An Exceptionally Fine 1958 Gretsch 6161 Electromatic Dual Twin Tremolo Amplifier…
1958 Gretsch 6161 Electromatic Dual Twin Amplifier with Tremolo
An exceptionally fine and all original early 1958 Model 6161 Electromatic Dual Twin Amplifier (serial number "X 87050"). This 14 watt amp weighs just 26 lbs and has a two-tone gray cabinet with black & gray "velvet" speaker grill with "Gretsch" in white. The exterior measurements are: 23 inches wide x 16 inches high x 7 1/2 inches deep. Original white plastic handle. Two 11 x 6 inch elliptical Rola Alnico speakers (with the output transformer mounted on the left one) plus one 5 inch Rola Alnico tweeter. Two channels with one "treble" and two "standard" inputs. Raytheon 5Y3GT rectifier. Five tubes: 2 RCA 6V6GT; 1 RCA 6SQ7; 1 6SC7, and 1 5Y3GT. On/off switch (on volume control); standby switch; 2 amp fuse; 1 tone control; 1 volume control; 3 inputs. Original white plastic handle. Complete with the two small metal plates on the back, one engraved "Gretsch Electromatic", the other with the serial number "X 87050". The foot pedal switch for the tremolo is no longer with the amp. A totally original and near mint example.
One of the "second" generation (after the 1953-1955 "Tweed" finish and brown "velvet" speaker grill) Gretsch (Valco made) Electromatic Dual Twin Amplifiers that were only produced with the controls on the back. These were only made from 1955 to 1958 and are covered in the easily recognizable Gretsch two-tone gray cloth. The two main speakers are coded "10119 285751 550-19" (with output transformer) and "10120 285627 550-20", and the three-inch tweeter is coded "285650 550-1" (Rola, April & May 1956). This amplifier is in exceptionally fine condition and and still has the original power cord. The "second" generation 6161 Electromatic has the advantage of the additional "tweeter" and the "Tremolo" which was a feature that was always offered thereafter.
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. (#2051)
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