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6156 Playboy Amplifier Amplifiers

1959 Gretsch 6156 Playboy Amplifier

Color: Charcoal/tan tweed, Rating: 9.25, $1,950.00 (ID# 02054)
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An All Original and Near Mint Gretsch 6156 Playboy Combo

 

1959 Gretsch 6156 Playboy Amplifier

 

An exceptionally fine and all original (apart from a new three-prong grounded power cord) 1959 Model 6156 Playboy Amplifier (serial number "T 22094"). This 17 watt amp weighs just 19 lbs and has a charcoal cloth covered cabinet with tan 'tweed' cloth speaker grill with "Gretsch" black plastic logo. The exterior measurements are: 17 3/4 inches wide x 15 1/2 inches high x 8 1/2  inches deep. Original white plastic handle. One 10 inch Rola Alnico speaker (with the output transformer mounted on the right). The speaker has "285 9490" (Rola, December 1959) and "15460" stamped in black on the frame, and "550-3" stamped in black on the magnet. Six tubes: 2  x RCA 6973; 3 x RCA 12 AX7; and 1 x RCA 5Y3GT rectifier. Three-way on/off/standby switch, one volume, one tone control (with Gretsch Arrow through "G" control knobs), one small black plastic tremolo speed control; 2 amp fuse and three inputs. (two 'Bass' and one 'Treble'. Original matching charcoal cloth covered handle. On the inside of the base of the amplifier is a small rectangular metal plate engraved with the serial number "T 22094". On the inside base of the cabinet, stenciled in white, is the model number "6156". Complete with the original foot pedal switch for the tremolo and the original manilla envelope containing the spare 2 amp fuse (attached to the inside of the cabinet). A totally original and near mint example. We have had the amplifier fully serviced and a replacement three-prong grounded power cord fitted. This really is a superb little combo with a circuit that is almost identical to the highly desirable Supro 1624T. The two 6973 power tubes give a wonderful overdrive tone.

The 1950s-1960s became the heyday for Gretsch as their instruments became endorsed by Chet Atkins and George Harrison. Gretsch Jr., Jimmy Webster, and Charles "Duke" Kramer were all responsible for its success. In the early 1950s, Gretsch decided to bring in an amplifier line to go with their guitars. Valco, a company that made amplifiers for many companies (Supro, National, Airline, and Oahu), started to make amplifiers for Gretsch. Naturally, these amplifiers were quite similar to others made by Valco. Gretsch amplifiers were offered in at least five basic styles, with the earliest ones usually covered in a tweed material. Beginning sometime around 1954 or 1955, tweed was phased out in favor of a charcoal gray cloth with silver streaks in it. It should be noted that "electromatic" does not refer to any particular amplifier, but instead refers to the range of amplifiers, just as "synchromatic" and "electromatic" do not refer to a particular guitar. During this period, the amplifiers were also offered in "Chet Atkins" trim, covered in white with brown leather decoration. These are often referred to as Western or Cowboy amplifiers. See The Blue Book of Guitar Amplifiers and The Gretsch Pages.

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