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A Kalamazoo followed me home

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Milspec, Jan 23, 2021.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    amp 002.jpg amp 004.jpg amp 003.jpg I mentioned this amp about a year ago, but wasn't able to convince the owner to sell it...today I got a second chance when I found it at my guitar tech's shop. This time, I became the new owner.

    It is a Kalamazoo KEA (probably a KEA-R) with the 10" Rola FC speaker. The original cabinet was destroyed so the owner installed it into this vintage old clam-shell phonograph player. Fits damn good with a very unique look to it.

    These are dual 6V6 amps, approx. 10 watts, and just a single knob operation. Tech gave it a clean bill of health and it sounded good, so I made the adoption. It does still have the original 2 prong cord though, which is disappointing, but I'll deal with that later.

    Surprisingly, the tone never gets fuzzy. Stays very articulate and clean, when cranked it takes on the AC15 clean tone flavor, but never really breaks up. In other words....I really like it. Gibson did a good job building these little amps.

    I am struggling to date the speaker. It clearly is a Rola (285 code) but there are only 3 digits instead of 4 following. Surely, it isn't a 1912 speaker, so not sure what the deal is with the code of 285126. The amp is likely early '50's, but I don't see a date code or serial number on the outside of the chassis, so it could be any of the years they were produced.

    All-in-all, a cool little amp that is lightweight, and still plenty loud enough for most uses.
     
    uriah1, gitold, Wildeman and 19 others like this.
  2. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    Nice!! I love it! That's a keeper.
     
    Milspec likes this.
  3. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    That's the kind of sound I've been looking for– a clean AC15 type tone. I'd love to hear a recording of it!
    (I own a '34 Kalamzoo KG-11 'small burst'– a great finger-pickin' sound. Wish I could finger pick better!)
    Very nice amp!
     
  4. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    I am not the best at recording things, but I might give it a try this weekend. Otherwise, I think Uncle Doug has a repair video on one some time ago...might have a sound clip in there. I will have to look for that as well.
     
    drewg likes this.
  5. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    I found the Uncle Doug video. He starts playing it at about 41 minutes. Classic sound!
     
    emisilly, Paul G. and Milspec like this.
  6. Milspec

    Milspec Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well done, good find...his videos are always very interesting even to an electrical idiot like me.
     
    drewg likes this.
  7. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Afflicted

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    check caps and pots and transformers but probably 51. very cool amp!!

    you may want to check with the gibson tube amp group on FB.

    play music!
     
    Wally and Milspec like this.
  8. fernieite

    fernieite Tele-Meister

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    Cool find! The speaker date code indicates the 26th week of 1951, I believe.

    My 1948 Supro Supreme has a similar 10" Rola field coil in it.
     
    Milspec likes this.
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