Video: Magnatone Panoramic Stereo Amp Demo

If you're looking for a vintage-tuned amp with plenty of nifty features to explore, you'd do well to check out the Magnatone catalog. Today, we're focusing on one of these fine folks' models, the Panoramic Stereo.

Historically speaking, Magnatone was a significant maker and innovator of amps going back to the 1930s. One of the most celebrated things about its peak period in the '50s was the inclusion of a genuine vibrato effect, which — in contrast to Fender's misnamed "vibrato" that was really a tremolo — actually created pitch-based warble.

The Panaromic Stereo includes the modern heir to this design with the "Varistor Pitch Shifting Vibrato" with both real vibrato and tremolo modes. It's a thoughtful inclusion and works especially well with this amp's clever stereo configuration: there are two 10-inch speakers driven by individual EL84 power sections for an in-the-box stereo design. There's also a set of four external speaker outputs, which makes this amp primed to fulfill all your multi-channel fantasies.

It's a smaller footprint and power suite then Magnatone's current flagship models, like the Super 59 or Stereo Twighlighter, but still incorporates all the features you'd want from one of its amps in a smaller-club oriented package. And as you can see in the video above, Jim really liked this amp.

The story of vintage Magnatone amps is an interesting one full of fascinating innovations and, at times, totally miscalculated business decisions. Buddy Holly played them, and there's a definite cult of fandom out insisting that these are some of the best amps to come out of the golden age of rock 'n' roll.

What's cool, though, is how the modern revival of the Magnatone name has been able to honor this history of sound while doing some new things along the way. For more information about the history of Magnatone amps, I recommend this lovingly researched article at

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