536
Only my impressions after seeing them around for years. Expensive for what you get. Youre gonna pay $400 or more for an amp that probably will need a new speaker, will need a cap job and maybe some other repair. Some of them use unusual tubes thay may be hard to find. Most of them are about 6 watts and cant be used to gig. The upside, i have heard one or 2 cool sounds from restored gibson amps so they arent totally worthless.
 

treedroppings

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2,265
Youre gonna pay $400 or more for an amp that probably will need a new speaker, will need a cap job and maybe some other repair. Some of them use unusual tubes thay may be hard to find. Most of them are about 6 watts and cant be used to gig. The upside, i have heard one or 2 cool sounds from restored gibson amps so they arent totally worthless.
get a repairman on it before you buy it
 

fiveightandten

Silver Supporting Member
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6,037
I have a GA-5 and it’s a nice sounding amp. They’re pretty cheap for what you get, and obviously have a vintage vibe. The trem is great on it.
 

s360guitarist

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4,238
Only my impressions after seeing them around for years. Expensive for what you get. Youre gonna pay $400 or more for an amp that probably will need a new speaker, will need a cap job and maybe some other repair. Some of them use unusual tubes thay may be hard to find.

Par for the course on an amp that is 50+ years old.
 

zenas

Member
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8,871
Just my take and my opinion. Gibson built (or had built?) a very wide verify of amps, most of which are way bigger than "about 6 watts".
I'm general the ones most people want were built before the early 60s. By the mid 60s they just don't get much love.
From a maintenance stand point they never were laid out as nice as Fenders. No big deal really but to someone used to just old Fenders the insides of an old Gibson might be rather intimidating.
As stated expect to work on or have work done on an old Gibson. At a minimum electrolytics, that just normal maintenance, after that it's a case by case thing.
On the plus side they seemed to use Jensen speakers pretty often and of course came with great tubes, because that's all they made back then. So if you're lucky the tubes and speaker(s) might still be good.
In a nut shell, they made some jems and they made some turds. :)
 

RodR

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683
I have an early 60s gibson crest discoverer tremolo. I got it for dirt cheap and works amazingly well, if only a bit noisy. Wonderful clean, really great tweedy when it's overdriving.
 

Pablomago

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6,198
Nearly every person who’s played through one of my ‘63 Falcons has wanted one for themselves. I think maybe 6-10 of them at this point have gone out and bought one.

But yeah, vintage Gibson amps are terrible.

Two amps I wish I hadn't sold. A '66 Deluxe Reverb and a '63 Gibson Falcon.
 

jvin248

Member
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6,923
.

My only interface with Gibson amps are the pair of non-working solid state Gibson amps I have: 1972 G-40 and 1971 G-70 I got as projects to get working again. One poster to a thread I started on them said "These are seriously loud, punchy SS amps that put out something like 120 watts and sound great. If you've got most of the original parts and speakers, it could be well worth your while to restore this rare, unusual classic."

Here are board shots of each.
img_20150917_130059-jpg.302596


img_20150917_124107-jpg.302595
 

Claytone

Silver Supporting Member
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649
I found a 1960 GIBSON GA-20T and it is a wonderful amp. I've owned original JMI-era Vox AC-30s and AC-50s, all of the Fender tweed, brown and blackface Fenders, all of the vintage blue chips. And this Gibson sounds equal to the best of them. With a 12" speaker and two 6V6 power tubes it is in the ballpark of a tweed Deluxe, but adds a spooky tremolo that can't be beat. Gibson amps get a lot of bad press (especially in blogs like this) but look for a tweed amp from the late 50s and early 60s and it is the equal of Fender at half the price.
 

rodbender

Member
Messages
474
I've played a bunch over the years and used to own one. The late '50s/early '60s tweed amps are great, though no longer the bargains they used to be.

The early to mid-60s "crestline" series are also really great and still quite affordable.

By 1967 or so they just got bad. All the ones from that year and late were anemic and weak.

Interestingly, Gibson made a few amps that contained an "oil can" delay.
 




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