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Vintage WEM guitars and amps

1960s and 1970s UK amps by Watkins

WEM Copicat

WEM amplifiers

WEM ER-15
WEM Clubman MK8
WEM Dominator bass MK1
WEM Dominator MKIII

WEM guitars & basses

WEM Rapier 22
WEM Rapier 33
WEM Rapier 44
WEM Rapier bass
Watkins Circuit 4 WEM Sapphire 2
WEM Sapphire 3
WEM Sapphire 12
WEM Sapphire bass

Vintage Watkins / WEM advertising

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Amplifier advertisements originally published from 1963 onwards. Click on the images for larger copies. Check out other vintage WEM advertisements

WEM Pick-a-back - Two Great New Amps By Watkins

WEM Pick-a-back - Two Great New Amps By Watkins (1963)
This advert from a 1963 British music magazine highlights two new Watkins amplifiers: the 14w 'piggy back' Pick-a-Back, head with 12" Pick-a-Bass cabinet, and the Scout combo, also 14w, but fitted ...
[more]

WEM Copicat - Craftsmanship in Sound

WEM Copicat - Craftsmanship in Sound (1963)
"Switch to Watkins for Performance". Full color WEM advert from September (?) 1963. This advert was included in Melody Maker's 'Big beat Boys' spinoff, and features the cornerstone of WEMs producti...
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WEM HR-30 - The Big New Watkins Sound

WEM HR-30 - The Big New Watkins Sound (1964)
Mid sixties advertisement for WEM/ Watkins gear. Although a number of amplifiers, keyboards and guitars are illustrated, the main focus is on the 30w control HR30 head and the 2x12" Starfinder cabi...
[more]

WEM GR-60 - Watkins Electric Music Limited

WEM GR-60 - Watkins Electric Music Limited (1964)
This advert from Watkins shows a selection of their range of musical equipment: keyboards, microphones, amplifiers, guitars and their famous Copicat echo unit. All items displayed at the AMII (Asso...
[more]

WEM amplifiers - Find Out About WEM

WEM amplifiers - Find Out About WEM (1967)
Illustration for UK amplifier maker WEM (Watkins Electric Music). Although titled 'Find Out About WEM', Watkins were not a new operation, however they were certainly expanding into PA gear, rather ...
[more]

WEM Copicat - WEM, August 1967

WEM Copicat - WEM, August 1967 (1967)
Like many previous WEM / Watkins advertisements, this ad shows a grid of different Watkins products: guitars, echo units and amplifiers, with brief description and prices. Shown are the 5th Man gui...
[more]

WEM amplifiers - Now the Move Move on-to WEM

WEM amplifiers - Now the Move Move on-to WEM (1968)
"Yet another top group changes". Early 1968 advert for WEM PA equipment, and the bands utilizing it: The Move, The Pink Floyd, 10 Years After, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Keith West and Tomorrow.
[more]

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Vintage Autographed 4 String Banjo Wilson NC. Roberts Printing Co.

Vintage Autographed 4 String Banjo Wilson NC. Robert's Printing Co.

Crisfield, Maryland, 218**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$35

this little banjo is being listed because of the names on both sides of the skin neat item skin has hole... more
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RARE RECONDITIONED 1964-66 Watkins Rapier 44 Electric Guitar, Fiesta Red!

RARE RECONDITIONED 1964-66 Watkins Rapier 44 Electric Guitar, Fiesta Red!

Marysville, Washington, 982**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$1275

Very rare, England made, Watkins Rapier 44 that is in outstanding condition! Only a few minor paint chips and light dings. Neck is straight, action set low at .070- 060 with no buzzing or fretout
Frets show very minimal wear, mostly in first 4 frets. All parts original except trem bar. Comes with high quality Gibson padded gig bag. Huge tonal variety available with switching system and pickup combinations!
Guitar has been completely cleaned top to bottom including deep clean of fretboard,... more
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1970 Model SS Wilson Classical Guitar in Excellent Condition w /  hard case

1970 Model SS Wilson Classical Guitar in Excellent Condition w / hard case

Bowdon, Georgia, 301**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$450

Beautiful, nice playing guitar. In VERY good condition. Looks like there is a line on the back heel. It's where two pieces of wood meet. Sold as is.
Up for sale is a 1970 model SS Wilson classical guitar with a hard case included. This guitar has been well-maintained and is in excellent shape. It is perfect for any right-handed player who is looking for a high-quality instrument with a flat top soundboard style. This guitar features 6 strings and a classical body type. The brand is Wilson ... more
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Vintage early 1970s Wilson and Sons (Japan) grand concert acoustic guitar

Vintage early 1970s Wilson and Sons (Japan) grand concert acoustic guitar

Youngstown, Ohio, 445**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

$650

Absolutely gorgeous early 1970s Wilson and Sons grand concert OM-sized acoustic from Japan. Interestingly, labelled as just ??Wilson?? inside. A rather under-the-radar brand, but associated with Hiroshi Yairi, son of Sadao and cousin to Kazuo of the famous luthier family. Most of these in the USA seem to be classicals, but a few steel strings are around. This one was probably not made be Hiroshi himself, because research suggests a signature or maker??s mark would be found on the label or on a ... more
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WATKINS WILSON RAPIER 33 ORIGINAL EARLY 60s

WATKINS WILSON RAPIER 33 ORIGINAL EARLY 60s

Slough, SL2***, UNITED KINGDOM

£250

ELECTRIC GUITAR WATKINS RAPIER 33
EARLY 1960s ANTIQUE GREAT CONDITION FOR A 60+ YEAR OLD GUITAR
... more
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Rare 1970S WEM Westminster Valve Amplifier

Rare 1970'S WEM Westminster Valve Amplifier

Colchester, CO6***, UNITED KINGDOM

£395

Rare and classic 1970's WEM Westminster valve amplifier
In fantastic condition and in full working order.
Not pat tested
This amplifier is for collection only
... more
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Watkins Rapier c. 1968, Body and neck Project,  Hi- Lo Tremolo

Watkins Rapier c. 1968, Body and neck Project, Hi- Lo Tremolo

Hamburg - Eimsbüttel, 22***, GERMANY

€50

Verkaufe Hals und Korpus einer Watkins Rapier E-Gitarre von ca. 1968
Zustand wie auf den Bildern zu sehen, ansonsten bitte Fragen vor Abgabe eines Angebotes stellen
Pickguard und Bridge sehen stark nach Höfner aus. Eine nicht originale Bridge kann ich mitgeben, Bridge Base und Halsplatte mit Schrauben ist auch dabei.
Wurde auf standard Strat-Specs gemoddet, kann aber rückgängig gemacht werden (fräsen)
Ein schönes Projekt für den Enthusiasten
Privatverkauf ohne Garantien,... more
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Watkins Rapier 33 Electric Guitar - Made in England 1962-63

Watkins Rapier 33 Electric Guitar - Made in England 1962-63

East dulwich , SE22***, UNITED KINGDOM

£600

Watkins Rapier 33 Electric Guitar - Made in England 1962-63. Condition is Seller refurbished. Collection in person only.... more
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Wem Copicat Copycat Tape Echo Unit Mk III Reverb Delay Charlie Watkins

Wem Copicat Copycat Tape Echo Unit Mk III Reverb Delay Charlie Watkins

Southampton, SO45***, UNITED KINGDOM

£250

CHECK OUT MY OTHER AUCTIONS
BEST ORIGINAL EXAMPLE OF A WEM COPICAT MK III FANTASTIC
DO YOU THINK THE VALVE VERSIONS WHER MAYBE BETTER .? I AM AFRAID YOU HAVE BEEN MISTAKEN , THE SOLID STATE VERSIONS ARE FAR SUPERIOR, CHECK OUT CHARLIE WATKINS OWN THOUGHTS BELOW:
Charlie Watkins gives his assessment of Valve versus Solid state Copicats :

" Despite popular belief that the preceding Mk 1 and 2 Valve Copicats® were the best performers, the facts are that this first departure from ... more
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Watkins Rapier 44 1960s - Red With Original Soft Case

Watkins Rapier 44 1960s - Red With Original Soft Case

Gravesend, DA11***, UNITED KINGDOM

£750

Beautiful ?under the bed find?? Watkins Rapier from the 1960??s ??. I??ve put in a replacement (as original) selector switch, other than that this beautiful guitar is in all original condition with fully working electrics!!
The neck has a couple of very minor ?dings?? to its rear (see photos) and the body colour remains vibrant with a few marks from ?youthful exuberance?? all those years ago along with a fine lacquer crack to the rear (again see photos) ?? this guitar comes with its original ... more
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Vintage 1970s WEM Watkins Dominator MKIII MK3 Valve Guitar Amplifier 1x12 Combo

Vintage 1970s WEM Watkins Dominator MKIII MK3 Valve Guitar Amplifier 1x12 Combo

Saltash, PL12***, UNITED KINGDOM

£600

Explore the authentic sound of the 1970s with this vintage WEM Watkins Dominator MKIII Valve Guitar Amplifier. With a power of 15 watts and 2 channels. Featuring a unique valve amplifier technology, this amplifier is designed to deliver a warm and rich sound that is unmatched (AI Description)
I have owned from late 1970. Back in 2016 I had it serviced and cleaned (see photo of receipt) which will be left in the bottom of the WEM)
Serial Number is 70886
The WEM is in good working ... more
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Kay KC-333 Vintage Classical Guitar & Case from Wilson Peck Sheffield Made GDR

Kay KC-333 Vintage Classical Guitar & Case from Wilson Peck Sheffield Made GDR

Swindon, SN4***, UNITED KINGDOM

£60

Has some marks but looks to be in VGC - please see pictures... more
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2022 Fender CS Dale Wilson Masterbuilt 1960 Stratocaster Fiesta Red Heavy Relic

2022 Fender CS Dale Wilson Masterbuilt 1960 Stratocaster Fiesta Red Heavy Relic

Winchester, SO21***, UNITED KINGDOM

£7250

Stunning Dale Wilson Masterbuilt Heavy Relic 1960 Stratocaster in Fiesta Red. Built in 2022. Played a handful of times at home. Includes all case candy, certificate etc. See floor traveller for full spec. Mint as new condition



Specs listed below:



- Alder body

- Stunning flame maple neck and very dark rosewood fretboard (looks like Brazilian rosewood)

- Fiesta Red heavy relic

- Handwound 60s pickups

more
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1969 WEM  /  WATKINS SAPPHIRE - made in ENGLAND

1969 WEM / WATKINS SAPPHIRE - made in ENGLAND

Köln, 50***, GERMANY

€1294

1969 WEM Sapphire - made in ENGLAND:
* alder body finished in sunburst, has laquer cracks & wear
* maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
* Van Ghent tuners
* 3 single coil foil pickups
* Hagstrom style bridge
* tremolo
* low action
* a cool guitar with a unique sound !
... more
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Watkins Rapier 44,  1963 Electric Guitar

Watkins Rapier 44, 1963 Electric Guitar

HONITON, EX14***, UNITED KINGDOM

£650

Watkins Rapier 44, 1963 Electric GuitarIn Red, 'Toaster Pickups' SN 8720Some small dings, in good condition for the year.... more
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Pre-1968 Watkins Rapier 33 Electric Guitar in Red

Pre-1968 Watkins Rapier 33 Electric Guitar in Red

Exeter, UNITED KINGDOM

£500

The Watkins Rapier 33 guitar, a vintage gem dating back to pre-1968, embodies the timeless craftsmanship and musical spirit of its era. Crafted by Watkins, a renowned British guitar manufacturer, the Rapier 33 exudes vintage charm with its sleek design and rich tonal character. Featuring a distinctive body shape and elegant finish options, this secondhand instrument carries a legacy of quality construction and exceptional playability. Whether you're drawn to its historical significance or its ... more
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70s WEM BAND MIXER 100 AMP - OLDIE - made in UK

70's WEM BAND MIXER 100 AMP - OLDIE - made in UK

COLOGNE, GERMANY

€299

70's WEM Band Mixer 100 :
+ additional fan in back & plus a knob are installed
+ 220 volts version
+ 2nd slider knob from left is also missing
+ untested
ATTENTION! OVER 1000 more
GUITARS-BASSES-AMPS-PARTS
in our OTHER AUCTIONS !!!
CHECK OUR SHOP OUT -------------->>>>>
... more
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WATKINS Rapier 22 - Early 60s

WATKINS Rapier 22 - Early 60s

Dreieich, 63***, GERMANY

€360

Zum Verkauf kommt eine WATKINS RAPIER 22 aus den frühen 60er Jahren, vermutlich 1961 / 62. Die Gitarre weist eine sehr niedrige Seriennummer auf: 1038
Viele englische Gitarristen starteten (ihre Karriere) mit einer Rapier als preiswerter Variante einer Stratocaster, so beispielsweise auch Danny Kirwan von Fleetwood Mac (s. Fotos, mit einer Rapier 33). Bekannt war Watkins vor allem auch für seine WEM Produkte, die viele prominente Nutzer hatten. Das Besondere an dieser frühen Ausführung ... more
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Guitarra eléctrica Watkins Rapier 33 1959 /  PERFECTAS CONDICIONES

Guitarra eléctrica Watkins Rapier 33 1959 / PERFECTAS CONDICIONES

Tarragona, 43***, SPAIN

€325

Watkins Rapier 33 1960-1965 Granate / negro / PERFECTAS CONDICIONES.
Guitarra Eléctrica que vino a mí por casualidad (mi tío falleció recientemente) y yo que al ser "músico" y curioso me puso a tocarla pensé; es buena!?¿ es rara? antigua por supuesto,
Bien, una vez investigado el tema, descubrí que es el modelo Rapier 33 con un NÚMERO DE SERIE bajísimo, de las primeras unidades
Además de todo, funcionan todos los potenciómetros, interruptores pastillas está lista ... more
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Watkins Mersey Super 15 1964 - Made for Hessy??s Music Store in Liverpool *Rare*

Watkins Mersey Super 15 1964 - Made for Hessy??s Music Store in Liverpool *Rare*

Bishop Auckland, DL14***, UNITED KINGDOM

£1050

1964 Watkins Mersey Super 15 .. made exclusively by Watkins for the Old Hessy??s music store in Liverpool. I understand that there was only 7 / 8 made. It sounds ridiculously incredible. Its original condition is pretty fantastic and it sounds epic!
Fully serviced in January by Root Two Amplification. A 60 year old gem of an amplifier!
IK Sale only! Sorry
... more
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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

1971 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1971 Selmer guitar catalogue showing the range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Gibson, Yamaha, Selmer, Hofner and Suzuki. 1960s Selmer had always placed Hofner at the front end of their catalogues, no doubt these were the better sellers - but into the 1970s Hofner were slipping somewhat and only appear at the tail end of this publication, pride of place going to Gibson, and to a lesser extent Yamaha. In fact this is the last Selmer catalogue to include the many Hofner hollow bodies (Committee, President, Senator etc) that had defined the companies output for so many years - to be replaced in the 1972 catalogue by generic solid body 'copies' of Gibson and Fender models. A number of new Gibson models are included for the first time: the SG-100 and SG-200 six string guitars and the SB-300 and SB-400 basses.

1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

1968 Selmer guitar catalogueScan of 1968/1969 Selmer guitar catalogue (printed July 1968), showing the entire range of electric and acoustic guitars distributed by the company: guitars by Hofner, Gibson, Selmer and Giannini. Selmer were the exclusive United Kingdom distributors of Hofner and Gibson at the time, and this catalogue contains a total of 18 electric guitars, 7 bass guitars, 37 acoustics, and 2 Hawaiian guitars - all produced outside the UK and imported by Selmer, with UK prices included in guineas. This catalogue saw the (re-)introduction of the late sixties Gibson Les Paul Custom and Les Paul Standard (see page 69) and the short-lived Hofner Club 70. Other electric models include: HOFNER ELECTRICS: Committee, Verithin 66, Ambassador, President, Senator, Galaxie, HOFNER BASSES: Violin bass, Verithin bass, Senator bass, Professional bass GIBSON ELECTRICS: Barney Kessel, ES-330TD, ES-335TD, ES-345TD, ES-175D, ES-125CD, SG Standard, SG Junior, SG Special GIBSON BASSES: EB-0, EB-2, EB-3 - plus a LOT of acoustics branded Gibson, Hofner, Selmer and Giannini

1961 Hofner Colorama I

1961 Hofner Colorama IHofner Colorama was the name UK distributor Selmer gave to a series of solid and semi-solid guitars built by Hofner for distribution in the UK. The construction and specifications of the guitars varied over the period of production, but by 1961 it was a totally solid, double cutaway instrument, with a set neck, translucent cherry finish, six-in-a-row headstock, and Hofner Diamond logo pickups. Available as a single or dual pickup guitar, this sngle pickup version would have been sold in mainland Europe as the Hofner 161.

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)

1971 Commodore N25 (Matsumoku)Commodore was a brand applied to a series of guitars produced in Japan at the well-respected Matsumoku plant from the late 1960s to the mid 1970s - and sold primarily (perhaps exclusively?) in the United Kingdom. The models bearing the Commodore name were all guitars available from different distributors with different branding. Although there may have been some minor changes in appointments (specifically headstock branding) most had the same basic bodies, hardware and construction. Equivalent models to the Commodore N25 (and this is by no means an exhaustive list) include the Aria 5102T, Conrad 5102T(?), Electra 2221, Lyle 5102T, Ventura V-1001, Univox Coily - and most famously the Epiphone 5102T / Epiphone EA-250.

1960 Hofner Colorama II

1960 Hofner Colorama IIThe Hofner Colorama was the name given by Selmer to a series of solid (and semi-solid) body Hofner guitars distributed in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1965. The Colorama name actually applied to some quite different guitars over the period, but in 1960 it was a very light, semi-solid, set necked guitar with one (Colorama I) or two (Colorama II, as seen here) Toaster pickups. Although an entry-level guitar, it was very well-built, and a fine playing guitar; certainly a step up (at least in terms of craftsmanship) from many of the Colorama guitars that would follow, and a good deal of the guitars available in Britain circa 1960.

1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

1971 Epiphone 1820 (ET-280) bassBy the end of the 1960s, a decision had been made to move Epiphone guitar production from the USA (at the Kalamazoo plant where Gibson guitars were made), to Matsumoto in Japan, creating a line of guitars and basses significantly less expensive than the USA-built models (actually less than half the price). The Matsumoku factory had been producing guitars for export for some time, but the 1820 bass (alongside a number of guitar models and the 5120 electric acoustic bass) were the first Epiphone models to be made there. These new Epiphones were based on existing Matsumoku guitars, sharing body shapes, and hardware, but the Epiphone line was somewhat upgraded, with inlaid logos and a 2x2 peghead configuration. Over the course of the 70s, the Japanese output improved dramatically, and in many ways these early 70s models are a low point for the brand. Having said this, there are a lot worse guitars out there, and as well as being historically important, the 1820 bass can certainly provide the goods when required.

1981 Gibson Marauder

1981 Gibson MarauderProduction of Bill Lawrence's Gibson Marauder began in 1974, with production peaking in 1978. But by 1980 the model was officially discontinued, though very small numbers slipped out as late as spring 1981. Over 7000 examples shipped between 1974 and 1979, and although no totals are available for 1980 and 1981, it is unlikely production reached three figures in either of these years. These final Marauders were all assembled at the Gibson Nashville plant, and had some nice features not available through the later years of production, such as a rosewood fretboard, and in this case, an opaque 'Devil Red' finish. It's a great looking and fine playing guitar!

1971 'Pick Epiphone' Catalog

1971 Pick Epiphone catalogWhen Epiphone production moved from Kalamazoo to the Matsumoku plant in Japan, a whole new range of electric, flattop and classic acoustic guitars was launched. Between late 1970 and 1972 the new models were launched and refined. This 'folder' catalog contains various inserts released over these years detailing four electric six-strings (ET-270, ET-275, ET-278, and thinline EA-250), three bass guitars (ET-280, ET-285, and thinline EA-260), three folk/steel acoustics, four jumbo flattop acoustics, two 12-string jumbos, four classic acoustics, and a banjo.

1981 'Gibson Specials' Pre-Owners Manual

1981 Gibson Specials Pre-Owners Manual'Gibson Specials' was part of the June 1981 pre-owners manual series, but unlike the other folders contained a mish-mash of different guitars: limited editions, test marketing and close outs. "You will find the unusual, the brand-new, and the bargain within this folder". End of line 70s guitars like the Marauder, S-1, and L-6S Custom mixed in with brand new models the The V, The Explorer and the Flying V Bass.
It was the largest folder in the series, with 24 inserts, (19 guitars and 5 basses): Guitars: 335-S Standard, Melody Maker Double, Marauder, L-6S Custom, S-1, RD Artist, Firebird, Firebird II, Flying V, Flying V-II, The V, Explorer, Explorer II, The Explorer, The "SG" Standard, Les Paul Artist, Les Paul Artisan, ES-335 Heritage, ES-175/CC Basses: Grabber, G-3, L-9S, RD Artist Bass, Flying V Bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass

1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bassRose-Morris were selling Shaftesbury-branded Rickenbacker copy instruments from the late 1960s right through the 1970s. The 3263 bass was one of the first models, (alongside the 3261 six string and 3262 twelve string) available from late 1968 until about 1974. The earliest incarnation was a set neck bass, produced very briefly in Japan. But production quickly moved to Italy. This bolt-on neck example was built by Eko, in Recanati, using the same hardware and pickups as fitted to Eko, and Vox basses built around the same time. It's certainly a fine looking bass, and not a bad player either.

1961 Hohner Zambesi

1961 Hohner ZambesiThis very early, and pretty rare British-built guitar is branded Hohner London. Hohner were, of course, a German company, better known for their harmonicas and accordions, but they were keenly expanding into guitars at the birth of the 1960s. This model, along with the Hohner Amazon and (particularly) the Hohner Holborn, bear some similarity with Vox guitars of the same period; furniture manufacturer Stuart Darkins constructed bodies and necks for both brands, with Fenton Weill assembling them using their hardware and pickups. These guitars do have some hardware peculiarities, and they are not the most adjustable of instruments, but they actually play very nicely, being solidly built out of some very nice woods. Check out the video on this page.

1963 Vox Super Ace

1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.