GIBSON
Model Search
Select Category
GIBSON
Amplifiers currently produced since the early 1990s. Gibson previously produced amplifiers in Kalamazoo, MI from the mid-1930s-1967, and various other locations including Chicago, IL from 1968 through the mid-1970s. Distributed by the Gibson Guitar Corporation in Nashville, TN.
The roots of Gibson go way back to Orville Gibson when he and other men founded the company in 1902. Gibson guitars were made with the Gibson logo starting in 1896 (for more information on Gibson electric guitars, refer to the Blue Book of Electric Guitars). Gibson amplifiers didn't come into the picture until the late 1930s, however. With the release of the first Gibson electric guitar, the ES-150, a guitar amplifier would be needed to make the new electric pickup useful. The first Gibson amplifiers were the EH series, which debuted in the late 1930s. With World War II going on in the early 1940s, Gibson amplifiers didn't really become a steady production item until circa 1948. Shipment totals from Gibson were first tracked on amplifiers starting in 1948. In 1948, all amplifier production was moved into the Kalamazoo factory and the first GA Series models were released. These popular models were produced in all shapes and sizes through 1967, when all production of amplifiers at the Kalamazoo plant halted. When Gibson bought Epiphone in 1957, they started to produce Epiphone amplifiers. Almost all Epiphone amps between 1957 and 1970 are copies of Gibson models (see Epiphone for more information and corresponding models). Gibson also introduced the Maestro brand on amps specifically designed for accordions (see Maestro).
Other companies started building amps for Gibson, and by 1968 a new line of tube amplifiers with some familiar old names were released. These lasted only a short time through 1969, when only various solid-state models were available. In the early 1970s, a new series was introduced called the G Series with some models featuring a phase shift. In 1977, the Lab Series was introduced (see Lab Series). These amps were designed by Moog, which was a division of Gibson's parent company, Norlin. These amps all have an L prefix and come in a variety of power and speaker configurations. The first Lab series was produced through the late 1970s, but was replaced by the Lab Series 2 in 1980 (also see Lab Series). These amps have a GA prefix for guitars and a B prefix for bass amps. In 1980, the Genesis series was released as well, which are amps that are targeted for practice and entry level models. These amps also have G and B prefixes for their guitar and bass models (see Genesis).
Another series of Gibson amplifiers appeared in the early 1990s, with the revival of the Lab series again. These amps featured a gold and orange cover and came in the Classic Gold, Gold Chorus, and GB 440 bass amp models. Currently Gibson produces a line of tube amps called the Goldtone Series.
Information courtesy Wallace Marx Jr., Gibson Amplifiers 1933-2008 - 75 Years of the Gold Tone, George Gruhn/Walter Carter, Gruhn's Guide to Vintage Guitars, Walter Carter, Gibson Guitars: 100 Years of an American Icon; Aspen Pittman, The Tube Amp Book "Deluxe Revised Edition," and Larry Meiners: Gibson Shipment Totals), and various Gibson catalogs.

From Blue Book Publications:


No part of this information may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, by photograph, mimeograph, fax transmission or any other mechanical or electronic means. Nor can it be broadcast or transmitted, by translation into any language, nor by electronic recording or otherwise, without the express written permission from the publisher.