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Old November 16th, 2011, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gibson Lab Series L-5, L-7, L-9

After recently discovering what an active parametric mid control on an old PV Session 500 did for my tele, a sad memory came back..that of my old Gibson Lab Series amp, which had(IMHO)the absolute best active mid control ever to land on a control panel. I'm looking for one now again..in particular, the 2-12 L-5. I would also consider the 4-10 L-7, and the 1-15 L-9. I'm also willing to swap an early(82') Randall RG-80 112SC combo in excellent condition, including original footswitch, for a comparable Lab Series. Let me know guys. Thanks!

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Old November 16th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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B.J., imho the real 'magic' of the Lab Series amps was the multifilter section and to some extent the compression circutiry. The Moog folks knew what they were doing when they designed that amp. I still hold that it is the best SS amp that I have ever owned or heard. Mine cost me a leg and an arm in todays dollars when I bought it new...somewhere over $2K in today's dollars.
The Lab still doesn't do what an all-tube amp does, but it gets very close, imho.
Good luck with the search. I sometimes have a wish to buy my L-5 back from the guy who has it....just for sentimental reasons, I suppose. And...just to show folks how good a solid state can be IF there is a lot of expense put into building it. They are good SS amps, but I soldmine after a good A/B test side-by-side with a healthy TR. There still is an advantage to the tube amp.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 06:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Most tube-like sounding SS amp ever. I used an L-9 for steel and Tele. Was really bummed out when I got a Peavy Vegas. If I were still giggin', I get another.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 06:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For a minute there I was giving thought to offering my old L7 for sale. But that amp has been with me so long I'm not sure if I am ready to part with it. I had both the L5 & L7 for a while. Sold the L5 back in the mid 90's and kept the L7. I liked the sound of the four 10's a lot more.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 07:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yea, I was going to sell my L-9 with the 15" EV, but no one seems to know what they are. Just too heavy to gig anymore, so I'll enjoy it in the house, on occasion. No sense in giving it away.
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Old November 16th, 2011, 10:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Gibson L5 is one that B.B. King uses. I also read and some here can confirm it or deny it, that these amps were built by late Dr. Robert Moog?
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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I think they were designed by Moog & Gibson, built by Gibson.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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AS noted in my first post....Designed by Moog. Built by ??? I don't know that Gibson had amplifier construction facilities and people at that time??? Norlin owned Gibson at this time, and they could have had the amp built by who knows who?? I do know that the schematic is not a simple one.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Forgot about Norlin.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Allan Holdsworth used these amps for a number of years
as well. You can find photos of his rig with those amps
during the 80's.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 01:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I used to have an L3 back in to 70's, but i dont remember much about it.
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Old November 18th, 2011, 02:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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photoweborama, the L-3 was a much simpler amp than the L-5, L-7 and L-9. It did not have the Multifilter section or the compression circuitry, IIRC....adn those make those amps happen, imho.
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Old November 19th, 2011, 09:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Should have known. I don't particulary remember it sounding good.
I just got it because I at that stage of my life, I wanted all Gibson stuff, no matter what it sounded like!
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Old November 19th, 2011, 11:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Regarding history, I think the Lab Series company was originally founded by Bob Moog, who patented some of the features of the L-series amps. It was bought out by Norlin in the late 70s and the amps were marketed through Norlin-owned Gibson outlets. But they weren't designed or built by the Gibson company itself or anyone in it, as far as I know.

I do believe that Dan Pearce, who later founded his own company, had a hand in the design of my L3 and also probably the bigger L-series amps referred to here.
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Old November 20th, 2011, 05:40 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am not associated with the seller, but i came across this today... if you're in the northern Virginia area, this seems pretty inexpensive.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/n...710339662.html
Gibson Vintage L7 Lab Series Amp Like Fender Super Reverb - $220 (Manassas)
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Old November 21st, 2011, 10:36 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Lab Series L-7 amp

Hey thanks Tacomac for the lead in virginia on the L-7. It is fairly reasonable, and I'm going to look into it!
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Old November 21st, 2011, 11:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Awesome! I had an L5 years ago, and traded it away. It was really too much amp for me then (and now), but i only paid $60 or $80 for it and traded it for a Crate Tube amp new. I hope it works out for oyu, that think (L7) looks HUGE!
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 06:15 AM   #18 (permalink)
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A couple links for more info:

http://www.netads.com/~meo/Guitar/Amps/Lab/

http://www.diyguitarist.com/GuitarAmps/LabSeriesL5.htm

I think Tony474 is right on about Moog, Pearce and Norlin. I read that Bob Moog and Les Paul were friends and that Les may have had a hand in the tone voicing.
I have an L2 Bass head I picked up (inop) for 15 bucks at the local GW. The preamp jack bypasses were corroded. A quick cleanup and zowie, a great sounding guitar amp. Well worth looking for a deal on one, IMHO.
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