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Gibson GA-5 Skylark Bass is Flab Central


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Hey all,


A few months ago I purchased a 1960-era Gibson Skylark (blonde tolex, 12AX7 model). I've been pretty happy with it over all, it was a good deal and it's quiet enough to play in a dorm room. It distorts really early, which I don't mind, but I can't ignore that the bass response is kind of wack when it's cranked up. At max volume, even just trying to do a blues shuffle in E results in muddy nonsense. playing an E power chord you cant even hear the distinction between the notes. On lower volumes, the amp has a natural warmth that I quite like, but not being able to play a note lower than an A on the E string is going to eventually get awkward.


The thing is I haven't switched the tubes that it came with. They didn't look old or worn out, but then again I'm no expert. Does anyone else have experience with Skylarks? What did you think of it? Is it worth investing in new tubes to see if they make a difference? At this point I could easily resell the amp on ebay and opt for a Fender champ instead, so if I'm going to end up doing that anyway, buying new tubes would be a waste.


I do really like the amp though, other than the bass sometimes sounding like a wet fart.


Thanks everyone!

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  • 1 year later...

There are two inputs. One is wired clean and one wired hot. Make sure that You're plugged into the clean channel if You're attempting bass on it. Sounds like You'r using just the hot channel for your guitar, because the one with gain low on the dial is absolutely the hot side. Good luch. If ZYou get sick of fighting it, I'll trade You my new Roland bass amp even up. It sounds sweet even with my VERY bassy 1970 Gibson Melody Maker bass.

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