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WEM | AMPLIFIERS | ER-15

WEM ER-15

14w valve guitar amplifier

In the early-mid 1960s, WEM produced a number of combo amplifiers (such as the Scout, Dominator, Westminster etc). But the 15 watt WEM ER-15 control amplifier head was designed to be a more versatile unit, depending on what speaker it was paired with: e.g. suitable for guitar (Dual Ten, or Super Twelve) or bass (Power Bass). Furthermore the control unit could be paired with more than one cabinet. As the name suggests the Dual Ten was fitted with two 10" speakers, the Super Twelve just one 12", and the Power Bass, one 12" bass speaker.

The WEM Control ER 15 evolved from the early 1960s Pick-a-Back / Pick-a-Bass control unit. Visually they were very similar, though the Pick-a-Back / Pick-a-Bass was slightly less powerful at just 14 watts. But both were 2 channel amps, with the same volume, treble and bass controls for each channel, and a choice of speaker configurations, but just two: the Pick-a-Back corresponding to the Dual Ten with two 10" speakers; and the Pick-a-Bass with one 12" bass speaker. But there was some crossover - in the rig shown below the ER-15 is paired with a slightly older Pick-a-Bass (not Power Bass) cabinet.

The ER-15 was described as follows in the 1964 WEM catalogue

15 watts of wide range playing power. Two input channels each with independent volume, treble and bass controls. This unit is typical of the W.E.M. electronics. It will give long and reliable service under any conditions. The E.R. 15 is primarily intended as the power source for any of the loudspeaker systems shown separately to drive existing 15 ohm speakers. Used with other W.E.M. equipment it proves to be a very versatile piece of equipment.

Like other WEM gear, these were produced in London, England, and had a January 1965 price of £24 3S

WEM control ER-15 head

The Control ER-15 head with two channels - each with gain, bass and treble control. Included with this unit were two metal 'screws' each XXcm long, enabling the head to be attached to the speaker cabinet. Naturally, from the early 1960s, this is a valve amplifier, equipped with two 12AX7s, and two EL84 power tubes.

WEM ER-15 with Pick-a-Bass cabinet

But the two units were designed to be positioned horizontally (as shown above), vertically (as shown below) and, in fact, in a number of other orientations (see page 4 of the 1964 WEM catalogue). This amp was all about versatility! The cab even came with four detachable legs that screwed into the bottom, allowing it to stand upright.

WEM ER-15 with Pick-a-Bass cabinet in upright orientation

Amp head: Height 18cm/7ins • Width 40.5cm/16ins • Depth 20cm/8ins
Speaker cabinet: Height 66.5cm/26ins (without legs) • Width 43cm/17ins • Depth 30cm/12ins

WEM ER-15 video clips

1961 Hofner Colorama I / 1963 WEM ER 15 (3m 07s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1961 Hofner Colorama, 1963 WEM ER-15

This is a wonderful playing guitar - and it sounds pretty cool through the WEM ER15. The Hofner Colorama was sold by Selmer in the UK 1958-1965: yet the several different guitars were included under the moniker at different times. In 1961 it was a nice set-neck solid body, with a Hofner 510 diamond logo pickup, and a long 6-in-a-row headstock. The controls of these single pickup models are easier to understand than the dual pickup examples, but are still not totally intuitive. These are 1) natural pickup sound 2) treble cut 3) bass cut 4) treble and bass cut. Because the electronics on these controls only act on a single pickup, there is not quite the range of sounds on a dual pickup example, and frankly, they seem pretty subtle. Compare this to the dual pickup 1960 Colorama - the treble/bass switches also turn pickups on/off making the effect far more noticeable - and because of this, using the treble and bass cut together is not possible.

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

1961 Hofner Colorama I / 1963 WEM ER 15, long version (long version, 7m 18s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1961 Hofner Colorama, 1963 WEM ER-15

Long version of this video with extra amp settings: starting off clean and gradually getting crunchier as we go. An easy playing guitar and a sweet sounding amp.

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

1960 Hofner Colorama II / 1963 WEM ER 15 (4m 41s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1960 Hofner Colorama, 1963 WEM ER-15

This is a great little guitar - and it sounds pretty cool through the WEM ER15. The Hofner Colorama was sold by Selmer in the UK 1958-1965: yet the several different guitars were included under the moniker at different times. In 1960 it was a nice set-neck semi-solid - and one of the lightest guitars i've ever played! The controls are not totally intuitive, but the five basic settings have real character. These are 1) both pickups 2) neck pickup 3) neck pickup with treble cut 4) bridge pickup 5) bridge pickup with bass cut.

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

1960 Hofner Colorama II / 1963 WEM ER 15, long version (long version, 9m 42s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1960 Hofner Colorama, 1963 WEM ER-15

Long version of this video with extra amp and guitar settings. The treble pickup is biting, the 'bass on' (neck pickup + treble cut filter) is fat and warm. Very easy to alternate between jagged stabs and lazy laid back jazz.

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 Vox New Escort / 1963 WEM ER15 (7m 57s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1966 Vox New Escort, 1963 WEM ER-15

This is a fabulous guitar - Vox's take on the Fender Telecaster (which was in pretty short supply in mid-1960s Britain), and actually a pretty awesome player. It sounds pretty good through this 1963 WEM ER15 with some lovely rich tones, but check it out through the 1965 Vox AC4 and early 70s WEM Dominator

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 Vox Symphonic bass / 1963 WEM ER 15 (short version, 2m 26s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1966 Vox Symphonic, 1963 WEM ER-15

This clip shows this 1966 Vox Symphonic bass played through a 1963 WEM ER15 with 1x12" Pick-A-Bass cab. This is a really nice playing bass, not dissimilar from the early 1960s Precision on which it was based. It's got a good tone, and is a far more substantial bass than many made by Vox. Strung here with Fender 9050L flatwound strings. This video shows a small sample of sounds using different bass and amp settings. See the longer version for a more in depth view of what this guitar/amp combination can do.

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 Vox Symphonic bass / 1963 WEM ER15 (long version, 4m 18s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1966 Vox Symphonic, 1963 WEM ER-15

This clip shows this 1966 Vox Symphonic bass played through a 1963 WEM ER15 with 1X12" Pick-A-Bass cab. This is a really nice playing bass, not dissimilar from the early 1960s Precision on which it was based. It's got a good tone, and is a far more substantial bass than many made by Vox. Strung here with Fender 9050L flatwound strings.

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

1963 Vox Bassmaster / 1963 WEM ER15 (2m 28s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1963 Vox Bassmaster, 1963 WEM ER-15

A UK-built (JMI) 1963 Vox Bassmaster dual pickup bass guitar, played through an (also 1963) British WEM ER-15 head with Pick-A-Bass cab. I usually prefer flatwounds on basses like this, but the ancient rattley roundwounds that were on it just sounded so great cranked up, I had to record it. Check it out - listen to the end!

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

1963 Vox Clubman / 1963 WEM ER15 (3m 14s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1963 Vox Clubman II, 1963 WEM ER-15

More about this guitar: https://www.vintageguitarandbass.com/vox/1963_Clubman_II.php Two from 1963. The Vox Clubman came as a single or dual pickup guitar - pretty basic, but with Vox's standard V1 pickups pretty nice sounding too. The WEM ER15 functions equally well as a guitar or bass amp, and with the gain turned up has PLENTY of bite.

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

1963 Vox Shadow / 1963 WEM ER15 (5m 35s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1963 Vox Shadow, 1963 WEM ER-15

A nice dual pickup 1963 Vox Shadow played through a 1963 WEM ER15 amplifier. Early Vox guitars often don't have great build quality, but the pickups are pretty nice. With a little love and attention (specifically frets and set-up), these lightweight guitars can sing like a lark!

There were several Vox Shadow variants. Check out vintageguitarandbass.com for a whole lot more on the Vox Shadow.

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

1967 Gibson Melody Maker Bass / 1963 WEM ER15 (2m 05s)

Find out more about these instruments here: 1967 Gibson Melody Maker bass, 1963 WEM ER-15

A really cool bass, played through an equally cool amp. A rare Gibson Melody Maker bass, circa 1967, through a British WEM ER15 tube amplifier, with 'Pick-A-Bass' cabinet. With Gibson's hot EB-humbucker, a short 30" scale, all-mahogany construction - and finally strung with flatwounds - this bass is just SUPER FAT.

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

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WEM amplifiers for sale

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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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Rare 1970s WEM Dominator 50 electric guitar amp Amplifier 2x12

Rare 1970s WEM Dominator 50 electric guitar amp Amplifier 2x12

Newark, NG22***, UNITED KINGDOM

£599

Rare 1970s WEM Dominator 50 electric guitar amplifier. This is the proper guitar version of this amp (they did an almost identical looking keyboard version too). Still fitted with the original Goodmans speakers
This 2x12 version of the Dominator is far more useable in today's gigging world. A standard 1x12 dominator from experience is not enough even in pubs to cut through over drum kits and modern bass amps, This 50watt version keeps up, and more, with them, and in any venue where you ... more
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Wem Ampli GX-100 Bi-Tone 100 watts - 1975-77 - Pink Floyd, Hendrix??

Wem Ampli GX-100 Bi-Tone 100 watts - 1975-77 - Pink Floyd, Hendrix??

St Étienne, 42***, FRANCE

€330

> in English below <
WEM Ampli GX-100 Bi-Tone, 100 watts, 1975-77, Compressor, Treble, Bass, Presence, Bass on Bass, Middle
Très bon état
Cette marque anglaise mythique fut très prisée par Pink Floyd, Hendrix, et beaucoup d'autres musiciens précurseurs
Toutes les informations sont sur le super site : http: / / wem-owners com / amps / instrument-amps / solid-state / gx100-circa-1975-77 /
Il a été révisé par un réparateur
Wem est une super marque (je garde ... more
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Vintage 1970s WEM Watkins Band System 2×12 Amplifier PA Cabinets *EMPTY*

Vintage 1970s WEM Watkins Band System 2×12 Amplifier PA Cabinets *EMPTY*

Heanor, DE75***, UNITED KINGDOM

£95

Vintage 1970s WEM Watkins Band System 2×12 Amplifier PA Cabinets *EMPTY
A lovely pair of empty WEM Band System 2x12 speaker cabinets. These would originally have had 2x12 in each, alongside a horn / tweeter. They're in great cosmetic condition, and come with the classic WEM cloth to the front and the badge too. They really do look the part. Please see the pictures below as these form part of my description
... more
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Valve Head  /  Combo  /   Strap Handle 1960??s Chrome - Marshall - Laney - Wem - Vox

Valve Head / Combo / Strap Handle 1960??s Chrome - Marshall - Laney - Wem - Vox

Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12***, UNITED KINGDOM

£35

Sale is for 1 handle assembly. The end caps / fixings appear to be new old stock

1960??s Chrome fixings with black handle.

These were used by loads of manufacturers, Marshall(on a few of their mail order combos, Capri etc) simms watts, sound city, Laney Carlsbro, Wem, hiwatt etc etc

11-1 / 2" long
... 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
I have seen these used on WEM copicats, Park heads and also on some CMI(Marshall) stuff
What you see in the photos is what you get - if you need any dimensions just ask!... more
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Wem Amplifier Badge Vintage

Wem Amplifier Badge Vintage

Totnes, TQ9***, UNITED KINGDOM

£50

Wem Amplifier Badge 1970's
Vintage, excellent condition
SHipping UK £5 Worldwide £20... 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
... more
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1979 WEM - Dominator - CW- 77556

1979 WEM - Dominator - CW- 77556

Hückeswagen, 42***, GERMANY

€300

GEBRAUCHT - KEINE Rücknahme
Die Lautstärke Regler machen ein kratzenses geräusch
Was aber mit ein wenig Kontaktspray erledigt sein sollte
Röhren Gitarren Combo
Dieser gebrauchte WEM Dominator CW-77556 Combo-Verstärker stammt aus dem Jahr 1979 und ist ein echtes Juwel für Gitarristen und Bassisten. Mit seinem charakteristischen Sound und seiner robusten Konstruktion ist er ein Klassiker unter den Verstärkern
Die Marke WEM steht für ... 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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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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UNIQUE Mid 1960??s Watkins  /  WEM Westminster Mk 11 10W Valve Amplifier - Awesome!

UNIQUE Mid 1960??s Watkins / WEM Westminster Mk 11 10W Valve Amplifier - Awesome!

Old Windsor, SL4***, UNITED KINGDOM

£475

I received this as a bare cabinet with a relatively completeinternal chassis and speaker
Many hours later, I have totally rejuvenated the cabinetinto one that I honestly consider far more attractive than the original However, if you??re a collector, I doubt if this is for you, I??ve been wrongthough
The amp has had the once over and certain (Hunts and other)components have been replaced
The valves are all superb and could well be the originals They are ALL MULLARD YELLOW PRINT an ... 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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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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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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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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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.