Here’s a vintage 1965 Airline GVC-9023A electric guitar amplifier. Nearly identical to the Supro 1624T “Dual Tone” model, this Valco-made combo amp features a single 12″ speaker, a duet of 6973 power tubes, and unparalleled tube tone. This particular example is in impeccably mint 100% all original condition and includes; an entirely matching set of original RCA vacuum tubes, the original door stop footswitch, original instrument cable, original microphone cable, original owner’s manual/schematic sheet, and the replacement fuse attached within the cabinet. Arguably the best example of the best Valco (Supro/Airline/Oahu) amp ever made, this is a perfectly preserved time-capsulesque specimen, fit for a museum, a private collection, a special studio, or even a player’s private arsenal.
Serial Number: T45615 Transformer Codes: 166046, 6221 Speaker Code: 285047 (Rola) Pot Codes: 1376037(CTS, 1960)
While it remains an unresolved discussion, many enthusiasts claim the 1624T was purportedly used by Jimmy Page on Led Zepplin I and IV. And whilst Page himself has admitted such, others argue that his 1624T was modified with a new baffle that accommodated 2×10″ speakers. Regardless of what Jimmy Page did or didn’t use, this amp is still regarded as one of the best vintage amps ever made. Period. It is reasonable to assume that Page would have an affinity for the 1624, because it sounds beyond incredible, and is partial to a recording environment. Similar to a tweed Deluxe but with a British edge, the 1624 is one of the coolest vintage amps with the most practical character.
The first version of the 1624T amp, whereby 6973 power tubes replaced the previous version utilizing 6V6 tubes, was introduced in 1958. The 2nd variety, the 1624TN introduced in 1960, was manufactured for a little over a year. This amp utilized: (1) 5Y3 rectifier tube, (2) 6973 power tubes, and (3) 12AX7 tubes through a 1 x 12″ Rola speaker. So, this amp best resembles that variant 1624, with an identical schematic and component configuration. The most significant difference is the use of a Jensen C12-R in the Airline equivalent, as opposed to the Rola installed in the Supros. The sonic difference between the 2 speakers is important, as the Jensen produces full-range smooth overdrive with clean headroom, while the Rola produces a more mid-ranged slightly saturated sound.
The cosmetic condition of this amp is incredibly impressive, with no evidence of cosmetic flaws nor damage of any sort. The chrome-plated mirror-polished control panel is pristine, The beautiful two-tone black and cream vinyl tolex is perfect and void of snags, stains, or any other distracting condition issues. The checkerboard grillecloth is in perfect structural condition with no fading, no fraying, and no drooping.
Of course the amp sounds incredible. That is pretty much a given with any 1624 variant. It produces fantastic UK-style crunch which seems to complement any guitar, but highly favors humbuckers. It is so efficient, that it sounds as if the amp was never really used. Operating at 100%, with high output and perfectly balanced projection, it sounds as well-preserved as it looks. The tremolo works perfectly and sounds amazing, and the original speaker is in perfect structural condition and does not exhibit fatigue. It translates pedals in a really organic way, and is an all-around great amp. It is important to clarify, that while many liken the 6973 power tube to an EL84, there are numerous audible advantages of a 6973 tube; known for detail and articulation, they are more musical and do not collapse in the manner of an EL84. In the opinion of many amp enthusiasts and audiophiles, the 6973 is amongst the best power tubes for guitar amplification.