Gibson BR-3 Tube Amplifier (1947)

Gibson  BR-3 Tube Amplifier (1947)
Just Arrived!
This item has been sold.
Item # 10296
Prices subject to change without notice.
Gibson BR-3 Model Tube Amplifier (1947), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, tweed fabric covering finish.

Right after WWII ended, Gibson started production on the first set of BR series amps, the first new designs since 1940. These were rather stop gap designs (and not designed by Barnes & Reinicke, despite the BR designation), being still very much a pre-war amps internally. The BR-3 model was the most short-lived and one of the rarest amps of the group; available production records show that only a total of 79 of these amps were produced in 1946!

Reflecting some of the design elements of the pre-war EH series units, these amps featured very well hand made tweed covered wooden enclosures by Geib with a large green felt stenciled "G" logo on the metal grill plate. A sturdy leather handle and metal back plate were also used to protect the inside chassis and speaker, as well as shield from interference.

The BR-3 uses two 7B4 triodes, one 6J5 triode, two 6V6 in push-pull configuration, putting out roughly 12-15 watts into a 12" Utah field-coil speaker. Additionally, the amp uses two rectifier tubes, one 5Z4 and an additional 6X5, which provides the DC current to power the field coil. Gibson shipped several BR-3 amps fitted with permanent magnet speakers, in which case the latter rectifier tube was not present. This is a neat design if an obscure one, not well remembered today but a cool 1940s piece nonetheless.
Height is 15 3/8 in. (39.1 cm.), 17 1/4 in. (43.8 cm.) width, and 9 in. (22.9 cm.) deep.

Cosmetically, the amp is in terrific shape for its age, and certainly in better shape than most of these appear in. The greenish tweed covering is largely unscathed with only minor wear to the corners and edges. The perforated metal grille cloth is clean and free dents. The original handle is still intact, however, as with many of these, the metal back plate is long gone.

Electrically, this little BR-3 is all original. The speaker is the original 12" Utah field-coil, still retaining its original cone and sounding fantastic. Both the power and output transformers appear original, as do the pots. The amp has received our typical maintenance and servicing, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, a grounded 3-prong power cable, cleaning of all sockets, pots and jacks and biased to spec.

From way back in 1947 this very rare and unique sounding amp is a work of beauty in both construction and tone with a nice snarl available when the mic channel is pushed! Excellent - Condition.