Other Amps

Gibson GA-20, GA-30, GA-50; anyone own these?

1

Curious about these amps; assuming mostly for jazz playing. Who has em and what do you think?

2

Didn't those model names cover a few eras?

Some are good noisemakers if that's what is sought.

3

Recently picked up a '47 GA25 and a '56? GA50. Both are being checked out so nothing to report yet. I've had a '53 GA40 for about a year (was owned by Joe Bonamassa !!) That amp is right at home playing blues, it has a nice crunch to it when driven.

4

A lot of rock and roll was made on those GA series amps.Think of them like tweed Fenders.

5

I agree, very tweedy. I love 6v6s and this one has the tone...a GA-20 1955

6

Recently picked up a '47 GA25 and a '56? GA50. Both are being checked out so nothing to report yet. I've had a '53 GA40 for about a year (was owned by Joe Bonamassa !!) That amp is right at home playing blues, it has a nice crunch to it when driven.

– TommWilliams

A 1956 GA-50...wow, and congratulations. I'm curious about the combination of 12" and 8" speaker. The GA-30 had the same I believe. Back in the 1970s I had one of those Gibson tweed stereo amps. It kept giving me shocks, had virtually no headroom, and in rural Nova Scotia there were no amp techs to fix it. I think it wound up in the dump after I moved to Toronto. I completely forgot about it until recently. Young and foolish.

7

Come to think of it, I had a '49 GA50T model for a bit. Great tone but a bit underpowered for me. Might have been just that example.

9

That's a very good price on that. I just paid $1500 for mine which is in a bit better shape and includes the back panel.

10

I have a 1966 GA-15RVT. I've had it since day one and it's been a great amp. I had my amp tech go through it a few years ago. and it's as good as new now. he replaced the two original EL84 tubes in it and tweeked it where it was needed. sounds great.

some years back, I came across a 1966 GA-45RVT for a good price. after replacing things that had been changed over the years, the amp is in pretty good working order now.

needless to say, I love those old Gibson amps. they are greatly under-appreciated.

11

I have a GA 20 Minuteman and loved it.

it needs work though but sounds fantastic and has Reverb and Tremlo to die for ,

In storage now and the Reverb is being used in another amp cause the amp is sort of out of order.

It had it's own sound, bright, rich and smooth , A real "Spy tone" amp.

Also, when it was on for awhile, it would peter out' alittle.

Get thinner sounding.

The vintage Vox AC 30 I had a few years back would do the same thing.

Over heat ,,

When it worked on full order, it sounded fantastic.

Along the line of a vintage Princeton Reverb but it's own charm.

Fragile amp though.

12

all of these amps are fantastic, much more rich sounding that any fender tweed IMO. After I spent several yrs going googoo over the 1939 gibson EH-150 and EH-185 amp and recreating one as the Moonshine'39, I started lusting after the GA-30 and the idea of a mis-sized duo of speakers w octal tubes like the EH models. The 12" and the 8" alnico jensens have a magic sound. So I made the Bettie Blondeshell using an 8" tonetubby alnico hemp cone, and 12" tonetubby alnico hemp cone w 6SQ7's in the preamp section. Gibson was doing incredible things long before Fender came around IMO, with amps.

13

I agree, very tweedy. I love 6v6s and this one has the tone...a GA-20 1955

– Setzer

Damn. That thing is drop-dead gorgeous.

14

So, Fender built Fender's amps, Valco built Gretsch's amps. Who built Gibson's amps?

15

So, Fender built Fender's amps, Valco built Gretsch's amps. Who built Gibson's amps?

– Afire

Gibson made them. Before Ted McCarty took the helm, Gibson cabs had been farmed out to a few different companies, but the amps were a Gibson product. Most circuits designed by Seth Lover.

With Ted in charge, he put full steam into his amp division and the GA amps were born and ran from ‘48 to ‘62. But even though Seth Lover and Walt Fuller were given the means to compete with Fender, Ted made it clear that Gibson amps would not be “loud and raucous” sounding but “soft and genuine”.

And they forever remained behind Fender.

16

Required reading for Gibson amp geeks.

17

My ‘55 GA20. The whole cab had been painted pink at one point. I tried removing the paint, but ended up recovering it.

18

Still has the original Astrons.

19

I attribute part of the warm tone these amps have to the redwood boards Gibson used for the cabinets.

20

I have a bson LP Ga-40 in the closet...does that count?

21

I have a bson LP Ga-40 in the closet...does that count?

– Billy Zoom

Sheesh! Bonus!

That’s the one I first wanted, but balked on the then $400 price tag.

22

I have a bson LP Ga-40 in the closet...does that count?

– Billy Zoom

time to come out of the closet w that one!

23

I have Soooo many unfinished projects. It just needs a little TLC, but it's pretty far down on my list.

24

At the right time, I'll proably be able to buy one of the old Gibsons. Those are some very nice examples guys.

25

I have Soooo many unfinished projects. It just needs a little TLC, but it's pretty far down on my list.

– Billy Zoom

the sound is so good w DeArmonds :)


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