1959 Ampeg Jet
November 16, 2010
The growing popularity of the Ampeg Bassamp Company’s Guitaramp and Accordiamp models in the mid to late 1950s paved the way for the release of the Universal Series in January of 1957. Advertised as guitar or accordion amplifiers, the Mercury and the Rocket were designed for the economically minded player. Sporting a single tone control circuit, these lower-wattage amps could be overdriven more easily than their more expensive, high-headroom brothers in the Guitaramp line. Over the next year, these cream-colored amps with watermelon-pink grills laid the foundation for the Universal Series to become some of Ampeg’s most popular guitar amps, especially with later blues and rock players.
The release of the Jet model in January of 1958 came shortly before the entire line received a cosmetic update. In the middle of ’58, the amps lost the cream covering and pink grills in favor of the “Navy Random Flair” vinyl covering and silver grills. The 1959 Jet featured here is an excellent example of the move to the more understated cosmetics. This Jet is all original except for the two 6V6 and one 5Y3 rectifier tubes, which have been replaced with NOS Sovteks. Basically a stripped-down Rocket, this 15-watt Jet features two inputs, single volume and tone controls, a tremolo circuit— minus the depth control featured on the Rocket—and one 12" Jensen Concert DP-Alnico-5 6613 speaker. The amp has a unique, rich sound that gives a nice satisfying crunch when pushed.
Thanks to Lawrence Lemaol at Classic Guitars Ltd. for listing this amp on Gear Search. Whether you’re looking for a vintage piece or the latest products on the market, there’s a great chance you’ll find it at Gear Search. More than 47,000 pieces of gear are listed, including some of the rarest gear in the world.