Price paid: $ 500
Purchased from: Jeff's Warehouse Music
Features: This a review for a 1966 Epiphone embassy. The Embassy (EA-300 RVT) was made in the Gibson Kalamazoo factory, this amp features (2) separate channels with 2 inputs each with the second channel providing reverb and tremelo. The equivalent Gibson model was the GA-95 RVT. My amp is in pristine condition and features almost all stock parts (excluding a few capacitors). This amp still has the stock chicago jensons and sylvania 12au7's and rca 6L6's. The rectifier is the unusual 0A2 and it glows a peculiar violet color. This was the loaded flagship model for this design classification, so it is pretty loaded for the era. // 8
Sound: This amp is completely clean, a little power tube saturation occurs at the top volume end, but other wise this is a clean machine. The preamp section runs a series of 12au7's, 6eu7's and a 12ax-7 and seems designed for clean amplification and headroom.
The amp is rated for ~90 watts, but it's slim open back design makes it sound quite thin, the tone stack is quite sterile as well. It does accept pedals quite well, but lacks the 'balls' of 'bigger' closed back designs.
The cleans are very pretty and develop with an almost chorus effect. The highs and mids are very controlled and proper sounding, I'd like to mix this amp with a closed back cab to help establish a more range for a larger sound.
Another thing I run across is comparisons to a Fender Twin of the time, I find this a very poor comparison as the amps are quite fundamentally different, the only similarity is the 2x12 combo design, the differences are too numerous to mention. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The amp is over 40 years old right now and is quite good condition. Almost all original parts, original speaker, etc. I would say they made these amps to last.
If you buy one of these amps don't expect Epiphone to be able to support any repairs, I recommend finding a good local amp tech and getting this amp checked out before really using it for a reliable amp. It is over 40 years old and certain components they made back then just weren't made to last that long. // 9
Overall Impression: Great era specific amplifier that I got in great condition for a fairly cheap price. It is not the most versatile amp and most players would prefer something with some gain in it, I find that it fits a very necessary niche in my collection previously only occupied by Music Man amps and my Sunn 1200S and this amp is a very different flavor of that niche. This amp is for the collectors more than for the modern player, though if you run across one cheap and want a pretty sounding amp then I recommend it. // 7