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NFS: Watkins Dominator V shape early 60's £1,350 now £1,100

MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
edited June 9 in Amps £
Watkins (as in Watkins Electrical Products, WEM) Dominator V shaped 17 watt 2 speaker combo (ie WEM) - the precursor to the Marshall sound - from early 1960's (pre '64, when the 2 speaker V shape was replaced) - crank it and it is a Marshall. Seems to be in pretty good condition and sounds glorious. Lovely tremelo as well (and can probably find a non original footswitch).

These are quite rare, and this one is in relatively good condition compared to most that have survived. There are some signs of wear and tear, especially around the edges, as you'd expect for this type of amp, with this age. I really don't know what bits have been replaced, but I believe it to be mostly original, except as noted below. 
 
I've shown lots of photos, and it comes with a WEM (rather than Watkins) V shaped cover (with a few minor tears), so maybe this is from early 60's when they tweaked their name from Watkins to WEM? Serial number 3402.

Valves look vintage, first one on LHS is a Mullard (can't read rest of writing) then 2 that are labelled 8810 (I'm not sure what brand, I'm sure some one can tell from photos) then 3 Mullard ECC83's. 

As far as I can tell, three non original features:

- I had it serviced recently by Electrohill and was told the two 10 inch Elac speakers are actually from the early 70's. 
- non original control knobs (shown in one photo - in black - although I have seen these on another Dominator, so maybe they are original?).  Anyway, I replaced them with plastic replicas that for now look a little too new and some sit a little too high, but they work, and are really hard to find (these cost me £50)! Both sets included in the sale.  
- the other non original feature is that the speaker cable has a connector so you can plug another amp into the speakers. 

Collection only from East Finchley, North London, or I may drive up to an hour. No postage as these are rather old and I'm not sure old valve amps travel that well. 

I bought this from the second guitarist of Procol Harum, Mick Grabham, who is now a valve specialist, so hopefully the valves are decent. I forgot to get a receipt in his name - it is in the name of his valve company. 

Blurb from the internet:

The V-front Watkins Dominator is the stuff of legend, and a very rare and collectable amp nowadays. Although it’s 17 watts precluded it being used on-stage by the main protagonists in the “beat boom” of the 1960s, just about every famous British guitarist either used one or coveted one in the days before they were famous. An icon!

It made it’s debut in 1956. Charlie says that he thought the angled 10″ speakers would give a better spread of sound. Maybe so, but they certainly gave the amp a uniquely distinctive appearance. Early versions have a black control panel centred in the top of the amp. Later versions have a blue control panel positioned at the rear and wrapping around into the back panel. All seem to have Elac 10″ speakers. 2 channels, 4 inputs and tremolo. 2 EL 84s provide the output power.

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Comments

  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Bump
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Price drop to £1350. 
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  • rainer2859rainer2859 Frets: 307
    Absolute bargain for a tone monster! The microphone input definitively has something special going on.

    Marshall Bluesbreaker for a fifth of the price.

    Pretty sure Pym had one up in similar condition for just short of 3k!

    GLWTS Mike.
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    edited April 27
    Thanks! David Pym’s one is £2750 but looks in slightly better condition. Also it hasn’t sold for a while! Yes, dealers seem to ask for £2.5k plus for these when they pop up every now and again, but I have no idea if they actually get that! 
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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 19676
    edited April 27
    Very nice amp, GLWTS.
    The other EL84 looks to be a Russian Reflector make, a bit like these

    4 PCS 6P14P 614 EL84 6BQ5 USED REFLECTOR TUBE SAME DATE TESTED
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  • MikePMikeP Frets: 63
    I believe its not a bluesbreaker but a mini blues breaker, aka 1974 circuit. I think marshal copied the dominator circuit pretty closely although maybe ran the outputs hotter with lower value cathode resistor. Plenty info on 18watt.com. I bet it sounds fantastic. 
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Gentle bump for a rather lovely sounding and collectible rare amp at a great price.
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  • KurtisKurtis Frets: 911
    Ooh, that's interesting.

    I always imagined these things being massive for some reason. Doesn't seem to be the case though. 
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  • VoxsupertwinVoxsupertwin Frets: 341
    I had one new in 1960!….shows you how old I am….the shape was designed by CW from that of his piano accordion case I believe…..GLWTS
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Gentle bump 
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    bump and open to sensible offers.
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Shall we say £1200? 
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Gentle bump for a rare and great sounding amp
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Bump, still here before this goes on Reverb. 
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Ok, will take £1,100 for a quick sale if you can collect from me (North London). Absolute bargain!
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Bank holiday bump. 
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  • thinline72thinline72 Frets: 84
    edited May 24
    If only Joe was a member of this forum, he could have saved a ton (at 6m 25s):

    Have an extra bump for an amazing amp at ridiculous price!
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    bank holiday bump
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  • MikeCMikeC Frets: 458
    Bump and open to sensible offers. 
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  • mo6020mo6020 Frets: 474
    I'd love to take this off your hands but I'm both skint and have no room for another amp. GLWS tho, these things are a lot of fun. 
    "Filthy appalachian goblin."

    https://edmorgan.info
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