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  1. #1
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I love these old Gibby amps!

    From left to right: GA-20T Ranger (1959), GA-18 Explorer (1960), GA-30 (1955), GA-20 (1954), Gibsonette (1959). They are all in pristine condition with original cabs, transformers, etc. They have all been serviced. Three have original speakers in them.

    The GA-20T and the GA-30 are recent additions from LPF member akstrat61 (thank you, Mark!). The GA-20T roars, and the GA-30 has the creamiest rich sound, awesome breakup, grind and swirl.

    Many of you with experience with old Gibby amps know that they were constantly changing specs, so many of the schematics available don't match up. Fortunately, the amp tech I use is pretty resourceful and has a network of amp guys that he connects with to figure out the puzzle.

    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member J T's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Cool!

    I love the Gibson logo on the handles too.

    So... how does a burst sound through one of those?
    The farther you go, the closer you are.

  3. #3
    Administrator MikeSlub's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by J T View Post
    So... how does a burst sound through one of those?
    Awesome breakup and grind with a Les Paul!
    Mike Slubowski

    * "Gibson guitars are like potato chips - you can't have just one!"

    * "So many Gibsons to love, so little time..."

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Hot_Snake's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    i bought last year a 1959 GA-5 "Skylark", this little boy sounds amazing when pushed around 5/6 on 10 !
    similar circuit as a Fender 5F1, but for (at least) the third of the price !




  5. #5

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member Ron's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I also have an old GA-5 Skylark, great amp! The Gibson amp/Gibson guitar combination is a thing of beauty. Here's my R7 into my GA-5 doing a Bluesbreakers inspired tune: https://soundcloud.com/ron-wesley/me...man-tone-blues


  7. #7

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Great stash of amps Mike! That GA20T is got to be one of the better Gibby amps I have ever played! Enjoy!
    Game on!

  8. #8

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I actually like the GA5 as much as a Tweed Champ, they're killer amps. Gibson tweed-coppers in general are excellent, but Jesus, things went tits-up in with their 60s models.
    .
    .
    My Mileage Does Not Vary

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Nice amps, Mike. I have never played a Gibson amp with rear mounted controls that wasn't a good amplifier. +1 with Cryptozoo on the '61 and later circuits....soem hti, some miss.....and one amp of the same model and year might not do what another amp that looks just like it does.
    I have a trio of amps from '64...double slant cabs...2 Gibson GZ35RVT's and an Epi EZ-16RVT....same amps. None of the three had a factory circuit that looked just like the schematic that is available...and none of hte 3 were like either of the other two!!1 LOL.....small differences here and there. I have one of them now making the most beautiful creamy distortion when pushed.....but it sounds like a thin and harsh SS amp when played cleaned. Go figure.....
    "As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins." Albert Schweitzer

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Here are a couple of mine
    Gibsonette and Falcon

    GuitarMikey

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Ron's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Nice! I'm keeping my eyes peeled for any of the bigger 50's Gibson amps.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I lucked into a 1960 GA-20 Crest! Tweed, 12 watts and one 12" speaker. It had a nice blue Jensen(alnico), but I put a 12" Celestion T.1088 Vox speaker in it. I re-capped the Electrolytics and cleaned the pots, jacks and tube sockets and installed a nice set of NOS valves. Sounds simply wonderful! Probably the loudest 12 watts around... but then again, I'm a bit partial to it.

  13. #13

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I've heard people rag on certain 50s Gibson amps, but with a minimal amount of work they can be excellent (if they aren't already). The overall build quality isn't as bullet-proof as Fender, but they're still easy to work on and have great potential.
    .
    .
    My Mileage Does Not Vary

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Many years ago in the day of the caveman and white buffalo I had one of them Gibby Skylarks. All original and with the old 2 pronger. I thought it was too muddy sounding and got rid of it. I've regretted that decision ever since. I reckon it was my ears that were full of mud and not the amp.

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Lookin good as usual Mike...


    Many years ago in the day of the caveman and white buffalo I had one of them Gibby Skylarks. All original and with the old 2 pronger. I thought it was too muddy sounding and got rid of it. I've regretted that decision ever since. I reckon it was my ears that were full of mud and not the amp.
    Today 08:34 AM
    Probally not,, as they usually need a tune up, caps and a resistor here or there.
    Swappin the speaker out or changing the input cap value can make great strides, depending on whether your a humbucker or sc type.
    Follow the "white buffalo" and you will find the truth..


    Opportunity knocks
    Karma hunts you down

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member 585960's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    My favorite of all the Gibson amps, and I have had them all.....this what mine sounds like.....beware....this is a demo and its rough....the bass is real HOT and way in the red on this mix...vocal also is a scratch, the solo lines (not the theme lines are the GA 2RVT, and with Blewsbreakers 57 Goldtop before he bought it)
    http://snd.sc/150pcsZ
    Last edited by 585960; 06-27-13 at 03:42 PM.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by 585960 View Post
    My favorite of all the Gibson amps, and I have had them all.....this what mine sounds like.....beware....this is a demo and its rough....the bass is real HOT and way in the red on this mix...vocal also is a scratch, the solo lines (not the theme lines are the GA 2RVT, and with Blewsbreakers 57 Goldtop before he bought it)
    http://snd.sc/ZqbVax
    Sounds damn good to me. In the pic I see the 2 mics but what's that white and black dildoey robot looking chingaderra dry humping the cab over the speaker? I must be having a brain fart as I can't comprehend what it is. A different mic?

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member 585960's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    thats an AEA 92.

  19. #19
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by 585960 View Post
    thats an AEA 92.
    But of course it is. Dumbass me.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I've owned a bunch of 1950's-early 1960's tweed and blonde Gibson amps over the years including GA-40T Les Paul, tweed GA-5 Skylarks, GA-18T Explorer, GA-20T Ranger and GA-45T Maestro (with the 4X8" speakers) models. My current fav Gibson amp is a blonde, 1962 GA-8 Discoverer, about 8-10 watts and a single 12" speaker. Tube complement is a 5Y3GT rectifier, pair of 6V6GT power and single 12AX7 preamp. (Note this amp is not the same as a tremolo equipped GA-8T which has different power tubes(6BM6?)). I swapped out the anemic Alnico Jensen (has a very small magnet structure) for a beefier mid-1960's Jensen Alnico P12Q. The amp sounds like a wall full of Marshalls!

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member chuckNC's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by RAB View Post
    My current fav Gibson amp is a blonde, 1962 GA-8 Discoverer, about 8-10 watts and a single 12" speaker. Tube complement is a 5Y3GT rectifier, pair of 6V6GT power and single 12AX7 preamp. (Note this amp is not the same as a tremolo equipped GA-8T which has different power tubes(6BM6?)).
    You have the good one. I used to have a GA8-T. Had it serviced and still it was a dud. Different circuit certainly, maybe the 6BM8's were duds or maybe it's just their nature. I kept it for a while because it was so darn cute. Didn't break up nicely and cleans were a little uninspiring through any speaker I tried it with. Nice trem though. Live and learn.
    If it sounds good, it is good.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    I've got a tweed GA-20T but it's not designated a "Ranger" and it has chicken head knobs. 5y3, 6v6's 12ax7's and the 1 weird tube for the trem circuit (6330 maybe??). I know knobs can be changed but did Gibson make a non "Ranger" GA-20T? I've been using it for years, changed speaker years ago, recent cap job, but i have to say it breaks up super creamy, but with my LP (91 Classic) it sounds so much bigger than with my Tele. It sounds good with the tele though. With the LP pretty much just run the tone at noon and the volume at around 10 (it goes to 12!!) with a FatBoost on for a bit more volume.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member BarryG's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    What year did the skylark turn to crap?
    Wildwood Spec Les Paul R8
    Tungsten Crema Wheat

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Heritage 80's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    [QUOTE=585960;2455844]My favorite of all the Gibson amps, and I have had them all.....this what mine sounds like.....beware....this is a demo and its rough....the bass is real HOT and way in the red on this mix...vocal also is a scratch, the solo lines (not the theme lines are the GA 2RVT, and with Blewsbreakers 57 Goldtop before he bought it)
    http://snd.sc/ZqbVax

    Dude, I love that tune!!
    ____________________________________________
    “Honesty may be the best policy, but it’s important to remember that apparently, by elimination, dishonesty is the second-best policy.” – George Carlin

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member 585960's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    wow...thanks mate!!!

  26. #26
    Les Paul Forum Member API's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Great song 585960!!

    Have also loved the old Gibson amps for nearly two decades now and have owned a bunch.
    Currently i only have a very nice 1958 GA-40 LP that sounds amazing but have always wanted a Maestro 2RVT but never found one to buy.
    The mid to late 50´s GA-6´s are also great amps and from the same family the early (late 50´s) Gibson made Epiphone Zephyrs are also killer.

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Some better pics of my Gibson Falcon. Cool little amp for what it is.





    GuitarMikey

  28. #28

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Always loved the GA-20...


    "There's only two things wrong with you, and that's your face." - Greg Koch

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Holy crap! That Falcon looks like it's seen it all. Spilt beer and whiskey, blood, sweat and tears, some smoke and whacky toe backy, and maybe a little man gravy and poke' chop grease on the side. I love it! I've always dug those cool metal handles too. Hmmmm....wonder if anyone's ever wired one of those handles up for a "friend".

  30. #30
    Les Paul Forum Member GuitarMikey's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Blues View Post
    Holy crap! That Falcon looks like it's seen it all. Spilt beer and whiskey, blood, sweat and tears, some smoke and whacky toe backy, and maybe a little man gravy and poke' chop grease on the side. I love it! I've always dug those cool metal handles too. Hmmmm....wonder if anyone's ever wired one of those handles up for a "friend".
    The good ones get played!
    GuitarMikey

  31. #31

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Kicking this thread off again....
    Tokai love rock w/ Gibson 56/57 GA6

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by The Doc Holliday; 04-05-20 at 06:06 PM. Reason: Added picture

  32. #32

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Oh and a 1955 GA-7 les Paul TV model w/ my Tokai love rock TV special
    V1, Kenrad 6SJ7, RCA 6V6GT & brown base brimar 5Y3GT
    [IMG][/IMG]
    Last edited by The Doc Holliday; 04-02-20 at 03:51 AM.

  33. #33
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Welcome Doc.

    Thats some serious sweetness!

  34. #34
    Les Paul Forum Member fernieite's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Doc Holliday View Post
    Oh and a 1955 GA-7 les Paul TV model w/ my Tokai love rock TV special

    [IMG][/IMG]
    Hey Doc! It's great to have you here. There's some other DAM Forum members here, as well.

    I too have a vintage Gibson amp. A very nice 1959 GA-5 Skylark. Great little amp!

  35. #35

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Hey, cheers guys.
    Fernieite hows it going! Ahh cool. Always nice to turn up to the party knowing some familiar faces are already there.

    Im going to be spamming the shit out of this thread over the next few weeks.

    hope no one minds

  36. #36

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    My 1955 GA-5 les Paul jr with its contemporary big brother the GA-7 TV model.
    Both w/ rola speakers. The GA-5 has the oval and the GA-7 has a 10”.

    [IMG][/IMG]

  37. #37
    Les Paul Forum Member Tubes 'n Wood's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Doc, sweet looking collection!! \m/ \m/
    T 'n W

    "Lemme' 'splain you Lucy. The 5e3 circuit... Has a fat ass. Like a '57 chevy. She likes to talk dirty... 5e3's are like that. I start at turning. Ever thang up to six. Above that approaches. Wettern' a shampoo'd water buffalo territory. Slap that ass. And pull her hair. With a Les Paul. And p90's. They like to be liking that. When it comes to tweed deluxes. It's not about. When you are sick and tired. Of her shit. It's about. Does she have a sister?" Texas Blues 1/22/19



  38. #38

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Thanks TNW!


  39. #39

    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    my 1961 Gibson skylark
    ive currently got a Mazda branded brimar in v1, a RCA 6V6GT in the power section and a black base Brimar 5Y3GT in the Rectifier slot

    [IMG][/IMG]

  40. #40
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage Gibson Amplifiers!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Doc Holliday View Post
    my 1961 Gibson skylark
    ive currently got a Mazda branded brimar in v1, a RCA 6V6GT in the power section and a black base Brimar 5Y3GT in the Rectifier slot

    [IMG][/IMG]


    Si senor.

    I had that amp at one time.

    A got dang shame I don't anymore.


    Too bad the LPF doesn't have a LIKE button.

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