Magnatone Guitars!

New for Fall 2013, a complete guide to Magnatone guitars and the stories behind them!

1938-1960 Steel Guitars

1956-1963 Bigsby/Barth Era

1964-1966 Starstream Era


Magnatone 160 Music Master

Years 1956
Channels two
No. Tubes 6
Speaker 1x 15" Jensen
Output 35 watts peak
Weight 47 lbs.
Price $249.50 (1956)


The Model 160 was called the "Music Master" and was Magnatone's top of the line amplifier in 1955 (until the 180 was introduced later that year). The output section was a push pull amp with an ultra linear output transformer. The two channels each had "volume", "treble boost", and "bass boost" controls and a special 3-way Accordion "Magnatrol". There was a tremolo control with speed and intensity.

The 150/160/180 amplifiers were all designed with ultra-linear output transformers. At the time, this design was becoming popular in HI-FI circles and touted more clean headroom in amplifiers.


This 160 was found at an estate auction. The chassis was fitted to this custom piggy-back style head/cabinet arrangement sometime after Leo Fender invented the setup.


When the 180 came along, Magna shared the same cabinet and baffle board between the 150,160, and 180. This means on the 160, there is an extra, unused speaker hole for an 8" speaker (which was fitted with a plug). 160's built prior to the introduction of the 180 simply had a baffleboard with a single speaker cut out for the big 15" Jensen.

A remote 15" speaker cabinet was available for $109.50.

See also the 150 and 180.

For schematics, see the 180 schematics. While not identical, they will have a lot in common, especially the power section.

Here's a funny magazine advertisement for the 160 with Bob Gibbons and Ernie Ford.




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