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Gibson Lab Series L-5, L-7, L-9

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by B.J.TELE, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. B.J.TELE

    B.J.TELE TDPRI Member

    78
    Nov 30, 2009
    Chinook, MT
    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!
     
  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    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.
     
  3. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

    Nov 29, 2003
    ohio
    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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  5. Telesavalis

    Telesavalis Friend of Leo's

    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.
     
  6. Ramblin Ray

    Ramblin Ray Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    New York
    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.
     
  7. tazzboy

    tazzboy Former Member

    May 5, 2005
    Oregon
    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?
     
  8. Telesavalis

    Telesavalis Friend of Leo's

    I think they were designed by Moog & Gibson, built by Gibson.
     
  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    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.
     
  10. Telesavalis

    Telesavalis Friend of Leo's

    Forgot about Norlin.
     
  11. Dr. Pants

    Dr. Pants Banned

    Jun 27, 2011
    HERE
    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.
     
  12. photoweborama

    photoweborama Friend of Leo's

    Dec 16, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    I used to have an L3 back in to 70's, but i dont remember much about it.
     
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    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.
     
  14. photoweborama

    photoweborama Friend of Leo's

    Dec 16, 2003
    Sacramento, CA
    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!
     
  15. Tony474

    Tony474 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    69
    Apr 16, 2007
    North Bushey, England.
    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.
     
  16. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 2, 2009
    Northeast Pa
  17. B.J.TELE

    B.J.TELE TDPRI Member

    78
    Nov 30, 2009
    Chinook, MT
    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!
     
  18. tacomamc

    tacomamc Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 2, 2009
    Northeast Pa
    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!
     
  19. Magoo

    Magoo NEW MEMBER!

    2
    Nov 22, 2010
    Machias, WA
    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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