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 180 Triplex

Years 1956 1957
Channels two
No. Tubes 10
Power 2x 5881's
Bias Cathode
Preamp 12AY7
Speaker 1x 15" Jensen P15N C5786-2
Speaker 1x 8" Jensen.
Rectifer 5U4GB
Output 35 watts peak
Weight 47 lbs.
Price $279.50


Special thanks to Mike Black for supplying these photos, and providing excellent insight into the Triplex.


This amp represents one of the first examples of Magnatone's use of ultra-linear output transformers. Also fitted to the control panel were two "Crossover Switch" controls with Dynamic and Extended range settings (one for each setting), at somepoint, this is was changed to be a single control for both channels.

Although the 180 was not a stereo amplifier, it was Magna's first step in that direction. In addition to a big Jensen 15" speaker and an 8" speaker mounted in the cabinet, and the musician could optionally connect an external remote cabinet for binaural sound. A special foot switch allowed the musican to switch that remote cabinet in and out of the circuit (note if you have an 180, you'll a footswitch with heavy duty cabling to operate).

There were a few changes to the controls and circuit to this amp during the short time in was in production. The first version of the 180 had two input channels, each with a volume control. Both channels shared tonestack with a treble and bass controls. The dynamic and extended range selector positions moved different resistors under the bass control pot (see right).


For the later 180 version, each channel had its own tonestack with bass and treble controls, plus each channel had its own dynamic/extended range selector.





Except where otherwise noted, text/written content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Creative Commons License

web mechanics: text-to-html with Markdown, css handled with Blueprint, glued together with PHP