Any Gibson Lancer GA-6 owners out there (or amp guys) who can give me some advice? - Telecaster Guitar Forum
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Old March 2nd, 2013, 03:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Any Gibson Lancer GA-6 owners out there (or amp guys) who can give me some advice?

hi all. i recently bought a 1960 gibson lancer ga-6. it's sort of a 5e3 type amp. it looks like hell but it has a massive tone.

the other night i compared it to a whole bunch of my buddy's amps, including his tweed 59 deluxe and a whole bunch of vintage ampegs, fenders and voxes; as well as his boutique amps, including a carr, a matchless, a swart and 3 types of goodsells. the thing holds its own against all of them except for the tweed 59 deluxe (imo). given that i paid $499 for the gibson, i think i did alright. still, the amp needs some changes. it has the original rca tubes in it, as well as the original jensen speaker. the speaker farts out pretty bad, unfortunately. so i went to my local shop and the amp guy there suggested i put a $76 warehouse reaper in it. got it home and put it in, but the back of the speaker is too big and sticks out to far so that the tubes won't clear it. sounded incredible and handled low notes well without farting out, but since it doesn't fit i'm back to the drawing board. i'm told the warehouse green beret might be a tad shallower, so that might fit. either that or some kind of eminence. but the eminence ones are expensive, i know. so i'm curious what people who use these amps think is the best sounding speaker according to value. i've read the celestion alnico blue is great. but it's $250 or so. not really wanting to spend that much unless i have to. but i might if someone were to convince me it's worth it. anyway, i'm wondering what any owners of these amps use, and what people with experience with them think is the way to go. my main issue is the farting out. but i probably wouldn't mind too much having a tad more clean headroom. and i want to make sure to avoid that box-y sound that some small combos can have.

additionally, i should mention that there's some rattling inside the chassis. several of the components are vibrating like mad when the amp is played through. anybody have any thoughts as to what i should do about that, particularly with regard to the layout of the guts of this particular amp?

thanks a lot.

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Old March 2nd, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1960 Gibson Lancer. Have you had the caps done on it? My amp farted out after half volume. I thought it might be the speaker, as well. Took it to a tech. He did a cap job and a cleaning but said the speaker was fine. I tell you I love this amp. It really rips. Sounds great with my telecaster.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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yes, that's the exact one i got. glad you love it. the sound really grabbed me when i tried it in the store.

no, i have not had the caps done. i'll ask a tech about that.

so, you're using the original speaker, and not getting farting out? are you just using your tele with it? because i've got a 335 too, and i'd like the amp to be able to handle that too.

i realized the vibration inside the chassis was happening because the replacement speaker didn't fit. it was touching a tube and sending vibrations through the chassis.

i'll ask the tech about the caps when i go back about the speaker. thanks
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 09:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had an earlier GA6 (non lancer) that had an original Chicago Jensen in it.
I replaced the caps, same style are available at AES.
That amp sounded so Good !!! I ended up selling it to a local Harp player that made that thing absolutely Sing !!!!
http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m...n/100_1970.jpg
http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m...n/100_1979.jpg
Easy fix !
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Do the caps BEFORE !!! you swap out that amazing speaker !
Amp is what is "farting out" most likely !
Thos caps are most likely original, see my pictures if those (looks like sticks of TNT) are original they are 20 years past due for changing and causing most of your troubles !
Need help ? just yell, its an easy fix (done safely) !!!
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 10:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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yes, that's the exact one i got. glad you love it. the sound really grabbed me when i tried it in the store.

no, i have not had the caps done. i'll ask a tech about that.

so, you're using the original speaker, and not getting farting out? are you just using your tele with it? because i've got a 335 too, and i'd like the amp to be able to handle that too.

i realized the vibration inside the chassis was happening because the replacement speaker didn't fit. it was touching a tube and sending vibrations through the chassis.

i'll ask the tech about the caps when i go back about the speaker. thanks
I would be reluctant to replace that speaker unless it is shot. New speakers take dozens of hours to break in properly. Yours is already broken in. First thing you want to do is take it to a good tech and he should be able to tell you what the amp needs. It probably needs a cap job, grounded cable put on, clean up the tube sockets, re-flow solder that's corroded, check the tubes (replace if necessary) and test the speaker. If it does need a new speaker he can make recommendations for you. It's tough to give up a new toy, especially because most good techs have a multi-week waiting list, but it must be done for the longevity of the amp and so that is reliable if you are gigging with it.
By the way, my Les Paul absolutely sings through that amp. I'm just diggin' my Tele (besides, it is a Telecaster discussion forum).
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 11:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great amps I have a GA14 which is very similar circuit but with a 10inch speaker, the original speaker had been replaced when I got it but I didn't like it, so I put a wgs vet 10 in it sounded amazing straight out of the box.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thanks all for your replies. yeah, mine came with the original chicago jensen. the cone appears to be in great shape just based on looking at it, but when i took it out i heard a piece of metal rattling around in there. i don't hear it now when i shake it, but i'm guessing it's stuck to the magnet. not sure what that is, or if that had something to do with the farting out problem. thing is, there's also a raspy sound from that speaker in addition to the farting out. i tried the original jensen in my blues jr. it sounded crazy good, but it was making that raspy sound, and maybe farting out too, i couldn't tell. didn't leave it in long. i think the blues jr needs a jensen style speaker. but that's another issue. i tried the reaper in the blues jr too. couldn't resist. it didn't sound as good as the jensen. it had no issues in there, though. i guess i need some kind of full diagnostic done on the gibson amp. if it needs the caps done, and you guys think i can do it, maybe i'll try. i have no experience with it, though.

here's what my gibson amp's guts look like:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7163280...in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7163280...ream/lightbox/

how do these look?

now i'm not sure what to do... ha!
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Old March 4th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 2after909 View Post
i guess i need some kind of full diagnostic done on the gibson amp. if it needs the caps done, and you guys think i can do it, maybe i'll try. i have no experience with it, though.


how do these look?

now i'm not sure what to do... ha!
Hey bro, I never said I thought you could change the caps yourself. Leave the thing alone and bring it to a tech. You have no experience with this and there's a very good chance that you will do it wrong. But more importantly, there is enough voltage in that amp to kill you.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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alright, i won't mess with it myself then.

what's annoying is i already paid $138 for a tech to glue down a component, put in a grounded cord, and tell me i might want to replace a speaker. he never mentioned the likely cause of farting out being that the caps are 53 years old.

plus i dropped $80 on a speaker and might not needed to have.

i told him my priorities were for the amp to be reliable, and for the speaker to not fart out, because I want to gig with this amp and he never mentioned replacing the caps.

i'm frustrated. i just want to get this thing in solid working order.
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Old March 4th, 2013, 07:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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alright, i won't mess with it myself then.

what's annoying is i already paid $138 for a tech to glue down a component, put in a grounded cord, and tell me i might want to replace a speaker. he never mentioned the likely cause of farting out being that the caps are 53 years old.

plus i dropped $80 on a speaker and might not needed to have.

i told him my priorities were for the amp to be reliable, and for the speaker to not fart out, because I want to gig with this amp and he never mentioned replacing the caps.

i'm frustrated. i just want to get this thing in solid working order.
Hate to say this, but welcome to the world of vintage tube amps. They can be expensive, time consuming, and sometimes not worth the trouble. But when they sing like they're supposed to there's nothing like them. Come to think of it, they're alot like women. If you continue down the vintage road you will eventually learn enough about them that you don't get shafted by techs and snake-oil salesmen. It is also wise to keep a reliable back up or two if you are gigging with them. I feel your frustration, though. Not for the faint of heart.
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Old March 5th, 2013, 08:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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ha, thanks. but i'm not exactly new to it. i've owned two vintage fenders, a twin and a super, and a 60s slivertone twin twelve. in fact, the blues jr is the only new amp i've ever owned and i only got it so i'd have something easy to carry around in nyc. it's by far the least hassle any amp's given me. so maybe i should know better, i don't know. you're right, though. when they sing, they're worth it. i'm gonna get this gibson to where it's perfect. i don't think i got shafted by the tech. i think he just wouldn't do anything unless i explicitly told him to. but the reason i won't be taking my amps back to him is that he never even mentioned that the ancient caps might need to be changed. lame.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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ok, if anybody's curious... so, the tech had thoroughly gone through the amp. i guess it had been played regularly by the previous owner, so that the caps are still reading at the right level. kind of amazing for 53 year old caps. but, oh well. with a new speaker in it the amp sounds amazing. it seems like the farting out sound was due, indeed, to the condition of the vintage jensen, not the caps being worn out. i considered having them changed, just for reliability's sake. but i don't want to spend any more money on it. i tried a warehouse 12et656 in it, and it sounded great, with it's mid scoop and added clean headroom. but then i tried that speaker in my blues jr and that's where that thing's going to live. today i think i'll pick up a warehouse green beret for the gibson, to emphasize the mids a bit more and keep that early breakup, which is really, really nice. i'll be relieved to have my amps put back together and in good working order. there's something unsettling about being silenced for a few days.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 08:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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All's well that ends well. That' great bro.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a 1960 GA-6 Lancer and it's one of the best amps ever! I like it slightly better than my 56 Deluxe....very similar tweed amps. Once you get it up and running correctly I think you'll love it.
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Old March 6th, 2013, 11:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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so, i went through with my plan and put a wgs green beret, which, i guess, is basically for all intents and purposes a celestion greenback, in the ga-6 tonight, and i've been rattling the walls with it for the past couple hours. the thing is a monster. i'm super pleased. early breakup, warm mids, and enough volume to play madison square garden. and all from 14 watts. it doesn't have the low end that my friend's 59 tweed deluxe has, and i wouldn't pretend for a second that it has the harmonic complexity or the special something that those kinds of amps have, but i swear, it's a really great rock and roll amp. holds its own, for sure.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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For $100 or so you can buy the correct Jensen speaker, Jensen reissued them. If it's not a P12R I might switch to that. Can't see putting in something else, it's no longer a Lancer. It's designed around the Jensen. I've had one for 20 years, compared it to 59 Tweed Deluxes, it makes them sound like poop. Everyone is hypnotized by the 59 Tweed Deluxe Holy Grail. Ain't so. Lancer is the ticket to ride. I have the Lancer, never needed a 59 Fender after getting it. Selling my 59 Champ too. With, of course, a Jensen Special Design Blue Label Alnico.
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Old July 12th, 2013, 08:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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If you want an alnico, try the WGS Blackhawk. It's a high efficiency spaaker that does not break up and crunch early, still has the warmth and resonance you could expect from alnico. Picked one up used for my '59 GA-40 and really enjoy it in that amp. Which, like yours, is 14 watts of whupass.
MD
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Old July 31st, 2013, 03:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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ok, if anybody's curious... so, the tech had thoroughly gone through the amp. i guess it had been played regularly by the previous owner, so that the caps are still reading at the right level. kind of amazing for 53 year old caps. but, oh well. with a new speaker in it the amp sounds amazing. it seems like the farting out sound was due, indeed, to the condition of the vintage jensen, not the caps being worn out. i considered having them changed, just for reliability's sake. but i don't want to spend any more money on it.
In my experience, "farting out" is not typically a symptom of caps that are shot. In amps that I've heard with bad caps (some of them mine) I've come across "motor boating" - a putt-putt type sound, very loud humming with low sound output, whistling when hot, a massive, sudden failure resulting in smoke, flames very loud noise then silence.

For the record, I have a 1956 Magnatone with the original caps that sounds fabulous, and with which I gig regularly. I've owned it for many years and just replaced the original Jensen the year before last because it was getting raspy at certain frequencies. The cone was developing a small split near the surround, and I think this was the culprit. It can also be caused by a rubbing voice coil due to warping or the build up of dust and other crap in the gap. I put in a Weber 8A125 Chicago Vintage. Sounds great and is ready for another 57 years, I assume.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 01:44 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Long before electrolytics go into 'motorboating'mode, they will render a tube amp as something less than it should be. THe weakness can be heard....and I have never heard an amp that old that sounds like it should. The signs I look for....before the motorboating or hum begins....would be weak lows with otu-of-tune subharmonics, no sparkle to the high end and no 'dimension' to the soonic stage. Imho and ime, this Gibson GA-6 needs to be recapped. A healthy GA-6 is a very complex and rich sounding amp......and indeed is a match for any 5E3 that I have heard...albeit with just a bit different sound.

Welcome, river251. River wrote: "For $100 or so you can buy the correct Jensen speaker, Jensen reissued them." Well, that modern Jensen is an Alnico, but it is not a reissue of anything. IF one wants a good clone of the original Jensens, Weber or EMinence are the only ones that comes close, ime. THe new Jensens have the label that says 'Jensen', and that is about as close as they come to vintage JEnsen sounds, ime.
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