Gretsch Amps

I need info in my Professional Hi Fi Electromatic Amp

26

No it doesn't. It's the same amp. I've used these guides to be tens of thousands of dollars of amps.

I'd like to say yours is worth more, but plain fact, according to the books, it isn't.

Of course, there's an ass for every seat (old used car saying), so try your luck and put it on Ebay. You might get over a grand, who knows.

But I travel the guitar shows, and there just isn't a call for old Gretsch amps. No quality control, things like you're describing (inconsistency in production notes and information, incomplete specs like the tweeters missing).

You are VERY right - it could be VERY rare, and a prototype, or what not, but because there are virtually nobody chasing old Gretsch amps, and tens of thousands of people chasing old Fender amps world wide, the cost of the Fenders goes up.

Take our advice. At $200 you got a BARGAIN. Keep it, and 25 years from now you will not be telling the story of the one that you sold.

27

It is what the catalog says it is: A 6166.

The fact that this particular one doesn't match up exactly with the catalog is irrelevant. Like the guitars, the amps changed year to year, and the catalog pics weren't always right or up to date. In some cases they were artists renderings and were very off.

In other words, if you had a 65 6120, and you saw catalogs from 55, 75 and 95 and '05, you could understandably say "I don't have a 6120, mine is nothing like that" but it would still be a 6120.

Have you looked through the memorabilia section for other 50s amp catalogs? Have you looked at the 6166 page? (note to self: WHERE IS THE 6166 PAGE?)

Too bad you can't find the SN, that would let you date it exactly.

Anyways, it's a 6166. Precursor to the slightly more common Fury. No prototype or special thing, just what it is for that year. Mystery solved.

If you're seriously selling, post it in the Garage Sale, and be sure to say where you're at. Plenty of folks whould jump on that amp, but don't want to ship it. Myself included.

28
Baxter wrote: If you're seriously selling, post it in the Garage Sale, and be sure to say where you're at. Plenty of folks whould jump on that amp, but don't want to ship it. Myself included.

Yeah man, I bet you'll get more from a Gretsch enthusiast than from someone on fleabay, plus it will definitely be appreciated by someone off this forum.

29

Bax

That's a bold statement, saying that the serial number would clearly identify the year.

Record keeping for all companies before the 80's was abysmal at best. No method to their madness, and plenty of exceptions.

But it might help.

30

Jeff, Valco was actually very good about serials, with a clearly defined and consistent scheme that clearly maps to years. And as far as I can tell, they used the same scheme on everything they made...amps, lap steels, all of it.

Problem is, they put the SN on a little brass tag that always seems to end up missing. IF it's there, it's very usable, but more often than not, it's gone.

By the way, dunno if it'll be there on this amp, but on my Valco amp, the model number is stamped in black ink on the side of the cabinet. Looking from the back, it's on the inside right, about centered. Mine, however, is a later build than yours, and I don't really know if they were even remotely consistent about stamping them.

31

I've torn it down and couldn't find ANY serial numbers on anything in this amp. Even the speakers which I found very weird because they were obviously ground off. They are obviously Jensen Concert series but with bare metal spots where the serials once were.

By the way there's no 6166 page after '56 catalog until the 6166 fury, but it's widely know that this style ended in '61 and the ugly box style began.

While I had it taken apart I was somewhat impressed that the box was hand made. It's been forever since I've seen pencil marks, notes and dovetail joints on anything.

32

I still say keep it. You'll be happy when you are an old man like us.

You don't stumble across a (rare?) Valco amp for $200 every day.

33

Doesn't matter that there was no 6166 cataloged. Doesn't mean they didn't make and sell them. Lots of things didn't make the catalog, but they existed.

And I'm not sure where you're getting "widely known". Personally, I would place your amp at roughly 50-54 (ballparking), prior to the various wraparound fronts, let alone the plain fronts. In other words, that style didn't make it anywhere close to '61. If I were REALLY guessing, I'd say about '52-'53. Most with that style front I can recall are either wood or tweed. That one has already transitioned to the wraparound-style tolex.

I think you'll regret selling it.

34

I could buy it and take care of it. A little modding has to be done to make it Euro compatible; the original transformer would be kept for future restoration purposes.

Billy Zoom told me these are friendly soft amps (I think he may have said wimpy). I think I'd like such an amp. It should be 70 Watts but that specification seems bit too high in reality.

But yeah, what to pay for it. The transport to Holland would be expensive. I must put in a Euro transformer and tweeters and probably consult a specialist. The vintage vibe is most appealing to me.

Maybe a silly question; Can these amps sound distorted or are they clean all the way?

35

Stock it sounds extremely clean with no way to make it distorted without a pedal at least that I've found.

As far as the date, they didn't make Leslie type 47 amps before '58 as far as I know but I may be wrong. It's definitely not your run of the mill 47. I'm thinking the amp may not be standard. One of the transformers says fender and they are MUCH larger than the transformers on a standard 47. For all I know the amp may have been swapped out. I don't know why Gretsch would be using Fender transformers.

I'm sure the price to ship it to Holland would be astronomical and I wonder if it would even make it in one piece.

36

Hmm, it may have been Frankensteined indeed. That would explain a lot. Maybe some of the people here who own a similar model, can tell if the interior shots match?

If you bubble wrap several layers and box it, the thing should survive. Maybe unplug the tubes and put them wrapped inside. Still shipping may turn out to be very expensive.

Weird American amps are rare in Europe, so if I want one I've got few options.

37

I've only ever found one other picture of a similar amp but it was a frontal shot. There's no info about this model online anywhere.

39

There is a photo of the 6166 on the cover of the Electromatic Amplifiers catalog from the late 50's.

Also here is the page for the 6166 from that catalog. Note the power is 50W compared to the 30W stated in the 1955 catalog.

40

Hey Antik, could you send that catalog my way?


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