1952 Gibson Les Paul Tube Amp For Sale

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by Muddy T-Bone, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Electromatic

    Oct 15, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Hello Gretsch Tone Junkies,

    I'm helping my friend that would like to sell his 1952 Gibson GA40 Les Paul amplifier. He's my harp player and I've heard this amp played a number of times. I can tell you that it has that vintage tube tone that curls your toes when you hear it

    I've put Kevins description below which has his contact info. Jukebox wisely suggested that I remove his email addy so that he doesn't get attacked by spammers. PM me with any questions, and I'll forward them to SuperHarp Kevin.

    1952 Gibson - GA40 - "Les Paul" model amp:
    This tube amp is something really special. I'm a blues guy and have played harp and slide guitar for over 40 years. I started out with a Fender Twin Tweed (#257). It provided plenty of power and a big sound, but never the classic, warm, rich, "brown" tone I wanted for Little Walter, Big Walter and Sonny Boy numbers. The first time I plugged in my Astatic JT-30 mic and played through this amp, I knew I'd found just what I was looking for and bought it on the spot. That was almost 30 years ago.

    Its served me on stage and in studios; with my own bands, behind great blues men, and with gospel and praise bands. It can be a quiet practice amp, or plenty loud for a gig - though you may want it miked some places. When it has traveled or I've moved, it went in my car, not as a piece of freight. While it has seen plenty of use, it has also been "on vacation" for much of the last 18 years while children grew and I avoided the club circuit. It has always been treated like a baby, so the exterior is in almost the same shape it was the day I bought it from its original owner. And the interior is in better shape.

    Owning a piece of history: In 1952, the Gibson Guitar Corporation simultaneously introduced their "new" Les Paul model gold top guitar and the GA40 Les Paul amp. Only 329 of these were produced that first year. While the rock and roll sound associated with the guitar seems perfectly matched with the amp, this amp also provides the desired, warm, "brown" tone sought by blues harmonica players, and has been called "...the ultimate amp for playing harp." We know that the guitar was based on design ideas of the great guitarist and inventor, Les Paul. While he may have had nothing to do with the amp's design, it's ironic that it's such a great harp amp - Les Paul's original instrument having been the harmonica.

    This vintage amp features two-tone buffalohide-leatherette covering, 50's checkerboard grille cloth, a plastic insert - LP monogram, with a gold Gibson logo above, and Les Paul script logo to the right. Combining three 6V6 power tubes, and the original 12 inch, concert series, Jensen Alnico 5 PM speaker, the Les Paul produces 15 watts of power (Tubes 5V4G rectifier; 3x 6V6GT; 1x 6SN7; 3x 6SJ7). Has the original, wooden, tremolo foot switch (3 speeds). On top: Two microphone and two instrument jacks, control knobs for instruments, microphones, voicing (bass/treble) and tremolo.

    I have owned this rig for 30 years and it works perfectly and sounds great. All internal work on it has been done by tube amp guru, Skip Simmons, owner of Skip Simmons Tube Amp Service. He has kept it to original specs. The handle, no replacements available from Gibson, was replaced with a simple leather strap.

    To get some perspective, here's what others have said:

    Harp Player Review: "...The sound is beyond explanation, like being on another planet, a freak of nature...warm tone brown flat large 12" Jensen...no equipment made before or after can compete with this awesome sound, amazingly in top shape, sounding same as a Kim Wilson or Rod Piazza record (I know how they did it now, chops + equipment = real deal (somewhere there are 328 of these 1952 versions possibly remaining in varying condition)...can you get as lucky as I?"

    Guitar Reviews: If you play guitar, here are quotes from two players - one uses a Fender Telecaster and the other a G&L ASAT (Leo Fender's later version of the same guitar).

    G&L ASAT: "...The tone is absolutely beautiful, one of the biggest, coolest sounds I've ever heard. This is my first non-Fender amp... and totally love it. The Gibson is very different. Doesn't have the crystal clear, low-volume clean of a BF. Tubes start saturating around 3. Notes fatten up, and you start hearing an indescribably "push" on paired notes and chords. Hard to explain. Not yet overdrive. More that the sound gets thicker and rings. Turn up higher, and overdrive comes in. Notes sustain and sing. Chords are huge, big bass presence without flab."

    Fender Telecaster: "...With the volume below 4 and playing a tele, the tone is rich and on the verge of breakup. There is not much headroom in this amp, but plenty of definition. After five it doesn't get louder, just more compressed and overdriven in the best possible way. Single notes take on a violin like quality- smooth and full of sustain. I think it's the pre amp tubes are part of the unique tone, as well as the solid redwood cab..."

    Price: $1,600

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  2. Jukebox

    Jukebox Gretschified

    Jun 2, 2008
    Muddy, I would take the email address of of there before the spammers get it! If anyone is interested in it they can contact you!
  3. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Electromatic

    Oct 15, 2008
    Nor Cal

    Your probably right about that. How do I edit that?
  4. Boyko

    Boyko Gretschie

    Jun 2, 2008
    Bancroft, Ontario
    At the bottom of your post it will have some orange buttons along side the Quote, Multi-Quote, and Quick Reply ones. One will say Edit. Click that then you can edit your post.
  5. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Electromatic

    Oct 15, 2008
    Nor Cal

    Duh, that's what the "EDIT" button is for. Thanks again.
  6. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Gretschie

    Nov 22, 2008
    Fullerton, CA
    Damn fine amp...

    I'm broke, but if I had the dough... man.
  7. scottedog

    scottedog Newbie

    Jan 15, 2009
    Eastham, Mass.
    Great find- I was blessed to find my 1954 GA40 in the local landfill, sans strap... My tube amp guy redid the caps, re-tubed it, and brought it back to life, and it is awesome. The tremelo foot switch was missing, and I want to reproduce one for it, but for now am just using a substitute sw. My tech has cloned it and made a couple new ones, which are damn fine , and have that rare sound. do you have a pic of the foot switch??
    thanks muddy
  8. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Electromatic

    Oct 15, 2008
    Nor Cal

    If you PM me with your email addy, I'll forward to Superharp, and he can probably get you a pic.
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