Legendary guitar manufacturer Gibson is officially revamping their guitar amplifier line, as revealed in their newly launched press release.
Back in the day, guitar amplifiers were part of Gibson’s regular line of products. Most notably, there was the Falcon amp, also known as GA-19RVT. For many years, it was one of the most interesting tube-driven amps among collectors. And now, the Falcon is making its returns in two versions.
In their official statement, Gibson announces two amplifiers, Falcon 20 and Falcon 5. There are, obviously, some differences between these and the original GA-19RVT. Since Gibson has acquired the Mesa Boogie brand, these new amplifiers feature “all-new circuits developed by Gibson Master Pioneer Randall Smith,” the man who founded Mesa Boogies. So let’s dig in and see what Gibson is bringing with these two new models.
Despite having “5” in its designated name, the smaller Falcon of the two features a total of seven watts of output power. This is a Class A amp with one 6V6 power amp tube. There’s also a power soak option that turns it into a three-watt amplifier.
The Falcon 5 comes with three control knobs. We have master volume, master tone, and a control for its “lush onboard all-tube spring reverb.” There are three 12AX7 preamp tubes and we assume one of those is for the reverb.
It also comes with two inputs, “normal” and “low.” This gives room for more tone-shaping options, all while retaining vintage traits.
We have a single 10-inch Jensen Blackbird alnico speaker. The amp comes with an aluminum chassis, featuring polished stainless steel faceplate.
Although sharing some of the fundamental traits, there are significant differences with the Falcon 20. With two 6V6 tubes in the power amp, this one brings a total of 12 watts of power and can be attenuated down to five watts or one watt.
Also a Class A amp, this one comes with two effects — reverb and tremolo. Both are also tube-driven effects. There’s a total of four 12AX7 preamp tubes in it. Accompanying the amp is a dual footswitch that toggles the aforementioned effects on and off.
There’s also the two-input setup, just like with the smaller Falcon. However, with the added tremolo effect, there are two additional knobs for depth and frequency.
Other than that, the amp is equipped with a single 12-inch Jensen Blackbird alnico speaker. And there’s also a DI output for monitoring or simply going straight into the PA, mixer, or audio interface.
Additional Features and Info
What’s really interesting is that you can also use 6L6 instead of 6V6 tubes on both of the models. This adds a little bit to their overall output power. Instead of seven and three watts on the Falcon 5, it’s eight and four. And with the Falcon 20, you get 15, six, and two watts. Obviously, you’ll get more headroom with 6L6 tubes as well.
The new CEO of Gibson, Cesar Gueikian, also addressed this historic decision, saying:
“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.”
“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!”
Mat Koehler, the Vice President of Product within Gibson Brands, said:
“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.”
What About the Prices?
So, let’s get to the most important part — how much do they cost? Falcon 5 is listed for $1,499. Meanwhile, its bigger brother, Falcon 20, is $1,799. For more information, feel free to visit Gibson’s website here.