Vintage Gibson EH-150 Amplifier?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by homebrewer99, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. homebrewer99

    homebrewer99 Member

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    Fellow vintage gearheads,

    I came across a DEAD MINT Gibson EH-150 amplifier with the original tubes (metal canister type). She sounds great, but I am wondering if anyone has more info on the amp. The seller wants a boatload (1000ish), but it truly is mint. Only issues are some hum above 5 on the volume on the Mic input channel. The instrument inputs are much lower in gain/volume than the mic input.

    Is this thing like a tweed deluxe? Can I replace the metal tubes with normal 6v6s? Is she cathode biased? Let me know if you have EH-150 info. thanks!

    -homebrewer
     
  2. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    These amps don't offer much volume or clean headroom.I restored one for someone about 3 years ago.New caps,reconed field coil speaker and new tubes.The power tubes were metal 6L6's and I replaced them with glass.Plugging in the mic input gave the most volume yet it was overdriven.The normal or instrument channel was very low output.The person I did the work for was never happy with the amp.I guess you could call it a "bedroom" amp at best.
     
  3. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Great recording amp, especially with single coils. I've had a number of them. Made between mid 1930s up into early 1940s. You can replace the metal bottle's with glass bottles.

    Got any pictures? Would love to see it.
     
  4. hogy

    hogy Member

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    There are several versions of the EH-150, I've seen three variations. None had 6V6s. The metal bottle 6L6s are actually very good sounding tubes. They can rattle, other than that I see no reason to swap them out for glass.

    The main problem is that by now they need new filter caps. The paper/wax coupling caps are also almost always bad, leaking DC and causing all kinds of problems.

    When the amp is properly rebuilt it sounds very, very good, both clean and overdriven. They are also plenty loud. Remember, there was no such thing as a solidbody electric guitar when these amps were new. They are more than loud enough to make an archtop howl, that's for sure.

    I have a mint one also, and I wasn't sure what to do with it. It is obviously rare to find something that old in mint condition, and I felt bad having to alter it permanently by rebuilding it. I still don't know if I did the right thing, but it wasn't working right, it was in danger of permanent damage (blown transformer) if used. Now it's a really great and unique sounding amp that I play quite a bit.
    Not sure what I would do if I found another mint one. Probably stash it away, find a slightly beat up one and rebuild it. It's worth it for the sound.

    One thing to watch out for is the speaker. Not only is it an important part of the sound of that amp, but the field coil is part of the amp's circuitry, it's used as a choke in the power supply. That means you can not just use another speaker if you blow the original up.

    Here's mine:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2008
  5. homebrewer99

    homebrewer99 Member

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    Hogy-

    Thats a beautiful amp! My research leads me to believe that yours is post 1937 due to the rounded edges of the cabinet and the tone knob. The one I looked at was 1936 or earlier due to a rectangular cabinet, and no tone knob. Im not sure what tubes it had since they were all metal. I think its supposed to be loaded with 6N6 power tubes, which may predate the 6L6. The rectifier is supposed to be a 5Z3, but I seem to remember it being replaced with a glass tube, possibly a 5Y3. I will go back and take a closer look.

    I see your point about modifying a mint amp with such historical significance. If I purchase I will likely add a 3 prong power cable for safety and only replace the leakiest caps as needed. I would love to keep it stock, but then I would be afraid to play it for fear of damage.

    I will keep everyone posted. Thanks for the info!

    -homebrewer
     
  6. Donovan

    Donovan Member

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    Sorry to revive an old thread but I was thinking about buying one of these amps.

    My friend's got one in his store yesterday. He is selling it for $350.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2010
  7. Donovan

    Donovan Member

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    Oh,I made a mistake. It is an EH-125

    [​IMG]
     

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