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  1. #1

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    Hi Folks !
    Now that I have been blessed with my 5th Avenue, the few gears I have left in my head began to turn and latched on to the concept of the Charlie Christian amp to match with the new guitar.
    Since the guitar is based on that era, I just wonder what would be the closest amp match of that time period currently and is there such a thing as a kit that’s available to replicate the 15 watt EH-150.
    At the moment the amps I’m using are a Hot Rod Deville at 60 watts, a Blues Jr. iii at 15 watts and a Fishman Loudbox Mini at 60 watts which aren’t really very close.

    Many Thanks to those who took the time to respond to my last celebratory post.
    Cheers !


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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  4. #3

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    Hi Epifan,

    I don't know of any kits available based on the EH-150 or other vintage Gibson amp designs. Short of going down the vintage amp route, you have two options:

    US company The Nocturne Brain has a pedal, the 'Jr Barnyard', designed to give that EH-150 / EH-185 tone and flavour through another amp. They have just this week released a new version of the pedal at a cheaper price of $169.95. I have his El Pescadoro (which is the same circuit but with added reverb) and use it whenever I'm not using my vintage Gibson GA-50T amp. Highly recommended!

    Link: The JR BARNYARD™ Pre-War Hot Preamp (1930's octal tube amp character p – The Nocturne Brain

    Gibson EH-150 Amp Kit?-186238462_483148329564042_4154319166373613423_n_1024x1024-jpg

    Forum member JasonC is involved in producing a pedal described as an EH-150 in a box. Lots of discussion and playing examples in this thread: New pedal option for vintage octal sounds

    The second option is to go with one of the few amp companies building modern versions of those classic designs.

    In the US, Vintage 47 amps offer a recreation of the Gibson EH-185 design: VA-185G

    In Europe, there is Elektra Amps. Elektra Amplifiers Europe Main Page on Strikingly

  5. #4
    Hi David !
    Thanks very much for the info, much to consider !
    I am loving both amps but the pedal seems like a nice economical answer.
    It’s the old saying...if you have ask how much you can’t afford it...
    But then again never say never....

    Cheers !

  6. #5

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    These guys are in Australia but they may have something of interest,

    Valve Heaven | Valve guitar amplifier kits and training in valve amplifier technology

  7. #6

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    These Vintage 47 amps are awesome..

    I own a 7w Spectator duel speaker.. It has the sound!!

  8. #7

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    Yeah, I'm pretty certain there's nobody making a D-I-Y kit of something as obscure as the Gibson EH-150/185.

    There's only three makers of EH150/185 style amps:
    Vintage '47 (VA-185G)
    Nocturne Brain (MOONSHINE'39 Combo, a reproduction prewar EH-185 octal tube amp – The Nocturne Brain)
    Elektra (Elektra Amplifiers Europe Main Page on Strikingly)

    I've personally used a V'47 for years and helped with some R&D, though I think someone would argue it's circuit topology isn't a "replica". That may be fair, but the tone is definitely what I associate with my vintage 1939 EH-185. I've not spent much time with the Moonshine 39, but I played an Elektra for a weekend, and it also sounds great. The biggest "issue" with any of them is that, since no one makes a field-coil speaker, all of them have to use a permanent magnet speaker, and the requires changing the circuitry to make that work. Plus the response of a field coil is very distinct.

    But, like I said, I've gigged with my V'47 for years, happily. Actually, it's also on all of the home recordings I've done in the last year. I brought out my real 185 for my own studio recording sessions, and took it to my first gig back (mostly because it was still in the car from the last session, lol). My first though at the gig was that I was reminded how much lighter and easier to use the V'47 is. Ha!

    Aside from amps, there's also the pedal approach. I've used a V1 Nocturne Junior Barnyard for years quite happily (usually into whatever Fender tube backline amp they have), and it's on a CD I recorded with my friend Enric Piedro, while I was on tour with his band in Spain. I usually prefer using it as a pre-amp direct into the FX return of an amp, but it's worked fine in front of amp as well. They also make the El Pescadoro that combines the Barnyard with a reverb, going after that Chess records sounds. Nocturne have recently updated the Barnyard to V2, and it's got a blend knob between the "mic" and "instrument" channel sounds, instead of having them footswitchable.

    I've also got Jason Combs' JJ-150 and it's also great sounding, and I can also totally recommend it. The first version I was sent was slightly dark for my taste, but Jason added a push-pull to the tone switch to extend the range of the pot, and sent me a new one with the update, and that more than took care of the issue.

  9. #8

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    There's Raezer's Edge. Tribute - Raezer's Edge
    I've never been near one, but they look interesting, claim to be an EH-150 copy.

  10. #9
    interesting of course, but a copy of the Gibson GA-50, not the EH-150.

  11. #10

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    This video of an original Gibson 185 amp is a real treasure.

  12. #11

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    The original EH-150s use tubes, chokes, transformers and field-speakers that are no longer produced. So, unlikely to make one from new parts.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    The original EH-150s use tubes, chokes, transformers and field-speakers that are no longer produced. So, unlikely to make one from new parts.
    ...and the circuitry of modern versions of those amps – like Vintage '47 – are top secret?

    I understand that the makers of those modern equivalents have spent a lot of time, money and effort to reach those classic sounds with modern parts, but those amps are still too pricey to even think – specially if one lives in Northern Europe.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    The original EH-150s use tubes, chokes, transformers and field-speakers that are no longer produced. So, unlikely to make one from new parts.
    You can have transformers and chokes wound to specs (or even do it yourself).
    You can also get NOS tubes.
    Vintage field coil speakers can also be purchased second hand, but the modern reproductions amps mentioned in this thread seem to use alnicos.

    However 5E3 kits are ubiquitous, so that's a fairly easy route to take. The 5E3 design is not as old as EH150 but it is much older than hot rod deville, blues jr and Fishman.

    Weber (perhaps other sellers too) also has a 5C3 kit which is in some ways more similar to the EH150 and EH185 and could be modded to be even more similar.
    Last edited by orri; 05-25-2021 at 08:08 PM.

  15. #14
    the 5B3 with octal pre-amp and others are available through Carl's custom amps i.e.:

    Octal Deluxe — Carl's Custom Amps

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by icr
    The original EH-150s use tubes, chokes, transformers and field-speakers that are no longer produced. So, unlikely to make one from new parts.

    As a ham radio operator, who has some vintage gear that she's restored, I can vouch for how hard it can be to get electronic parts that have long been out of production, and are the next best thing to being unobtanium. The EH-150, and EH-185, used octal tubes that are difficult to obtain at best. Octal tubes were pretty much being phased out of use in amp designs by 1950, making them almost as hard to get as sweep tubes are nowadays. Octal tubes haven't been made in decades, and NOS (new old stock) octal tubes are very thin on the ground (and are oftentimes NOS/unused for good reason - because they were the lower quality ones that nobody wanted to buy), so you often have to settle for tubes that are pulls (electronics slang for used tubes - tubes pulled out of their sockets after use, and put into use in another piece of equipment).

    Throw in other components like the old school mica caps that had codes on them that made them look like resistors, and power and output transformers that used materials that are banned (like the PCBs [polycholorinated biphenyls] used in the transformers in my 1950s era Johnson Viking II transmitter), and all I can say is good luck pulling off an exact replica. The best you can hope for is an approximation amp sound-wise like the Vintage 47, a pedal like the Nocturne Brain, or an old restored EH-series amp, but even restoring an EH amp has its problems. I haven't watched the EH-185 restoration video embedded in a previous post, but I've watched some of Colleen Fazio's other videos, and I'm pretty sure that that she had to make due with substitutes for any 3-section electrolytic capacitors (components that combine 3 different capacitors in 1 housing), due to them not being made since at least the early 70s (and Antique Electronics Supply only has a very limited selection capacitor value-wise of what few 3-section electrilytic capacitor repros are made). Ditto for other components. It's that or scour the swapfests, and hamfests (ham radio oriented swapfests - I've picked up more than a few electronic parts [including oddball tubes] at hamfests), for old components.
    Last edited by EllenGtrGrl; 05-26-2021 at 10:19 PM.