Kalamazoo Amp Field Guide: Prices - Then and Now

ModelApr 1967 PriceSep 1967 PriceJun 1968 PriceToday's Price
Model 1$49.50$59.50$49.50$50 - $200
Model 2$59.50$69.50$59.50$50 - $300
K-10 Cover$2.50$2.50$2.50$5 - $15
Model 3$69.50$79.50$69.50$20 - $50
Model 4$79.50$89.50$79.50$20 - $50
K-11 Cover$3.50$3.50$3.50$5 - $10
Reverb 12$129.50$129.50$129.50$100 - $350
K-12 Cover$9.00$9.00$9.00$5 - $20
Bass 30$179.50$179.50$179.50$50 - $150
Bass 50$229.50$229.50N/A?
K-30 Cover$9.75$9.75$9.75?
The "then" prices are straight from official price lists such as this one from April 15, 1967 (64KB 272x564 GIF or 150KB 544x1128 JPEG), which was scanned in by Bjorn Anger (keeper of the mighty Holiday for Strings Gibson amp pages). The later two price sets came from much lowre resolution scans, so it's possible there are errors there, but I spent a fair amount of time playing with them in xv and the gimp (image manipulation applications), so I'm reasonably confident of their accuracy.

It's rather amusing today that the Model 3 and Model 4 solid state amps were more expensive than the Model 1 and Model 2 tube amps they were about to replace (for the brief period they survived in the market). The solid state models were identical, feature-wise, to their tube counterparts, but you have to remember that at the time, solid state was new and different. They were touted as never wearing out (compared to tubes), more efficient (needing less power, generating almost no heat). They also had more complex cabinets which cost more to manufacture. Finally, the speakers were slightly better (45% larger magnets) on the solid state models. Hence the premium for the solid state amps.

The Bass 50 seems to be fairly rare.

Today's prices are based on recent eBay sales, prices in local Austin shops, other sales I have personal knowledge of, and the Vintage Guitar Price Guide 6. eBay has been helping drive prices up (as apparently have these web pages). For the record, I think the high end of the prices quoted above are rather steep unless the amp has been overhauled by someone who really knows what they're doing. The high end prices are, thankfully, rare.

Last updated: 10 December 2006

Copyright Y2K++, 2K5 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

Miles O'Neal <roadkills.r.us@XYZZY.gmail.com> [remove the "XYZZY." to make things work!] c/o RNN / 1705 Oak Forest Dr / Round Rock, TX / 78681-1514