Here is a vintage 1955 National Stage Star No. 1280 T electric guitar/instrument amplifier. This particular example, serial number X50172, is in excellent all original condition. This incredibly rare model appears to have only been produced for approximately one year, as it made just a single appearance in the National catalogs form the mid-1950’s. Much larger and more advanced than most of its contemporaries, the 1280 T also sports an absolutely incredible era-appropriate aesthetic, featuring; a texture-painted brown vinyl matched with a great Gretsch tweed, a super modern yin-yang insignia on the beige grill cloth, and the signature lustrous chrome “refrigerator” handle. Higher-wattage large-cabinet 50’s amps are particularly scarce, do not miss this opportunity to own one of the hands-down coolest vintage amps ever made!
Serial Number: X50172
Speaker Code: 285433 (Rola)
Transformer Codes: 166427, Z3333
The Stage Star 1280 T utilizes: (1) 5V4, (2) 5881, (1) 6SC7, (1) 6SJ7, (1) 6SQ7) and (1) 5879 tubes, all of which are original, through (4) original 6 x 11″ elliptical Rola speakers.
This amp is nearly 100% all original. Only several capacitors were replaced, the inevitable upgrade was required after decades of storage and non-use. The original 2-prong power cable had also disintegrated, and has since been replaced with a modern 3-prong version. Otherwise, every other component is original, including the original Tung-Sol 5881 power tubes, all hardware, and all the other miscellaneous internal parts.
The amp sounds very interesting, in a very good way. Highly compressed in a musical manner, producing a natural overdrive more smooth than the most tasteful Tube Screamer pedal, this unique-sounding amp produces a totally original tone. When turned up to ten (or “high”), the output is the perfect volume for recording. I have always felt that elliptical Rola speakers are sweeter sounding than most other traditional round speakers, and Valco clearly thought they were the superior speaker, as the oval speakers were only featured in their best models.