Gibson Garage

Top | Main | Amps | Links | Other Stuff

GA-1RT(-1) Maestro Reverb-Echo (tweed)
GA-1RVT Maestro Reverb-Echo (aka Maestro M-1RVT) (tweed)
GA-2RT Maestro Deluxe Reverb-Echo (tweed)
GA-2RVT Maestro Deluxe Reverb-Echo
GA-3RV
GA-4RE
GA-5 Les Paul Junior
GA-5 Skylark (two-tone)
GA-5T Skylark (two-tone)
GA-5 Skylark (Crestline)
GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)
GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)
GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)
GA-5 Skylark (1967-)
GA-5T Skylark (1967-)
GA-6 (two-tone)
GA-6 Lancer (tweed)
GA-7 Les Paul TV
Gibsonette
GA-8 Gibsonette
GA-8T Gibsonette, GA-8T Discoverer
GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)
GA-8T Discoverer (Crestline)
GA-9 (two-tone)
GA-14 Titan
GA-15 Maestro (two-tone)
GA-15RV Maestro (tweed)
GA-15RVT Explorer (White Panel)
GA-16T Viscount
GA-17RVT Scout (Crestline)
GA-18 Explorer (Tweed)
GA-18T Explorer (Tweed)
GA-18T Explorer (Crestline)
GA-19RVT (Tweed)
GA-19RVT Falcon (Crestline)
GA-20
GA-20 (Two-Tone), Crest (Tweed)
GA-20T (Two-Tone), Ranger (Tweed)
GA-20RVT Minuteman (White Panel)
GA-25
GA-25RVT Hawk (Crestline)
GA-30
GA-30 (Two-Tone), Invader (Tweed)
GA-30RV Invader (Tweed)
GA-30RVT Invader (Crestline)
GA-35RVT Lancer (White Panel)
GA-40 Les Paul
GA-40 Les-Paul (Two-Tone), GA-40T Les-Paul (Tweed)
GA-40T Les Paul (Crestline)
GA-45T Maestro (Two-Tone), Standard (Tweed)
GA-45RV Maestro (Tweed)
GA-45RVT Saturn (White Panel)
GA-45RVTL Saturn (White Panel)
GA-46T Super Maestro (Two-Tone)
GA-50
GA-50T
GA-55 (Two-Tone)
GA-55 Ranger

GA-55V (Two-Tone)
GA-55RVT Ranger (White Panel)
GA-55RVTL Ranger (White Panel)
GA-60 Hercules (Crestline)
GA-70 Country and Western (Two-Tone)
GA-75/(75W)
GA-75 Recording (Crestline)
GA-75L Recording (Crestline)
GA-77 (Two-Tone),
Vanguard (Tweed)
GA-77RV Vanguard (Tweed)
GA-77RVT Vanguard (Crestline)
GA-77RVTL Vanguard (Crestline)
GA-77RET Vanguard (Crestline)
GA-77RETL Vanguard (Crestline)
GA-77RET Vanguard (White Panel)
GA-77RETL Vanguard (White Panel)
GA-78RV Maestro 30 (Tweed)
GA-78RVT Maestro 30 (Tweed)
GA-78RVS Maestro 30 (Tweed)
GA-79 Multi-Purpose (Tweed)
GA-79RV Multi-Purpose (Tweed)
GA-79RVT Multi-Purpose (Tweed)
GA-79RVT (Crestline)
GA-80 Vari-Tone (Tweed)
GA-83S Stereo-Vib (Tweed)
GA-85 (Two-Tone)
GA-86 Ensamble (Tweed)
GA-87 Stereo Maestro (Tweed)
GA-88S Stereo Twin (Tweed)
GA-90
GA-95RVT Apollo (White Panel)
GA-95RVTL Apollo (White Panel)
GA-100 Bass (Tweed)
GA-100 Bass (Crestline)
GA-200 (Two-Tone),
Rhythm King (Tweed)
GA-200 Rhythm King (Crestline)
GA-300RVT Super 300 (Crestline)
GA-400 Super 400 (Two-Tone)
GA-400 Super-400 (Crestline)
GA-CB
GA-Custom
BA-15RV
Atlas IV
Atlas IV (Power Plus)
Atlas IV L (Power Plus)
Atlas Medalist
Duo Medalist
Mercury I (Power Plus)
Mercury II (Power Plus)
Mercury II L (Power Plus)
Mercury Medalist
Titan I (Power Plus)
Titan III (Power Plus)
Titan V (Power Plus)
Titan Medalist
Thor

to the top GA-1RT(-1) Maestro Reverb-Echo (tweed)

8W 1x8" Guitar Combo with Reverb and Tremolo
Speakers: 1x8"
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: No
Tremolo: Speed
Reverb: Yes
Tubes: 3 (12AX7, 6BM8, 5Y3 or Pre (1x7025, 1x6BM8 + 5Y3))
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 8
Shipping Totals: 1961: 2183
Harmony Central Review GA1RT
Harmony Central Review Maestro Reverb/Echo Combo
Schematic with 1x 12AX7, 1x 6BM8 & 1x 5Y3GT [GA-1RT1] (Gibson)

Very fine practice, small venue, or recording amp. Unless you have and want a museum piece, it will need new / increased power supply caps and resistors, fresh cathode bypass caps, and a new volume pot. If you like the sound clean and round, change coupling caps to .1s, .05s for edgier, 'twangy' sound. Breaks up easily, adaptable, simple to work on.
Single-ended / Class A circuit; 12AX7 pre-amp, 6BM8 output with the front triode section operating the Tremolo function, and a 5Y3 rectifier. This model was originally fitted with a foot-switched reverb tank to be fed in a very awkward way from an independent separate amp where this amp was to 'echo' the original signal. This model was later upgraded to the GA1RVT with an additional tube / transformer to operate the reverb.
When my copy arrived, the reverb tank / FS were long gone; bought a used Dan-Echo; terrific, musical, sporty amp. (John Henderson)

Rate the GA-1RT...

to the top GA-1RVT Maestro Reverb-Echo (aka Maestro M-1RVT) (tweed)

8W 1x8" Guitar Combo with Reverb and Tremolo
Speakers: 1x8"
Inputs: 2?
Channels: 1?
Volume Controls: 1?
Tone Controls on Each Channel: No?
Tremolo: Speed?
Reverb: Yes
Tubes: 4 (6EU7, 7199, 6BM8, 5Y3 or Pre (1x7100, 1x6EU7, 1x6BM8+ 5Y3))
Extension Speaker Jack: No?
Monitor Jack: No?
Watts Output: 8
Shipping Totals: 1961: ?
Harmony Central Review Maestro Reverb/Echo Combo
Rate the GA-1RVT...

to the top GA-2RT Maestro Deluxe Reverb-Echo (tweed)

16W 1x12" Guitar Combo with Reverb and Tremolo
Speakers: 1x12"
Inputs: 2+2
Channels: 2
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls on Each Channel: 1
Tremolo: Speed, depth
Reverb: Yes
Tubes: 7 (4x6EU7, 12AU7, 2x6V6, 5Y3)
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 16
Shipping Totals: 1961: 396

I have one my father bought in 1961. It is amazing 10 on a scale of 10. (Tom)

Rate the GA-2RT...

to the top GA-2RVT Maestro Deluxe Reverb-Echo

16W 1x12" Guitar Combo with Reverb and Tremolo
Speakers: 1x12"
Inputs:
Channels:
Volume Controls:
Tone Controls on Each Channel:
Tremolo: Yes
Reverb: Yes
Tubes: 8 (Pre (4x6EU7, 1x12AU7), Pow (1x6V6 PAIR + 5Y3))
Extension Speaker Jack:
Monitor Jack:
Watts Output: 16
Shipping Totals:
Schematic with 4x 6EU7, 1x 12AU7A, 2x 6V6GT & 1x 5Y3GT (Gibson)

I have one of these. It is really nice fully cranked. Beautiful Rock distortion. Not much clean headroom. I'd rate it an 9 for studio and small venue use. (Ken Watts)

Rate the GA-2RVT...

to the top GA-3RV

Guitar Transistor/Tube? (Pre-?) Amp with Reverb and Tremolo
Speakers:
Inputs:
Channels:
Volume Controls:
Tone Controls on Each Channel:
Tremolo: Yes
Reverb: Yes
Tubes:
Extension Speaker Jack:
Monitor Jack:
Watts Output:
Shipping Totals:
Schematic all transistor pre-amp with reverb and tremolo (Gibson)
Rate the GA-3RV...

to the top GA-4RE

Guitar Combo with Reverb and Tremolo
Speakers:
Inputs:
Channels:
Volume Controls:
Tone Controls on Each Channel:
Tremolo: Yes
Reverb: Yes
Tubes: Pre (2x6EU7, 1x12AU7)
Extension Speaker Jack:
Monitor Jack:
Watts Output:
Shipping Totals:
Harmony Central Review GA4RE Reverb/Echo
Schematic Pre-amp with 2x 6EU7 & 1x 12AU7 (Gibson)

GA-4REGA-4REGA-4REGA-4RE
Rate the GA-4RE...

to the top GA-5 Les Paul Junior

5W Single Speaker Guitar Combo
Speakers: oval 5"x7" or 1x10" Jensen?
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 3 (Pre (1x6SJ7), Pow (1x6V6 + 5Y3) (same as the GA-7 Les Paul TV))
Preamp Tubes: 1x6SJ7
Phase splitter Tubes:
Output Tubes: 1x6V6
Rectifier Tubes: 5Y3
Watts Output: 4
Shipping Totals: 1954: 1158, 1955: 2947, new style from 1956
Harmony Central Review GA5
Harmony Central Review LP Junior
Harmony Central Review Les Paul Junior Combo
Schematic with 1x 6SJ7, 1x 6V6 & 1x 5Y3 (Gibson)
Schematic with 1x 6SJ7, 1x 6V6 & 1x 5Y3 (Joe Piazza)
Schematic Fender 5C1 Champ Amp (Fender Musical Instruments)

Sized 11 1/2 x 13 1/2 x 7 inches (ebay, June 21, 2003)

The Gibson amplifier model GA-5 has had many incarnations. The first model GA-5 Les Paul was introduced in 1954. Ciruit wise this amp is an almost identical copy of the Fender Champ (5C1 circuit). It was fitted with a Jensen 10" field coil speaker. It had a 'TV' style cabinet. (www.drtube.com, March 28, 2003)

Single-ended 6V6; like a Fender 5E1 Champ; GA-5 uses only resistors in PS filter, no choke (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

This (see first pic) is a beautiful example of the earliest style GA-5, made in 1954-56 these first three years the GA-5 model designation was 'Les Paul Junior'. The Skylark name came in 1957. Note the 'TV' front panel. This model had a 10" Jensen speaker and a tube compliment of 1x6SJ7 (pre amp) 1x6V6 (power amp) 1x5Y3 (rectifier).
The circuit in these is very nearly the same as the Fender 5C1 model 'Champ'.
The controls were mounted on a slanted panel at the upper rear and consist of: 2 inputs, volume control, fuse holder, on/off switch and a jeweled pilot light. (John King's web-site)

The sound with a Les Paul Deluxe was awesome. Currently the amp is not working so I decided to sell it, maybe that's a mistake. I should have had someone look at it first. I just loved the sound that the amp made. It had such a good crunch to it! I've currently got a boogie blue angel to satisfy my need for blue tone, but I'm gonna miss my kick'in lil GA-5. I had many a good gig with my friends with it cranked with an Ibanez screaming through it without going deaf. Good Stuff! Oh, yea the rating... it's a 12 on a 10 scale! (Kljjjn Okleshen)

I have a 1955 GA-5 equipped with the JANO 5"x7" speaker. One of my favorite amps. Although I own several high end boutique amps, I find that the LP Jr. simply gets it done with more authentic tone and half the parts. Did I mention that it weighs something like 10 lbs.? This amp mic'd up gives a sound that other amps can't at all. Add a driver pedal to the front end for a little overload and wonderful sonic breakup begins to occur (especially if the amp's been powered up for an hour or two already) Also, with a removable jumper circuit, I'm able to power the 10" speaker that came in most LP Jr.'s for a little help in the volume dept. I'd give this amp a ten for ten, considering that it was designed and built 50 years ago. The only thing I would have asked for stock is a little more speaker, but that has more to do with model selection than availability at the time, so the ten stands. (Kenneth Kofler)

I have a 1954 [Les Paul] JR. I've had since new and after 20 years of not playing I'm back jamm'in with some of my old pickers. I've come to appreciate that little amp more and more and am using it more. I would like to upgrade the original Gibson speaker with something else [though] [...]. (Gary)

1954-6 GA-5 Les Paul Junior1955 GA-5 Les Paul Junior1955 GA-5 Les Paul Junior
Rate the GA-5 Les Paul Junior...

to the top GA-5 Skylark (two-tone)

5W 1x8" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x8" Jensen 'Special Design'
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 3 (12AX7, 6V6, 5Y3 (or Pre (1x7025), Pow (1x6V6 + 5Y3)))
Watts Output: 4 1/2
Shipping Totals: 1954: 1158 (GA-5 Les Paul Junior model), 1955: 2947 (GA-5 Les Paul Junior model), 1956: 2834, 1957: 3481, 1958: 3316, 1959: 5303, 1960: 3234, 1961: 2334
Harmony Central Review GA-5 Skylark
Harmony Central Review Skylark
Harmony Central Review GA5
Schematic with 1x12AX7, 1x6V6, and 1x5Y3 (Gibson)
Schematic
Schematic with 1x12AX7, 1x6V6, and 1x5Y3 (1957 or 1956?) (Joe Piazza)

The GA-5 Les Paul was renamed to Skylark in 1957. This Skylark lasted till 1961. The 10" speaker was changed to an Jensen 8" 'special design' speaker. The input circuitry was changed too. In 1962 the Skylark underwent a major redesign. (www.drtube.com, March 28, 2003)

Single-ended 6V6; like a Fender 5E1 Champ; GA-5 uses only resistors in PS filter, no choke (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

Here is the text of the original Gibson product literature for this amp from the early 60s (courtesy The Tube Amp Book, 4th ed., Aspen Pittman, p. 117):

GA-5 SKYLARK
GA-5T SKYLARK With built-in tremelo

The ideal student amplifier - yet powerful enough for professional use. Lightweight, easy to handle, with easily accessible top-mounted control panel. Amazing quality and fine tone reproduction.

Features: Attractive gold covering, new slant grill, 3/4" solid wood lock-joint construction. Top mounted, nickel-plated chassis. Quality 8" speaker, 4 1/2 watts output . . . three tubes. Two instrument inputs.

13 1/2" wide, 13 1/2" high, 7 1/4" deep

GA-5T Amplifier with tremelo
GA-5 Amplifier
5-C Cover

(Dario Capriotti (iguana@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu), 'Re: Gibson GA-5 Amp', alt.guitar, Jan 26, 1995)

The GA-5 Skylark is a single-ended 6V6GT amp. It uses a 12AX7 for the premamp and driver stages and a 5Y3GT rectifier. It has an 8" Jensen speaker. It has a power switch and a volue control. It is very similar to the old tweed Champs. [...]
I really love the sound of both of these amps [GA-5 [(two-tone)?] and GA-5T [(Crestline)?]] at full volume with high-output pickups, especially the GA-5T. Gibson really made some fine-sounding amps, and it seems that more people are appreciating them these days. (david_harris@noteserv.dodge.com, 'Re: Gibson GA-5 & GA-5T question...', alt.guitar.amps, Feb 2, 1996)

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
Beginning in 1957 until 1961 the first true 'Skylark' model was introduced. Note the blond tolex and the disappearance of the 'TV' styling (see first pic). Some Gibson models sported a 'tweed' looking vinyl covering in 1960-61, but not the Skylark.
Through these years the Skylark featured a 8" Jensen "special design" speaker. Tube compliment for GA-5: 1x12AX7 (pre amp), 1x6V6 (power amp), 1x5Y3 (rectifier). [...]
Like the earlier Les Paul Junior, the controls were mounted on a slanted panel at the upper rear and consist of: 2 inputs, volume control, fuse holder, on/off switch and a jeweled pilot light. (John King's web-site)

1957-1961 GA-5 Skylark (two-tone)195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark195x GA-5 Skylark
Rate the GA-5 Skylark (two-tone)...

to the top GA-5T Skylark (two-tone)

5W 1x8" Guitar Combo with Tremolo
Speakers: 1x8" (Jensen 'Special Design'?)
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No
Tremolo: Yes
Tubes: 3? (12AX7, 6V6, 5Y3 or 1x12AX7 (pre amp), 1x6BM8 (power amp and tremolo), 1x5Y3 (rectifier)?)
Watts Output: 4 1/2
Shipping Totals: 1960: 123, 1961: 2094
Harmony Central Review GA-5T Combo
Harmony Central Review GA5T Skylark
Harmony Central Review Skylark T (GA-5T?)
Schematic with 1x12AX7, 1x6BM8 and 1x5Y3 (Dave Khai)

Push-pull 6AQ5; like a Fender 6G2 Princeton; Gibson tremolo oscillator circuit, uncommon output tubes (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

Here is the text of the original Gibson product literature for this amp from the early 60s (courtesy The Tube Amp Book, 4th ed., Aspen Pittman, p. 117):

GA-5 SKYLARK
GA-5T SKYLARK With built-in tremelo

The ideal student amplifier - yet powerful enough for professional use. Lightweight, easy to handle, with easily accessible top-mounted control panel. Amazing quality and fine tone reproduction.

Features: Attractive gold covering, new slant grill, 3/4" solid wood lock-joint construction. Top mounted, nickel-plated chassis. Quality 8" speaker, 4 1/2 watts output . . . three tubes. Two instrument inputs.

13 1/2" wide, 13 1/2" high, 7 1/4" deep

GA-5T Amplifier with tremelo
GA-5 Amplifier
5-C Cover

(Dario Capriotti (iguana@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu), 'Re: Gibson GA-5 Amp', alt.guitar, Jan 26, 1995)

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
Beginning in 1957 until 1961 the first true 'Skylark' model was introduced. Note the blond tolex and the disappearance of the 'TV' styling (see pic). Some Gibson models sported a 'tweed' looking vinyl covering in 1960-61, but not the Skylark.
Through these years the Skylark featured a 8" Jensen "special design" speaker. [...] The GA-5T of this period used: 1x12AX7 (pre amp), 1x6BM8 (power amp and tremolo), 1x5Y3 (rectifier). (John King's web-site)

Any chance you have a schematic for the GA-5T the two tone skylark amp with three tubes (one 6BM8) and built in tremolo? I can't find it anywhere! My amp sounds great though. I love it and can't wait to get the tremolo working as soon as I find a schematic! (Burton Joyner)

I have a Gibson 'Skylark' that I like better than my 1958 Fender 'Champ.' (Dave Khai)

1957-1961 GA-5 Skylark (two-tone)
Rate the GA-5T Skylark (two-tone)...

to the top GA-5 Skylark (Crestline)

5W 1x10" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x10"
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: No
Tremolo: No
Reverb: No
Tubes: 5 (1x6EU7 (pre amp), 1x6C4 (phase inverter), 2x6AQ5s (in a push pull power amp design), 1x6X4 (rectifier) (correspond to Epiphone EA-50 Pacemaker))
Diodes: 0
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 10
Shipping Totals: 1962: 2431, 1963: 2306, 1964: 3540, 1965: 3669, 1966: 1528, 1967: 1009 (new style from 1964)
Harmony Central Review GA-5 Skylark
Harmony Central Review Skylark
Harmony Central Review GA5
Schematic with 1x6EU7, 1x6C4, 2x6AQ5, and 1x6X4

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
In 1962-? Gibson introduced the 'Crestline' models, and the venerable Skylark got a complete re-design and significant circuit changes, including the addition of a tremolo circuit in the GA-5T. [...]
Note the differences between the rough, dark, black 'elephant hide' tolex and silver grill cloth on the GA-5T (see there), and the very dark brown, wood grain imprint tolex and rectangular patterned brown grill cloth on the GA-5 (see first pic). Whether these differences were specific by model (GA-5/GA-5T) or a mid model/year update is an unanswered question. [...]
The GA-5 tube compliment during this period was: 1x6EU7 (pre amp), 1x6C4 (phase inverter), 2x6AQ5s (in a push pull power amp design), 1x6X4 (rectifier).
With this design, the tubes were mounted horizontally on the back of the chassis (top of tubes pointed to rear).
Approx. size is 20.25" x 15" x 6.5".
The controls, now located on a sloping *front* panel, are; 2 inputs, volume, rotating on/off knob, jewel pilot light and fuse holder. (John King's web-site)

1963 [GA-5] Skylark [(Crestline)], Brown Tolex, Very Good+, [US] $350 (see second pic)
Complete original Skylark -Speaker & all (Atlanta Vintage Guitars, June 19, 2003)

Unless it's in mint condition, the factory 10" Gibson Ultrasonic should be replaced with at least a Jensen RI ceramic and new tube set. If you like what you hear, consider upgrading to a Weber. The amp has a hot, forward, edgy, driving 'Buddy Holly' tone; the stock 6AQ5s are harder to break up; 6005s sounded much better right out of the box. I might have let mine go before fully exploiting it; Great practice/small venue amp. Rich, colorful, stable vintage sound; easy to take care of. (John Henderson)

GA-5 Skylark (Crestline)1963 GA-5 Skylark (Crestline)
Rate the GA-5 Skylark (Crestline)...

to the top GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)

5W 1x10" Guitar Combo with Tremolo
Speakers: 1x10" Gibson Ultrasonic
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: No
Tremolo: Frequency
Reverb: No
Tubes: 5 (2x6EU7, 2x6AQ5, 6X4 (correspond to Epiphone EA-50T Pacemaker))
Diodes: 0
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 10
Shipping Totals: 1962: 2249, 1963: 2463, 1964: 3499, 1965: 4353, 1966: 3521, 1967: 1006 (new style from 1964)
Harmony Central Review GA-5T Combo
Harmony Central Review Skylark T (GA-5T?)
Harmony Central Review GA5T Skylark

The GA-5T is a push-pull 6AQ5 amp with a 10" so-called Gibson Ultrasonic speaker. A 6X4 is the rectifier. It uses 2 6EU7 tubes: 2 halfs for the preamp, 1 half for the tremelo oscillator, and 1 half for the phase splitter. It has a tremolo frequency control, no depth control, and a volume control that I believe serves as the power switch as well (I don't remember).
I really love the sound of both of these amps [GA-5 [(two-tone)?] and GA-5T [(Crestline)?]] at full volume with high-output pickups, especially the GA-5T. Gibson really made some fine-sounding amps, and it seems that more people are appreciating them these days. (david_harris@noteserv.dodge.com, 'Re: Gibson GA-5 & GA-5T question...', alt.guitar.amps, Feb 2, 1996)

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
In 1962-? Gibson introduced the 'Crestline' models, and the venerable Skylark got a complete re-design and significant circuit changes, including the addition of a tremolo circuit in the GA-5T.
Note the differences between the rough, dark, black 'elephant hide' tolex and silver grill cloth on the GA-5T (see pic), and the very dark brown, wood grain imprint tolex and rectangular patterned brown grill cloth on the GA-5 (see there). Whether these differences were specific by model (GA-5/GA-5T) or a mid model/year update is an unanswered question.
The changes included: a 10" Gibson Ultrasonic speaker and a tube compliment for the GA-5T of: 2x6EU7s (pre amp/ phase inverter and tremolo), 2x6AQ5s (in a push-pull power amp design), 1x6X4 (rectifier). [...]
With this design, the tubes were mounted horizontally on the back of the chassis (top of tubes pointed to rear).
Approx. size is 20.25" x 15" x 6.5".
The controls, now located on a sloping *front* panel, are; 2 inputs, volume, rotating on/off knob, jewel pilot light, fuse holder, [and] frequency control knob to control tremolo speed. (John King's web-site)

GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)
Rate the GA-5T Skylark (Crestline)...

to the top GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)

5W 1x10" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x10" Gibson Ultrasonic
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: Bass, treble
Tremolo: No
Reverb: No
Tubes: 3 (6EU7, 6BQ5, 6X4)
Diodes: 2
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 4.5
Shipping Totals: 1965: 4353, 1966: 3521, 1967: 1006
Harmony Central Review GA-5 Skylark
Harmony Central Review Skylark
Harmony Central Review GA5

Single-ended 6BQ5; like a Fender 5F1 Champ; GA-5 has tone control, uses 6BQ5 and 6X4, has no NFB loop (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
In 1965 and 1966 Gibson gave the Skylark another major design overhaul. These are commonly referred to as "white panel" amps. These are notable for their rough black 'elephant hide' tolex, silver grill cloth, and Fender style 1-10 marked knobs (see pic).
These featured a 10" Gibson Ultrasonic speaker. The tube compliment for the GA-5 in this series is: 1x6EU7 (pre amp), 1x6BQ5 (power amp), 1x6X4  (rectifier). [...]
Control panel layout is: 2 inputs, volume, treble, bass, speed and frequency (tremolo), and a rotating on/off knob with a small pilot light above it (the fuse holder is on the back panel).
It is notable that this design used a box type chassis that is attached to the cabinet by screws through the top like the 60's Fender amps. Also, the tubes hang down from the chassis. (John King's web-site)

196x Gibson Skylark, Black, Excellent, [US] $350 (see first pic)
This is a cool 6 watt tube combo with a 1x8 [1x10"?] speaker. It is all original and covered in black tolex. This one sounds like a Champ. WoW. (Guitar Den, June 19, 2003)

I recently purchased a GA-5 Skylark (White Panel) from Ebay expecting to find a single ended 5 watt. When I opened it up it turned out to be a Push - Pull with different tubes then are mentioned above. The amp matches the picture on you[r] site exactly. Internally it is much more like the 'GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)' [without] the tremelo. I have been unable to find a schematic to match the 'GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)' I purchased, but I did find the 'GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)'.
The amp I purchased uses a 12AX7 type preamp tube. Not a 6EU7. The power tubes are 7 Pin, I am assuming 6AQ5, at least they work in it No rectifier and an Interstage transformer used for the Phase Inverter. (Rich)

I recently bought a GA-5 Skylark that seems to date to 1964 from the inspection markings shown on the chassis & schematic that has attached to the side of the chassis. I have carefully removed the schematic and scanned it in for preservation. [...] It seems to be aluded to in the 'GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)' section [above] that there was a 6BQ5 push pull output section rather then the single-ended output section and this schematic shows it well: Schematic taken from a 1964 amp, with 1x12AU7 and 2x6BQ5 (pics of the amp are below). (David)

1965-6 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)1964 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)1964 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)1964 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)1964 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)1964 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)1964 GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)
Rate the GA-5 Skylark (White Panel)...

to the top GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)

5W 1x10" Guitar Combo with Tremolo
Speakers: 1x10" Gibson Ultrasonic
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: Bass, treble
Tremolo: Yes
Reverb: No
Tubes: 4 (1x6EU7 (pre amp), 1x6C4 (phase inverter), 2x6BQ5 (in a push-pull power amp design)) (other sources mention two 6AQ7 in the power amp, or a 5004 instead of the 6C4)
Diodes: 2
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 4.5
Shipping Totals: 1965: 3669, 1966: 1528, 1967: 1009
Harmony Central Review GA-5T Combo
Harmony Central Review Skylark T (GA-5T?)
Harmony Central Review GA5T Skylark
Schematic with 1x6EU7, 1x6C4, and 2x6BQ5 (1MB), dated Nov 1965, from serial number A-10,001, (front page) (Andy Henry)

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
In 1965 and 1966 Gibson gave the Skylark another major design overhaul. These are commonly referred to as "white panel" amps. These are notable for their rough black 'elephant hide' tolex, silver grill cloth, and Fender style 1-10 marked knobs (see first pic).
These featured a 10" Gibson Ultrasonic speaker. [...] The GA-5T used: 1x6EU7 (pre amp), 1x6C4 (phase inverter), 2x6BQ5 (in a push-pull power amp design), solid state rectification via 2 diodes.
Control panel layout is: 2 inputs, volume, treble, bass, speed and frequency (tremolo), and a rotating on/off knob with a small pilot light above it (the fuse holder is on the back panel).
It is notable that this design used a box type chassis that is attached to the cabinet by screws through the top like the 60's Fender amps. Also, the tubes hang down from the chassis. (John King's web-site)

Gibson GA-5T [white panel] tube guitar amplifier, small practice amp with a robust tube tone, 2x6BQ5, 1x6EU7, 1x5004, 1x10" speaker, with tremelo, cabinet very clean, NOW $149 (see second pic) (www.jdmusic.com; May 30, 2003)

1965-6 GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)
Rate the GA-5T Skylark (White Panel)...

to the top GA-5 Skylark (1967-)

5W 1x10" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x10" Gibson Ultrasonic
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1?
Volume Controls: 1?
Tone Controls on Each Channel: Bass, treble
Tremolo: No
Reverb: No
Tubes: 3?
Diodes: 2?
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 4.5
Shipping Totals:
Harmony Central Review GA-5 Skylark
Harmony Central Review Skylark
Harmony Central Review GA5

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
In 1967-? Gibson changed the design again to the Medalist? series styling? (see pic). (John King's web-site)

1967-? GA-5T Skylark
Rate the GA-5 Skylark (1967-)...

to the top GA-5T Skylark (1967-)

5W 1x10" Guitar Combo with Tremolo
Speakers: 1x10" Gibson Ultrasonic
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1?
Volume Controls: 1?
Tone Controls on Each Channel: Bass, treble
Tremolo: Yes
Reverb: No
Tubes: 4 (2x12AX7s (pre amp and tremolo), 1x6BQ5 (power amp), 1x6X4 (rectifier))
Diodes: 2?
Extension Speaker Jack: No
Monitor Jack: No
Watts Output: 4.5
Shipping Totals:
Harmony Central Review GA-5T Combo
Harmony Central Review Skylark T (GA-5T?)
Harmony Central Review GA5T Skylark
Schematic with 2x12AX7, 1x6X4, and 1x6BQ5
Schematic for a 1967 or later GA-5T, commonly called the Medalist styling (Paleo-Electronics Blog, March 23, 2011)

The Gibson GA-5 began life as the Les Paul Jr. Model between 1954-56. In 1957 the model name was changed to 'Skylark'. During its tenure of 1954 until the late 60's the GA-5/GA-5T was probably Gibson's most popular model of amplifier. There were several very different Gibson amps that wore the 'Skylark' name over the years. [...]
In 1967-? Gibson changed the design again to the Medalist? series styling? (see pic). These have the 10" Gibson Ultrasonic speaker and a tube compliment of: 2x12ax7s (pre amp and tremolo), 1x6BQ5 (power amp), 1x6X4 (rectifier).
Control panel includes: 2 inputs, tone, tremolo knob (controls speed), rotating on/off switch and a pilot light. (John King's web-site)
It has its own raunchy tube sound, thatís perfect. I use a Gibson (74), and the sound is definitely 70s rock. I donít need a distortion switch, when Iím playing the blues. (David)

1967-? GA-5T Skylark
Rate the GA-5T Skylark (1967-)...

to the top GA-6 (two-tone)

10-14W 1x12" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 12"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 3+1
Channels: 2
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 1
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 5 (Pre (1x12AY7, 1x6SL7), Pow (1x6V6 PAIR + 5Y3))
Watts Output: 10-14
Shipping Totals: 1954: 702, 1955: 1273, 1956: 1326, 1957: 1278, 1958: 937, 1959: 1031, 1960: 518, 1961: 303
Harmony Central Review GA-6
Schematic with 2x12AX7, 1x5Y3GT, 2x6V6 (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

This amp is very similar to the Fender Tweed Deluxe (5C3). (www.drtube.com, March 28, 2003)

Push-pull 6V6s; like a Fender 5C3 Tweed Deluxe; almost a clone, except uses 9 pin preamp and PI tubes, and some component value variations (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

Sounds great with bluesharps and with old guitars. PA needed. (Risto)

Rate the GA-6 (two-tone)...

to the top GA-6 Lancer (tweed)

10-14W 2x12" Guitar Combo (identical to the GA-14 Titan except for the 12" speaker)
Speakers: 2x12"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2+2 (tweed)
Channels: 2
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 1
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 5 (2x12AX7, 2x6V6, 5Y3 or (newer version) Pre (2x7025), Pow (1x6V6 PAIR + 5Y3))
Watts Output: 10-14
Shipping Totals: See GA-6 (two-tone)
Harmony Central Review GA-6
Schematic with 2x12AX7, 2x6V6, 1x5Y3

For info on and pics of the Gibson GA-6 Interim Model see Miles O'Neal's web-site.

This amp replaced the BR-6. The circuit is identical to that of the GA-14. (www.drtube.com, March 28, 2003)

Push-pull 6V6s; like a Fender 5D3/5E3 Tweed Deluxe; cross between the two Fender circuits (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

GA-6 Lancer (tweed) (eca)
Rate the GA-6 Lancer (tweed)...

to the top GA-7 Les Paul TV

4W 1x10" Guitar Combo (slightly different graphics on control panel, circuitry otherwise identical to GA-5 Les Paul Junior.
Speakers: 1x10"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 3 (Pre (1x6SJ7), Pow (1x6V6 + 5Y3) (same as the GA-7 Les Paul Junior))
Preamp Tubes: 6SJ7
Phase splitter Tubes:
Output Tubes: 6V6
Rectifier Tubes: 5Y3
Watts Output: 4
Shipping Totals: 1955: 1, 1956: 244, 1957: 224

Introduced in 1955/56. (www.drtube.com, March 28, 2003)

Rate the GA-7 Les Paul TV...

to the top Gibsonette

8W 1x10" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x10"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No
Tubes: 4
Preamp Tubes: 6SJ7
Phase splitter Tubes:
Output Tubes: 2x6V6
Rectifier Tubes: 5Y3
Watts Output: 8
Shipping Totals: 1952: 637, 1953: 1051, new style from 1954
Harmony Central Review Gibsonette

Before the Skylark, one of Gibson's small amplifier offerings was the Gibsonette. They also were produced in several styles over the years (including different styles, see GA-5 Les Paul Junior and GA-5 Skylark (two-tone)).
The style shown (see pic) was made in 1952-53. It has a 10" Jensen field coil speaker and a tube compliment of: 1x6SJ7 (pre amp) 2x6V6 (power amp) 1x5Y3 (rectifier)
The controls were located at the bottom rear of the cabinet directly on the chassis and consist of: 2 input jacks, on/off switch and a volume control. (John King's web-site)
The earliest version of the Gibsonette (1952-53) was not a single-ended amp. While it looks as though the two 6V6s are parallel, they are actually being run push-pull in what is called a "self-split" or "self-balancing" configuration. Basically, the signal is fed from one tube to the other, without the use of a phase splitter (which is why it appears to be single-ended). The design was only used briefly because, while it saved the company money, it was terribly inefficient.
I have a '52 Gibsonette, and the circuit confused me until I figured out what was going on. It's not a great sounding amp, but I keep it around anyway. There's very little gain and it doesn't really break up very well. The only place I have been able to find a schematic for this version is in Aspen Pittman's latest version of The Tube Amp Book, which includes a CD ROM with about a zillion schematics. It had no number designation and was simply called 'Gibsonette'. (Ethan Rosenblatt)
It's not real loud - no ear bleeding here. [...] it does have the original Jensen electro-magnetic speaker. (Berryville Music)
It may look like a pet carrier but I used a Gibsonette amp in our little 1956 dance band for a couple of years in my misspent youth. It still filled a large hall at about 1/2 volume and was small enough to pack around in the old 1950's car that hauled all our stuff including the other 5 of us. In those days it was a miracle to have an amplified guitar that wasn't drowned out by the rest of the band. I think it cost about $65.00 at the time... a huge amount considering I only made $7.00 for a whole night of playing. (Eric)

1952-53 GibsonetteGibsonette (Berryville Music)Gibsonette (Berryville Music)
Rate the Gibsonette...

to the top GA-8 Gibsonette (two-tone), GA-8 (tweed)

8-9W 1x10" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x10"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No (later 1)
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 4 (12AX7, 2x6V6, 5Y3 or Pre (1x6EU7, 1x6C4), Pow (1x6BQ5 PAIR + 6CA4))
Watts Output: 8-9
Shipping Totals: 1954: 839, 1955: 511, 1956: 442, 1957: 584, 1958: 1179, 1959: 2122, 1960: 1299, 1961: 967
Schematic with 1x12AX7, 1x5Y3GT, 2x6V6 (Gibson)

Two 6V6s in parallel; like a Fender 5F2-A Princeton; GA-8 has no NFB loop, uses one less PS resistor
Push-pull 6BQ5s (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

Rate the GA-8 Gibsonette (two-tone), GA-8 (tweed)...

to the top GA-8T Gibsonette (two-tone), GA-8T Discoverer (tweed)

8-9W 1x10" Guitar Combo with Tremolo
Speakers: 1x10"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No (later 1)
Tremolo: Yes
Tubes: 4 (12AX7, 2x6BM8, 5Y3 or Pre (1x7025), Pow (2x6BM8 + 5Y3)
Watts Output: 8-9
Shipping Totals: 1960: 1130, 1961: 1623
Harmony Central Review Discoverer Tremolo
Harmony Central Review GA 8-T Discoverer Tremolo
Harmony Central Review GA8 Gibsonette Tremolo

GA-8T Gibsonette, push-pull 6BM8s; like a Fender 6G2 Princeton; Gibson tremolo oscillator circuit, uncommon output tubes
GA-8T Discoverer, push-pull 6BQ5s (Miles O'Neal's web-site; May 30, 2003)

GA-8T Gibsonette (two-tone)GA-8T Gibsonette (two-tone)GA-8T Gibsonette (two-tone)GA-8T Gibsonette (two-tone)GA-8T Gibsonette (two-tone)
Rate the GA-8 Gibsonette (two-tone), GA-8 (tweed)...

to the top GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)

15W 1x12" Guitar (Harp?) Combo
Speakers: 12" (Jensen)
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: Bass, treble
Tremolo: No
Reverb: No
Tubes: 5 (6EU7, 6C4, 2x6BQ5, 6CA4 (correspond to Epiphone EA-35 Devon))
Diodes: 0
Extension Speaker Jack: Yes
Monitor Jack: Yes
Watts Output: 15
Shipping Totals: 1962: 841, 1963: 188
Harmony Central Review GA-8 Discoverer

The speaker code is 220216, but the pots have a 1961 code on them, so it must be early 1962. The tubes are 5Y3-6V6-6V6-12AX7 and they are all original Raytheon tubes,with the 12AX7 being marked 'Gibson' (see pics three to six). (ebay, June 21, 2003)

1962 GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)1962 GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)1962 GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)1962 GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)1962 GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)1962 GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)
Rate the GA-8 Discoverer (Crestline)...

to the top GA-8T Discoverer (Crestline)

15W 1x12" Guitar Combo with Tremolo
Speakers: 1x12"
Inputs: 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls on Each Channel: Bass, treble
Tremolo: Depth, frequency
Reverb: No
Tubes: 5 (2x6EU7, 2x6BQ5, 6CA4 (correspond to Epiphone EA-35T Devon))
Diodes: 0
Extension Speaker Jack: Yes
Monitor Jack: Yes
Watts Output: 15
Shipping Totals: 1962: 1458, 1963: 1419, 1964: 1769, 1965: 1127, 1966: 6 (new style from 1964)
Harmony Central Review Discoverer Tremolo
Harmony Central Review GA 8-T Discoverer Tremolo

1965 Gibson Discoverer GA-8T, Black Tolex, Exc, [US] $550 (see pic)
Single 12" speaker, 15 watts, tremolo, echo speaker jack, footswitch included. Sounds great! (Farmhouse Guitars, June 19, 2003)

1965 GA-8T Discoverer (Crestline)1965 GA-8T Discoverer (Crestline)
Rate the GA-8T Discoverer (Crestline)...

to the top GA-9 (two-tone)

8-10W 1x10" Guitar Combo
Speakers: 1x10"
Inputs (instr. + mic.): 2
Channels: 1
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: No (later 1)
Tremolo: No
Tubes: 4 (Pre (1x6SJ7), Pow (1x6V6 PAIR + 5Y3))
Watts Output: 8-10
Shipping Totals: 1954: 1062, 1955: 850, 1956: 991, 1957: 609, 1958: 521, 1959: 286
Harmony Central Review GA9
Schematic with 1x6SJ7, 2x6V6GT, 1x5Y3GT

This amp replaced the BR-9. (www.drtube.com, March 28, 2003)

Rate the GA-9 (two-tone)...

Next

Top | Main | Amps | Links | Other Stuff

Gibson Garage, Copyright © 2003-10 Dace. This is no official Gibson site, and I am not affiliated with the company in any way. Disclaimer.