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WEM | AMPLIFIERS | DOMINATOR BASS MKI

WEM Dominator Bass MK1

15w five tube bass amplifier

WEM Dominator Bass MK1

The WEM Dominator Bass MK1 bass amp was WEMs bass version of the Dominator MKIII tube amp, first available in 1972. Both were 15 watt amps, electronically identical, but the Bass had a 15" Celestion speaker (G15M, 55 Hz, 16 ohms), as used by Marshall and other British amp manufacturers.

The valves are 3 x 12AX7 preamp, and 2 x EL84 power tubes, perfect for an overdriven sound at low volumes. Despite the intended bass use, these may be more widely used as guitar amplifiers. All the same, it is a nice bass amp for a grittier retro bass sound. Check out the sound clips below.

The WEM Dominator bass had a July 1972 UK list price of £64.50 (with the Dominator mk. III at £52.50)

Bell guitar catalog, 1974/75 featuring the WEM Dominator

The Dominator bass Mark I, Dominator Mark III, and Power Musette Mark II as shown in the 1974 Bell catalog. All three models use the same basic circuitry but quite different speaker configurations. The Mark III, "capable of handling any instrument or mike" had a 12" speaker, whilst the Power Musette had a "special twin-cone speaker" and was designed for keyboard and accordion. All three amps were fitted in a 20" x 20" x 8" cabinet.

Although probably not powerful enough for gigging with louder bands, the WEM Dominator is a fine recording amp; famously durable, and easy to find in working order at a reasonable price.

WEM Dominator Bass MK1
WEM logo
WEM Dominator Bass MK1 back view
WEM Dominator Bass MK1 serial number

WEM Dominator Bass video clips

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass / 1973 WEM Dominator Bass MK 1 - Short Version (short version, 4m 31s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1973 Fender Musicmaster bass, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

The WEM Dominator bass is a superb sounding British tube amp from Watkins.. it's got plenty of bass, and growls beautifully when volume gets past about half way. A wide tonal palette with plenty of useable sounds. Paired here with a 1973 Fender Musicmaster; a cool 30 1/2" scale bass, at the time inexpensive, but with the usual Fender build quality and a quick easy playing feel. This one is fitted with flats, but the WEM gives plenty of treble with the controls positioned accordingly. Watch the long version of this video in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area, to hear a bit more of this bass / amp under different settings.

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1963 Vox Bassmaster / 1973 WEM Dominator Bass mk1 (3m 59s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1963 Vox Bassmaster, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

The WEM Dominator bass amp is a British 15w tube amp with a 15" Celestion G15M speaker. And it gets plenty dirty! Always my first choice for some snarly overdriven bass. The Vox Bassmaster is a cool little guitar, and as can be heard here quite capable of laying down some tones! It's very, very, playable, the Vox V1 pickups are pretty sweet, and the combination of short scale and thin neck make this one of the easiest playing basses ever made!

Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1973 Fender Musicmaster bass / 1973 WEM Dominator Bass MK 1 - vintage guitar demo, long version (long version, 9m 46s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1973 Fender Musicmaster bass, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

Long version of this video with extra bass settings. This is a great bass/amp combination with a tone all of its own. Compare this video with the others on this site - ie with the bass DI'd and through an early 1960s Ampeg Portaflex B15.

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1969 Gibson Melody Maker Double / WEM Dominator bass MK1 (5m 16s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1969 Gibson Melody Maker D, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

This is a wonderful late 1960s dual pickup Gibson Melody Maker D (pots date to December 1968 / January 1969). It's one of those guitars that you just can't put down! And it sounds great through this 15w WEM. The Dominator bass is technically a bass amp, but is basically the same as the guitar version, save for a bigger 15" speaker cone. Played first at a lower volume, and then ramped up for some lovely distorted valve tones.

Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

Early 1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass / 1972 WEM Dominator Bass mk1 (short version, 3m 07s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 197X Shaftesbury 3263, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

This is a pretty cool looking bass, and one that plays pretty nicely too. Made by Eko for Rose Morris (UK Rickenbacker distributor) from the very late 1960s. Short scale, and (thanks to the Eko build and components) quite similar to the late 60s Italian Vox guitars. I normally use flatwound strings, but it's demo'd here with some gnarly old roundwounds. They needed changing, but I wanted to document the sound. Played through an early 1970s WEM Dominator bass mk1. Brilliant amp for fuzzy / gritty sounds. Check out the companion video through a 1964 Ampeg B15 to hear it a little (but not a lot) cleaner

There is a longer version of this video in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area here.

Recorded here with a Shure SM57 (left channel) and a Heil PR-40 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

Early 1970s Shaftesbury 3263 bass / 1972 WEM Dominator Bass mk1 (long version, 8m 50s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 197X Shaftesbury 3263, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

This is a pretty cool looking bass, and one that plays pretty nicely too. Made by Eko for Rose Morris (UK Rickenbacker distributor) from the very late 1960s. Short scale, and (thanks to the Eko build and components) quite similar to the late 60s Italian Vox guitars. I normally use flatwound strings, but it's demo'd here with some gnarly old roundwounds. They needed changing, but I wanted to document the sound. Played through an early 1970s WEM Dominator bass mk1. Brilliant amp for fuzzy / gritty sounds. Check out the companion video through a 1964 Ampeg B15 to hear it a little (but not a lot) cleaner

Recorded here with a Heil PR-40 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1966 Gibson EB-0 Bass / WEM Dominator Bass mk1 (5m 34s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1966 Gibson EB-0, 1973 WEM Dominator Bass Mk 1

This is a really nice bass - a late 1965/early 1966 Gibson EB0 - single pickup, with that classic FAT Gibson bass tone. The WEM Dominator is harder to date - probably early to mid 1970s. All-valve, with superb clean tones, but super gainy when pushed. This is a really cool combination with a huge range of useable sounds. Watch the vid.. it goes from a relatively 'middy' honk when played at the bridge with a pick - to total mud when played at the neck with the tone down - and to extreme fuzz with the amp driven hard

This bass is fitted with Labella Deep Talkin' flatwound strings (short scale) set 760FL-S. Great great strings (although expensive!)

Recorded here with an Electrovoice RE-20 (left channel) and a Shure SM57 (right channel), through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface - highly recommended gear!

1966 Hagstrom Coronado IV197X WEM Clubman MK 8

1966 Hagstrom Coronado IV / 197X WEM Clubman MK 8

Amp settings are: Channel 1, Volume 5, Treble 5, Bass, without the 'Bright' mode activated - unless otherwise specified. Recorded with a Shure SM57 microphone, into an M-audio mobile pre USB interface. The WEM Dominator Bass amplifier gets growly, even at lower volumes, particularly when played hard.

Bridge pickup

Tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Fingerstyle.
Tone selector on 'L' (switch 3). Fingerstyle.
A more extreme amplifier setting; both treble and bass upped to 10/10. Guitar tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Fingerstyle.

Neck pickup

Tone selector on 'L' (switch 3). Played fingerstyle.

Both pickups

Tone selector on 'H' (switch 4). Fingerstyle.
Still with the brighter tone setting; 'H' (switch 4), but played with a pick

1966 Gibson EB-0197X WEM Clubman MK 8

1966 Gibson EB-0 / 197X WEM Clubman MK 8

Recorded with a Shure SM57 microphone, into an M-audio mobile pre USB interface. Amp settings are: Channel 1, Volume 5, Treble 5, Bass 5, without the 'Bright' mode activated - unless otherwise specified. The WEM Dominator Bass amplifier is very responsive to playing style. At middle volumes it can go from clean to overdriven depending on how hard you play.

Volume 10/10, tone 10/10. Significant distortion, even with the amp at just 50% volume, especially, as here when played hard, with a pick.
Volume 10/10, tone 10/10. Fingerstyle, but still digging in for the overtones.
Amp in 'Bright' mode. Volume 10/10, tone 10/10. Played with a pick.

1961 Gibson EB3197X WEM Clubman MK 8

1961 Gibson EB3 / 197X WEM Clubman MK 8

Recorded with a Shure SM57 microphone, into an M-audio mobile pre USB interface.

Pos 1 - neck pickup only with tone choke

volume 10, tone 10. Amp: volume 5, bass 4, treble 5. Fingerstyle.

Pos 2 - bridge pickup only

volumes 10, tones 10. Amp: volume 5, bass 4, treble 5. Fingerstyle.

Pos 3 - both pickups in parallel

Volume 10, tone 10. Amp: volume 5, bass 4, treble 5. Fingerstyle.

Pos 4 - neck pickup only

Volume 10, tone 10. Clean amp: volume 3, bass 4, treble 5. Played fingerstyle.
Volume 10, tone 10. Amp: volume 5, bass 4, treble 5. Played fingerstyle.
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WEM Dominator amps for sale

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1960s Wem Combo Practice Amp

1960s Wem Combo Practice Amp

Stone, ST15***, UNITED KINGDOM

£75

This vintage WEM Combo Practice Amp is a great addition for any musician. With its solid state technology, it provides clear and powerful sound suitable for a range of guitars, including Cigar Box, Acoustic Electric, Electric and Electric Travel. The amp has two channels and a single speaker, making it ideal for practice sessions at home or in a small venue.
The 1960s Clubman amp is part of the WEM product line, known for its quality and reliability. It is perfect for beginners and ... more
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Watkins Dominator 1960s Valve Combo * COLLECTION ONLY * - 2nd Hand

Watkins Dominator 1960s Valve Combo * COLLECTION ONLY * - 2nd Hand

Sheffield, S8***, UNITED KINGDOM

£1429

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Watkins Westminster 1959 - Red White Polka Dot. Serviced

Watkins Westminster 1959 - Red White Polka Dot. Serviced

Blackburn, BB1***, UNITED KINGDOM

£675

Watkins Westminster 1959 - Red White Polka Dot. Serviced. Condition is Used. Collection in person only.... more
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Elac vintage 10" speaker Vox Watkins

Elac vintage 10" speaker Vox Watkins

Totnes, TQ9***, UNITED KINGDOM

£30

Elac 10" vintage speakers x 2 produced 1963
One has had the cone repaired, the other is in decent shape and sounds great.
Shipping UK £15EU £30USA £50... more
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Watkins Monitor Vintage 1960??s Local pick Up Only

Watkins Monitor Vintage 1960??s Local pick Up Only

Devon , TQ5***, UNITED KINGDOM

£500

LOCAL PICK UP ONLY DEVON

This is an exceptionally rare 1960 30w Watkins Monitor. It would have originally been a 2x12 combo, but when I bought it in the late 90??s it was housed in a head cabinet. It??s believed to be one of only six prototypes ever made

It??s got a lovely pulsing tremolo which sounds rich and vivid, sounds great with all sorts of guitars, but seems to prefer single coils, like a Telecaster or a Strat

Although its original 'combo' ... more
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Vintage 1970??s WATKINS WEM Clubman MK 11  Controlled Power Amplifier 10 Watts.

Vintage 1970??s WATKINS WEM Clubman MK 11 Controlled Power Amplifier 10 Watts.

Solihull, B90***, UNITED KINGDOM

£595

This vintage amplifier from the late 60??s is a rare find for any music enthusiast.
The WEM Clubman MK11 Controlled Power Amplifier, designed by WATKINS, is perfect for guitar, keyboards and bass players alike. With a brand name that speaks for itself, you can be sure that this piece of gear will deliver the high-quality sound that you need for your performances
This amplifier has been previously used but has been well-maintained and is still in excellent working condition. It is ... 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 -------------->>>>>
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Vintage 1963 Watkins Scout All Tube 1x10 Combo Amplifier w /  Tremolo

Vintage 1963 Watkins Scout All Tube 1x10 Combo Amplifier w / Tremolo

Aylesbury, HP21***, UNITED KINGDOM

£1390

Vintage 1963 Watkins Scout All Tube 1x10 Combo Amplifier w / Tremolo.
Excellent condition please see pictures for the age comes with extra spare part
In fully working order
Only one on sale
British-made Watkins Scout valve (tube) amp, for sale in excellent cosmetic condition and perfect working order
It sounds fantastic, is in excellent working order ?? a real sweet vintage amplifier that has big studio presence and is a joy to play through. This is a rare vintage amplifier,... more
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Vintage WEM ER40 Solid State Amplifier Head

Vintage WEM ER40 Solid State Amplifier Head

Burton-on-Trent, DE13***, UNITED KINGDOM

£395

Vintage Watkins WEM ER40 Amplifier still with original tag of sale!!
Lovely old WEM amplifier that has been fully serviced and bought up to date with the replacement of the old power socket. The original is still available if you wanted to reinstate it to make it completely authentic at the cost of not meeting current regs
All the pots and switches have been serviced so no pops and crackles
It's difficult to say for sure but I would guess this has had very little use from new. It's ... more
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Fully repaired and serviced. Watkins Scout. Guitar amplifier. 1964. WEM

Fully repaired and serviced. Watkins Scout. Guitar amplifier. 1964. WEM

Bristol, BS2***, UNITED KINGDOM

£775

For sale is a Watkins, Scout guitar amplifier that has had a full electronic restoration
This is a beautiful sounding valve guitar amp that would be perfect for a studio. It's also great for gigs. The amp is very versatile it can do all the lovely 60's sounding stuff but it can also be cranked and produce really overdriven, crunchy distortion. The amp works very well with a distortion pedal. This amp has a lush, vintage tone. The amp has the much coveted mustard, Mullard coupling capacitors... more
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WEM AX-100 ultra rare 100 watt solid state amp top 1970s

WEM AX-100 ultra rare 100 watt solid state amp top 1970s

Knaresborough, HG5***, UNITED KINGDOM

£350

WEM AX 100Watkins Electric Music Ltd
I've had this amp for 40 years and it's not been used since my teenage bands last rehearsal / gig 38 years ago . It's been well stored and in amazing condition for an amp that's well over 50 years old.
This is a very rare British built amp that's famous for that retro 60's and 70's sound.
Technical 100 watts, 4 inputs, send / return, slave output
Great for use with multifx units or pedal boards, clean solidstate with much brilliance, or ... more
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valve head  /  combo  /  cabinet Strap handle 1970??s Chrome - Park - Laney - Wem

valve head / combo / cabinet Strap handle 1970??s Chrome - Park - Laney - Wem

London, E7***, UNITED KINGDOM

£36

Vintage early seventies strap handle
Made in west Germany, slightly different design to the normal strap handle that all the usual suspect used
The usual wear it is however fully functional
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What you see in the photos is what you get - if you need any dimensions just ask!... more
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Set of 7x Vintage 1970s  1 / 4?? control knobs - Carlsbro - WEM - Watkins

Set of 7x Vintage 1970's 1 / 4?? control knobs - Carlsbro - WEM - Watkins

London, E7***, UNITED KINGDOM

£125

Set of x7 vintage 1970's Taiwanese amplifier control knobs
these will fit a 1 / 4" shaft and afix with grub screws
these are just over an inch wide and are nice and heavy not cheap like the later knobs in this style
Perfect if you have a vintage seventies amplifier / FX unit and want some period correct knobs
Buy them before I decide to buy an amp to put them on!!
the listing is for 7
anything else just ask
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Watkins Westminster 1960s - Black Diamond

Watkins Westminster 1960s - Black Diamond

Doncaster, DN6***, UNITED KINGDOM

£699

FINESTSELECTIONSHIPPINGSPECIALISTS24 HourSupportLondon Vintage Guitars are please to offer:Watkins Westminster 1960s - Black DiamondTHE MOJO WESTMINSTER
We are happy to offer the following original 1959 Watkins Westminster that has pure Mojo in look, vibe and tone, details as follows:
Watkins Westminster 
1959 
10 Watts 
Black / White Diamond 
Normal / Tremolo Channel 
Condition 5 / 10 Mojoed 
Comments 
The above amplifier was ... more
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Pink Floyd 1970s rare WEM and AVIS  stickers and WEM Catalogue  all mint

Pink Floyd 1970s rare WEM and AVIS stickers and WEM Catalogue all mint

Northwich, CW9***, UNITED KINGDOM

£140

WEM catalogue mint and four WEM / Pink Floyd related late 60s / 1970s stickers all mint unused and rare -Wham its WEM sticker, Pink Floyd use WEM sticker, and Pink Floyd use AVIS Van Hire sticker, and AVIS van and truck rental sticker slight yellowing to paper on back of sticker but fronts are fine
can ship well packed anywhere in the world... more
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1977 WEM ?? Westminster - Abi von Reininghaus -

1977 WEM ?? Westminster - Abi von Reininghaus -

Emmering, 82***, GERMANY

€1027

Abi von Reininghaus, erfolgreicher deutscher Gitarrist,
Komponist, Buch- und Kolumnenautor,
Dozent und Gitarrenversteher
trennt sich von einem Teil seines Equipments
Besondere Instrumente und Verstärker
?? treue Weggefährten aus fast 40 Jahren
extremer Kreativität und leidenschaftlicher Suche
nach dem perfekten Sound ??
suchen neue Liebhaber!
Kultiger kleiner, leichter Röhren-Amp für Studio oder Live
Zustand: Gut
SerNr: CW 77538
Gewicht: 18 kg ... more
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1979 WEM - Dominator 45 - ID 1744

1979 WEM - Dominator 45 - ID 1744

Emmering, 82***, GERMANY

€977

Rare British Combo
Zustand: Gut
SerNr: CW81773
Gewicht: 25 kg Versandklasse: Heavy
Differenzbesteuert nach §25 UStG
Dieser seltene Brite kann sowohl als Gitarren, als auch als Bassverstärker genutzt werden.
Er bleibt lange clean und ist sehr stabil im Bass Fundament, geht dann bei Volllast in eine leichte Sättigung über. Auf Pedale reagiert er äusserst freundlich
2 Kanäle
45 Watt
4 x EL84
15" Fane Speaker
Guter Zustand, frisch gecheckt in der Guitar ... more
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Find more WEM Dominator amps for sale at vintageguitarsforsale.co

There are 2 comments on this article so far. Add your comment

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Tim Hicks Comment left 15th August 2014 18:06:40 reply
I have a WEM Dominator Bass Mark 1 and it is a great guitar amp. As a bass amp the Celestion G15M flaps a little with high output modern pickups but gives a nice vintage sound with my old Hofner Senator bass. As a guitar am it is quite amazing with a gorgeous break up from 50% volume. The speaker is a key part of the sound as it is in effect a 15" version of the Celestion Greenback. Its a shame Celestion dont still make them. The amp is a little more noisy than modern amps but I can live with that for the great sounds.
oldmanblues Comment left 29th September 2012 00:12:02 reply
This brings back some memories. Great dirty bass sound coming from that WEM amp. I had a friend (now sadly departed) who used this bass model for lead guitar and it sounded wonderful. It was definately a great all-round guitar and bass amp, and solid as a rock. Not so good for cleaner sounds, but for rocking out...

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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

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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

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1971 Epiphone 1820 bass (ET-280)

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1981 Gibson Marauder

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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

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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.