1961 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul Amp

1961 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul amplifier with 1 Gibson 12" speaker in a single enclosure. Combo amp has all-tube circuitry, all-tweed covering, 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, which goes to 10. 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. These amps put out a great smell as the tubes glow orangey-blue and the volume is pushed. Played by George Harrison on early Beatles recordings.

Tone: fat clean low-volume sounds yet yearning to be pushed to clip and beyond to singing distortion, a tweed monster of tone.
Appearance: off-yellow tweed with dark brown grille cloth, a tilting handle with Gibson logo encased in plastic! Silver control panel on top/back with 5 chicken-head knobs, footswitch for tremelo activation.
Needs/wants: more power for louder clean settings.
Quirks: intermittent speaker rattle makes for some great feedback sounds.
History: Oft used by the blues and R&B legends of the 50's and 60's, these amps delivered the knock-out punch and the clean and clip needed.
Desirability: highly desirable amp for tone quality and quick saturation like it's fellow competitor, the Fender tweeds and tolexes, etc.

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