Grouse Guitars, your favourite vintage guitar dealer
Grouse Guitars - previously your vintage guitar, bass and amp dealer (now closed). Click the 'back' plectrum to go back to the previous page, or click the "Grouse Guitars" nameplate above to go directly to the Grouse Guitars homepage.

vintage WASP valve guitar amp

This true gem of an NZ/Aussie classic muscle amp from the late '60s. Unbelievably original - the quadbox still has the four mint original Aussie-made Etone speakers, and the amp head is very clean and original, other than a downrating of power by halving the number of output tubes from 4 to 2. Presently running two large-bottle 6550 valves, and the sound is absolutely beautiful - deep, sweet and luscious. Probably around 70 watts output. The new owner has specified work to bring the amp back to its former glory - out tech will install 4 new Svetlana KT-88s, along with other new components as deemed necessary.

The WASP badge is missing from the quadbox, and the rear panel of the amp is present but in broken (taped up) condition. There is one carry handle missing from the head.

According to Roly Roper's fantastic website regarding Aussie amplifiers (check it out at, there are three historic accounts regarding Holden/WASP !

The first is that Ian Johnstone (now at EVI) arrived in Australia in 1967 as a roadie from New Zealand and stayed to form WASP Industries with Doug Henderson (now at Powerhouse Studios), making valve amplifiers under the name of ‘Holden’ which was a New Zealand company owned by Ron Holden. Ian bought Doug out in 1968. The WASP 200 watt bass amp became an industry standard for many years, being used by bands such as Sherbet, Hush, Flying Circus, Blackfeather and Jeff St. John’s Copperwine.

A second theory is that the amps were built by Holden, N.Z., and the WASP was a model name.

The third theory is that the amps were built by Ron Holden in N.Z. and imported into Australia by WASP who apparently sold them badged as WASP .

Take your pick! Whatever the true account is, this amp from that period is absolutely glorious. Howzat!

Remember to check out Roly Roper's grouse website on early Aussie amps for more info on these and other interesting amps!

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