This 1953 Gibson GA-20 amplifier comes to us from the son of the original owner, who purchased it new in 1953 and lovingly maintained it his entire life. 1953 marks the last year of production for this first version 1x12 all-tube combo, and this GA-20 aimed at bringing competition to Fender's Deluxe amplifier of the same period. Pushing approximately 14 watts output via a pair of 6V6 power tubes and with a 6SJ7 octal tube preamp stage, it occupies some of the sonic space of an old 'wide panel' Fender Deluxe while delivering something a bit different to the table. It's darker than a comparable Fender, with a rich midrange, rounded treble, and a fat overdriven tone when cranked up. We had a blast opening this amp up with an original 1953 Gibson Les Paul goldtop - old P90s seem to be a perfect match with a GA-20.
Stock GA-20s were wrapped in a light/medium Brown upholstery, and a quick look at this one reveals that it's not quite the same color as others out there. It was determined that the owner had hand-applied his own black shellac finish over the cabinet many years ago, and did a pretty great job with the homegrown application. You can still see exposed original brown covering inside the back of the cabinet. Another early modification was the addition of an extension speaker output jack installed into the side of the cabinet. A nifty mod that allowed the owner to run an additional cabinet in conjunction with the stock Jensen alnico speaker.
A recent handle replacement and some service by one of the best local amp techs in the game - Stan Day - has this wonderful early 50s GA-20 shining on all fronts.
When it comes to no-frills mid-century tube amplifiers, the Gibson GA-20 rests comfortably as a top choice for blues, swing, country, jazz, and rock players alike.
Priced with original slipcover and original GA-20 Owner's Manual.
- Finger-jointed Redwood cabinet
- 14 Watts output via (2) 6V6 power tubes
- 6SL7 octal tube preamp and 6SL7 phase inverter
- Original Jensen Alnico 5 P12R 12" speaker
- Controls: Mic Volume, Instrument Volume, Tone
- Inputs: Instrument (3), Microphone (1)
- Replaced handle
- Modified for speaker jack extension
- Weight: Approx. 22 lbs