BEST OF THE REST 

- GRAMPIAN, DALLAS/SHAFTESBURY, & ELPICO AMPLIFIERS, 


Matt Armstrong's Dallas Amp and Hofner Club 60.

 





This site, like the Selmer Amplifier Website, was 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 are our attempts to redress the balance a little.

This section is our attempt to sweep up the more minor amplifier brands of the late 1950's/early 1960's.

 

GRAMPIAN

Grampian Reproducers Ltd, of Hanworth Trading Estate, Feltham, Middlesex, traded primarily in PA equipment from c.1950 to c.1975. Like Elpico, they made some small amplifiers to amplify record decks and tape recorders which could be used by guitar players, and the Vibromajor which was a guitar amp. The two-tone grey/blue finish suggests that they were made in the mid-late 1950s and early 1960s at which time most amp manufacturers used similar colour schemes.

 

DALLAS

John E Dallas & Son was a long-established company, having been founded c.1875. It operated as a distributor of a wide range of musical instruments, and by the late 1950s Dallas Music Ltd of Dallas Building, Clifton Street, London EC2 had added guitars and amplifiers to it's portfolio.

Early amplifiers were branded Dallas, Shaftesbury or Rangemaster : early UK-made guitars were branded Dallas, and later a wide range of imported Shaftesbury guitars were offered. We believe the amplifiers were made from c.1959/60 to c.1965, because in 1965 Dallas bought Arbiter and at around this time commenced manufacture of the Sound City range of amplifiers which presumably superseded previous brands. Dallas became Dallas-Arbiter in 1967 and continued into the 1980s.

ELPICO

Elpico amps were made from the early 1950s by Lee Products (International) Ltd of Elpico House, Great Eastern Street, London EC2. By 1958 they had become Lee Products (GB) Ltd, Elpico House, Longford Street, London NW1, and by 1965 they had moved again to 10-18 Clifton Street, London EC2. They became Elizabethan Electronics at the same address by 1968. The company seems to have ceased trading by circa 1970, probably due to strong competition from abroad. 

We assume that the Elpico brand name was derived from an abbreviation of Lee Products Company (L-P-Co). Other brand names used were Dulci, Princess and Elizabethan. Key markets seem to have been radios & record-players, but various small Elpico amplifiers were made as PA units or to amplify record decks and tape recorders. These were capable of being used as guitar amplifiers and some were pressed into service as such, notably by Paul McCartney and Dave Davis in the early days of the Beatles and Kinks respectively. Most such units are seen in a two-tone green/cream finish, which suggests that they were made in the mid-late 1950s and early 1960s at which time most amp manufacturers used similar colour schemes.

 

 

 

RECENT ADDITIONS TO THIS WEBSITE

Elpico Combo Amplifier - Unknown Model Name (17 Nov 2016)
Grampian Valencia Combo Amplifier (10 Oct 2016)
Dallas Rangemaster 2 x 10 Combo
(10 Oct 2016)
AC-99 Solid State General Purpose Amplifier Unit (26 May 2016)
AC-88 MkII General Purpose Amplifier Unit - Wiring Diagram (11 May 2016)
AC-88 MkII General Purpose Amplifier Unit
(11 May 2016)

 


 

 

 

 

"Dallas" Labeled

 

"Scala" Labeled

 

"Rangemaster" Labeled

 

"Shaftesbury" Labeled

 

(With thanks to Ian Woledge for all his help.)

The AC-52

 

The AC-54

 

The AC-55

 

The AC-85

 

The AC-88 PA

 

The AC-99 PA

 

Unknown Model