Gibson GA-8T Discoverer Tremolo Tube Amplifier (1961)

Gibson  GA-8T Discoverer Tremolo Tube Amplifier (1961)
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Item # 10897
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Gibson GA-8T Discoverer Tremolo Model Tube Amplifier (1961), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 103118, white tolex finish.

This lovely little Gibson amp from the dawn of the 1960s is an unusual "not in the books" example of the GA-8T, one of the company's best period designs. It is labeled on the faceplate "Discoverer", which is what the GA-8T model amp was renamed in 1960; it was previously known by the name "Gibsonette".

The cabinet is covered in textured cream Tolex and the faceplate has two inputs and controls for volume, tone, depth and frequency, the latter two for the tremolo effect. Running a pair of 6V6s into a 12" speaker, this amp puts out about 10 watts with a great breakup curve. Even the handle is extra cool, with a clear plastic center featuring an embedded slice of the Tolex covering with the Gibson logo featured in the center. This is one of our favorite period Gibson amps and an excellent choice for recording and lower-volume gigs, with more presence than many older Gibson amps and a very sweet saturated overdrive when pushed.
 
Height is 17 in. (43.2 cm.), 20 in. (50.8 cm.) width, and 9 in. (22.9 cm.) deep.


Overall this amp shows general light wear but no heavy abuse or incorrect alterations. The Tolex has some minor scuffing around the edges; the faceplate is in fairly nice shape with most of the stenciled graphics intact. The grille cloth is in great shape with no notable tears or fraying and the logo is present, however it is missing part of the first letter G. The amp even retains its original tremolo footswitch, secured in its designated holder inside of the cabinet.

Electrically, the amp is nicely original: it mounts an original Jensen 12" P12R speaker coded 220-105 (5th week of 1961), which looks to still have the original cone and sounds great. The visible pot codes date to late 1960 and both the power and output transformers are original. The amp has seen our typical maintenance and servicing, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, cleaning of all sockets, pots and jack, a new 3-prong grounded power cord installed and power tubes biased to spec.

This is a relatively unsung amplifier but a really cool and fantastic sounding piece; one of the gems of the 1960's Gibson line and a favorite amp here at the shop. Excellent - Condition.