Other Amps

NAD Gene Leis 910T

1

This just arrived. A 1965 Gene Leis 910T tube amp. Not much info on these, but I figure Ray Massie made these for Gene in Los Angeles. Gene recorded and sold guitar lesson books and records in the 60s and 70s. I’m sure some of you remember them. Gene also owned and operated a studio/music store in Manhattan Beach California. I hung out there in my teens, talked guitars with Gene and got my strings, picks and my favorite strap there.

The amp is basically a cheap Vibro Champ constructed of a bent aluminum chassis and 1/2” particle board cab. Looks all original including the Raytheon and GE tubes.

Ray Massie worked with Leo Fender in the early days, leaving to start his own amp company St. George in L.A. I wasn’t sure who made these amps. Gene is long gone but some of the teachers and the guitar tech that worked at his store are still in South Bay. I finally reached two of them but they had no idea who made the amps for Gene.

The amps were sold in his shop and some big department stores for about five years, when in 1965 he bailed out of the crowded amp market. I looked at a ton of amp pics from the L.A. companies and Ray Massie’s St George amps are identical construction. Nothing else is close. So, no positive confirmation (yet) but it makes perfect sense.

Scratchy volume pot and the trem doesn’t work, but it sounds pretty cool. Kinda like it looks.....cheap. The original Oxford 10” is nice, but I think this will sound better thru a 12”. Needs a filter cap job.

2

Typical of a Massie amp.

3

GE tubes, CTS pots, a big OT and the Oxford speaker are all nice components. I’ve seen the amp described as “sweet, creamy” and “total garbage”. I’m guessing something in between.

4

Interesting closed back cab. The chassis and baffle are both front loaded.

5

The OT is a lot bigger that the typical Champ iron.

6

Interesting find. Well there were a lot of players trying to get a piece of the exploding amp market, mid -1960s. Why they went for a front loaded cab design ... who knows?

7

Sounds like Mr. Leis ran a full service studio: lessons, guitars, amps, recordings. I have an LP he made:

Gene Leis Plays Beautiful Guitar Music To Iron By

I like it.


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