Gibson stopped making amps in 1967 – but will 2024 see their return?
Gibson appears to be teasing a re-launch of its cult classic line of amps, 57 years after production ended.
A new landing page on its website featuring the strapline ‘Ready For Flight’ offers a series of boxes for fans to sign up “for launch” with their email addresses to be the first to find out about the company’s developments. It also features an image of a cream-coloured, Tolex-covered Gibson amplifier.
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Closer inspection reveals the amp pictured is a Falcon 20, a frequency dial and what appears to be a three-way toggle for full, half and low control parameters. It appears similar to the Gibson Falcon tube amp, which has garnered a cult status despite only being in production for one year, in 1961.
In 2021, Gibson CEO Cesar Gueikian hinted that the brand’s amps could be returning to shelves almost six decades after they last rolled off the production line. This may well have been made possible by their acquisition of celebrated boutique amp makers Mesa/Boogie that same year.
A Mesa/Boogie Mark Five 25 power amplifier, taken on November 4, 2014. (Photo by Gavin Roberts/Guitarist Magazine/Future via Getty Images)
Indeed, Gueikian told Guitar World at the time that its acquisition of Mesa/Boogie helped fill the space that Gibson Amps had left. “We were thinking about what would be next and we’ve always been about helping to shape and inspire sound. We had the guitars, but what would really make a complementary experience would be plugging those guitars into something,” he says.
“We don’t have Gibson amps today, so we started thinking about who is the best out there – not just in terms of their brand, but also like-minded in terms of leveraging the iconic past and leaning into the innovative future.
“We could have started the process of making amplifiers on our own, but if we dared to dream, [as] are American-made and played by the world, which would be the company we would want to associate ourselves with. It could only be Mesa/Boogie, with no doubt.”
On top of this, the pivot back to amp manufacture may have been driven by the “unbelievable” discovery of an entire archive of pre-‘70s guitar amps and effects pedal blueprints that was being sold on eBay before they were hastily snapped up by Gibson.
Gibson manufactured amps between 1935 and 1967 before they decided to concentrate on guitar manufacturing.
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