Gibson EH-125 Tube Amplifier, c. 1943

Gibson  EH-125 Tube Amplifier,  c. 1943
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Item # 10581
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Gibson EH-125 Model Tube Amplifier, c. 1943, made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 25636, tan fabric finish.

This is a well-preserved example of the EH-125, the smaller, younger sibling of the world's first great guitar amplifier, Gibson's EH-150. This rare and slightly oddball Gibson EH-125 amplifier dates to the period just around the time the US entered WWII, when materials of all sorts were quickly becoming scarce for musical manufacturers. The round-top cabinet is the same the earlier EH-150 model but covered in plainer "aeroplane cloth" while the chassis is similar to the smaller unit used on the contemporary "KEH" Kalamazoo amp.

This rarely seen version of the EH-125 amplifier was only available in this period; the catalog model is virtually identical except for showing a 6-tube chassis configuration. This amp features 3 inputs; two microphone and one instrument, along with a single volume control for the microphone input only. The push-pull dual-6V6 power section puts out around 10-12 watts into a field-coil speaker, somewhat less powerful than its far more celebrated big brother the EH-150, and has a lower-wattage cleaner but still attractively snarly tone when pushed.
Height is 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm.), 16 in. (40.6 cm.) width, and 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm.) deep.

Cosmetically, the amp is in very good condition, showing some general wear to the thinly-covered cabinet. The left corner has seen a crack repair and the top shows what looks to be very tiny paint splatter. Otherwise the cabinet is in excellent shape for its age with all leather corners intact and even the oft-missing handle only shows minor wear!

Electrically, this little amp appears to be all-original. The speaker is a Waldom-made 12" field-coil likely dating to the 4th week of 1943. Although Gibson technically weren't supposed to be producing electric instruments during wartime, some amp and lap steel sets were assembled and shipped at the time. The speaker and the accompanying output transformer look correct for this amp. The speaker has been reconed professionally and sounds terrific. Replacement speaker wires have been spliced in and there's also an added external speaker-out jack in its own small box on one side of the chassis. All transformers and major components appear original to the amp and it has seen our typical maintenance and servicing, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, a grounded 3-prong power cord, all sockets, jacks and pots cleaned and power section biased to spec.

Rather beat-up and a bit funky looking but still righteous, this old pre-war (or just wartime) Gibson amp has taken its licks but is still ticking! Overall Very Good Condition.