Gibson GA-8 Gibsonette Tube Amplifier (1959)

Gibson  GA-8 Gibsonette Tube Amplifier (1959)
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Item # 9542
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Gibson GA-8 Gibsonette Model Tube Amplifier (1959), made in Kalamazoo, Michigan, serial # 112642, white tolex finish.
Height is 16 in. (40.6 cm.), 20 in. (50.8 cm.) width, and 9 in. (22.9 cm.) deep.

This lovely little Gibson amp is the final version of the GA-8 "Gibsonette" from the 1950's; the model would be reborn as the "Discoverer" for the space age decade in 1960. It is a small excellent sounding combo unit offering 9 watts output through a single Jensen 10" speaker. There are two inputs with controls as simple as can be: on-off switch, volume and tone.

This period may well be the best for Gibson amps, soundwise anyway. This very sturdily built combo has a more Fenderlike overdrive sound than earlier darker toned Gibson amps but still maintains its own character. Just over 2200 of these high quality but affordable amps were shipped in 1959, making it one of the most successful in Gibson's line.

This amp is a parallel single ended design -- a rare output tube configuration, unique to these early non-tremolo GA-8s. Electrically this is not unlike having two single ended Fender Champ power sections in parallel. This results in a rich and thick overdrive unlike any other low-wattage amp we've heard!

Externally the cabinet on this amp is covered in textured cream Tolex, a feature specific to the 1958-9 Gibsonette. This one is relatively clean with some light staining and random dings and dents. The control panel has some dirt and scuffing but the printed graphics are largely intact. Even the handle is extra cool, with a clear plastic center featuring an embedded "Gibson" logo. The fragile plastic GIBSON logo plate on the face is in perfect shape.

Internally the amp is largely unaltered mounting the original Jensen 10" speaker dated the 34th week of 1959. The original transformers are intact coded GA-23P / 166 (power) and 549931 (output) and the pots are from the 30th week of 1959. Recent service included adding a 3-prong grounded cord and typical internal maintenance including a full cap job, re-bias to spec, and cleaned pots, sockets and jacks. The interior remains otherwise original. This is a nice example of this great sounding amp, one of Gibson's unsung gems. Overall Excellent - Condition.