NAMM 2024: Gibson announces its glorious return to the amp game with Mesa/Boogie-made Falcon amplifiers
After 57 long years, Gibson has officially unveiled its grand return to the amp game.
Gibson abandoned amplifier production in 1967 in order to focus on guitars – but that’s all set to change with two brand-new amps: the Falcon 20 and Falcon 5, both of which were teased in an announcement last week.
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Handcrafted in Petaluma, California, the two new Falcon amps are the first to come not only since Gibson stopped making amps almost 60 years ago, but since the guitar giant acquired amp powerhouse Mesa/Boogie. They also pay homage to Gibson’s 1960s Falcons, the very first guitar amps available with reverb.
Both amps are kitted out with Jensen Blackbird speakers, the same brand used in the original Falcons. The smaller seven-watt Falcon 5 is equipped with a 10” Jensen Blackbird speaker, while the 12-watt Falcon 20 boats a 12” Jensen Blackbird.
Both amps also have selectable wattage scaling. The compact Falcon 5 is able to shift to three-watts, while the Falcon 20 has a multi-watt attenuator, allowing it to run at 12, 5 or 1 watt. This allows the Falcon 20 to be a chameleon amp, able to adapt to full-blown stage use while also maintaining the ability to be used comfortably at home.
As Gibson explains, both Falcon circuits have been designed so payers can substitute the supplied 6V6 power tubes with optional 6L6 tubes, further adding to their “flexibility, headroom and punch”.
Additionally, Gibson has equipped both amps with tube-driven spring reverb, while the larger Falcon 20 is also loaded with tremolo.
In terms of aesthetics, these boutique amps also embody that vintage Gibson charm, with a Cream Bronco vinyl finish, Oxblood grille cloths and a clean metallic control panel.
“Over the last two years, I’ve witnessed the Gibson team working together to design and develop the new Gibson amplifiers and I couldn’t be prouder and more excited about what they have accomplished,” says Cesar Gueikian, President, and CEO of Gibson Brands.
“It started with Randy Smith researching the Gibson sound, exploring the sound of many original Gibson amplifiers to design a new and improved circuit board that he passed on to the Lab team. John Marshall, Tommy Waugh, Jim Aschow, Doug West, Steve Mueller, Mat Koehler, and Craig Hockenberry all came together to create the amplifier and brought the new Gibson Falcon to the finish line. Upon playing the final prototype I immediately called Randy and told him, this is the Gibson sound, only better!”
Adds Mat Koehler, Vice President of Product, Gibson Brands: “This is such a proud day for all of us at Gibson. We’re back in the amplifier game in a big way. The Falcon 5 and 20 have an amazing balance of historic DNA and modern build quality and they offer unprecedented value to players, not to mention timeless designs that will look as great on stage as they will in homes.”
In terms of pricing, the Falcon 5 and Falcon 20 are priced at $1,499 and $1,799, respectively.
For more information, head to Gibson.
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