Gretsch Amps

Another ‘which amp is this one?” Topic

1

Hi everyone !! Hope all are well and staying safe.

I recently purchased this amp not working. Naturally I am anxious to get it up and running and play through it.

So far after several hours of looking, I have been unable to find a picture anywhere that looks exactly like this amp, Gretsch Electromatic SN T88330, single 12" Jensen Special Design driver, SN 220332. I've learned lots about these gorgeous amps in the process though.

That said, I suspect this to be a Valco design and the model number is likely stenciled beneath the lower chassis which, in turn, is bolted to the floor of the cabinet. I wouldn't mind pulling out that chassis for a peek ... but I'd rather not if I do not absolutely have to ... if that makes sense?

It is in spectacular condition. The upper chassis (underneath the dashboard) appears pristine with no indication of ever having had any replacement component installed. Hope you like the photos ...Link

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Here's another shot ...

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and another laying on it's face back door off .. lol >

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Is that a reverb tank on the left in the last picture?

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Yes, I do believe it is. I can see one wire from that reverb tank heading toward one of the two tubes under the dashboard.

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Here's another shot ...

– SDietre

Just from looking at the control panel face, your amp screams Valco. That panel face is very similar to the panel face my old reissue Supro Dual Tone had.

7

I’m betting on a 1963 model 6157. Should be a number in front of the reverb tank on the bottom of the cab. The ceramic disc capacitors look like Valco guts. I should be able to dig up a schematic. Easy to get running.

8

1962 Gretsch 6157.

9

Thanks .. cool amp ... and Yes ... I have seen numerous other Gretsch/Valco/Supro offerings that have had similar dashboards. Not a single one with three inputs, treble and two bass, reverb, 12" driver and especially with that lower 'chassis' holding most of the tubes and presumably other stuff ... I can't imagine it has been modded either ... no evidence of any non original soldering. Heck .. there is nowhere else that lower chassis could have been, I don't think anyway .... lol ... smh ..

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Gretsch 6157 control panel.

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Right on, Pawdog ... that hooks like the one, by gosh !!. Yay .. thanks ... A number of ceramic caps in there ... only see one electrolytic, bet there are more under the lower chassis though. I get a bit of noise out of it by twisting the knobs and I can see some tubes illuminate, but tapping my finger on any input does nothing. Perhaps something gone bad in the signal circuit ...

Looks like the exact control panel too ...

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Looks like I have a replaced knob on the Intensity pot.

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Looks like I have a replaced knob on the Intensity pot.

– SDietre

A lot of Valcos had a small black knob on the trem control. Looks original.

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A lot of Valcos had a small black knob on the trem control. Looks original.

– Powdog

Yes, my 1964 Gretsch 6150T has the same knob for the tremolo control.

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Here is my 1965 Gretsch 6156. You'll see it's a stone's throw difference from your amp. Mine is Gretsch version of what was supposedly Jimmy Page's LZ 1 Supro (including the unusual 12'' Jensen). I do record a lot with it, it's awesome. You need to get yours working!

17

The power tubes are a pair of 6973s. Other tubes will fit into the sockets but nothing else will work in that amp. If your amp makes no sound, make sure someone didn’t replace them with the wrong tubes. I’ve seen it happen.

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Hmmm ...thanks so much .. nice amp!! And thanks to all who have looked and contributed too. I'm very grateful for the unselfish input. Seems that that black knob is correct then.

Good to know that you like yours too, Knavel. I had seen on Reverb or somewhere while I lwas searching for a 'comparable' to help identify this one, a seller talking about the 'Jimmy Page" Supro ... that has just GOT to be a good thing, right? Can't wait to get it going.

Hopefully I'll be able to find a tube tester here in Pueblo. I'd rather avoid the 80 mile round trip up to C. Spgs to have my regular amp tech (Rosstronics) check it there.

19

thanks, Pawdog, that is a solid tip!... I'll be pulling these tubes to have a real good look here maybe sometime today. Without the tube chart, I would have no way of knowing what might belong and what does not. I really appreciate the invaluable, irreplaceable experience and knowledge of everyone here ... so cool.

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The power tubes are a pair of 6973s. Other tubes will fit into the sockets but nothing else will work in that amp. If your amp makes no sound, make sure someone didn’t replace them with the wrong tubes. I’ve seen it happen.

– Powdog

Yep, and if you need to get 6973s you're gonna have fun finding them. Unlike other tubes, most RCA tubes, like the 6973 are hard to find. They haven't been made in a long time. You'll either have to get NOS, pulls (used tubes), or the "sort of" 6973s that Electro-Harmonix sold, that were made in Russia and China with different tube designations, and because they looked relatively close spec and internal wiring-wise to what a 6973 is, were re-marked as 6973s.

It's either do that, or rewire the tube sockets, to the wiring configurations, that more common power tubes that will run off. You might also have to modify the plate and screen voltage feeds in the process if you go that route, to provide the proper voltages.

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That's a righteous hunk of Supro coolness. I still say tweaked up, they given concurrent Fender a run for the money, except maybe in the reverb dep't.

Kool split chassis also.

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When I saw that post from Pawdog, I did a quick search for them ... I see new EH in several places for around 20 bucks and NOS GE ones for about 90 bucks ... lol. Interesting about the EH ones too, EllenGtrGrl, maybe someone has tried these EH's and can give an eval??? ... Offhand, I'm not real keen on the idea of re wiring anything in there, though. Sure hope that will not become necessary. The beat goes on ...

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We'll see/hear once it gets going, DCBirdMan .... I have a modern Pro Tube ProReverb that might offer a reasonably good comparison ...

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Yep, and if you need to get 6973s you're gonna have fun finding them. Unlike other tubes, most RCA tubes, like the 6973 are hard to find. They haven't been made in a long time. You'll either have to get NOS, pulls (used tubes), or the "sort of" 6973s that Electro-Harmonix sold, that were made in Russia and China with different tube designations, and because they looked relatively close spec and internal wiring-wise to what a 6973 is, were re-marked as 6973s.

It's either do that, or rewire the tube sockets, to the wiring configurations, that more common power tubes that will run off. You might also have to modify the plate and screen voltage feeds in the process if you go that route, to provide the proper voltages.

– EllenGtrGrl

I agree regarding the EH tubes. The RCA 6973 really has no sonic equal, but the 6CM6 is pretty dang close. Still available NOS in good quantities, they only require a jumper wire installed on the tube socket between pin 1 and 8. You will still be able to run 6973s after this mod.

25

The 6CZ5 is another tube you can use with the jumper wire mod.


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