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daveinspain

Does Gibson still make amps?

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The last effort that Gibson seemed to let fall by the wayside was the Goldtone amps.

This was a buyout from Trace Elliot. They were cool amps. Infact, I have a Goldtone GA30RVS. It's probably the heaviest 2x12 combo ever. (90 lbs) but it's the loudest 30watts you will ever witness.

It has a volume, w/ push-pull gain and a brite switch tone control and a reverb control,, that's it..

it is a stereo amp (2 15watt class A amps bolted together on the chassis. has a stereo FX loop, surround-sound reverb (that actually works)

very cool amp, there was a fe others too. but no idea why they canned them.

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I also own the Goldtone GA30RVS and the Gibson GA-5 Les Paul Jr, the Gibson Goldtone GA15RV, and the GA20 RVT. I love Gibson amps - especially (as you can tell) the Goldtone series. I have no idea why Gibson quit making the Goldtone amps as they are some of the best of the best killer amps in the world. And yes the GA30RVS is probably the heaviest 1x10, 1x12 combo on the face of the earth but man o man does it sound killer with any Gibson electric guitar. And they are beautiful to look at as well. Distintive looks and sound through and through. Please start manufacturing these again Gibson [thumbup]

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[quote name='daveinspain' timestamp='1360749837' post='1327533']
I don't know much about Gibson amps, not even sure if they still make them [/quote]

Gibson NEVER made amps, they contracted then out!

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[quote name='L5Larry' timestamp='1364106763' post='1350287']
Gibson NEVER made amps, they contracted then out!
[/quote]

Point well taken however the "Gibson branded" Goldtone series are still some of the best of the best and I still don't understand why they stopped having them made. Obviously if they had sold enough of them or if there had been enough profit in them I believe they would still be available which I'm guessing is the primary reasons they're no longer being manufactured. Either way it's a shame as these are killer amps. B)

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[quote name='L5Larry' timestamp='1364106763' post='1350287']
Gibson NEVER made amps, they contracted then out!
[/quote]

well, I suppose Larry. Gibson bought Trace Elliot, and afaik most were made in the UK.

Anyway Rev's point well taken, they were cool amps.

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Well based on the number of responses to this thread, or rather lack thereof, probably indicates why Gibson wasn't interested in providing any more amps no matter who built them. A decidedly lack of interest which surprises me given how great they sound (specifically the newer Goldtone series). Kinda sad really. [crying]

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Agreed - very few people looking to buy a new amp know the heavyweights of the group, and figure a Gibson amp is just some sort of publicity item. It is a shame the GoldTones didn't get more attention from the purchasing audiences ... I never owned one, but played through several and thought they were great - but not great enough to keep me from searching for the Vox I wanted. I think most other folks have the same story.

Marc

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I don't think the 60's amps were made by TE......... there's some very distinct things about those earlier circuits that make them uniquely Gibson.

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I have a GA 6 that my parents bought for me in the 50's, still sounds great.

I also have the Gold Tone head and two cabinets, i bought them in 2000, trace elliot, made in the UK.

4 EL 84 power tubes, this amp is one of the best amps made, two channels, separate eq's including separate reverb settings, parallel and serial loops, with vol controls on each, with the 5 way foot switch controlling boost, loop, channel, reverb, and mixing the two channels.

It is also one of quietest amps at idle.

The cabinets have vintage 30 speakers, 2 10's open back and 2 12's closed back.

the tone can be from pushed Marshall to a pristine vox and just about anything in between. Personally, it does jazz so good, K. Burrell, Wes tone etc.

If you can get your hands on a combo or head do it.

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[quote name='RevDavidLee' timestamp='1364705059' post='1353889']
Well based on the number of responses to this thread, or rather lack thereof, probably indicates why Gibson wasn't interested in providing any more amps no matter who built them. A decidedly lack of interest which surprises me given how great they sound (specifically the newer Goldtone series). Kinda sad really. [crying]
[/quote]


to be honest my personal stake was there were a few other amps on the market that sounded just as good or better ( to me anyways) that were not as expensive as the "gibson" ones. i have the same problem with "gibson" guitars though in that my 400 epiphone sounded 100% better ( again to me) than any of the gibsons i picked up and this included a $4500.00 les paul ( but that les paul also had fret problems and shouldnt have made it out of the factory).

another thing to consider is that when i am in places like GC, etc. the sales reps tend to show off ( or "push") certain amp brands and models, but most already know wha they want and they go in the door and make a be-line to the amp of their choice unless they are like me which i walk to a completely different amp, then move around a bit stopping at the one i want then going around to again trying different amps ending on the one i actually want, then going around a third and final time ending on the one i want, most of the time a sales rep will notice and come to ask for help and you go through the "i dont know im looking at a few amps and trying to decide, etc. to start the deal making process. if you play it right you can get anything you want for a good deal ( works for me every time).

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I think the biggest problem for Gibson's amps was simply lack of appeal. Gibson are known for their historical guitar designs, not their amps. Anytime someone's got $500 or so to drop on an amp, they're not going to try that unfamiliar Gibson over in the corner when Marshall, Fender, Mesa and about 15 other brand names are vying for the almighty buck. The image I always had in my mind about Gibson amps was little combos you might purchase to go along with your new Les Paul Special back in the 60's. It's just the way I always pictured them.

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[quote name='RonSenf' timestamp='1436027616' post='1672898']
1964 GA20-RVT
[img]http://i1038.photobucket.com/albums/a468/fnesnor/Gibson%20GA%2020.jpg[/img]
[/quote]

That model was the first tube amp I ever played. My friend and I had a band when we were 16 and rehearsed in a room where an older bunch of guys would rehearse. So we got to use their gear and that amp was the guitar player's amp. He played a Fender Bullet guitar. I remember us digging the amp because it was "a real tube amp", but it didn't have any distortion; it wasn't gonna do Zeppelin and Rush. We eventually took the "Gibson" logo off and put it on some other crappy amp. Nice to see a pic of one in great condition.

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According to these authors, Gibson farmed out their amplifiers in the early years of amplified music and did so again later in the company's history. But they [i]did[/i] make their own amplifiers for some time starting 1947-ish and possibly continuing as late as the early 'seventies. This book seems well-written and informative and can be found (and read) on the internet.

[u]Amps!: The Other Half of Rock 'n' Roll[/u] by Fliegler and Eiche

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I had a "tweed" Gibson amp with a single 12" in it. Great little amp. Like a dummy,when I worked for a company that built all the amp boxes for Fender, Ampeg and Polytone, I had it recovered in standard black tolex and "spruced" it up with a Fender handle and chrome corners. Stupid I know. I still have the handle with Gibson on it somewhere.

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I have more fun with this GA-5. I bought it from a guy who bought it for his really old Dad, who was a jazz guitarist. He upgraded a bunch of the electronics, Put in an $89 Jensen speaker upgrade, and this amp absolutely KILLS! I got it fo $300 shipped and for me, it's the best deal ever on guitar equipment, and I have gotten several steals on my guitars and amps. My GA-5 is one of my favorite posessions of all time. I will die with this amp in my studio. I found a guy who had some original 1950's Jensen Chicago speaker stickers. It gives it even more vintage mojo. If anyone needs one, I have one more for $8.[url="http://s1382.photobucket.com/user/AjayJumbo/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-12/2015-01/2015-02/F4AAF23B-60A9-4954-85EA-8AD51F586AA8_zpsfotgoo8z.jpg.html"][img]http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah259/AjayJumbo/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-12/2015-01/2015-02/F4AAF23B-60A9-4954-85EA-8AD51F586AA8_zpsfotgoo8z.jpg[/img][/url][url="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AjayTaylor/media/AB/Arnie%20Johnson/2015-02/2013-08/2015-07/9CA14D98-DB9B-45F7-82B7-ED2627E670BF.jpg.html"][img]http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f4/AjayTaylor/AB/Arnie%20Johnson/2015-02/2013-08/2015-07/9CA14D98-DB9B-45F7-82B7-ED2627E670BF.jpg[/img][/url][url="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AjayTaylor/media/AB/Arnie%20Johnson/2015-02/2013-08/2015-07/44D72EAB-2BAA-43CE-8550-122B85A3A04B.jpg.html"][img]http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f4/AjayTaylor/AB/Arnie%20Johnson/2015-02/2013-08/2015-07/44D72EAB-2BAA-43CE-8550-122B85A3A04B.jpg[/img][/url][url="http://s44.photobucket.com/user/AjayTaylor/media/AB/Arnie%20Johnson/2015-02/2013-08/2015-07/1BA155E7-035F-4E5B-B2B3-BD6A02B08D44.jpg.html"][img]http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f4/AjayTaylor/AB/Arnie%20Johnson/2015-02/2013-08/2015-07/1BA155E7-035F-4E5B-B2B3-BD6A02B08D44.jpg[/img][/url]

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Ok, this is a little snarky, but interesting anyway.

The Vox AC-15 was a complete copy of an earlier Gibson amp. In fact, it was such a close copy that the grounding for the bass control was actually wired incorrectly. The Vox people had copied the circuit from Gibson's published schematic, which was drawn up with that mistake. Nobody realized this until the 1990's I believe. This wiring "mistake" is responsible for the unusual interactivity between the bass and treble controls of most models of the AC-15 and AC-30

So, in effect, you can go out and buy a brand new Gibson amp, but it will say Vox on it.

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[quote name='Hyote' timestamp='1456443692' post='1745244']
Ok, this is a little snarky, but interesting anyway.

The Vox AC-15 was a complete copy of an earlier Gibson amp. In fact, it was such a close copy that the grounding for the bass control was actually wired incorrectly. The Vox people had copied the circuit from Gibson's published schematic, which was drawn up with that mistake. Nobody realized this until the 1990's I believe. This wiring "mistake" is responsible for the unusual interactivity between the bass and treble controls of most models of the AC-15 and AC-30

So, in effect, you can go out and buy a brand new Gibson amp, but it will say Vox on it.
[/quote]

Very funny lol

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[quote name='ES345' timestamp='1369788557' post='1380759']
I have a GA 6 that my parents bought for me in the 50's, still sounds great.

I also have the Gold Tone head and two cabinets, i bought them in 2000, trace elliot, made in the UK.

4 EL 84 power tubes, this amp is one of the best amps made, two channels, separate eq's including separate reverb settings, parallel and serial loops, with vol controls on each, with the 5 way foot switch controlling boost, loop, channel, reverb, and mixing the two channels.

It is also one of quietest amps at idle.

The cabinets have vintage 30 speakers, 2 10's open back and 2 12's closed back.

the tone can be from pushed Marshall to a pristine vox and just about anything in between. Personally, it does jazz so good, K. Burrell, Wes tone etc.

If you can get your hands on a combo or head do it.
[/quote]

[thumbup] [thumbup] [thumbup]

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According to a book I bought, "Gibson Amplifiers 1933-2008, 75 Years of Gold Tone" by Wallace Marx Jr., Gibson ceased production of amps in Kalamazoo in 1968. Seth Lover was deeply involved in amp design & left the company to work at Fender in 1967. Gibson, (CMI) had holdings in Standel & had amps produced in their factory for a number of years after that.

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I had a Gibson Amp in about 1969 that I bought new. I was using a little Ampeg combo (wish I still had it)but it wasn't loud enough when I got into a college blues/rock band. The Gibson was a "Super Medalist" had 2 X 12 speakers stacked one on top of the other, all the amp controls were on the top of amp (not the face or the back). List price in '68 was about $400. It had reverb and tremolo - it was loud enough, probably in the 30-40 watt range but didn't sound very good when you cranked it up (overdriven speakers), so I traded it in on a Fender Bandmaster which had it's drawbacks, but did the job. At that time Gibson even made a solid state amp rated about 350 watts, but I never played one of those.

So my recollection of the only Gibson amp I ever owned and played through was that it was good at clean volume levels, but didn't do the cranked up distortion thing very well. Those were the days before overdrive and distortion pedals.

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I know I've posted this photo in the past. This series of amps should have been the last amps made by Gibson in Kalamazoo. I started collecting the smallest of this series amp a number of years ago. These were considered by most to be clean amps, more suitable for jazz & clean playing. The Skylarks do break up nicely when cranked all the way up. Other than one solid state amp that Gibson had in the Crestliner Series, the GSS amps were some of the earliest solid state amps at 50 & 100 watts.

[URL=http://s999.photobucket.com/user/Grog_03/media/Gibson60sAmps.jpg.html][IMG]http://i999.photobucket.com/albums/af119/Grog_03/Gibson60sAmps.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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I have two, I'll have to take a couple of pictures.

My original GA6 (around 1955 or 56)


And a GA RVS 30 head with two cabinets ( 2x10 open back on the top ) and ( two 2 x 12's on the bottom ), closed back, all speakers are Vintage 30's with the 5 way foot switch.

I bought these direct from Gibson, don't even see these on you tube, too bad great amp and cabs.


Great amp and cabinets, but a bit heavy. Edited by ES345

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[quote name='ES345' timestamp='1537545735' post='1954825']
Great amp and cabinets, but a bit heavy.
[/quote]

you can say that again..

my GA30RVS (2x12 combo) is 90lbs... I don't move it much, but hard to beat the awesome sounds it can produce.

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