Other Amps

Gibson GA-20 question

1

Just got this GA20... it works great but the riveted tube sockets have play in them. Is this going to cause any trouble?

2

Not if you don't hear it.

3

Just checked my GA-20, and the three preamp tube sockets are all shock mounted on rubbers. Probably to minimize microphonics. The mid-50's cabinets were made of redwood. Pretty resonant. It's normal for them to be a little loose.

5

I just built my first amp into the chasis of a mid 50's Gibson Maestro--it looked very similar to your amp before I recovered it. I can confirm the rubber mounts on those sockets.

When I got the amp it was just a shell with transformers, tube sockets and a few parts; no circuit board, and the cabinet had been stripped clean. I recovered it and built a blackface Princeton circuit into it. The cabinet has a JBLD120 in it.

Didn't mean to veer off topic. If you want to replace those sockets, it isn't too hard to do.

6

I picked up this one cheap. It was missing the speaker, the whole cabinet had been brush-painted pink, but everything else was stock and intact including the Astron caps. I tried removing the paint with Goof Off but it ended up ruining the original Tolex. I cleaned up the cab best I could and recovered it with the closest thing I could find. It sounds a lot better than it looks.

7

Powdog, that looks terrific! You did a good job of capturing the basic look of the original cosmetics.

Those Maestro cabinets are pretty well-built. But when I got mine, it too had already been stripped and varnished (poorly). I have the original amp handle for mine as well, but didn't put it back on--that JBL is heavy, and I wasn't sure I trusted it. I ended up using a 6SL7 as my reverb driver in the Princeton circuit because the original hole punched in the Maestro chassis for the socket was too big for a 12AT7. It worked out well, and sounds good--bigger and louder than a real Princeton (maybe because of the cabinet and the speaker?). My friend (who actually knows what he's doing) helped me with mods to the circuit. I'm happy with it, but I could do a better job (especially with the tolex) now that I've had some practice.

8

I love old Gibson amps. I have my original 1966 Gibson GA15 RVT amp and a 1966 GA 45 RVT amp that I bought a few years ago. this one needed some repairs. but old Gibson amps are pretty good amps.

9

I've had a couple of old Gibson amps. The mid '60s GA35RVT was OK. The GA9 (Falcon?) I had was late '50s or very early '60s. That little rascal screamed! One thing I've liked about some old Gibsons are the mixed speakers. My 35RVT had a 10" and a 12', and some others even had an 8" and a 15" combination. Gibsons amps always seemed more geared to Jazz players, where Fenders favored the C&W players---humbuckers vs. single coil guitars.

Remember---some great tunes were played on old Gibson 150s and 185s. Octal tubes and field coil speakers led the way for everything that came after.

Bradomatic---is that "gator skin" Tolex in good shape?

10

Thanks guys. I won't worry about unless I hear it effect the performance. These old Gibsons are cool amps. They seem like a huge bargain compared to comparable Fender amps. Here's the front of mine... they stripped the tolex and stained the wood finish.

11

I've had a couple of old Gibson amps. The mid '60s GA35RVT was OK. The GA9 (Falcon?) I had was late '50s or very early '60s. That little rascal screamed! One thing I've liked about some old Gibsons are the mixed speakers. My 35RVT had a 10" and a 12', and some others even had an 8" and a 15" combination. Gibsons amps always seemed more geared to Jazz players, where Fenders favored the C&W players---humbuckers vs. single coil guitars.

Remember---some great tunes were played on old Gibson 150s and 185s. Octal tubes and field coil speakers led the way for everything that came after.

Bradomatic---is that "gator skin" Tolex in good shape?

– wabash slim

The guy I bought it from put that gator tolex on the back panel...I think it looks great with the finished wood.

12

Reminded me of Selmer amps. Yours looks great.

Interestingly, the same style handle as on Powdog's amp is used on early Wurly electric pianos.

13

Here's what made me take the bait.

14

It sounds a lot better than it looks.

Huh. And it looks fantastic.


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