FENTON-WEILL AMPLIFIERS 

- UK AMPS FROM THE EARLY 1960's

 


c1963/64 Fenton-Weill Porta-Bass 15 Amplifier & Contemporary F-W Contrabass Guitar - Courtesy of Andrew Briggs.

 


 

 

 

RECENT ADDITIONS TO THIS WEBSITE

c1963 Fenton-Weill Dualmaster Guitar (Restored) 26 Aug 2016
Fenton Weill Cadet
(18 Nov 2015) 

 

 




This site, like the Selmer Amplifier Website, was originally set up as a joint collaboration between Tim Fletcher and myself, Steve Russell. We both felt very strongly that the old British amps like Selmer, Watkins, Bird, and Fenton-Weill together with a few others, have been pushed into the shadows by the admittedly well deserved publicity heaped upon Vox and Marshall, and these webpages were our attempts to redress the balance a little.

Fenton-Weill amplifiers were made by Henry Weill in London in the early 1960s. They seem to be more obscure than Selmer, Watkins/Wem or even Bird amplifiers, and are quite rare today. We do not have a great deal of information about Fenton-Weill or the range of amplifiers, and these pages are therefore as much an attempt to collect information as to publish it. 

Henry Weill was an early business partner of Jim Burns (who went on to become the "British Leo Fender" with his later Burns-London guitars and amps).. In 1959 they commenced the manufacture of guitars under the Burns-Weill brand, but the association was relatively short-lived and within a year they went their separate ways. Henry Weill continued to make guitars and amplifiers, initially as Weill-London but soon afterwards changed to Fenton-Weill. (Fenton was the model name for one of the Burns-Weill guitars). 

He may have started working out of the basement of his London home (237, Acton Lane, London W4, which remained his business address), but by 1963 a factory was established at 96 Lots Road, London SW10, employing up to 15 people engaged in the manufacture of guitars and amplifiers. The output must have been quite prolific, as in addition to his own brand of guitars and amps he also made models for other companies, notable Hohner and the early Futurama range for Selmer. Apparently he was no businessman though, preferring design and innovation, and Fenton-Weill went bankrupt in 1965. After this, Henry Weill preferred to work as a one-man-band, operating out of the basement of his London home. Later in the 60s he chose to concentrate upon PA and disco installations for clubs, an expanding market which he may have found more profitable. We believe the guitars and amplifiers were produced from 1960 until around 1965.

Principal sources : 

"The Burns Book", by Paul Day

The Personal Recollections of John Hornby-Skewes, more of which can be found HERE.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Fenton Weill Twinmaster Guitar (c1961), courtesy of Bonecat Music, Manchester

 

Click HERE to view more examples of FENTON-WEILL GUITARS

Also take a look at Paul Wratten's Website dedicated to Fenton-Weill Guitars