GG-25 review by Gorilla

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.1 (9 votes)
Gorilla: GG-25

Sound — 7
I have tried it with LP's SG's and Gretsch. Works ok with all. The clean sound is pretty clean... With the gain at half, it compresses some. Doesn't sound bad at all. I was honestly expecting this to be a total joke... Yet it's actually pretty usable for practice or studio play. It's not noisy, but when turning on the "Tube Stack" switch (overdrive) it makes a POP! The general consensus is, Clean is clean, Distortion is heavy rock. It has a decent volume... About the same as the 8" 10w tube amps I have hanging around. For how cheap these are, they actually sound pretty good. I actually feel weird giving a good review to something this inexpensive, but it's one of the best little student amps I've come across.

Overall Impression — 8
As a practice amp for Rock... Sure. As a student amp... Sure. Clean tones... Sure. It gets clobbered by the small tube amps like Gibson GA-5, But those cost over 10x the price. Comparing it to practice/student amps from Epi, Fender/Squire, etc... It's a pretty good value. It sounds pretty good for the size. I've asked other musicians a bit older than me about these. (I started playing in 2001). And many have said "Yeah... Everyone who started in the 80's had one of those." and I also heard lots of "Shouldn't have sold it" comments. It's overall a decent little amp. Video from YouTube:

YouTube preview picture

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's 25 years old, yet all it needed were the pots cleaned... Thus, I'd say it was built pretty well considering. It's a PC board, and the solder joints were all clean, and all components looked in good shape. It was made of pretty good materials. Across the board, I've heard similar things about these amps. They generally hold up, and all they need is the occasional pot cleaning. I don't think it will ever be collectable, but it should continue to make music for quite some time. If my guess is right, it's a lower voltage DC circuit inside...

Features — 5
The GG-25 was made in the mid 80's. It's claimed to be 25 watts. All Solid State. 8" Speaker. 120V AC, or alternatively DC/battery power with adapter. Headphone jack for private practice. Single Channel, Gain, Master Volume, 3 band tone stack. Volume is adequate, power is fair. There's an overdrive switch labeled "Tube Stack"... (yeah right). This unit is likely marketed to rock musicians. Black Tolex cover, Rubber handle, press board cabinet. Metal corners. All things considered, the design is smart. The knobs are recessed enough that they won't get broken off if it bumps the wall. I assume they were going for toughness as well as function.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I didn't know about the lawsuit. That explains why I cannot find a schematic for my GG-25. I found one for a TC-35. Be nice to have one incase I need to fix my amp when a component dies from old age.
    I used to have one of these little Gorrila's when I was a teen in the 80's. It was cheap and they had a decent reputation for low end amps.
    One lick
    I still have two Gorilla amps from the '80's. The GG-25, featured, and the GG-110 which was a 55 watt having a Carlisle four spring reverb tank , Volume gain, Master Volume, Tube Stack gain , treble and mid boost switches and three band EQ through a 12" speaker. It's a loud amp!. I met a rep selling these at a guitar store back in the '80's and asked of the wattage output rating and was told to take the model number and divide by two. Many sold on ebay give the input wattage rating by mistake. So, the GG-25 was actually a 12 watt amp. That sounds about right. For such a small amp to have three band EQ, and gain with an overdrive switch was enough features to sell a boat load of them back then. They were impressive enough to get Pignose's attention and buy them out. They have since cut back on the models available, mostly the smallest models being in the 10 watt range. I still keep one plugged in for practice and is still hanging in there after all these years.
    One lick
    Forgot to mention I dropped a Jensen C8R-20 (4 ohm) ceramic speaker into this little monkey and the tone really improved. Bright and crisp sound with single coil pups. My P-90'd, SG Special sounds great through it.
    One lick
    In case curiosity has you wondering the original Gorilla makers were caught stealing Peavey's (probably the Rage 158 model) circuitry using the TDA2030 audio power chip in their amps and were successfully sued in court for copyright infringement. I'm sure any literature and schematics were destroyed. There is little info still floating around about the early amps from that era. . Pignose came along later and grabbed the name.