Old Gibson Amp Question

redking

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the GA isn't a ss... at least mine isn't...
a quick search for a "70's Gibson G 55" gives me this. Maybe the GA-55 model number from the 50's was a tube amp, but by the 70's, I think Gibson was pretty much out of the tube amp game.

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strayedstrater

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That being said - a Gibson G-55 is a solid state amp - so correct me if I am wrong amp techs - the OP shouldn't really have to worry about lethal doses of high voltage in a SS amp? I think adding the 3 prong chord in this case will simply make it run quieter. It's basically like a transistor radio.
It may not hurt as much, and it may be less likely to cause burns.

But in the relatively rare case where the conduction path is directly through your heart, it doesn't take much to disrupt or stop your heartbeat.
 

strayedstrater

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Yeah. I’m kind of leaning of disposing of the amp. Sounds like a death trap I don’t want to get involved with, or pass onto some one to get hurt.
Wait, what? Dispose of it because you don't want to pass it on to someone to get hurt?
As in "throw it in the trash?"

Don't do that. Replacing the power cable is a quick, cheap, simple job that's well within the skills of most do-it-yourselfers.
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You're over-reacting with fear of it. Plug the amp in, turn it on, wear sneakers on a carpeted floor, play your guitar in the middle of the room where you can't accidentally touch anything electrical. That's basically zero risk.

See if you like the way the amp sounds, and decide if you like it enough to keep it. If so, replace the cord. If not, sell it to someone who wants it.

If you decide to sell it, show a pic of the power cord and in your written description say "it still has the original 2-prong cord that should be replaced with a safer 3-prong". No guilt, no liability.
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'60s Gibson solid-state amps aren't great, but they aren't terrible. Better than a lot of modern cheap "beginner's" amps. And they're a piece of history.

Hell, if nothing else just cut off the power cord and convert it into a speaker cab.
 

ErictheRed

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Just turn it on and play it then, no big deal. You don't need to worry about filter caps and transformers, etc.

Definitely have the power cord changed out by a competent tech at some point if you like it, but go ahead and play it. Just don't have a live mic or other live instrument (like a guitar, bass, etc) plugged in and powered on that you could inadvertently touch at the same time.
 

zdoggie

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i totally agree with the above get a good three pronger installed by a qualified tech
electricity is dangeous

zdog
 

dasherf17

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You mean if I play this amp without the third ground prong, I run the rush of electrocuting myself?
Let's just say you'll thank the Forum if you play the next job or jam when liquid is spilled around your amp...or at home, for that matter...
It's a potentially life saving bit.
I played a gig years ago with my 2-prong Tremolux...mid-day they held a wet t-shirt contest...on the stage, in the area, where we guitar boys stood...
I fried my lips once..."get closer! We can't hear you!" I kept hearing...
"Um...no..."
3 prong may not help buuuuut....maybe not so severe.
Bottom line, safety-wise, do it...
 
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ehb

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All it takes is once... and yew weeel beee-leeeeeeeve...... after you regain your ability to hear, think, talk, and move your fingers and shit...

I watched our bass player walk up to the mic and witnessed the most beautiful freak of nature happen right in front of my eyes.... Beautiful blue-white arc three to four inches in length just reached out and kissed his dumb ass on the lips.... He was so excited and in such ecstasy that his eyes rolled back in his head....

...and that was just a ground issue. Jug amp can dirt sammich your ass....
 

LuthierVandross

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You're over-reacting with fear of it.
Am I over reacting to the fear or are these responses not making you second guess buying an accordion yourself :rofl:

I have a plug with the reset button, but we’ve been getting monsoon season here so I’m not so savvy on plugging in on a rainy day.

I appreciate the responses guys. I’ll plug it and see if I want to mess with the rest and keep it or let it go as is.
 

D_Rowell

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Yes.

I started playing in '72, just as 3-prong polarized plugs were being introduced. Many places I played still had 2-prong outlets so I always carried a 3 to 2 prong adapter with me.

Not many people actually died (though some did). But just about everyone experienced shocks, ranging from mild tingles to "ow, that hurt like hell". We learned how the shocks happened, and did our best to avoid them.

The strings on your guitar are grounded, to reduce noise. But with 2 prong plugs, if you plug into the wall one way the strings are grounded, but plug in the other way the strings are hot. If the strings are hot, you don't feel it and it doesn't cause any problems -- unless you touch something that's grounded. Then electricity flows from the strings through your body to ground.

Barefoot on a concrete floor, lips touching a microphone, touching another player or their amp, touching a piece of recording equipment, anything conductive that's grounded = zap. Pain is a good teacher and we quickly learned not to do those things.

But it's easy to slip up. And most people have grown up in a 3-prong polarized world where shocks are super rare, so they've never learned that conductive things might try to kill them.
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If you use that amp before getting the power cord replaced, let go of the strings (and other metal parts) before you touch anything that may be conductive.
Good explanation
 

efstop

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It's an easy replacement and doesn't affect the resale value. Most folks don't want to be maimed or killed just because they like a vintage amp.
 
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