About Us

Wattkins, Inc. is a non-profit corporation that operates Wattkins Amp Forums. The forums are a series of online discussion web sites dedicated to the construction and modification of tube (valve) guitar & bass amplifiers. Our stated purpose is "the advancement of education, cultural preservation, and the promotion and development of the arts". We are a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization registered with the IRS and the state of California.

The Advancement Of Education

Our forums provide a friendly, no-cost, environment to learn about vacuum tube amplifiers in a practical, hands-on, manner. Safety is a core value, and participants have the opportunity to learn about electronics theory, as well as practical skills, such as woodworking and cabinet making, metal working and chassis building, and soldering, as it applies to their own personal projects.

Cultural Preservation

Many of the amplifiers discussed in the forums are no longer manufactured, or are limited to expensive boutique re-issues. The forums provide resources to restore, rebuild, repair or recreate popular musical instrument amplifiers made from the 1940's onwards. Our first project was based on the circuit of the 1959 Fender 5E3 Tweed Deluxe, and was designed to retrofit into a popular low cost donor amplifier (the Valve Junior).

The Promotion And Development Of The Arts

There are two aspects to this. To promote the creative innovation and artistic development of the amplifiers themselves, as well as promoting the practical use of the amplifiers and the music that is played through them. It's only rock'n'roll. But we like it.

Why "Wattkins"?

Wattkins Amp Forums were founded by members of 18watt.com. Today's "18 Watt" amps came, by way of Jim Marshall's 18 watt Bluesbreaker amp, out of Charlie Watkins's earlier design for the Watkins/WEM Dominator. So, given the heritage, we thought wattkins.com was actually a pretty cool name to collectively describe this group of forums, especially as the new spelling describes the purpose of our community.


  1. a unit of power equal to 1 joule per second; the power dissipated by a current of 1 ampere flowing across a resistance of 1 ohm


  1. a person's relatives collectively; kinfolk.
  2. family relationship or kinship.
  3. a group of persons descended from a common ancestor or constituting a family, clan, tribe, or race.
  4. a relative or kinsman.
  5. someone or something of the same or similar kind: philosophy and its kin, theology.
  6. of the same family; related; akin.
  7. of the same kind or nature; having affinity.
  8. of kin, of the same family; related; akin: Although their surnames are identical they are not of kin.


These forums originally came out of an over-abundance of discussions on 18watt.com surrounding modifications of the low-budget Epiphone Valve Junior amp, and, as a result, there was some concern over 18watt.com's focus being lost. Instead of outright banning the discussion of single-ended amps, in May 2007, the Admins at 18watt.com did a very smart thing and provided the seed capital to set up a new discussion board for single-ended amps. sewatt.com was the result.

However, the new admins of sewatt.com realized that it might eventually suffer the exact same problem and decided to design the new forums to be as inclusive as possible while providing separate discussion areas for the different genres of guitar amplifiers.

As a result, a group of discussion forums were created around the the "watt" theme under the general name "Wattkins Amp Forums". The following sites are all part of Wattkins Amp Forums:

* ppwatt.com (for push-pull amps)
* sewatt.com (for single-ended amps)
* 45watt.com (for JTM45 & Bassman amps)
* wattkins.com (a place for the amp building community to hang out)

In late 2009, a new site was added to facilitate the sale of custom parts for projects developed within the forums:

* tubeface.com

In order to further the aims of the forums and to provide a legal framework to oversee the projects that had emerged from the community, Wattkins Amp Forums was incorporated as Wattkins, Inc., a California non-profit public benefit corporation, in early 2011. We are a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization under section 170 of the IRS code.

Wattkins Amp Forums is hosted on a Dell R710 server with multiple RAID 1 arrays for operating system and data. We currently use Comcast Business as ISP.

This site is run by unpaid, volunteer moderators, some of which have commercial interests in the guitar amplification business. They will all attempt to the best of their abilities to not interfere with commercial discussions. All messages on this forum express the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the site and (or) its administrators. This site will not be held responsible for the content of any messages posted on this forum. The operation of this site is supported financially by its members as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.