1958 Watkins Westminster

Here is a vintage 1958 Watkins Westminster 10 watt tube amp. While originally considered a student/practice amp, this well-engineered compact combo packs quite the punch. Famously used by The Beatles, in their early days at the Star Club, the Watkins Westminster was the introductory amp used by aspiring English rockers the country over. This particular example, serial number 20598, is in extremely excellent cosmetic condition, is incredibly well preserved, and includes; the original vinyl protective cover, the original instrument cable, and the original footswitch. Most definitely worthy of the finest amp collection, we have not seen another example this nice. It also happens to be in perfect working condition, and it sounds amazing. This amp is absolutely far superior to any other 10-watt combo amp ever made, and is undeniably the best.

The Westminster was the first Watkins amp to be produced in any substantial quantity, beginning in 1955, following earlier limited runs of experimental models. The earliest versions were apparently in plain grey coverings, similar to the Clubman amp. Although not having any dateable components, this amp is late-50’s with the blue and custard covering, anodized gold panel, gold metal grill, and the common gold arrow knobs.

This Westminster is the 10-watt version equipped with tremolo. There was a period from around 1959 to 1962, however, when two varieties existed : the usual 10 watt single-channel 2-input version, and a 14 watt 2-channel 4-input version with a control panel and chassis very similar to the Dominator. (A version in a V-front cabinet also existed briefly.)

This amp may be small (the cabinet measures 16 7/8″ x 8 1/8″ x 13 3/4″), but it sounds HUGE. The best part about these tiny 10 watt vintage amps is the beautiful overdriven sound you can get without exploding your ear drums, and without overly fatiguing the small 10″ Elac speaker. The “Turquoise and Cream” covering (white and blue tu-tone with dark dots) is in very fine original condition. The gold metal grill on the front is super crisp, intact, and beautiful.

This amp is in near perfect 100% all original condition, down to every last Mullard tube. This version uses; (2) ECL82s, (1) EZ80, and (1) ECC83.

There are three stamps on the speaker; 05018 on the gasket, 821 on the cone, and 8N/107 on the frame.

This amp is currently wired at the transformer at 220v, so a step down transformer will be necessary for 110v domestic use.