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Gibson Falcon Commentary

6/10/1998 3:49 PM Gibson Falcon Commentary
What great amps!!  
I would like to start a thread in order to gather history, opinions, suggestions, known problems, successful modifications, etc. about these underrated little babies.  
I now have an early Tweed model (vertical chassis w/rev.and trem) that is better than Deluxes I have owned in the following ways: it's smaller, lighter, has "better" sounding tremolo and reverb, seems better constructed, gets louder before clipping, and was only $250 (whereas a BF DR in similar condition would be more like $700 + in my area).  
Replies will be much appreciated.  
6/10/1998 3:53 PM
Jim S.

Not that they're not nice amps, but...better constructed than a blackface Deluxe Reverb? I doubt it.
6/11/1998 2:48 PM
Well. So far, so what!  
If no beneficial replies are posted, I'll drop the thread, although I can't see why there would be so little interest or enthusiasm about such an underexplored subject.  
Due to their deflated value, I can easily see a rennaissance of interest by players and collectors in vintage Gibson/Epiphone amps, especially Falcons and Titans.  
True, I've seen certain years and models that had questionable quality. Then again, some are worthy American treasures.  
6/12/1998 9:10 AM

I for one, would appreciate discourse on  
similar amps. The bargain prices for some  
of these amps make them attractive alternatives to BF Fenders and such. It would help us all to understand what to look for in those amps which are not mainstream but might have value because of some features or contruction details not found on the more popular amps. IMHO :-)
6/12/1998 9:41 AM

If you haven't done so already, pick up a copy of "The Tube Amp Book", by Aspen Pitman. There are reprints of catalog ads showing features of many of these amps. You'll learn a lot just looking at the pictures.  
Think about it...if the discourse you desire was posted on the internet, especially in a well-read forum such as this, there wouldn't be any of these alternative amps left for us to play through. They'd be in some yuppie's investment collection.  
If you find an amp somewhere for sale, which you like, that sounds good to you for your style of playing and the price is right (for your budget), you probably can't go wrong buying it.
6/13/1998 12:24 AM

I have one in my shop right now for repairs.  
It appears to be ALL original.... sorta unfortunatly for the owner.....  
It had a very bad BAD hum and both the filter multicaps are shot plus one of the 6V6s is shorted  
Semi weak preamp tubes and the 6C4 is testing bad under a low voltagelife test load.  
The amp was completely unuseable.  
I have about two hours in it now with the new tubes and caps plus a power supply dropping resistor. Works fine now but not very loud.  
So the owner will be spending about $45 to $65 to get it working right.  
It has a pair of class A self biased 6V6GTs in it and sounds very underpowered even when driving my single 12" V-30 Celestion, when compared to my "clone like" Tweedy Deluxe amps.  
My guess is around 8-12 watts output from the way it sounds and the small size of the output transformer..etc.  
It has what looks like an original Jensen brown AlNiCo 10"speaker.  
These Falcon amps have a very singular look to them and I can see how they could be attractive to some folks. Certainly worth fooling around with.  
I can't say if they are worth very much money and I can remember that in their hey day they were considered a bit anemic too.  
It does have a decent reverb and vibrato.  
But still, an all tube amp and fairly basic so fun to mess with.  
I have the Pitman book and I glanced through it quickly at lunch but did not see a schematic for the Falcon in there.  
Depending on how much you'd pay for one would be the main thing I'd be looking for because the basic amp seems sound..  
6/12/1998 9:28 AM

Those blond tweed covered Gibson amps with the clear plastic-sided swing-up luggage handles are classy looking amps, so I can understand your fascination & enthusiasm for them.  
I'm not familiar with the Falcon model, but I have done some extensive repairs & upgrades to a model GA-20T of that vintage, with the nice looking cream tweed cabinet/ sloped baffle w/maroon grill cloth. This amp has a pair of 6V6s in cathode biased class A, paraphase inverter, pentode & triode preamp channels, and a 12" speaker. The amp now has a sort of "Billy Gibbons in a box" tone, and is one of its owner's favorite amps.  
Production quantities of these Gibson combo amps were very small, compared to Fender amps of similar size & features. Based on prices I've seen at guitar shows, I doubt that they fall into the deflated value category you speak of. People are asking outrageous (IMO) prices for them. If you can get them cheap, buy all them up you can find.  
These amps do have great tone for guitar & harmonica. Cabinet construction is good, their chassis construction is not anywhere near as rugged as Fender's BF/SF combos, but possibly on par with their tweed era amps. The unit I worked on has small components mounted on both sides of the eyelet board, making it very difficult to service.  
Just my $.02 worth on these amps.  

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