Magnatone and Billy Gibbons have teamed up for one sharped dressed signature amp and cab

Magnatone Billy Gibbons Super Fifty-Nine M80
(Image credit: Magnatone / Instagram)

Billy Gibbons has museum grade electric guitar tone. It’s a reference for generations of players, magnetic north for any guitarist looking for hot blues-rock sizzle with a distinct Texan flavour and a British accent – and the ZZ Top legend has made it available by way of a signature guitar amp with Magnatone.

There is a catch. Magnatone are only making six of these available worldwide, and priced £6,999 it is no one’s idea of a cheap date – no matter how much you paid for your sunglasses, those shades will be cheap in comparison. But finished in a silver crocodile covering, with Gibbons’ John Hancock on each of the six amps sent to market, this is a rare opportunity to upgrade your backline with sounds fit for that little ol’ band from Texas.

Available from Andertons, Zenker AG, Omega Music, and Musik Produktiv, the Billy Gibbons Super Fifty-Nine M80 is a holy grail half-stack, and one of the coolest tube amps we have seen this year or ever, and if you’ve just got paid you will be interested in what your hard-earned will be getting you. Steady now, though, the spec will weaken all fiscal restraint.

In a sense, the Super Fifty-Nine M-80 is a greatest hits package, bringing together the Super Fifty-Nine MkI and MkII models in one package. A pair of EL34 tubes delivers 45-watts of Class AB power, with both gain stages of the MkI and MkII footswitchable, or simply consult the front panel of the amp to select the low or high-gain modes. Gibbons might specialise in Texan blues but his amp voicing skews British.

There is no vibrato in this model but there is a tube-buffered effects loop so you can invite your pedalboard to the party. The footswitch is included in the deal

The front panel is where you’ll find the power on/off and standby switches, a jewel power lamp. There are controls for Presence, Bass, Middle, Treble and and Master, with independent Gain controls for low and high-gain voicings, and a slider switch to choose which one is active. Treble controls high frequencies centred around 2kHz, middle around 500Hz, with Bass controlling lows centred around 60Hz.

Finally, at the extreme left of the panel, you have a pair of 1/4” instrument inputs, with the first a high-sensitivity in for maximum pickup output and frequency response, and the second a low-sensitivity option that takes off 6dB from your signal – useful if you’re using a guitar with super-hot pickups.

The rear panel has connections for the Gain Select footswitch, the send/return for the effects loop, a pair of speaker outputs, and a compensated line-out for sending the signal direct. 

The head is matched with a 4x12 speaker cabinet, loaded with Magnatone Custom 12” Ceramic speakers. One very cool signature detail on this run is the luminous gaffer tape with the legend for the controls on the top of the cab. Helpful if the stage light is low.

For more details on the Super Fifty-Nine M-80, head over to Magnatone. To stare at this one and dream – or to pony up and add to cart – head over to one of the lucky chosen retailers. If you are in the UK, that’d be Andertons. Remember, they're only making six of these. 

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.