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Vintage Gibson amplifiers

Gibson guitar amps / Gibson bass amps

Gibson have always been primarily a fine guitar company (see Gibson guitars and Gibson Bass); many of their other products are often overlooked. But Gibson have produced guitar amplifiers for a very long time, with some models (especially the older valve amplifiers) have a particularly good reputation: Gibson guitar amps work great in the studio! Amps like the 1960s GA-5 Skylark or GA19RVT Falcon actually sold quite well, and are still relatively easy to find today.

In the mid 1960s a number of solid-state amps became available, starting with the GSS100 (Gibson Solid State), but despite significant marketing these were seen as a poor replacement to the older valve models. In the late 1970s (Norlin period), and with Moogs involvement, a new breed of solid state amplifiers were tried; the Lab series, but despite endorsements from the likes of BB King and significant advertising, again these were unable to compete with the likes of Ampeg, Fender, Marshall and Peavey.

Gibson Guitar Amps

GA-1RT Maestro Reverb Echo
GA-2RT Maestro Deluxe Reverb Echo
GA-5 / GA-5T Skylark
GA-6 Lancer
GA-8 / GA-8T Gibsonette / Discoverer
GA-14 Titan
GA-18T Explorer
GA-20 Crest
GA-20T Ranger
GA-30 / GA-30RV Invader
GA-40 / GA-40T Les Paul Model
GA-77 / GA-77RV Vanguard
GA-79RV Stereo-Reverb
GA-80 / GA-80T "Vari-Tone"
GA-83S Stereo-Vib
GA-86 Ensemble
GA-88S Stereo Twin
GA-200 Rhythm King
GA-400 Super
Medalist 410
Super Medalist
Lab Series L3
Lab Series L5
Lab Series L7
Lab Series L9
Lab Series L11

Gibson Bass Amps

Gibson Accordian Amps

GA-15RV Maestro
GA-16T Maestro Viscount
GA-45T /GA-45RV Maestro Standard
GA-46T Super Maestro
GA-78RV Maestro Stereo
GA-87 Stereo Maestro

Gibson PA systems

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1954 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul Vintage Tube Amp 1x12 Serviced w /  Tremolo, Jensen

1954 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul Vintage Tube Amp 1x12 Serviced w / Tremolo, Jensen

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1954 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul 1x12 tube amplifier in perfect working order, meticulously serviced in-house here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar. The GA-40 Les Paul is one of Gibson's most visually distinct amps, with two-tone cosmetics, a flawless plastic "LP" script grill, metal Gibson badge, and even small "Les Paul" gold script text, identical to the script on the headstocks of the earliest Les Paul guitars. Providing direct competition for Fender's tweed amps, this Les Paul GA-40... more
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1966 Gibson GA-45RVT Vintage Amp

1966 Gibson GA-45RVT Vintage Amp

Edmond, Oklahoma, 730**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Offered is a very nice all working Vintage Gibson Amp All original with foot switch Sounds great Tolex is in excellent shape Only mod I have seen on it is a three prong grounded power plug
Just the facts. The amp features four 6EU7 dual-triode preamp tubes. Three of them are shared between the channels and the fourth is involved in reverb send and recovery. The 6EU7 was designed to be a high-quality, low-noise replacement for the 12AX7 with an added humbucking capability, The amp has one ... more
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1948 Gibson GA-30 Vintage Tube Amp w /  Jensen 1x12 & 1x8, Serviced, First-Year

1948 Gibson GA-30 Vintage Tube Amp w / Jensen 1x12 & 1x8, Serviced, First-Year

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1948 Gibson GA-30 tube amp, freshly serviced and loaded with a 12" Jensen P12S speaker and matching 8" Jensen midrange driver. A first-year example of the GA-30 model, this two channel design has four inputs, three for the Instrument channel are a single "High Gain" Mic channel input. The Tone control has a modest sweep, with the help of the Bass Expander two-way switch. Pushing 14 watts via a pair of 6V6 power tubes, the amp offers chewy, churning gain when dimed, with quite a ... more
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Vintage 1958 Gibson GA-9 Combo Amp Black Tolex

Vintage 1958 Gibson GA-9 Combo Amp Black Tolex

Santa Clarita, California, 913**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage original 1950s Gibson GA-9 combo amp. Absolutely fantastic warm and fat blues tones.
Serviced and working great with a good 3 prong chord so no shocks or sound issues. Has a replaced Eminence speaker. Emblem not original
Perfect for recording and gigging
... more
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1959 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul 1x12 Combo Tweed

1959 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul 1x12 Combo Tweed

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is an amazing sounding and coveted 1959 Gibson GA-40 Les Paul 1x12 Combo amplifier in its original tweed covering. I've always thought these are some of the best amps to come out of this era and at a fraction of the price of a Tweed Deluxe how could you say no? This example has had a 3 prong cable installed, has an aftermarket Tone Tubby TTC12-8 speaker installed, and an assortment of vintage tubes. Transformers are coded 166933, 133933 and 133937 all dating to 1959. Cosmetically ... more
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1957 1958 Gibson GA-20 Combo Amp

1957 1958 Gibson GA-20 Combo Amp

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 189**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1957 1958 era Gibson GA-20 Combo Amp2 tone tweedThe tweed was "sharpied" or painted with some black type sharpie or paintSome has been cleaned off, it is how I got itAmp has been serviced by George AlessandroA few caps have been changedOriginal Field coil speaker works but is a little buzzy
D-Town Guitars
1109 N Easton Rd Doylestown PA 18902
mon-fri 12-8pm sat 11-5pm EST- closed on sundays
... more
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1970s CMI Electronics (Gibson) SG Systems SG 100 Watt Tube Guitar Amplifier

1970's CMI Electronics (Gibson) SG Systems SG 100 Watt Tube Guitar Amplifier

Fort Mill, South Carolina, 297**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Hello !
Up for sale is an amazing vintage amplifier from CMI Electronics S G. Systems The SG 100 !
From my understanding, this amp was supposed to be a collaboration between Gibson and CMI Electronics and some other music giants of the day. I'm not even sure what the real story on this is, as I couldn't find any exact info on this unit, just going by what I heard on youtube
But never mind this boring and relatively inconsequential back story. What I do know is that few pieces of gear ... more
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Gibson Country Western Guitar Amplifier Amp GA-70

Gibson Country Western Guitar Amplifier Amp GA-70

Nashville, Tennessee, 372**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson GA-70 Country Western Amp
6L6, 12AU7, 12AY7, 7025 & 5V4 tubes
Ships from Nashville, TN... more
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Vintage 1970s Gibson GPA-70  ~  4-Channel Public Address (PA) Amplifier  ~  Works

Vintage 1970's Gibson GPA-70 ~ 4-Channel Public Address (PA) Amplifier ~ Works

Irvine, California, 926**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage 1970's Gibson GPA-70 ~ 4-Channel Public Address (PA) Amplifier ~ Works

Pleasetake advantage of the zoom feature on the photos to judge cosmetics foryourself. What you see in the photos is what exactly you receive. Ifit's not pictured it's not included
For orders with the Free Shipping, we reserve the right to use themost cost-effective means of shipping. In-store pickup only available by prior arrangementONLY
Shipping: Weship all items within 1 business days of ... more
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1961 Gibson GA-40 Tweed Les Paul Amplifier

1961 Gibson GA-40 Tweed Les Paul Amplifier

Cape Elizabeth, Maine, 041**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1961 Gibson GA-40 Tweed Les Paul amp in great condition. Very few of these ever have both the Les Paul & Gibson badges intact. The speaker code (1960) and transformer codes (all 1961) point to this as a 1961 amp. The original 2 prong power cable was converted to a grounded 3-prong plug albeit on the short side. Includes the original wood tremelo foot switch. All original except for the converted power cable and the worn out electrolytics replaced. This is an amazing amp
First heard one ... more
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1959 1960 Gibson Skylark GA-5 Combo Amp Cream Tolex

1959 1960 Gibson Skylark GA-5 Combo Amp Cream Tolex

Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 189**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1959-1960 era Gibson GA-5 Skylark Combo Amp5 watts 8" speakerNice condition looks to be originalWorks great
D-Town Guitars1109 N Easton Rd Doylestown PA 18902
Mon-Fri 12-8pm sat 11-3pm EST- closed on Sundays
... more
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Vintage 1955 Gibson GA-5 Les Paul Junior Amp

Vintage 1955 Gibson GA-5 Les Paul Junior Amp

Providence, Rhode Island, 029**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Free eBay listing template designed by dewiso comVintage 1955 Gibson GA-5 Les Paul Junior Amp
Fully tested working properly. The unit shows signs of wear. The plug in cable may need replacement. The whole unit is in its original condition. Please review our detailed pictures of the actual unit for sale
Included: 1-Vintage 1955 Gibson GA-5 Les Paul Junior Amp only
We can be contacted at any time through eBay messages if you have... more
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1965 Gibson GA-20RVT Minuteman 1 x 12" Guitar Combo Amplifier - NEEDS REPAIR

1965 Gibson GA-20RVT Minuteman 1 x 12" Guitar Combo Amplifier - NEEDS REPAIR

Manhasset, New York, 110**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


1965 Gibson GA-20RVT Minuteman 1 x 12" Guitar Combo Amplifier - NEEDS REPAIR
A vintage Gibson GA-20RVT from 1965 - This one is for parts or needs repair - amp will turn on and function, but is not recommended to keep on for elongated period of time. The amplifier needs work and repair at a component-based level. The tremolo is also not working. An experienced tech should be capable to get this one up and running.
The Gibson GA-20RVT is a cool little amp - great for the stage or studio. ... more
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Gibson BR-6F 3-Input 10-Watt 1x8" Guitar Combo 1948 - 1954

Gibson BR-6F 3-Input 10-Watt 1x8" Guitar Combo 1948 - 1954

Wayne, Pennsylvania, 190**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson BR-6F 3-Input 10-Watt 1x8" Guitar Combo 1948 - 1954. This amp has nice warm tubes. Very satisfying fuzz at higher gains. Originally for lap steel but I used it with regular electric guitars. Three inputs. One volume knob. Handle is long gone and the wrapping is a little tattered but the amp itself works great
Cord is not grounded. Speaker is 8"
Search this on youtube: "Pasquale Grasso - Solitude (Official Video) ft. Samara Joy "
... more
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1951 Gibson GA-20 Combo Amp

1951 Gibson GA-20 Combo Amp

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is a 1951 Gibson GA-20 Combo Amp with brown tolex. This amplifier sounds amazing and retains its original Jensen P12R speaker which is coded 220106 dating to the 6th week of 1951. 6V6 based and retains all vintage tubes. Handle and power cable are replaced. Sounds amazing!

... more
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Gibson 8" Invader Jenson Speaker Vintage Rare

Gibson 8" Invader Jenson Speaker Vintage Rare

Nashville, Tennessee, 372**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Retro Gear Shop is a high-end boutique store located in Nashville, Tennessee
Gibson 8" Invader Jenson Speaker Vintage RareWe have not had time to test this. Sold as-is, untested, no warranties, guarantees, refunds or returns
* Check out the pictures to make sure you like it. Pictures are of actual item for sale *
Flat rate shipping in the USA
Discounted international shipping flat rate
Any questions please ask!... more
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Vintage 50-60s Gibson Amplifier Bell Knobs  . ( Sold Individually )

Vintage 50-60s Gibson Amplifier Bell Knobs . ( Sold Individually )

Painesville, Ohio, 440**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


SOLD INDIVIDUALLY>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Up for sale are two Gibson amplifier bell knobs used during the later 50s and early 60s that are mostly found on the tweed amps of the era. VERY hard to find and if you would like more than one, CONTACT ME FIRST BEFORE PURCHASING, so I can adjust the listing. These are my last two so buy before they are gone.
All amps, pickups and speakers are shipped in working condition and must be tested within 72 ... more
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Vintage Gibson G-10 Combo Amplifier Guitar Amp

Vintage Gibson G-10 Combo Amplifier Guitar Amp

Hicksville, New York, 118**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Vintage Gibson G-10 Combo Amplifier Guitar Amp
Hey there! This is a nice Vintage Gibson G-10 Combo Amplifier. With high and low gain options, this amp is bright, simple, and has amazing intensity. 20 Watts, solid state, its a killer vintage amplifier to say the least
Serial No: G10144
The amp has been tested and is in great overall condition, it's got some wear from over the years but sounds great and works well!
The G-10 measures 20 25" x 8" x 18 5" and weigh 19 lbs and 15 oz ... more
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Gibson GSS50 - Vintage 1960s Solid State Guitar Amplifier

Gibson GSS50 - Vintage 1960's Solid State Guitar Amplifier

Hicksville, New York, 118**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Gibson GSS50 - Vintage 1960's Solid State Amplifier
Hey there! This is the Gibson GSS50, a vintage Gibson Solid State Amplifier made in the 1960's. The amp is solid state with a very nice spring reverb and built in tremolo. The tremolo can go from shallow and springy to a very cool deep phaser-like sound. It's a great sounding and great looking amp
Serial No: 3100-01537
The GSS50 is in good overall condition, it has some wear from over the years but has been tested and works well! The ... more
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90??s pre GIBSON Trace Elliott Acoustic Guitar TA50 Amp UK Amplifier   ~  Wonderful

90??s pre GIBSON Trace Elliott Acoustic Guitar TA50 Amp UK Amplifier ~ Wonderful

Brighton, Colorado, 806**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


sweet 90's pre GIBSON Trace Elliott Acoustic TA50 Amp UK Amplifier ~ Wonderful
I've been selling on eBay since January 1999. My feedback speaks for itself with over 24 years of helping buyers fulfill their quest to find just the right item. Bid with total confidence.
Product Description: Being offered is a very special example of an early pre-Gibson Trace Acoustic amplifier. Born in the UK in the mid 90's, this multi-voltage unit will operate in the US as well as overseas. The serial... more
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There are 3 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Daniel Comment left 23rd November 2022 12:12:24 reply
The 1952 Gibson Gibsonette GA-8 is a really great one, and bring me good memories
Stu Weissman Comment left 3rd April 2021 15:03:05 reply
Appreciate the article. Gibson also made a GA-100A from the earlier 70s.
Colin Comment left 1st July 2020 13:01:21 reply
I have a vintage Gibson GPA 100 set. Not sure what year . 1973 or earlier


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1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass Rose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner Zambesi This very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super Ace The Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of £47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New Escort The Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin Care Catalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger Folk The Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar The Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalog Hagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner President The President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual

1971 Gibson Les Paul Recording guitar owners manual The newly designed Les Paul Recording guitar was released in 1971, in many ways as an updated version of the Les Paul Professional that had debuted two years earlier in 1969. The new guitar came with a new owners manual explaining the (somewhat complicated) controls, their operation, and giving other specifications, including recommended strings, action and control settings. Compare with the broadly similar owners manual for the Les Paul Personal / Professional