MATRIXSYNTH: 1960s Gibson G101 Vintage Combo Organ SN 5515

Saturday, January 23, 2021

1960s Gibson G101 Vintage Combo Organ SN 5515

via this auction

Love the look of this one.

"1968 Gibson G101 combo organ in excellent condition, fully serviced and ready to be played. Rare in any condition, the G101 was manufactured for Gibson by Lowrey and is best known for its extensive use by Ray Manzarek in the Doors, as the versatility and reliability of the G101 was preferred by Manzarek over the Italian Vox Continentals available concurrently with this model. And given the extensive overlap in circuitry with Lowrey's DSO-1 Heritage Deluxe organ used by the Beatles on Sgt. Pepper's, the G101 absolutely nails the sparkling reedy harpsichord tones of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

The tonal options on the G101 are vast, and the controls very user-friendly, with three color-coded and logically laid out banks governing the bass register, vibrato/ sustain/ percussion, and the various voicings separated by Flute tabs (white) and Horn/String tabs (yellow and blue). A perfect middle ground between the reedy attack and nuance of the Vox Continental and the bold, bubbly textures of a Farfisa, the G101 straddles these extremes with aplomb, offering rich layers of transistorized combo organ perfection. With the Sustain and Staccato tabs, some piano and harpsichord-esque tones can be realized, and the multiple vibrato tabs allow for more present, choppy textures or smooth warbling tones. The Percussion feature also operates as it should, albeit fairly subtle in its effect, activated by a small bulb with a rate set by the corresponding knob, producing more of a tremolo effect layered with the vibrato.

The circuit has been thoroughly serviced by Synapse Audio, and all keys are even and respond smoothly. All functions and tabs work as they should, and it's worth noting that the Reverb tab is for an external effect (the G101 was never offered with internal reverb). The keyboard features a trio of new knobs, and all tabs feature their original lettering. While the small badge on the organ facing the performer is missing, the particularly large and raised Gibson badge on the flip out compartment that secures the legs is intact, as is the Gibson model/serial plaque. The stock handles are intact too, and new thumbscrews with the proper threading have been sourced to secure the legs compartment.

Cosmetically, the organ is quite the looker with its original Seafoam and Fawn two-tone covering. There are a few bald corners and modest wear on the exterior from honest use, yet the organ presents very well and is structurally sound."

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