Gibson EH-185 Guitar Amplifier

Gibson EH-185 Amplifier

The model EH-185 amplifier was the top of the line for Gibson in the years prior to WW-II.  The EH-185 was introduced in 1939 and production continued into 1942. 

The most notable feature of this design was an amplifier chassis that could be lifted out of the speaker cabinet and operated remotely.  This was probably an advantage when setting up on a crowded bandstand, and it certainly helped the ventilation situation.

The amplifier was good for about 20 watts output, as delivered by a pair of 6L6's.  Three triode-connected 6L7's were the low level amplifiers, and a 6N7 dual triode provided phase inversion and drive for the outputs.  The rectifier is a 5U4G.  Two instrument inputs and one microphone input were provided.  Tone adjustment was managed by individual bass and treble controls.  The speaker was a 12-inch electrodynamic type, protected by a black crackle-painted metal grill.  A bass reflex port located above the speaker also serves to ventilate the amplifier when it is operated in the case.

The cabinet is covered in the brown tweed "airplane" cloth that was the signature of the early Gibson amplifiers.  The plain brown of the covering was accented a decorative band and the stenciled Gibson logo.  It measures about 20 inches high, 17 inches wide, and is 10 inches deep.

Two versions of this amplifer were produced.  The one shown here is the earlier version (1939-1940).  The later version (1940-1942) had only a single tone control, and did not have separate level controls for the microphone and instrument inputs.  The tube complement was different, as well.

EH-185 Amplifier Chassis in Cabinet
EH-185 with Amplifier Removed