Moody GA 40 Amp & Cab – Aust 1960s

by Moody

$2,495.00 20211
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Moody guitar amplifiers were built in the 1960s by R. Moody & Co. Pty Ltd, in their workshop at 126 Bombay Street in Lidcombe, a suburb of Sydney.

The owner of the company was Bert (Robert) Moody (2/8/1924-30/7/2005). He was certainly a pioneer of valve guitar amp manufacturing in Australia. Most Moody amps were based on similar Fender models of the period, which were almost impossible to buy in Australia, if at all.

Bert moved out of the amplifier production business in the early 70s due to an inability to compete with the much cheaper imported Japanese amplifiers which were flooding into Oz at the time.

Bert Moody later formed an alliance with Baldwin Piano and Organ Company of the USA, and he then became the Australian importer of these instruments, and the Gretsch line of guitars.

Moody Amps were notable at the time for their superb styling and their predominantly cathode bias circuits. A good summary of their valve guitar amplifiers can be found at this website - http://ozvalveamps.elands.com/moody.htm

This is a Moody GA 40 model amp head with matching cabinet featuring 2 original 12” speakers in perfect condition. They are pristine Sydney-made MSP Hi-Flux 12UA-15 alnico speakers, and they sound superb after all these years.

The GA 40 is rated at 40 watts output, and it was pretty much top of the line back then, & relatively expensive to buy.

We have had a few Moodys here at PREMIER GUITARS in Sydney, and they’ve all been good. But none have presented in quite the way that this one does.

It is in superb cosmetic condition, with no rips or tears in the original black tolex. Remarkably the original grill cloth is also free of blemishes. Even more of a surprise is that all the “M” branded control knobs are present, including for the reverb control on the rear.

Everything about this amp is kind of extreme …. In a good way.

It is loud, with good headroom - very clean with excellent clarity and tube driven warmth. Until you turn it up some and the beast within begins to reveal itself. It goes crunchy in a very Fendery way when pushed a little, and will absolutely produce that thick, compressed, overdriven sound when dialled right up. Pure vintage tube heaven.

If we say the reverb is rather impressive, that would be an understatement. It is a spring driven Fender style sound which delivers an airy presence when dialled in with subtlety. But tweak it just a bit and you are right in the heart of Dick Dale territory. Push it a little harder and you are so far back in the tube you are under water.

The same can be said of the vibrato circuit. It is deep, rich and throbbing …. and that’s when it’s on “1”. Adjust a little to the right and the intensity is so strong it’s like someone is turning the volume up and down more rapidly than any human actually could. The depth of intensity is far greater than any we have heard, including some classic Fender brownface amps noted for such a feature. It is certainly heavier than any pedal you could purchase today.

Of course both the reverb and vibrato circuits can be controlled with the included very funky original foot switches.

This amp was bought in 2015 from its original owner, and has never been gigged in its life. It has been given a good going over by a well regarded electronics specialist who changed a few capacitors and installed a new set of valves including a matched pair of 6L6s, and 12AX7s.

It features tilt back legs, but we would advise against using those, because there is no way of securing the amp head to the speaker cabinet. Maybe Bert just copied it from Fender because he thought it was a good idea.

Actually, there are a lot of good ideas in the design of his amp. And they all work really well. This GA 40 is highly collectable, extremely usable, and super cool.

A true Aussie classic awaiting a new home & a new chapter in its already long life.

 

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