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Author Archives: Dave Hunter

Gibson GA-80T Vari-Tone

 
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In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Gibson was apparently convinced the Vari-Tone switch was the way of the future, with its instant access to six different tones. But a high proportion of players who clocked serious miles on their ES-345 and 355 guitars had the switches disabled (and the guitars rewired to mono!). As […]

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The Komet Constellation

 
Komet Constellation

Komet Constellation Preamp tubes: one 6SN7, two 12AX7 Output tubes: four EL84 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume I, Volume II, Hi-Cut, three-way Vol I Bright Switch Output: 30 watts RMS Amid the general run of vintage amps we have explored in this space, the occasional “modern classic” has proved itself worthy through sheer quality of design, […]

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Rickenbacker Transonic

 
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Rickenbacker Transonic TS100 Topology: Solid State Output: 100 watts RMS Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass controls and Hollow, Mellow and Pierce switches on each channel; Tremolo Speed and Depth, Reverb, and Fuzz-Tortion on Custom channel. Speakers: two 12″ Altec 417.

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National-Dobro 6107A

 
National-Dobro 6107A

Preamp tubes: 56, 57 Output tubes: two 2A3 Rectifier: 5Z3 Controls: Volume Output: 6 watts RMS +/- Speaker: one 10″ Lansing Model 112 Why doesn’t this ever happen to us? You ride along with your brother to an antique radio show just to give him some company – it’s his (more…)

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Vox AC50

 
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Vox AC50 Preamp tubes: one ECC82 (12AU7), three ECC83 (12AX7) Output tubes: two EL34s, fixed-biased Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble and Bass for each channel. Output: nominally 50 watts RMS, but upward of 70 watts flat-out. Where the evolution of guitar amplification in general traces musicians’ needs to be louder, the history of Vox follows, […]

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Marshall JCM800 2203

 
Marshall JCM800 2203

Preamp tubes: three ECC83. Output tubes: four 6550. Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Pre-Amp Volume, Master Volume, Treble, Middle, Bass, Presence. Speakers: four Celestion G12T-75 12″ speakers per cab. Output: approximately 100 watts RMS. Late-’60s plexis might catch the majority of the raves, but the amp many music fans hear in their mind’s ear when they think […]

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Rickenbacher Model 200A

 
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Several vintage amplifiers that have graced these pages over the years have taken us back to the early days of guitar amplification – the early 1950s, maybe even late ’40s with some of the crustier subjects. This month, however, we travel way back, to the dawn of the electric guitar itself, to visit an amplifier […]

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1933 Gibson L-00

 
Gibson L-00

While most of the instruments featured in this space are high-end, often elaborately ornamented models that were expensive when new and command high prices today as collectible, the L-00 was the least-expensive guitar offered by Gibson when it was introduced in the March/April, 1931, issue of Gibson’s Mastertone newsletter. The announcement said the guitar, which […]

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Fender Harvard

 
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Given the current craze for semi-small “home” and “recording” amps, Fender’s 5F10 Harvard of 1955-’60 could be the ideal tweed amp, yet, in its day, it fell between two stools and never sold in large numbers. Or, make that three stools. With the Champ and Princeton in its rear-view mirror and the Deluxe and Tremolux […]

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Gibson GA-20

 
Gibson GA-20

• Preamp tubes: two 12AY7, one 12AX7. • Output tubes: two 6V6, cathode-bias. • Rectifier: 5Y3 • Controls: volume for each channel, shared tone. • Speaker: Jensen Special Design P12R. • Output: approximately 16 watts RMS. Behold, this specimen that checks off all the right boxes for fans of vintage amps; beautifully clean, it has […]

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