NAMM 2024: “Harmonically rich American tone in a compact and easily portable package”: Gibson’s relaunched guitar amplifier line takes flight with the Randall Smith-designed Falcon tube combos

Gibson Falcon
(Image credit: Gibson)

NAMM 2024: Gibson has relaunched its guitar amps line with the Falcon 5 and Falcon 20, a pair of handsome tube amp combos that were inspired by a classic ‘60s design, updated and developed for today’s players with the help of Randall Smith and his Mesa/Boogie R&D team.

The Falcon 5 is a compact seven-watter, driving a single 10” Jensen Blackbird 40, while the Falcon 20 is rated at 12-watts, driving a 12” Jensen Blackbird. 

Power scaling comes as standard, with the Falcon 5 switchable to three-watts, while the Falcon 20’s Multi-Watt tech allows players to run it at 12, five or even a single watt, making it a viable proposition for the stage, studio and the bedroom.

These amps might take some inspiration from the Gibson Skylark of the 1950s and ‘60s, but they have been comprehensively redesigned from the ground up, arriving in marine-grade baltic birch cabinets, covered in cream bronco vinyl. An oxblood grille clothe completes the look. 

Both have been equipped with tube-driven spring reverb, with the larger Falcon 20 also featuring tremolo – both of which are footswitchable. 

Everything else is accessible via the polished steel control panel. An amber jewel light illuminates when the power is on. 

The Falcon 20 has dials for Volume, Tone, and Reverb, with Depth and Frequency for the onboard tremolo. A three-way switch selects your Multi-Watt power output options (Full, Half, Low), and you’ve got two toggle switches for power on and standby. 

As on Mesa/Boogie amplifiers, the Multi-Watt technology is not simply an attenuator but features Duo-Class technology, and so the amp offers three different wiring options that change how the power is handled. 

The Falcon 5 is a single-ended Class A amplifier and has much the same except there is no onboard tremolo. It ships with a single 6V6 in the power section that can be swapped out for a 6L6.

If you opt for a 6L6 you will have an extra watt of juice to play with. The Falcon 20 will similarly take 6L6 power tubes for a maximum power output of 15-watts but ships with a pair of 6V6s. There are four 12AX7s in the Falcon 20’s preamp section, three in its smaller sibling.

Speaking of size, these are both relatively portable amps, with the Falcon 20 weighing in at 31lbs (or a hair over 14kg), and the Falcon 5 at 26lbs (11.79 kg).

The Falcons are equipped with a DI output, and you'll find a pair of four-ohm and one eight-ohm speaker outputs at the back. 

They ship with a slip cover, and all things considered for a pair of amps made in Petaluma, California, the pricing is reasonable. The Falcon 5 is priced at $1,499, while the Falcon 20 will set you back $1,799 for the Falcon 20. 

See Gibson for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.