Gibson Lab Series L3

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by schmee, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I've had the bigger units. What about the L3. Not powerful enough for many people I've read, but here is the deal:
    I've been thinking of getting a Roland JC40 for duo and jazzy stuff. But I balk at the price and the weight.. 35 lbs. Not really that small an amp about the size of a Deluxe Reverb actually. 24 x 17 or so.

    SO I got to thinking, maybe if I found an L3 it would fit the bill at a cheap price? Might be just as heavy though, not sure. But at a good price a pine cab could be made...

    Hopefully Wally will chime in, he's the TDPRI Lab Series factotum!
     
  2. jackal

    jackal Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I had a L3 back in the early 80s. One of the few amps that I regret letting go of. It had plenty of volume, to max it out, I had to have a long cord and leave the room.
     
  3. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The L3 is not the same amp as the L5/7/9/11 amps. The L3 has volume, Teble, mid, bass and Reverb....single channel. The L5/7/9/11 amps have two channels...one simple one with Volume and TMB tones while the second channel has volume, bass, treble and amidrange parametric section. There is also a Multifilter section and that is where the harmonic magic occurs that allows the amp to attain some of those tube-like harmonic structures. There is Reverb in that channel as well. There is a great compression circuit and master volume that applies to both channels. The inputs are labeled Hi and Low. The Hi labeling indicates that the designers thought high output pickups should be plugged into that input, which is the lower gain of the two inputs. I plug all guitars into the Lo input...which is the higher gain input....because I might want some gain.
    The MOOG designers knew what they were doing when they built the 5/7/9/11 amps, imho.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  4. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, I know the L3 is simpler and doesn't have all the features. Simple doesn't bother me much, but I did enjoy fiddling with the controls on the big ones I had. I had the 4 x 10 and the 1 x 15. But frankly, once I found what I wanted I didn't change them much. Looking for fairly small and cheap. I may just keep using my Loudbox Mini, but it's a bit boxy sounding for jazzy stuff to me. great for the piezo acoustic though. Probably the closed back on it. There are probably a ton of SS amps I could use for this. But the L3 idea came upon me. Probably a heavy little amp. It just seems to me they are asking way too much for some of these small SS amps for acoustic or Jazz Chorus applications... and I really dont want a SS amp with a computer in it!
     
  5. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    I had an L3. Not many around, certainly worth seeking out. Mine was on the light side. Guessing low 30s for pounds. The stock speaker was nothing to write home about. I tried various, ended up with an Emi ceramic, cannot remember which.

    The big plus here is how well the MV works. It's a very tubelike amp in the volume/master interaction. You can get excellent edge of breakup sounds, one of the best natural sounding edge/compression sounds I've heard from SS. At the time, 60 watts was not enough for me to take the amp out. But I wish I had kept it, as the sound was excellent. Not boxy either. The cab seemed right sized to the power.

    My current SS favorite is an 80s Polytone Minibrute II. At 100 watts or so, much more flexible in terms of how it can be used. Equally tasty tonally, but no MV. So it won't do the one thing I most appreciated from the L3.
     
  6. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

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    I had an L3. Not many around, certainly worth seeking out. Mine was on the light side. Guessing low 30s for pounds. The stock speaker was nothing to write home about. I tried various, ended up with an Emi ceramic, cannot remember which.

    The big plus here is how well the MV works. It's a very tubelike amp in the volume/master interaction. You can get excellent edge of breakup sounds, one of the best natural sounding edge/compression sounds I've heard from SS. At the time, 60 watts was not enough for me to take the amp out. But I wish I had kept it, as the sound was excellent. Not boxy either. The cab seemed right sized to the power.

    My current SS favorite is an 80s Polytone Minibrute II. At 100 watts or so, much more flexible in terms of how it can be used. Equally tasty tonally, but no MV. So it won't do the one thing I most appreciated from the L3.
     
  7. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I have one...... Somewhere...
     
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  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you ever have an L3 side by side with one of the larger Lab Series, it can immediately be heard why the L5/7/9/11 amps are superior IF one is interested in emulating those tube harmonics. That Multifilter section is magic. And, the parametric EQ allows one to more closely emulate different amps.....cut a certain range of mids and yo7 are in BF world. Push a certain range of mids, and you are in the tweed domain. Best solid state amps ever built forguitar, imho.
     
  9. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    I had one of the 100 w models. The one with 4/10 speakers, could also be had with a 15. L7 and L9 ,can't remember which had what speaker configuration.
    It was a really good amp, bought it together with a 77 Tele after nosing through the back room of a mom-pop store.
    As usual, I have absolutely no idea why I sold it, or where it went
    I have an L3 somewhere as I said. Someone's kid probably borrowed it years ago.... I seem to remember the reverb on those were having some cut out problems.
    As Wally said, not that good an amp compared to the bigger ones , but it was still a fairly good small amp at the time.
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    I should probably just be considering a Katana or something like that rather than an ancient amp I guess, it was a wild thought!
    I put this together a while back and it's pretty cool, but more pieces to carry around! Huge EV10 in the cab.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
  11. Tele-beeb

    Tele-beeb Friend of Leo's

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  12. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    Update:
    Well, I've done a couple things. I modded my Fishman Mini by making the back open (can seal it too) I'm about done with that and we'll see what that does. I also did the hardwood side panel mod some have done (due to the fragile Tolex like stuff Fishman uses.) It's gonna look killer if nothing else! Like this:
    [​IMG]

    I was thinking of buying the highly touted Jazz Chorus Roland JC-40 for the Duo acoustic/Jazzy archtop stuff. But after researching I decided to buy a similar Roland AC 60 model. Still 2 speakers and enough wattage, but the AC (acoustic) series had anti feedback and two channels, one for a mic. All the rest looks similar. I couldnt find out if the AC 40 is basically the same base amp as a JC 40 but it wouldnt surprise me. If I have to open up the back of the cab I will. I tend to like open back tone.
    I jumped out and bought this because I ran across a deal.
    So now one or the other will go for sale after I figure that out. ... will know soon if I have improved anything or not.!
     
  13. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

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    Cool stuff!

    Please do post some front/side back pics, and dimensions, any pics and tricks!
     
  14. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    Here she is!
    [​IMG]
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    It's a tough job for sure. The cab is originally MDF and all glued together. The end panels were rabbetted into the other pieces. I finally just broke the glue bond and rapped them with a hammer. They came off pretty clean fortunately. I only redid the end panels, some people build a whole new box but my main intention was just to open the back and I got a bit carried away! It's Elm wood I used. I made that back closure piece so it can be open or closed back.
     
  16. Zipslack

    Zipslack Tele-Meister

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    People around here are sleeping on the job....guess I'll have to do it...

    [​IMG]
     
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