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My 1937 Gibson EH-150 Guitar Amp

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Paul Reed Smith Guitars1 of 2PRS Custom Built for Me, Heirloom Bass, Serial Number #11 from 1977!PRS Custom Built for Me, Heirloom Bass, Serial Number #11 from 1977!
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Posted 3 years ago

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Gatorblue
(2 items)

This classic is one of my very favorites. Class A, all tube and the first amp ever made with an overdrive channel. It's a screaming 15 watt with
1-12" Celestion classic (I replaced the old field-coil speaker).
The "suit-case" tweed amp is so called because you pop the snaps on the side and take off the hard-shell back when you play it.
For you blues fans, get this---it has been autographed by Muddy Waters, BB King, Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Pinetop Perkins, Otis Rush,
Bo Diddly, Gatemouth Brown, Keb Mo, Johnny Winter, Jimmie Vaughan and Big Memphis Jerry.

When the amp was being designed, Charlie Patton asked Gibson to put in a mic channel. In the 30s mics had a very weak signal, so Gibson put a drive booster into the MIC channel. Legend has it that one night, Hubert Sumlin was backing Wolf and he accidentally plugged his guitar into the MIC channel. When he hit the first chord, everyone in the juke went crazy and Wolf reportedly said, "Whatever you did, do it again."
Essentially Gibson had inadvertently created the first overdrive channel on a guitar amp.

Although I have numerous vintage and boutique amps (Fenders, Dr. Z, Gibsons, Vox, Peavey, Duncan, etc.), I still take this one and play it out on occasion. It really sounds greasy and thick--a great blues amp.

Comments

  1. MachinistChest, 3 years ago
    Hi, I`m currently developing a process to recreate those old leather handles for these old Gibsons but I don`t have one to compare. I was wondering if you can tell me what the center to center dimension is between the clamps .

    Regards John
  2. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 3 years ago
    I'll get the measurements for you.
  3. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 3 years ago
    Three weeks ago Jimmie Vaughan was in town and I got together with him (two old blues guys from Texas catching up). I showed him the amp and asked him to sign it. He said, "Gator, I'm not worthy to sign my name next to these guys." I said, "Bullshit, you've got 3 blues Grammys and Buddy Guy told me 6 months ago that he thinks you're playing the best pure blues of anyone right now. " He smiled and signed it. So, now Jimmie's signed on as well, and I'm proud he did.

    Also, someone named Steve emailed me that he had a 1960 oxblood Fender amp, but I couldn't find his reply address. Steve, if you're out there, please contact me.

    --Gator
  4. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 3 years ago
    MachinistChest,
    In answer to your question, the measurement is exactly 6 1/2 inches.
  5. MachinistChest, 3 years ago
    Gator,
    This is a prototype of the handle on my flickr page. The original Gibson looks to be a bit more rounded off. I`ll have to make some adjustments to my jig. Thanks much for the help.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/49759867@N04/6199520710/in/photostream

    ...MC
  6. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 3 years ago
    The handle looks very much like the original. Of course, my handle is faded, but it does appear that it was originally a "clear" leather finish vs. dark.
    Good luck with your idea.

    -Gator
  7. StratoshphereZ StratoshphereZ, 3 years ago
    Way cool amp!! I've owned many but not this one. I look forward to one like it showing up some day.

    David
  8. MachinistChest, 3 years ago
    David,
    There is two for sale on eBay at this time @ $2500.

    Gator,
    Yes! Natural saddle brown as opposed to the dark saddle brown. There was also a black covered type amp, it may have been the EH 100.

    John
  9. robert jockel, 3 years ago
    Is the 1937 EH 150 AMP for sale and how much .
    Thank you .

    Rob Jockel
  10. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 3 years ago
    Robert, I don't have any plans to sell it right now. I love the amp and actually use it when I fly to Memphis and do a blues trip down Hwy 61 through Mississippi. It's the only really quality tube amp that I can carry on and slide under the seat versus checking it, which I'd never do. That way I can hold it and cushion it in my lap during the landing.

    I may sell it one day when I'm older and need the money. Keep in touch---

    Gator
    gmillhollon@bokf.com
  11. musikchoo musikchoo, 3 years ago
    That's a HOT amp man!!! The only thing that would make it better ? If Stevie Ray was still with us to sign next to Jimmy's signature!! I saw Jimmy about six months ago and got to visit a little. Man He is sounding Better than ever!! Take care of that amp! (I know You Will)
  12. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 3 years ago
    Thanks, musikchoo. Yeah, Jimmie is really sounding great with his current set-up. He's a really nice guy and great (and often under-appreciated ) guitarist by people not into the blues.
  13. naturalust, 2 years ago
    Sweet! I have a couple of these amps. One that works and looks perfectly from 1937 and a prototype from 1935 with everything but the speaker that I bought in case I needed spare parts.

    I am scared to travel with them and leave them at home most of the time. Very surprised these haven't been getting the Big$ like the Fender Champs and other early Fender tweeds. I am about ready to list them only because I can't stand the thought of them breaking while I own 'em. The microphone input with a P90 pickup feeding it is the very definition of warm tube distortion.

    Where can I check the SN's for actual manufacture dates? Much thanks....GREAT SITE.

  14. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 2 years ago
    I'm not aware of a serial number on these amps. There is a metal tag attached to the amp console and the paper tag on the back amp cover.
    Both just say Gibson Kalamazoo but no model or serial number that I've found.
  15. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 2 years ago
    But you are right about the using the mic input. When I plug in my 335, it just has the nastiest and strongest natural distortion I've ever heard. There is a guy on youtube who demonstrates his and uses just the tone and volume controls on his guitar to demonstrate what you can do with this amp. He did a good job. ---Gator
  16. Gatorblue Gatorblue, 10 months ago
    Hey guys, since I last commented on this amp, Johnny Winter signed it. He and I were both at the SRV Commerative Concert in Fort Worth (along with Anson Funderburg and some other great guitarists). I was in Johnny's trailer having a beer and told him I had it in the car. He loved it, went over it with a fine tooth comb touching every inch of it, since he doesn't see too well any more. He was real proud to sign it, especially with Muddy's signature on it. He was sweet as always, and was an absolute killer on stage that night.

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