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Here we have a real charmer of a vintage British valve amplifier. Watkins (later WEM) are most famous for their Copicat tape echo unit (we've sold a few over the years), but they also made grouse amps! Some time back we sold a WEM Dual Ten (named after the 2 x 10" speakers in the cabinet), which was a very similar-sounding amp. Those who have seen and played through these amps claim they are every bit as good as the original (and expensive!) Vox AC 15. In fact, some reports claim that Tom Jennings (JMI) used Charlie Watkin's ER 15 circuit when designing the AC 15.

The Scout replaced the 14W twin-channel version of the Westminster in 1962 or 1963. The changes between the two models were a cosmetic make-over in a larger black and cream cabinet, together with a different chassis layout (seemingly identical to later versions of the V-front Dominator, though rated 3W less). The Westminster 10W single-channel model remained in the catalogue alongside the Scout, but the Scout was a relatively short-lived model which became the Custom 15 circa 1964/5, hence they are rare today.

The Scout falls into the period when Watkins were changing into Wem. The early versions (such as this one) have brass Watkins logos, while later (post '63) amps have the "day-glo" orange Wem logo. The Scout was only made between 1963 and 1965, and is a very rare item these days.

This amp is in astounding original condition. It came from a deceased estate, along with an extremely rare 1948 Kord King lap steel guitar. One knob is non-original (the volume knob on the 2nd channel), and the speaker may also be non-original. The 10 inch speaker is a Plessey Rola, but I believe Plessey did not take over the Rola operation until 1965, and the interior compartment which holds the power cord (and the Tremolo footswitch) has been partially cut away to clear the speaker's magnet.

The tremolo is nice (something the Vox AC-15 doesn't have!), and the amp has plenty of gain. The EL84 output is not as loud as an AC-15 purely due to the less efiicient speaker - the Vox Blue (alnico Celestion) was a very efficient speaker, and is also a 12 inch - but the sound is very, very nice! A fantastic studio amp, and a great collectible!

When the amp came to us, it still had its full complement of original Mullard valves, from the EZ81 rectifier through to the two ECC83 (12AX7) pre-amp valves and the EL84 output valves, but the output EL84s are quite worn. I'll include them with the amp (wrapped in the cord compartment) just for the sake of originality, but I've fitted a new pair of my favourite Russian valves, which sound great and give the amp the sparkle and urge it would have originally enjoyed.

This vintage valve amp measures 42cm(H) x 44cm(W) x 22cm(D), and weighs 11kg.

Sold to lucky Sydney buyer


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