SALE! - 1958 Gibson Les Paul GA-40 Combo Two-Tone Tremolo Tweed
As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, we feel that it is time to cheer you up with our BIAJ Autumn Sale 2023 !! 🐝 🐝 🐝
Anyone who owns a vintage Les Paul MUST own this amp! Late 1950's Gibson amplifiers have flown under the vintage player's radar for some time but that's all changing lately...
History of the Gibson Les Paul Model GA-40 amplifier:
In the early days of the electric guitar, manufacturers who made both guitars and amps very often attempted to sell them as matched sets—and players very often bought them that way, until they figured out there was nothing wrong with mixing and matching to suit your varying tastes in each. Throughout the mid to late1950s, Gibson’s flagship solidbody electric, the Les Paul, was partnered with an amp that has become a classic in its own right: the GA-40 Les Paul Amp. While, of course, this combo hasn’t attained values anywhere near those of the guitar it was designed to sell with, this sleeper of a tone machine has recently become far more appreciated by players and collectors alike, and recognized for the unique and inspiring piece of amp design that it is.
Surprisingly, the GA-40 wasn’t Gibson’s most powerful amp of the time, contrary to the kind of firepower that you might think the powerful Les Paul Standard demanded. But remember, the Les Paul wasn’t designed to be the blues-rock and heavy-rock monster that it would prove itself to be in the mid ’60s and beyond. It was originally designed as a solidbody alternative for jazz and pop players, guitarists much like its namesake, and for this market, Gibson deemed a pair of lower-powered 6V6 output tubes and a conservative 14 to 16-watt rating absolutely adequate. Don’t believe for one second, however, that this diminutive rating means a GA-40 can’t roar when you want it to: these are real fire breathers, truly scorching when you crank them up, and a lot louder, too, than that output rating might imply.
GA-40s with two-tone covering made between '56 and ’59 are generally the most desirable, because they also house the preferred circuit and tube configuration for this model. Part of what’s so groovy about this amp is that it is nothing like any of the Fender designs from the same era that have become such classics. The Gibson brand has been relegated to the darker corners of amp collecting, but throughout the ’50s and early ’60s the company really was trying to cut its own path, offering bold designs and impressive workmanship, and unwilling to follow the lead of any other maker, no matter how popular those “youngsters’” amps might be proving! As such, the GA-40’s circuit is very different from any of the classic tube-amp templates that are more familiar today in so many repro, reissue, and boutique amplifiers.
The GA-40 has an all-tube circuit, 2 channels, 4 inputs, 40 Watts. Tremelo with frequency and depth controls, classic chicken-head knobs. Voicing knob serves as tone control. Similar to a tweed Fender of the same era, this amp puts out a variety of tone depending on the volume setting. At only 2.5 does it begin to clip giving a sweet old blues tone reminiscent of B.B. King. At 2 or less, it retains a full warm, soulful tone great for comping jazz and blues or R&B. At 3 it immediately begins to saturate the signal, providing sustain and violin-like tonality. When driven further, it gets a nasty funkiness with an attitude like that of an old Buddy Guy recording. Pushing further only supplies added volume and returning to 3 settles you back into a nice tube amp distortion that responds to every touch. The tremelo is unlike a Fender, more Leslie-like and less-vibrato-ish. More movement is present in the design and organ licks and sustained notes move all around you. This amp responds like crazy to semi-hollow bodies as well as A Tele, Strat or Paul.
It has the original rare and super cool butterfly knobs, an oval "Les Paul" badge on the front bottom of the cabinet, the hyper rare wooden footswich (as these were almost always nicked to sell seperately), a replacemend 1961 Jensen P12RJ C6958 12inch 220123 (week 23, 1961), GA-10P Power Transformer 166839 (week 39, 1958) 110V, GA-40-02 Output Transformer 166839 (week 39, 1958), E-3021S Choke 166848 (week 48, 1958), On the top of the control panel on the left next to the power switch there is a (disconnected) jack input, previously used for an external cabinet. Most tubes are NOS or old 50's 60's and they are still in good nick!