WhooHooo!! Check out my story (also need advice for old Gibson....Scumbag?? anyone??)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by zach5150, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    Well, I have a story here for ya...:D
    I'm checking out craigslist and see a 1960-1965 era Gibson GA-8T Discoverer listed for 125 bucks. The ad says it doesnt work. I went over to check it out and found the unit to be complete, including the original footswitch for the tremolo. He said he bought it as a project, but it doesnt power up....no light, no glow in the tubes. The speaker is original (although, I found one of the wires broken off by the connector tab....can probably be fixed easily enough)....anyway, I told him I'd offer him 80 bucks because I didnt know if I was getting into a total rebuild or something simple and he accepted! So, I cart my little Gibson home and when I get here, I immediately disassemble it. First thing I noticed is 1) It's missing the lamp, and 2) the light bulb for said lamp is part of the input voltage circuit...in series w/ the fuse!!!!!
    I steal my bulb out of my Fender Super Champ and I did a quick 1/4inch connector solder job so I can use my external speaker cab and flip the switch......and it ALL lights up!!!!!! I plug into it and turn some knobs and it sounds pretty darn good! (For an amp that needs all the pots cleaned, probably needs a cap job and probabaly needs tubes!) It's a little scratchy and the longer it stays on, you can hear tube issues....but, all in all...I'm a Happy boy!!! This thing has TONS of potential.....It needs some work, but the cabinet is solid, and everything else needs minimal work to bring it up to par.....

    So, I'm wondering if I should give the guy the other 40 bucks? I dont want to be a cheap bastard...I was just cautious when I bought it since I didnt know what I was getting into....I almost feel guilty for offering him 80 bucks!! What do ya'll think???

    I really cant believe this thing just powered right up! I bet it hasnt been played in years!!! The tremolo sounds really cool....the amp sounds really cool....

    Scumbag, (or anybody else) could you offer any advice on this?
    it's got a little bitty output transformer......i wonder if putting a beefier OT will help??? Any other advice?
  2. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    Hey, I"m all about cheap advice. Nice score, BTW, and no, I don't think you owe him the other $40, it was a fair deal, you took the risk...

    I wouldn't upgrade the OT, sure it's small, but it's part of the magic of the amp. If you're going to rebuild the whole circuit, maybe then, but if you want a Gibson GA8T-that's what it sounds like (and the inadequate OT may cover up some of the other rough parts of the circuit).
  3. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    Cool...thanks for the advice...and, what your sayin does make sense....I think I'm gonna clean up the pots, look into some tubes and put everything back together. There's a speaker guy here in austin that I'm going to check w/ to see what it would take to fix the speaker connection and test the speaker for me. Worse case scenario, I can turn it into a little head unit....it sounded pretty good w/ my little 1x12 fender extension cab!
  4. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2003
    Los Angeles, Ca
    If it's a GA-8T, it's a different circuit, different tubes and it's a Class A/B push/pull vs the single ended Class A design of the amps I make. I won't be much help, sorry!

    Bigger OT will get you more power, and more clean headroom, though, generally. I'd just play it at the point you've got it, do the necessary cap/bias/tube upgrades and have at it! Good luck.
  5. CharlieNC

    CharlieNC Member

    Apr 1, 2005
    Fort Bragg
    ditto on not paying the guy any more money. after all, it could have just as easily not powered up.
  6. achord

    achord Guest

    I don't think you owe him the money, a deal's a deal. The amp could have just as easily been a difficult repair.

    However, if it seems like the right thing to do for you and it makes you feel good, give him some more money. That's a real low price for peace of mind.
  7. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    I couldnt remember what models you built...I seem to remember them being tweed, so i knew they were different, but i thought i'd try....thanks for the reply!:cool:

    So, this is a Class A/B?? I was thinking it was Class A. How can I tell the difference? I know "single Ended" is alway class A, because there is only one output tube, but if I have two tubes, how do I tell if it's A/B or A? I always thought the general rule of thumb was EL34 and 6L6 amps were Class A/B, but EL84 and 6V6 amps were class A......after reading alot in this forum, I'm finding that's not necessarily the case, but how do I learn to tell the difference?
  8. UconnJack

    UconnJack Member

    Dec 23, 2004
    Nice score, my take is you don't technically owe him anything, but goodwill and karma go a long way in my book. I agree with Bob B about treating people how you'd like to be treated. You could always get the guy a nice bottle of wine or cases of beer. Just my $.02.

    Enjoy the amp.
  9. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    Thanks for everyone's feedback so far! Yeah, I'm stoked about my little find...

    when i made the offer, i said something to the effect of " i wanna make sure you feel good about the deal, i dont want you to feel like your getting the raw end" and he said he didnt feel that way, and that he didnt want me to pay too much in case it needed lots of work, and also, he's moving soon, so he didnt want to try and transport it, so this helped him unload it.....i guess I was honest w/ him and we made an agreement....but, still....80 bucks?? :) Of course, these amps aren't worth a ton anyway, even in primo condition....
  10. zach5150

    zach5150 Guest

    That's a cool idea....i'll probably shoot him an email soon.....

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