1957 Magnatone 280 Vintage 2x12 Tube Amplifier w/ Stereo Vibrato Magna Pre-Estey

Very Good
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Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar
Seattle, WA, United States
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About This Listing

Up for sale, a 1957 Magnatone Custom 280, ripped and raw, and fully serviced for optimal functionality. The 280 was the top of the line 200 series amplifier developed my Magna Electronics in the "Pre-Estey" days of the company, and this amp is often considered the pinnacle of golden era Magnatone design and tone. Notable users of the 280 include Buddy Holly, Neil Young, and the Sonics, and the rich overdrive and stereo vibrato are unlike anything you've ever heard on another tube amp. The circuit pushes a pair of stock Oxford 12L6N alnico speakers and a pair of 3" tweeters as well.

Featuring two channels, point-to-point circuitry, and dual output transformers for true stereo operation, the Magnatone 280 was ahead of its time, and an amp that cost a good 20% more in its day than the most expensive Fenders. All of the original Schumacher-made transformers are intact, dating to 1957, with new capacitors in the preamp and power amp to keep everything operating within original factory spec. The crossover features new caps and wiring as well, and all of the pots have been replaced with properly spec'd USA-made CTS equivalents.

Of course the hallmark of any Magnatone amp is its true stereo vibrato, and this amp delivers the classic effect with inimitable depth and width. The pulse and warble of the vibrato is vibrant and lush, operating either in mono or stereo, bouncing between the two Oxford speakers. The 3" tweeters also do a great deal to accentuate the top end swirl of the vibrato. The Oxford 12L6N-10 speakers both have clean white/silver frames with matching 1957 date codes. The faceplate of the amp is surprisingly clean, given how lightly these were originally screen printed, and all of the text and graphics are present. The original large white knobs are all intact too.

Cosmetically, the amp retains the original brown bindery cloth used to cover the cabinets, along with the original grillcloth, gold Magnatone logo, and both 'V' badges. The cloth on the cab is significantly worn, and it's a love-it-or-hate-it aesthetic, but honestly earned.

This item is sold As-Described

This item is sold As-Described and cannot be returned unless it arrives in a condition different from how it was described or photographed. Items must be returned in original, as-shipped condition with all original packaging.

Product Specs

Listed2 months ago
ConditionVery Good (Used)
Very Good items may show a few slight marks or scratches but are fully functional and in overall great shape.learn more

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