Smaller 1960s and 1970s WEM amplifiers are undergoing a bit of a renaissance just now; they make great recording amps, and can be used live when mic'd or more than one is used. The WEM Dominator is a particular favourite, but the Clubman and Westminster also perform very well.
Description from early 1970s WEM advertising
A sturdy valve amplifier producing 5 watts of clean power helped by a heavy duty 12 " speaker. Ideally suited for the young musician, an ideal student amplifier. Two inputs with volume control and separate treble and bass controls. Finished in black leather cloth with silver trim.
The Clubman is actually the smallest amplifier in the early seventies WEM range. Despite this, it is still quite loud. If you like the tone of an overdriven valve amp, but don't want to disturb the neighbours too much, then this is a great amp for playing at home.
Tonally, this is a smooth, deep amp that sounds just amazing when cranked up, and the tone rolled off; some great cleaner tones too, but absolutely never sterile. Have a listen to some of the soundclips below.
Relatively clean amp setting: volume 8, treble 8, bass 5. Guitar played with a pick; all volume and tone controls at 10.
Turn the amp to full, for a nice slightly overdriven valve sound. This amp can break up beautifully when you really dig in. Volume 10, treble 8, bass 5. Guitar played with a pick; all volume and tone controls at 10.
Same amp settings, and a relatively clean sound: volume 8, treble 8, bass 5. Guitar played with a pick; volume 10, tone 10.
Without adjusting the amp settings, but turning the guitar tone down, you can get some gorgeous jazz/blues tones: volume 8, treble 8, bass 5. Guitar played fingerstyle; volume 10, tone 0.
The same amp setting: volume 8, treble 8, bass 5. Guitar played with a pick; just the bridge pickup, volume and tone at 10. This setting produces a rather nice chimey tone.
franjo Comment left 21st November 2012 22:10:14 thanks for thegreat work, presenting the thing in a very pure way! many regards
Andy Liggins Comment left 25th September 2014 11:11:35 Hi - thank you for the article. Do you know what make of valves were originally used in these please? Thank you.
Andrew Comment left 11th February 2016 16:04:51 I am currently selling a circa 74 Clubman. It would be nice if it went to an appreciative home.http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/WEM-Clubman-Guitar-Amp-/262280262746?hash=item3d111f345a:g:Z6oAAOSw~OVWt1vP