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1961 WATKINS V-FRONT DOMINATOR

Watkins Dominator valve (tube) amp for sale in excellent condition and great working order. Dating from around 1961,...

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PRODUCT DESCRIPTION



Watkins Dominator valve (tube) amp for sale in excellent condition and great working order. Dating from around 1961, this 18 watter has 2 x EL84s and sounds superb. The tremolo is great – plenty of depth, a little thump at more extreme settings, but very usable – has had the slowest speed setting reduced for greater versatility.

These are extremely under-rated amps – they give equivalent vintage Marshall and Vox amps a run for their money – Charlie Watkins was well ahead of the game (ask anyone who owns a pre-WEM Westminster). No wonder Jim Marshall found ‘inspiration’ from these amps for his classic 18w design. We’ve got three V-Fronts in at the moment (see our other listings) and they all sound great.

This one comes with a pair of photos, one of which has a handwritten note about this amp from Charlie Watkins himself (see below):

1961… Elac speakers. This amplifier will work for ever. £38-10s. Charlie Watkins”

Internally, it has its original transformers and twin Elac alnico 10” speakers, mostly Mullard valves throughout, and a superb quality rewire/rebuild. These amps are now a mass of out of spec and failing components and need work to sound as they should – it now sings. Charlie said it “will work forever”, and it should do so as long as it’s looked after and serviced when necessary.

You will want some Blu Tack or similar to place under the handle when playing to damp the vibrations – the old handles on these amps buzz and rattle when you crank up the volume (which you’ll want to do because the breakup is superb).

It’s had a thorough overhaul to bring everything back up to original spec. Many components in these early Watkins amps are way out of specification now and they usually need a good deal of work to make them sound as they should

Click on the photos to zoom in and see detailed internal shots.

This is a UK 240v mains-powered model and will require a step-up transformer for operation in countries with 110-120v mains supplies. The UK plug will be removed prior to shipping to countries with 240v mains supplies, unless otherwise requested.

 

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