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1963 Gibson Mercury II

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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by gittarasaurus on Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:15 pm

I got this amp at an auction about 30yrs ago.
Apparently there were only about 145 of these amps made.
Nice rare piece of history here.
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II. 2 channel tube amp runs about 35 watts. The speaker cabinet has one 10" and one 15" speaker. Tone stacks and tremolo, no reverb. The speaker box weighs a ton! It has a tilt-back leg built into the back. The speaker box and amplifier box are trapezoid shaped. Originally there were hooks to clamp the head onto the speaker box so you could tip it back with the head in place. the hooks were missing when I got it. There were also wheels on the bottom, which I also do not have. Other than that it is in superb condition, minimal wear to the tolex, grill cloth is in great shape, small amount of surface rust on the faceplate. There is a plastic logo plate that goes in the upper left corner of the speaker cabinet which I removed and stashed away a few years ago so it would not get broken. It has the original foot switch(for the tremolo) which uses an RCA jack instead of the now standard 1/4" jack. Very cool knobs too!

At this time I think it needs to have the filter caps replaced because it hums like mad when turned on, it worked great when I got it.
Nice warm tone, clean, full bodied sound and quite loud. Not much grunge to it, I feel like it was made for hollow body or semi-hollow body guitars. Good clean jazzy tones.
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by Barry on Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:36 pm

Very kewl amp Mike. When was it made? Duh! Read the title dummy. Rolling Eyes


Dig those knobs!


Last edited by Barry on Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:11 pm; edited 1 time in total

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
1963 Gibson Mercury II Guitar10
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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by corsair on Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:06 am

That is the goods, eh!!

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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by Barry on Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:50 pm

Interesting that there is a 10" and a 15" in the cab. I don't think I've come across that configuration before.

Are these wired for frequency crossover perhaps?

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
1963 Gibson Mercury II Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
Barry
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Number of posts : 7996
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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by gittarasaurus on Sat Jul 11, 2020 5:41 pm

Barry wrote:Interesting that there is a 10" and a 15" in the cab. I don't think I've come across that configuration before.

Are these wired for frequency crossover perhaps?
I don't know actually. It has been a long time since I had the back of the cabinet open. I'll have to open it up and have a look. The jack needs some fixing so maybe I'll do that and have a poke around inside to see what is the deal. I'll let you know what I find... Thinking
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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by gittarasaurus on Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:29 pm

Barry wrote:Interesting that there is a 10" and a 15" in the cab. I don't think I've come across that configuration before.

Are these wired for frequency crossover perhaps?
i had a chance to open up the speaker cabinet recently and as it turns out, you are right, there is a crossover in there
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
two capacitors and two inductors
the unit is screwed and glued in place so I had to stick my phone inside to get a good look at the markings on the inductors
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
an elementary circuit, but not being a specialist, I can't really tell you what the frequency rollover is
It also appears that a previous owner may have swapped out the speakers, but apparently did not own or did not know how to use a soldering iron Shocked 
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
it looks like the change was made very early on because the code numbers on the existing speakers seem to indicate 1967
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
even the input jack was tampered with for some reason?
1963 Gibson Mercury II Enhance
the hole where the jack is supposed to mount is damaged and will not support the jack any more so there will need to be some repair made in order to mount the jack in a way it can be used. i will probably get a piece of sheet metal to mount the jack and screw that to the inside of the existing hole. i will go through each of the connections and solder them properly and cover with some shrink tubing.

i found this schematic on the web that appears to be the setup in this speaker cabinet, (again, I don't know what the crossover frequency is, so the indication of 3kHz in the drawing may not be relevant to my speaker)
=========================================================================

>> link <<

Unlike electronic crossovers, normally they’re connected to the outputs of an amplifier and then to the speakers you’d like to use.
1963 Gibson Mercury II 2-way-speaker-crossover-diagram
One of the most common speaker crossover types in use today: A 2nd-order 2-way speaker crossover with tweeter and midrange/woofer outputs. Inductors are represented with an “L” symbol and capacitors with a “C” symbol. A “2nd order” crossover just means that the second stage of parts is used to make the crossover filter out the unwanted frequencies even more effectively.
Capacitors and inductors have some interesting properties depending upon the frequency of a signal applied to them:

  • Capacitors have more “resistance” (called impedance, in this case) to a low-frequency signal than a higher one. The lower the frequency, the less signal that is allowed to pass.
  • Inductors are coils of wire that have more resistance to a high-frequency signal than a lower one. Therefore they filter out higher sound frequencies.

This works because when a capacitor or inductor has a signal applied to it that’s past the crossover frequency (depending on how it’s used), the resistance increases, which reduces the speaker voltage.

This means the speaker will receive less and less of the speaker signal that we want to block.
In all cases, the part value is chosen according to the speaker “Ohms” (impedance rating) it’s planned to be used with. That’s super important!
Note: Speaker crossovers can only be used with the speaker impedance they’re designed for, or they won’t sound the same.
For example, using an 8 Ohm home speaker crossover with a 4 Ohm car speaker won’t work correctly. That’s because the part values were chosen for one impedance only. When you change that, it dramatically changes the crossover frequency!
=============================================================================

at some point I will open up the amp and check out what it looks like in there. eventually I will look for an amp repair tech here in San Francisco to replace the filter caps and give the thing a look-over to see what else might need fixing.

for now it just sits in the fireplace opening and looks cool.


Last edited by gittarasaurus on Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)
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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by corsair on Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:39 pm

That's some pretty ordinary wiring together of components, eh! 
Interesting about the speaker swap; makes you wonder what was there ex-factory??

Thanks for the quick and dirty on crossovers - I was never exactly sure what they did, or what they were made up of, electronically.

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1963 Gibson Mercury II Empty Re: 1963 Gibson Mercury II

Post by Barry on Tue Jul 21, 2020 11:50 pm

Great pix Mike.

I reckon the second speaker was originally a tweeter located in the upper left corner where that plywood patch is. Very likely a horn type. That would make more sense.

I guess the guy who did the swap thought he'd get more volume by putting in a bigger speaker! Rolling Eyes Judging by the quality of his wiring that would seem to fit his electronic knowledge level.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
1963 Gibson Mercury II Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
Barry
Hero, Legend, and all round good guy

Number of posts : 7996
Age : 75
Location : Port Weller, St. Catharines, Canada
Registration date : 2009-05-01

https://www.barryeames.com

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