Up for sale, a 1964 Magnatone Custom M14 in excellent condition and in perfect working order, loaded with a complete vintage tube set from the likes of RCA and General Electric. This Magnatone/Estey amp was produced for only a couple brief years, featuring the quintessential Magnatone sound and stereo true pitch vibrato. In every respect an evolution of Magnatone's flagship Custom 280, the M14 is one of the rarer amps from the Estey era "suitcase" Magnatone lineup, featuring a 2x8" speaker configuration and pair of matching tweeters.
This two channel amp delivers a dynamic and warm clean tone that quickly saturates into smooth tube overdrive as you turn up the Volume dial. The varistor vibrato is the same design used in earlier top-tier Magnatone models, with a lush, three-dimensional stereo field (mono operation also available). The M14 is rated at roughly 30 watts with two pairs of properly biased General Electric 7189A power tubes (one pair per side of the stereo circuit) as well as a bevy of vintage valves from RCA, GE and Telefunken. The 7189A power tubes have the same pin out and similar tonal characteristics to an EL84, yet able to generate higher plate voltages.
This M14 is a well-kept example, with a short-lived yet very sturdy wood reinforced molded plastic "suitcase" cabinet. The steel chassis for the preamp is connected to the overbuilt amp handle, and the preamp is very tech friendly, point-to-point wired and accessible by removing only two bolts on either side of the chassis. The circuit is extremely original, with all original transformers including a particularly robust pair of output transformers to accommodate the amp's true stereo operation. The CTS pots date to the 29th week of '64, and all of the original blue molded Ajax caps are intact. These signal caps have a smooth, musical character and are the same caps used in Fender's Black Panel era amps.
The speakers are a vintage pair, representing the evolution of the speakers offered in Magnatone's Estey era amps, with one ceramic magnet Jensen 8" driver and an alnico magnet Oxford 8". Between these two main drivers and the pair of original tweeters, this amp has a surprisingly broad, detailed and punchy sound.
The gold aluminum faceplate retains all of the original barrel knobs, with black silkscreened text and minimal pitting. The wraparound gold sparkle sparkle grillcloth is intact, and the molded plastic enclosure is structurally sound, retaining the light-up M14 badge and additional Magnatone/Estey badge on the grill. This amp has been well cared for over the past nearly 60 years.