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  #1  
Old 10-23-2008, 03:16 AM
sabby sabby is offline
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Default The Ampeg Gemini I or II

So how many of you all have one of these monsters, and what can you me about them. I've played two that were in good shape and a bunch more dogs. I always wrote them off until I found a good one. GAWD, am I in love now. If only I had the cash ....

So what do you know?
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2008, 03:39 AM
Special Special is offline
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I've always preferred the Gemini I, though the II can be great also. The 12" speaker seems to focus the sound more, and the Ampegs can use that, IMO. I can't really account for the differences in tone within each model. sometimes the tubes are tired and old, sometimes the speaker, but some individual examples sound GREAT, and some so-so, even with said components upgraded or repaired.
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Old 10-23-2008, 02:55 PM
sabby sabby is offline
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You know, I think you're right about the difference between the I and II. I like 15s, so I chalked up the differences I heard to variations between an inconsistent body of amps. Hmmm.

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Originally Posted by Special View Post
I can't really account for the differences in tone within each model. sometimes the tubes are tired and old, sometimes the speaker, but some individual examples sound GREAT, and some so-so, even with said components upgraded or repaired.
This is good to know. It'll keep me from impulse purchasing from eBay.
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2008, 03:32 PM
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'Had a Gemini II back in the day, maybe '65. I don't remember what happened to it. If I knew then what I know now, LOL. I bet a lot of us could say that, right? I'd love to have that same amp now. My recollection is that as bad as my playing as a novice might have been, that amp still sounded pretty good!
I had a '65 Revererocket II a few years ago, good, but not golden. I sold it to a fellow in Ohio, but the gorillas working at DHL figured it was time for old Mr. Ampeg to die ~ and it was a horrible death
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Old 10-23-2008, 05:55 PM
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Ken Fisher worked for Ampeg it was his job to repair all the returns and there were a lot of them 100's

He would completely overhaul them and those are "THE" amps to have.

Read about it in his interview in The Guitar Player Amplifier Handbook by Dave Hunter
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2008, 07:11 PM
sabby sabby is offline
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Damn! I want.



Thanks for the tips, all.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2008, 08:14 PM
bigeric bigeric is offline
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I have a 66 Gemini 1. I replaced the speaker with a Weber ferro max speaker.
This is a killer amp. It has a very hi fidelity sound. I certainly don't know if Ken Fisher worked on it but Dennis Kager did. Dennis is the best ampeg repairmen left. Ken Fisher worked for him at Ampeg. Dennis fixed a few small things and changed 1 preamp tube. The rest are all original. What I like about the amp is the big box size. Full range sound. This is the 1 amp I will never sell. These are also the best bargains left in the amp world. I still see these for sale at $500.00 or so. Slap a fender name on this tone and your talking 2 grand at least.

Last edited by bigeric; 10-23-2008 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 10-23-2008, 10:23 PM
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The cabinet is really a big deal an inch deeper and wider can change everything
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:05 AM
sabby sabby is offline
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You guys are no good for me. Too bad I can't get near examples locally. This is the one piece for which I would sell plasma if I came across another good one. I stalled on a Gemini I and was sold in no time.
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Old 10-24-2008, 02:48 PM
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My first good amp back in the 1960s was a used Ampeg B-15 bass amp. Not the greatest bass map ever built but one heck of a guitar amp. I have since played through Geminis, Jets and ReverbRockets.

For single coil guitars I prefer the 15" speakers.
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2008, 03:06 PM
candid_x candid_x is offline
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I can still smell my first amp, a Gemini II, and can still hear that incredible reverb.

Actually, I had no idea what I was looking for when I bought it, but I was stuck with that beast during my first 4 years. Never know when I might decide to take up the accordian; why, I'd have my own input! I often wondered if I'd have found a different guitar niche had I option for the smaller black amp with a Fender name on it. But as it was, it became a real party amp, often more than one guitar running through it at a time, and that 15" beast of a speaker never even winced. I was never able to run it into overdrive.

I agree that the Gemini I's 12" speaker makes for a tighter focus and a more guitar-like-amp.

I showcased my tunes around nyc with a bassman who played through a B15. That thing took a lot of bumps and kept right on ticking. Hella stout amps.

Last edited by candid_x; 10-24-2008 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:20 PM
mprvise mprvise is offline
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Got my first experience with vintage Ampeg recently in the form of an all original Reverberocket II that had been in a closet for 39 years. LOVE IT! Once I get it worked on (caps, etc.) it will be seeing gig duty. Love the reverb and trem, not to mention the OD when well into the power tubes.

How close are the Gemini and the Reverberocket II?
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2008, 03:58 PM
sabby sabby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mprvise View Post
How close are the Gemini and the Reverberocket II?
Different beasts. They're sort of Blackface v. Tweed in the Ampeg world, as I understand it. The RR can be pretty rauncy. One popped locally, and I'm sorely tempted. It's quiet and the trem is dead but it's cheap. Alas, I can't justify it -- or anything (other than a Gemini) -- given my finances.
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Old 10-24-2008, 04:20 PM
mprvise mprvise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabby View Post
The RR can be pretty rauncy.
You got that right! One of the reasons I immediately purchased it after a friend had me check it out for him.
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2008, 09:28 PM
bosstone bosstone is offline
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The Gem I is definitely the one to have. It was made as the direct competition to the Deluxe Reverb of the day. It has one weak link though. It used a Jensen C12Q, which is probably the worst 12" guitar speaker Jensen made at the time. I suggest a Celestion Greenback, Rola Celestion G12-65 or a Weber Blue Dog Ceramic. The cabinet is well designed and larger than most other 22 watt combos and this is just part of the secret to how good it sounds. It has features most don't seem to know. In addition to fantastic reverb and tremolo, it also has treble boost in both channels, which is activated by twisting the treble pot/stitch fully to the right. The tremolo can also go to square wave, that is activated by twisting the tremolo intensity pot/stitch fully clockwise. Unlike the DR, you can jumper the two channels, which will give you some added gain. Another secret is that as you twist the tremolo intensity more counter clockwise, you also add gain (even if the foot switch is switched off). These amps can go from a beautiful, full and warm clean to Marshall territory. With the speakers I mentioned, it can be a bit louder than a DR. The look heavy (but they aren't) because the cabinet is larger than most comparable amps. IMHO if you want a bigger fuller sound, you just have to have a bigger, better designed cabinet. I made one little change to mine by paralleling in a cap to a resistor going to a preamp tube to get just a tad more gain. It was very easy to do and cost about $1.00 for the cap. A friend told me where to do it but I have forgotten, where. These are really exceptional amps and I feel they have been overlooked mainly because of Ampeg's image of being just bass or jazz amps and that they look heavier than they are. It weighs just 42lbs. which is still in the grab and go category and 22 watts is a very practical output for most things. Jim Weider is a well known user of these amps, so is Greg V and Paul Branin.

I don't have a thing against 15" speakers, in fact I love some of the old Jensen 15s and the old JBL D130s (if you replace the aluminum dust cap with a paper one) but a friend of mine has had everyone of the Gemini series amps and the Gem I comes out on top.

Last edited by bosstone; 10-25-2008 at 02:27 AM.
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