Vintage Gibson Amp At The Local Pawn

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cottonmike, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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  2. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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  3. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Well-Known Member

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    Those are killer amps.... Tweed Deluxe killers is what they are. Not a lot of clean headroom... you hit dirt at about 4, but they have some of the most delicious overdrive tone you can find. I don't know how much they usually go for, but $600 doesn't seem too far out of line.
     
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  4. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    I just saw one on line that went for 1000$

    And, when I say clean, I couldn't imagine anything being this pristine even if indeed it WAS never taken out of the closet for 60 years.

    I want this thing so bad I'm thinking about all kinds of crazy strings to pull so I can snag.
     
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  5. MarkW

    MarkW Active Member

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    Any way that you can check the speaker cone on that before purchase?
    Those were paper back then?
     
  6. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Would I be able to see through the grill cloth? I'm sure I can tell if there is a shiny metallic center through the cloth.

    I'll do anything I can to help facilitate an acquisition for somebody. I'm in Yuma, BTW.
     
  7. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    Try it before you buy it. As others have said, a really goo 15 wattish amp.
     
  8. Daneman

    Daneman Well-Known Member

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    I had a Gibson Discoverer Tremolo amplifier. Blew up the output transformer, got tired of hauling a dead soldier . Let it go in the trash. Now days finding that transformer would be easy. I hope someone grabbed it before the garbage guys got there.
     
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  9. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

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    My Mom, God rest her soul, threw away my 1972 Sound City 50 while I was away at college. Because it "sat in the basement in pieces since the summer and made the basement look messy." With it went a cherry Marantz tube amp / receiver, "because it didn't have a case and looked like junk that needed to be thrown out."

    I hope the same thing for that lot!
     
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  10. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    20180814_141617.jpg 20180814_141637.jpg

    So, I went to the pawn to buy the amp today. Plugged it in for a test drive to be sure. No worky.

    Now, they are ready to deal. I think I can get them down pretty low. Thing is, I don't know what it's going to be to get it up and running.

    So, what is the worst case scenario? Also, is there possibly something inside that could be wrong that is irreplaceable or impossible to fix.

    When I plugged it in the power light came on, but only 3 out of the 5 tubes were glowing but just barely. very weak.

    Let me know what you think.

    THX

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  11. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Also, it is a GA 18, not a GA 18T. So, no tremolo. It's got knob for volume, tone, depth, and frequency. Is that the reverb?
     
  12. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    I still want it. Dammit.
     
  13. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I'd beat em down to there last dollar and take a chance but that"s just me.
     
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  14. jimytheassassin

    jimytheassassin Well-Known Member

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    Turns on but doesn’t work. 3/5 tubes illuminated but are you absolutely certain. 12ax7 tube filaments aren’t always so easy to see. And if the preamp tubes are the one you question, I would look again extra carefully to be sure.

    Questions on my mind.
    Does it have the original Jensen?
    Original Gibson oem tubes?
    Any signs of repair.
    Can you get a look inside the chassis to see if work has been done on it at any point in its life AND would you recognize the signs if so?

    I would say the possibilities of why it doesn’t work are numerous from minor to major. It would be guessing unless you could get it a health check up. Worst case scenario is a power transformer winding for the B+. Least case is a disconnected speaker or minor component issue that drifted open. A bad tube. Those are more resolvable. Before you go poking around and fix it for them by accident, I would pray it’s nothing and offer $200 (assuming the inside looks in good order and originality from what you can tell). That thing looks immaculate and you could probably eat dinner off of it even if it never works again. Then take it to a tech for diagnosis and if it’s looking like a bottomless pit, resell on reverb


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  15. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Yeah its got the original 10 inch Jenson alnico speaker. The tubes look brand new too. For what little I know, it's pretty obvious that this thing just has not been used, and has been stored in an environment that was air conditioned. This thing being 50 years old, if it spent any significant time in a non air condition store,, heat alone would break it down significantly.

    The handle is like brand new, which I think says a lot. The thing just has not been handled.

    You're right it's time to strike on it before they start to think about anymore.

    So, the tubes would actually say Gibson? I could probably tell if it is un tampered with if I could look inside but I don't want to cause too much of a distraction.
     
  16. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    Pick it up cheap. Give them examples of how much it might cost to replace the, i.e,. transformer, dying capacitors. It needs a full inspection by an amp tech to check it all out and do any work he finds....hundreds of $ of potential repairs.
    If you get it, look for tech videos of that model. The Gibson Falcon often came stock with a tone sucking circuit that can be removed and really opens up the amp. Who knows why Gibson thought that was a good idea. But many Gibson Falcons had it, and many owners now remove it to greatly better the tone.


    I have had 63' Gibson Falcon 19rvt (15W) for 15 years. NO tone suck circuit in it, I checked. Two old factory original RCA 6v6 power tubes still in it, working fine.
    It has always sounded very clean. It came with a Weber Ferromax speaker and I used it in a bossanove/jazz rock trio I was in for a few years. I never felt it had a ballsy or interesting tone, but a good clean tone. It has sat to the side for the last 5+ years.

    Well I finally got that speaker replaced with a Weber 30w 12A125A, that is supposed to end up in a 5e3 amp. Man, this Gibson amp has some balsier woody tone, now. I have ordered the same speaker in a 20W version to live in this gibson. I'll get some more breakup and a slightly brighter sound with the lower wattage, still with the woody, reedy voice (webers description which I agree with). Cant wait.

    This amp will get some playing time again. has reverb and tremolo built in. Played it tonight in practice with my bass buddy. Wow. Its come alive with some needed attitude.

    heres a 1963 Gibson Falcon 19rvt
    08c83af9be0f4454e117c781e13503c4.jpg
     
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  17. jimytheassassin

    jimytheassassin Well-Known Member

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    No doubt the electrolytic caps would need attention if original. Evaluation at the least but many would disagree with not out right replacement even if they measure out as acceptable. Sure, worn out caps could explain the issue also.

    From the few examples I’ve see online, preamp tubes were likely originally labeled Gibson but i wouldn’t necessarily take that as gospel. The 6v6 and 5y3 may also be Raytheon. New tubes would help eliminate one possible failure point here. I wouldn’t disassemble the back panel in store. All that tells you is whether it’s been worked on , which is another factor in diagnosis. As for originality, component updates are likely anyways as you suspect. IMO updates don’t reduce value unless it’s in collectible condition. get your best doom and gloom scenario rehearsed and lay it on thick. refer to it as broken and maybe they will break too :p
    but set a cap price mentally before negotiating and prepare to walk too. pawn shops here are terrible at haggling


    also i forgot, check the fuse value. see if its been relaced with an incorrect and over rated one instead. another clu maybe
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
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  18. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    I have read that some GA 18 ( not labelled GA 18T) did have tremolo. My Falcon's Depth and Frequency knobs are it's tremolo controls. Reverb has just a "reverberation" knob.
    Gibson Falcon originally had RCA tubes stock, or so I read. Maybe same for Explorer.
     
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  19. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both for talking the time to help me through this. I really appreciate it.
     
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  20. cottonmike

    cottonmike Well-Known Member

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    Okay, cool. Definitely has the Depth and Frequency knobs.

    Also, I forgot to mention, it has the original foot switch-made of wood.
     
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