While Gibson doesn't have a storied history as an amplifier company, their mid and late 50s amps offer some of the best vintage tone for the money. This super clean 1959 GA-18T Explorer is the perfect example of what a properly serviced vintage Gibson amp can deliver.
Boasting about 12-14 watts via a pair of cathode-biased 6V6 power tubes, the GA-18T offers up that rich tweed-like tonality with a lively response and some fantastic natural tube overdrive when cranked. The GA-18T combines elements of Fender's legendary 5E3 Deluxe with the bias tremolo often found in the Tremolux/Vibrolux circuits of the same time period. Housed in a finger-jointed pine cabinet and loaded with its original Jensen P10R Alnico speaker, it's hard to ignore the similarities; but it's not necessarily a bad thing. Clearly, there was some health competition brewing between the two electric instrument giants.
Gibson was not one to rest on their laurels in terms of design aesthetic. Circuits and cosmetics changed frequently, with this version being the most "traditionally" identifiable with its competition. This GA-18T retains a mostly clean tweed covering and original Oxblood grill cloth, along with its original Mahogany footswitch for remote control over the tremolo circuit. Another neat (yet shortlived) feature was the matching tweed-inset handle with Gibson logo, which this amp proudly sports. The original Gibson speaker baffle logo is long gone, but a repro can easily be sourced for someone looking to have the complete aesthetic.
The amp came to us in 100% stock condition, so we had our local amp tech Stan Day go through it and take care of the essentials - a recap, three prong power cable, and some general TLC and cleaning. It's about as complete as they come, and ready to go to work!