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Lab Series L9


Hey everyone....have I lost my mind or found my ears? As my sig notes my gear, I have an L9 Lab that developed a problem, which I have recently fixed. I have always dug the tube amp sound, but I swear(flame suit on), my Lab is now kickin' both my tube amp's butt! I played it for the last several nights in different rooms of varying sizes, and it just sounds GREAT! Breaks up so well one of my buddies was lookin' all through the back of it for the tubes. Picking dynamics are very pronounced, and it takes pedals well. I almost feel like a traitor to my Fenders, but they have been teched, and sound good, but not as good as the Lab. Am I just lucky? Any similar experiences with solid state amps? Thanks, greg


Platinum Supporting Member
I had a Lab L5 back in the late 80's early 90's, and still to this day, it was the best solid state amp I've ever heard.

I dug the crap outta that amp...wish I still had it.

smiert spionam

Silver Supporting Member
I've got an L5, and it does sound really good. It hasn't left my closet in five years, though.... I have kept it around mostly because it would be a pain in the ass to ship, it's not worth a lot, and maybe one of these days I'll wake up and find myself transformed into a pedal steel savant.


I had an L5 years ago and it was a good sounding, but unreliable amp. My band mate had problems with his too. I saw B.B. King last year and he was using an L5. GREAT tone and pretty overdriven for B.B.!

John Thigpen

Silver Supporting Member
It was sold as a Gibson product, but I have no idea where it was made. I believe Bob Moog helped with the design.



Weren't the Lab Series amps made by Gibson?
Norlan, same thing.

I had an L5, great amp, I ran an MXR Dyno Comp and Dist+ in the front end and it was a great sound, plenty of feel.

I think some of it was using the internal comp on the L5, in effect, I was using two comps, one at the front and in the preamp.


Senior Member
strange...i had an L5 and it was a dog for my purposes. i saw jazz guys using these amps to great effect. actually played with a death metal band that was Lab equipped...everyone including the bass player...interesting, Hellhammer sound but really lifeless and anti-tube goodness.


Was waiting on some tubes to arrive so I pulled out my L9 to play around with and yeh! This thing sounds great! Mines got an old JBL K130 alnico in it...wish there was an effects loop. Does take pedals well...:BEER


Senior Member
I used to gig w/ a big @$$ L11 200W head through a 200W EVM 12L

The head had a loop

I also played distorted bass through that rig with an aggressive power trio called "The Jack Kevorkian Quartet" back in '96

Pretty tony. The compression and break up was great and pedals sounded pretty good

ebayed it last year

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