Billy Zoom's Jet Set

Who’s going to NAMM?


As far as the eBay listing and my own findings go, this really does appear to be the model number of this baby I just received.

Plugging her in with an old Maton (Les Paul style guitar with splittable-coil pickups) and she sounds real sweet at low volumes. Can't wait to crank her a little later on.

It seems to me that this is a sort of 50s-60s transitional amp, in that the style is more in line with the late 50s/early 60s amps but has the classic Valco circuit.

The only thing I'm a little unsure about is the speaker type. The listing says Alnico, but the schematics point to field coil and this one looks a little different to what I've seen before. I think.

For an Australian, the price was pretty good, especially since it included a step-down transformer so I can run those pesky American voltages.;)

Anyway, figured it was worth sharing some pics and some edited text from the eBay listing. First thing I did when I saw the listing was search here, so I imagine someone in the future could benefit from this.

Now, off to find some chicken head knobs...

This is an extremely rare Gretsch 6155 Electromatic Artist Amplifier circa 1957 serial number X84025. The pictures give a clear indication of its’ physical state. The cabinet is made of hardwood and the tolex covering is a very unusual grey with whitish flecks with minor marks for its age. The handle is the original and in very good condition, no cracks and yellowed slightly with age. The grill is the original metal grill (yes for want of a better description they used very heavy metal fly wire). The brown spots are where the grill has some surface rust but it is structurally sound. It still has the flocked (is that the right term) Gretsch logo on the front which often rubs off over time. It is missing the back panel and the knobs would appear to be replacements. This amp is quoted as being 10 – 12W output in the contemporary Gretsch Catalogue and runs the following valves (all of which have been tested): 1 x 6SQ7, 1 x 6SC7 (both RCA), 2 x 6V6 and 1 x 5Y3. It was recapped 2 years ago and has had the original lead replaced with a 3 prong lead for safety. It has its original power and output transformers, very important in these older amps. The speaker is the original 10” Alnico made in the USA. The 550 code on the magnet cover would indicate that it was made by the Standard Winding Company. I have never pushed the speaker hard given its age but it sounds sweet at moderate volumes using single coil pick ups.


Nice, clean little amp you have there.


It looks like a field coil speaker to me.


Here is a screen capture from an online auction that shows one page from what was said to be a 1957 Gretsch amplifier catalog. While the resolution of the photo is very low it does look a lot like this amp. <img src="Photobucket" alt="" />

Also I think that is the output amplifier mounted on the speaker.


Hi antik, I came across that same photo of yours in another thread around here and figured that was the amp. There's also a schematic at schematicheaven that points to the speaker being a field coil and the OT attached. I've had a quick look at the amp and it looks like the schematic matches but I'll spend a bit more time on it.

Still haven't cranked it yet, but it just sounds so beautiful at low volume I'm loving it anyway. So great to finally have a vintage amp to stare at all day.


That schematic does show a field coil, but the pix seem to show only the OT mounted on the spkr frame. A field coil was used to energize the magnets in early speakers, the coil also serving as the power supply choke. That looks like an alnico magnet speaker to me. No coil where the magnet is, and only two wires to the OT, & two wires to the spkr voice coil. Unless I can't see it in the pix. Am I missing something?

What an absolutely cool looking amp!

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