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Gibson GA5 amp

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by squeezebox, Mar 25, 2008.

  1. squeezebox

    squeezebox Former Member

    262
    Mar 12, 2008
    Varies
    Now that the thrill of new gear has begun to wear off, just wondering if those that were lucky enough to get a GA5 amp this month are satisfied with the amp
     
  2. NewOldStock

    NewOldStock Tele-Holic

    786
    Mar 17, 2003
    Northern Minnesota
    I got one and my niece loves it(satisfied), but it was nothing like my original 50's GA's, which was kinda what I was hoping for. Gifted it.

    But mine were GA-9's, and I'd forgotten these were 2x6V6 amps(as well as 5Y3 rectifier and 12ax7). I would have bet a weeks pay it was a single 6V6 in them until I googled it earlier. I think that explains why I didn't care for the lower headroom of the new GA-5. Apples/oranges.
     
  3. mistermullens

    mistermullens Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 3, 2007
    Atlanta Area
    Still love mine. This is the first amp I've had with an 8in speaker that I like. It really sounds great. I haven't decided if I'm going to do the mods or upgrade the speaker yet, it sounds great the way it is.
     
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  5. We'll soon know

    On paper I have all the other bases covered; this smaller amp will be an excellent complement, given the fact it is super tweakeable and I can essentially customize it until it fills any voids left by my much bigger amps. 40 Watts, two at 50 and one at 80.

    I think the folks that will be having second thoughts are those having to choose this as their only amp or who 'have the need for knobs'. Since I routinely run my partscaster builds for weeks with just a bridge pickup to the output jack, I should be a good candidate for this lil guy.

    I'm not tired of mine yet, but it still has 200 miles to go before it gets here.
     
  6. BrianF

    BrianF Friend of Leo's

    Apr 11, 2003
    Carlsbad, Ca
    Just wondering though if Fender Pro Junior for $339 isn't a better amp...2 EL84's, 15W, 1x10 inch speaker
     
  7. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    This is/was the tube amp deal of the new millennium.

    Forgetting tone - which is a highly tweakable item in any tube amp - the GA-5 is a hands down winner because of its inherent quality of components, build, design and price point. This is a hand wired, made in the USA, boutique tube amp in box-stock clothing. You couldn't build a GA-5 for $300.

    If you know little about tube amps, and at best will swap tubes and speakers, the box stock GA-5 is as tweedy and grainy and flat-out raunchy as they come for what's basically a 5F1 - and you won't be able to explore its tonal possibilities without help. Right there, that could be deal breaker on a GA-5 because this amp is too easy to tweak for a fairly wide spectrum of tones but ya gotta be willing and able to tweak it.

    Not in a comfy position to perform even the ridiculously super simple "trinity" mods? Then this amp is probably not for you.

    THIS POST outlines the current crop of GA-5 mods and tweaks - read the entire thread to get a flavor of what this amp is capable of rendering.

    I bought two GA-5s and I'm actively pursing another pair.

    YMMV.
     
  8. red57strat

    red57strat Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 4, 2003
    Massachusetts
    I love mine. I've done a few of the mods that others have done with great results.

    The problem that I have with a small amp like the GA-5 is that I like to have it at ear level and be near it when I play. That kind of nullifies the low volume aspect of the amp (for my hearing, anyway).

    I'm mainly a blues guitarist, and with my Dano and the GA-5, I get a great Jimmy Reed kind of vibe.
    I've got different amps for different sounds.
     
  9. squeezebox

    squeezebox Former Member

    262
    Mar 12, 2008
    Varies
    Has anyone tried a 5751 in place of the 12AX7?
     
  10. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

  11. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    IMHO ...

    Pros - Variety of octal power tubes, standby, 12" driver, lotsa EQ and overdrive options, variety of outputs and inputs, FX loop, and lotsa other bells 'n' whistles I'm sure.

    Cons - NOT a Class A amp!, PCB based, not the best of components, dubious build, and probably other unknown nasties.

    Summary - All sizzle and no beef in comparison to a real Class A amp ... all depends on yer needs and not wants.
     
  12. Guitarslinger1

    Guitarslinger1 Banned

    971
    May 26, 2005
  13. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    As expected - lower front end gain, lower output. The far better way to tame the GA-5 is through one or more of the simple trinity mods, for the price of one 47k resistor.
     
  14. 6x47

    6x47 Tele-Holic

    804
    Mar 28, 2007
    Northern ON
    Where?

    It's safe to put one in any 12a_7 socket in a Fender amp.

    I've tried them as phase inverters and reverb drivers as well.
     
  15. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    This thread is about the GA-5. :D
     
  16. squeezebox

    squeezebox Former Member

    262
    Mar 12, 2008
    Varies
  17. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    re: "As expected (with a 5751 substitution) - lower front end gain, lower output. The far better way to tame the GA-5 is through one or more of the simple trinity mods, for the price of one 47k resistor (maybe)."
     
  18. I think wading thru the posts to find the gems of info in there is a mighty small price of admission. Mighty small price, knowing the answers are there.

    Thanks Rob.

    My task will be to burn the stock performance of this GA-5 into my brain, so I can make a knowledgeable assessment of these mods I'll do. Somehow, I guess 'cause I was mainly on solid state for so many years, I never got to spend any meaningful time with these small class A amps. It is like learning a different instrument. I don't think that's exaggerating.
     
  19. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    70
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    As with most tasty single ended amps, they tend to sound at least a tad better when ya feed 'em single coils, and there are mods that would enhance the tone for humbuckers. It basically is what it is.

    As to modding the GA-5 ...

    Nothing to do with tone, per se, but swapping the on/off switch for a Carling off/standby/on makes good functional sense.

    After playing the heck outta the box-stock GA-5, don't do all of the trinity mods - instead, do the first mod and just lift the bypass cap and listen to that for awhile ... then jumper the hipass filter and listen to that for awhile - those may be only circuit mods you'll wanna do ... unless you REALLY wanna mess with tone and start changing coupling and filter caps, and lotsa other "stuff". :D
     
  20. squeezebox

    squeezebox Former Member

    262
    Mar 12, 2008
    Varies
     
  21. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

    Jan 21, 2007
    Cleveburg, USA
    Different? yes.
    Better? Well, that depends.

    more tubes? Some would say better, some wouldn't
    more watts? ditto.
    Bigger speaker? Again, ear of the beholder....

    There's also the difference in place and style of construction and quality of components. Again, that might be important to you, and it might not.

    One man's ceiling is another man's floor.
     
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