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  1. #1

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    Hey Folks,

    I just purchased one of these from an estate sale in the midwest. A friend picked it up and its currently being assessed by a reputable vintage shop in the area. Probably won't be in my possession for a few weeks. In the meantime, I had been doing some research on them and was curious to see what the Jazz guitar world had to say about them and/or their experience!

    From what I've read, is that they are very similar to the Ga-40 with the exception of the Ga-45 having (4) 8" speakers instead of (1) 12" in the Ga-40 (I believe).
    They were marketed and even labeled as "Accordion Amplifier", but I've read that they were killer Harmonica amps (Little Walter) and very good for guitar.

    Here are a couple pictures of a nice example (not mine) of this amp.

    Anyway, always interested to hear what the community has to say!

    Cheers



  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Growing up, my best friend had one. He played a pre-CBS Stratocaster through it and it sounded like a million bucks. I played a Hagstrom, a Gretsch CA6120, and a SG Custom through the GA45t.

    I think the amp was one of the best ever. Tremendous clean tone and a superb distortion tone. The four Jensen 8s sounded simply awesome.

  4. #3

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    yeah cool...4 X 8" makes for great harmonica tones..makes sense...even some lo-fi accordian...

    lots of old amps were built with accordian option in mind...ampeg!...it's just a modified circuit..can be easily tweaked...or ignored!

    good looking amp

    congrats & enjoy

    cheers

  5. #4

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    Great amps that were ignored forever, could barely give them away for a long time. And like a lot of things like Gibson ES-125 and 150 guitars w P90s and amps like Fender Vibrolux Reverbs, Maestro's finally caught on and command much higher $
    As you said, they're very highly thought of by harp plyrs and crunchy guitar enthusiasts, not necessarily the typical jazz sound one normally thinks of.

  6. #5

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    Very impressive! Curious what it will sound like.


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  7. #6

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    I'm no expert, but did have a beat but sweet '58 GA 40 for many years. Judging by the cosmetics, yours could be a '56 or '57. They went to leather top and linen tweed later (as mine was), then finally to the narrow panel all tweed cosmetics in '60 I think.

    Whatever the look, these amps have the most beautiful low and medium volume clean tones. Not sure how the 4 x 8 format changes the sound from the usual 1x12, but I bet it's not that different. My guess: it'll be a most wonderful amp for jazz.

  8. #7

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    Actually the one in the picture isn't mine, i will post a couple of pictures of the actual. Unfortunately, the cool Gibson handle is long gone and replaced with a very industrial metal handle and some sort red docking plate. Also, the back panel is gone , BUT the amp cover is still around.

  9. #8

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    Gibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-front-jpgGibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-back-jpgGibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-back-closeup-jpgGibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-amp-cover-jpgGibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-top-closeup-jpgGibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-apple-cocktail-jpg

    Some shots of the actual amp......and last nights Fall drink

  10. #9

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    I owned one 20 years ago when I went crazy buying old gear for the "cool" factor and the love of "old".
    Mine had the original handle and speakers.
    It had great tone and sounded its best the day I sold it!!! But it didn't suit my needs or my storage abilities. A harp player bought it of course. Happy to pass along equipment to the best suited users.

    Enjoy it immensely, probably has a nice antique smell to it! And a pine cab.

  11. #10

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    What tubes are used in that amp?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Gibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-back-closeup-jpg
    as per what tubes...l-r

    5y3 rectifier, transformer, two 6v6 power tubes, 12ax7 phase inverter, 6sq7 trem osc, two 5879 pre-amp tubes...for channel 1 & 2

    you can always hook it up to a different speaker cab, for more variety

    cheers

  13. #12

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    Those look like AlNiCo speakers in there. You might have stumbled onto a nice old amp. Does it have an old fashioned 2-pronged plug or an upgraded grounded one? Be careful if its the former.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitfiddler
    Those look like AlNiCo speakers in there. You might have stumbled onto a nice old amp. Does it have an old fashioned 2-pronged plug or an upgraded grounded one? Be careful if its the former.
    I believe they made the change to a 3-prong already, if not, the shop will be doing that for sure. I'm pretty certain they are the original Jensen alnicos. Excited to hear it!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greentone
    Growing up, my best friend had one. He played a pre-CBS Stratocaster through it and it sounded like a million bucks. I played a Hagstrom, a Gretsch CA6120, and a SG Custom through the GA45t.

    I think the amp was one of the best ever. Tremendous clean tone and a superb distortion tone. The four Jensen 8s sounded simply awesome.
    Looking back, what do you think they would be like with an archtop and some Jazz ?

  16. #15

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    I think that you can probably buy the original handle or a replica.

    Google "Vintage Gibson Amplifier Handles".

    It looks a lot like a suitcase handle from that era.

    Minor point, but I think it would be cool to get the correct handle.

    What I've heard is that the Gibson amps sound great, but I've also heard that they weren't made all that well. A tech told me that.
    At the time I preferred Ampeg, but Jim Hall, I think, used a Gibson amp and nobody sounded better than he did.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I think that you can probably buy the original handle or a replica.

    Google "Vintage Gibson Amplifier Handles".

    It looks a lot like a suitcase handle from that era.

    Minor point, but I think it would be cool to get the correct handle.

    What I've heard is that the Gibson amps sound great, but I've also heard that they weren't made all that well. A tech told me that.
    At the time I preferred Ampeg, but Jim Hall, I think, used a Gibson amp and nobody sounded better than he did.
    Unfortunately, these handles are pretty hard to come by. There is one on Reverb for $300. Ridiculous in my opinion. I dont think a regular leather one will be that much better. Who knows?Gibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-screenshot_20201010-233058_reverb-jpg

  18. #17

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    I used this generic brown faux-leather guitar case handle for the refurbishment of my early 60ies Dynacord amp. Don’t know if the holes line up, but it looks nice and vintage and won’t set you back 300 smackers:



    €14 at a German online store (Tube-Town Store - Koffergriff aus Kunstleder fur Gitarrenkoffer, braun) but you can find those anywhere)

  19. #18

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    Tip for the back panel: easy enough to make one yourself but matching tolex will be difficult to find. I used a thick sturdy scratch resistant grey wall paper for my amp. Much more variety in colours and textures to choose from!


  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    yeah cool...4 X 8" makes for great harmonica tones..makes sense...even some lo-fi accordian...

    lots of old amps were built with accordian option in mind...ampeg!...it's just a modified circuit..can be easily tweaked...or ignored!

    good looking amp

    congrats & enjoy

    cheers
    Nice amp!

    Amplifier for guitar & accordion... Gibson, Ampeg, Polytone (Tommy Gumina was an accordionist) – I see a some kinda connection here!

    What amps do modern accordionists use? They could be useful for jazz guitarists too.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Tip for the back panel: easy enough to make one yourself but matching tolex will be difficult to find. I used a thick sturdy scratch resistant grey wall paper for my amp. Much more variety in colours and textures to choose from!


    Look what the estate sale guy just found!

    Gibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-6241238671-jpg

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    Tip for the back panel: easy enough to make one yourself but matching tolex will be difficult to find. I used a thick sturdy scratch resistant grey wall paper for my amp. Much more variety in colours and textures to choose from!

    Thanks for that! I’m going to make 2 identical 8” cabs - so off to the wallpaper shop! (Hoping for a flower pattern-seriously)


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  23. #22

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    I promise you, there is flower pattern wallpaper available for purchase. Many, many fugly patterns.

  24. #23

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    The 4 x 8# gold alnico Jensen cabinet sounds fantastic for a hollow body guitar. My old Gretsch sounded great through the amp.

    Very full, clear sound.

  25. #24

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    vintage 8" (alnico) speakers sound great at low-medium volumes...have great woody mids tone...but when driven harder, they sustain..thats why harmonica guys dig'em!


    cheers

  26. #25

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    Just don't over-do the volume. Your bass response may be less than you want. (It ain't no Bassman just because it has 4 Jensens. They are fragile esp. at their age)

    You need a GRAY handle. Brown or Tweed this amp is not.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Gibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-gibson-maestro-back-closeup-jpg
    I'm sure you know those big 50s cardboard caps have got to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMgolf66
    Unfortunately, these handles are pretty hard to come by. There is one on Reverb for $300. Ridiculous in my opinion. I dont think a regular leather one will be that much better. Who knows?Gibson Maestro GA-45T Amp-screenshot_20201010-233058_reverb-jpg
    Look, man, if you want the real sound you need the real handle.



    Enjoy!

  28. #27

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    So... are we gonna' get to HEAR this beauty or what???

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by ruger9
    So... are we gonna' get to HEAR this beauty or what???
    When I receive it!!!
    It's still in Chicago getting the once over. Will keep the thread updated with the progress.