SALE! - 1963 Selmer Futurama Bassist Major 18W 1x12 First Series Piggyback
As the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, we feel that it is time to cheer you up with our BIAJ Autumn Sale 2023 !! 🐝 🐝 🐝
Very rare 1963 made early "Type 1" piggyback set produced at the time by Fenton Weill, with original hardware, badges, electronics, transformers, 12" Goodmans speaker, tolex, handle, beautiful Selmer knobs etc. with exception of the grill cloth which was replaced for a nice vintage style Selmer grill cloth, the upper backpanel (homemade) and screws and 1 copper vent.
The amp is serviced (few caps, nuts and bolts replaced), checked and sounds super cool with a Strat, Tele, Les Paul and P90's!! It has a lovely chimey
This rare Selmer Futurama is a single channel 2 input amp with separate volume controls for each input and one tone control acting on both. The output is roughly 18 watts using 2 x ECC83 preamp tubes, 2 x EL84 power tubes and 1 x EZ81 Rectifier. It has the original 1 x 12 inch Goodmans of England Speaker with original cone. Price in 1963 was 37gns
Selmer used the brand-name "Futurama" on guitars in the early 1960's, and also distributed a range of Futurama amplifiers. These were Selmer's budget amplifiers at lower prices than the Truvoice range, but they were well-made, valve driven, and sounded good.
The Futurama amplifiers were introduced in the September 1963 Selmer catalogue and four combos were initially available: two for guitar (the 15 watt Caravelle and the 6 watt Corvette) and two for bass (the 15 watt Futurama Bassist Major and the 6 watt Bassist Minor). The two Bassist models had detachable "piggy-back" amplifier sections; presumably an attempt to prevent vibration damage to the valves. All models utilized printed circuit boards in order to reduce the amount of hand wiring work and keep costs down. This is the main feature that differentiates them from the standard Selmer amplifier range at the time, which was of course entirely hand wired.
Two separate series of Futurama amps have been identified - those built from mid-1963 to Autumn 1964, and those from Autumn 64 up to when the Futurama Amplifier name disappeared sometime towards the end of 1965, probably when the Crocodile Period amps were phased out.
Selmer's ex-Production Manager, John Weir explains:
"In the Autumn of 1964, a special assembly line was set up on one side of the Production Shop of the Selmer Holborn factory, to make a range of budget price amps. These were the Corvette, Caravelle, and Bassist Major and Minor. The idea was to run them along the line, Assemble - Wire - Test - Box Up, so that complete combos came off at the end. I was asked to take on the test position, which I did. Although they were valve amps, they were built on paxolin printed circuit boards which were secured to an aluminium front panel with brass spacers.
These amps were the second series of Futurama amps, i.e. those with front facing control panels, black sides and crocskin around the control panels. The first series were all black amps, with top mounted control panels. These had obviously not been made in the Selmer factory, but had been bought-in by Selmer from, we believe, a smaller British manufacturer at the time called Fenton Weill."
(Henry Weill was an early partner of Jim Burns in Burns-Weill Guitars. The more famous of the two, Jim Burns, was later responsible for some of the best quality solid guitars made in the UK during the 1960's. Henry Weill also later produced solid guitars, but was better known for his range of Fenton Weill guitar amplifiers and later for lighting and disco products. The "Fenton" part of the companies name was taken from the model name of one of the old Burns-Weill guitars. Apparently, Henry worked, for at least part of his amplifier production period, in the downstairs basement of his London home.)