"The Watkins Dominator"

The Watkins Dominator is an amplifier from an era when 17 watts of power brought horror and fear to the face of many a promoter

F A Q.  Is the Limited edition Watkins Dominator still being made? Can I still order one?
Answer.  Yes, the amplifier is still available in all three colour options listed, currently a waiting list of approximately 6 months
  A build batch of eight units will commence during January, which will include those already on order.  Apologies to the 2 or 3 customers who have been waiting for the past six months or so due to circumstances beyond our control. 
Notice updated 17th Dec 2016.
 

To mark fifty years of the legend, a fully licensed limited edition reissue of one hundred hand crafted boutique quality "Watkins Dominator" Amplifiers have been approved by the original designer, manufacturer, and founder of  "Watkins Electric Music" of London (w-e-m)
Mr. Charlie Watkins

This iconic reissue, built by John Beer, is only available through
Amp-Fix and approved retail outlets
07747 104 703

Contact Amp-Fix

An official reissue of the Watkins Westminster and Clubman amplifiers of the same era is also available see links on the home page 

The Watkins Dominator limited edition reissue, is a high quality boutique recreation fully approved by the legendary Charlie Watkins. Hand built in the traditional way, right here in England, where it was first born way back in the middle of the last century. The new Watkins Dominator features a birch ply cabinet, loaded with two 10" speakers. The amplifier is of course all valve and hand wired with components mounted on a traditional style turret board. The Watkins Dominator, a two channel amp with two inputs per channel. Channel 1 is the normal channel with Volume and a single tone control. Chanel 2 the tremolo channel has Volume, Tone, plus Speed and Depth controls for the tremolo. The valve complement is Rectifier EZ81 - Preamp and tremolo are three ECC83 / 12AX7. Power amp runs a pair of EL84 valves in a push-pull configuration running close to class A in cathode bias, with no negative feedback loop.

The power transformer can be connected for either 120volt or 240 volt options.  A special 100 volt version for Japan is available on request. 


The amplifier features a steel chassis, in a powder coated gold enamel finish. Transformers, made in England, are specially wound to meet the original specifications.

    Even the knobs were all hand made by a specialist company in moulds formed from an original set of knobs borrowed from a valued customer Mr. Walter Thornton.
Control panels fitted to the Golden Brown amplifiers are gold in colour with red lettering and graphics.

No printed circuit boards in here.  The Paxolin / Tufnol laminate turret boards are manufactured in house by Amp-Fix

Every Watkins Dominator chassis is now individually wired, assembled and tested by John Beer in the Amp-Fix workshops

  All 100 Limited Edition Watkins Dominator amplifiers have a steel storage compartment, in the rear panel, each personally signed by Charlie Watkins himself.

There have been some rumours through the musical 'grape-vine' that WEM have licensed various people to manufacture some of our old cabinet designs. This interest started after Pink Floyd's tour some while back.

We make it clear that we have not given anyone permission to make or use our name or designs and that we are not remaking any of these old products at present.

The exception to this is British Amplifiers.

http://www.wemwatkins.co.uk/cabrumour.htm

Charlie Watkins
signing one of the New Watkins Dominator's storage boxes, while enjoying a nice cup of tea.

You simply can't get more British than that.

N.B. The above reference to British Amplifiers was
prior to the death of the M.D. Barry Spong.
Permission has since been passed to Amp-Fix.
  For more information about Charlie Watkins and his role in the 'Stones in the Park' and other festivals click here

Mr. Watkins, who is now more than ninety years of age is still the Managing Director of w-e-m and he still plays a very hands on part in the day to day running of the company.

   THE WATKINS DOMINATOR LIMITED EDITION FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY REISSUE

LIVERY OPTIONS.

The Standard two tone golden brown livery was chosen for two reasons.  One, to enhance the "fiftieth anniversary" of the model, and two, because the original turquoise blue is no longer available..  Since launching the reissue, we have found a very limited supply of a vintage blue material similar to that used by Watkins in the early to mid sixties, and a red which also suits the Watkins Dominator very nicely, even though they were never previously made in red.
The same era, Watkins Westminster and Clubman amplifiers were offered in red and cream and a reissue of these models is available to order.

The Reissue Watkins Dominator is available as an option in Retro Blue or Dansette Red for as long as material stocks last. We have a very limited amount of Blue, Red, and White fleck vintage 60's material, once it's gone there is highly unlikely to be any more. Currently the blue is by far the most popular choice of colour and is offered strictly on a first come first served basis.

Golden Brown £1550 Retro Blue £1550 Dansette Red now limited availability £1550

Grill cloth patterns distorted by the photographic process.  Higher definition pictures available on request

Click here for details of PAYMENT OPTIONS

To convert prices to the currency to your country go to XE Currency Converter, enter the amount in GBP and select your country to convert to.

XE - Universal Currency Converter


Each Dominator is now priced inclusive of a quality handmade slip cover. 
Covers are available as an accessory for any original MK1 & Mk1bWatkins V front Dominator, at £48

   
     

 If you are local to me, passing Junction 28 on the M5, or are anywhere near Exeter, I usually have a demonstrator here which you are welcome to come and see and put it through its paces.  Just give me a call first 07747 104 703 or email me.

A two part review by a highly acclaimed young guitarist by the name of Kyle Hall. He bought his reissue Watkins Dominator amplifier serial number 012/100 from Amp-Fix during August of 2010.

Watkins Dominator Review Part 1 - YouTube       Watkins Dominator Review Part 2 - YouTube

The first link below is a promotional video from top rated guitarist Mr Joe Ortiz

Watkins Dominator Fiftieth anniversary reissue - YouTube

Darrel Higham playing a red Dominator - YouTube

Darrel Higham talking about his red Dominator - YouTube

Forget the 18watt Blues Breaker, this is the Daddy of them all.

Shown below left is the brochure for the original Mk1 Watkins Dominator, the reissue is a Mk1- b right.

Miracles have been worked to make the re-issue as close to the original as possible, but I'm afraid we just can't match the price!

Or can we?

Mk 1 possibly from a 1959 catalogue £38-10-0 Mk 1-b from a 1964 catalogue 42 gns. = £44 and 2 shillings.

FACT.  The average unskilled worker's wage from Oct 1959 - Sept 1960 was £7-18s- 5d for a 46 hour week.  In 2012  the UK minimum wage for a person over the age of twenty two is £6.08 per hour.  £279.68p for the same number of hours at the basic rate.  Thirty six times more now than it was in 1959 before decimal currency when we had real British Pounds, Shillings & Pence.

On that basis the Dominator in 1959 at £38.50  x  36 (the difference in low paid wages) comes out at £1386.00. 

Therefore the relative price today, before tax, is less than it was way back in 1959.

Only 100 Reissue Watkins Dominator amplifiers will be made.   Do not miss the opportunity to own one of these highly respected and collectable amplifiers.  Order yours now, or register an interest with Amp-Fix, with no obligation to buy until a confirmed order is placed. A 15% deposit will then be required with the balance payable on completion, or prior to an agreed delivery date.     

Home and overseas enquiries welcomed.

Amp-Fix reserves the right to make alterations to the spec or materials as is deemed necessary and without prior notice.

The Watkins Dominator has ample output for a small gig, retaining great tonal qualities at all volume levels. As expected the Watkins Dominator saturates nicely producing a pleasantly smooth distortion, reaching a point where it gets no louder, but compresses to a stinging sustain rich in harmonics. The single tone control (one per channel) has good sweep from a bright treble to a not too boomy bass, a good tonal range from a nice bright clean Shadows sound to creamy bluesy overtones. A guitar fitted with hum-bucking pickups will really make this amplifier sing.
There is something about EL84's that when pushed hard, they really do deliver.

The tremolo is among the best I have heard, good range and depth from a nice slow Duane Eddy Rebel Rouser sound to the faster Searchers sounds.

All IEC tests approved, and  available now.  Just 100 of these amplifiers will be produced. All will be issued with a certificate of authenticity personally signed by none other than the legend himself, CHARLIE WATKINS. To avoid disappointment, interested parties are invited to register their details with Amp-Fix contact Amp-Fix

ANNOUNCEMENT February 2015

We are sad to announce that "Charlie Watkins", the founder and director of Watkins Electric Music, w-e-m Ltd, passed away in his sleep on the 28th October 2014 aged 91 years.

w-e-m Ltd is to continue trading under the direction of Mrs J Watkins, from its Upper Norwood, London office.
Mrs. Watkins will be pleased to help with your enquiries for current products, during normal working hours.

Tel: 0208 6795575
Email: watkins@wemwatkins.co.uk
Website: www.wemwatkins.co.uk

PLEASE NOTE: Mrs. Watkins is not able to help with any advice or information relating to Watkins or w-e-m equipment manufactured prior to 2005.
For all inquiries about vintage Watkins w-e-m products please click here.

The manufacture and sales of the Watkins Dominator, Westminster & Clubman Reissue Amplifiers are licensed exclusively by w-e-m to John Beer.

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