The Workbench

Mods to Make Mid-60s Crestline Gibson/Epiphone Amps Sound Good

1

Mid 60s Gibson / Epiphone amps are cheap for vintage because certain electronics choices made as well as the choice of speaker rendered them somewhat harsh and shrill sounding. One can talk about "Gibson / Epiphone" amps of the time period in the same breath for, like the guitars then, the two brands were made in the same place.

What got my interest going in these amps is the fact that I like the British EL84 sound that Fender never had, except for a very brief moment with the 61 Tremoluxes. The EL84 Gibsons/Epiphones are the direct counterparts to Princetons and Deluxes.

The youtube discussion of the modifications is technical, hence why it is posted here in "the Workbench".

If you want a great deal on a vintage tube sound and can do these mod or know of someone who can, this is something to be aware of.

2

The square orange device is the culprit. Easy mod, anyone can do it. Remove that and Crestline amps are monsters.

3

I; always thought Gibson / Epi 60s amps were thought of as too dark/mellow -- Crestlines may have been the one era that was an exception. In Today's Modern World it seems no one likes an amp that doesn't distort but of course back then that was the whole idea with distortion being something to engineer our the design. I guess also with Gibson pickups being higher output than other things of the era, like HiLo Trons at a mighty 3.2k etc, they were aware of that. I guess most companies had their amps made to make their guitars sound good.

Still they are relative bargains and lots of them

4

I recently bought a Gibson Scout GA17RVT . It has great low note detail and deep verb, yet to pull the chassis to see if I is modded . Has a very nice redwood cab

5

The schematic for a Vox Cambridge V3 may offer some clues. They sound magnificent - they are essentially a Princeton Reverb circuit with an EL84 power section. I have one, and it's glorious.

6

I had mods done to my Crestline Falcon and couldn't be happier. I daisy-chain it with a Supro Thunderbird and I'm in heaven.

I gave the tech this video, which plainly showcases the differences:

7

The schematic for a Vox Cambridge V3 may offer some clues. They sound magnificent - they are essentially a Princeton Reverb circuit with an EL84 power section. I have one, and it's glorious.

– JBGretschGuy

Gotta agree -- the tube Cambridge Reverb was Thomas Vox at its best.

8

Once I heard a guy honkin thru a late 60s era Gibson amp sorta like this with the cheez wood paneling ,etc but it sounded really good... maybe it was mods tho

I have heard this era Gibson has a small cult following

https://reverb.com/item/692...


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