Nowadays Selmer is not very well known for their amplifiers, but they once have been at the top during the 50's and early 60's. The brand used to be a direct competitor of VOX and Marshall back then and its glory times would for sure have lasted much longer if the Beatles had not switched from Selmer to VOX just before they took over the world.
Selmer was founded by Henri Selmer in 1885 and got famous worldwide for their woodwind instruments. They also used to make the acoustic guitars “Selmer-Macafferi” that were played by legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt as well as tube amplifiers.
Their best amplifiers were known as the 'croc skin' series, more specifically the Zodiac Twin 30. This 30 watt amplifier has two channels with two high impedance inputs for each channel. Channel one has basic volume and tone controls while channel two is what sets the Zodiac Twin 30 apart from other amps. It is controlled by a system called 'Selectortone' consisted of six buttons that switch between presets of Hi Treble, Treble, Medium, Bass and Contrabass. It also features a killer sounding tremolo that is activated via foot switch and has depth and speed controls. Its preamp and power amp are housed in two separate chassis, it utilizes EL34(2), ECC83(2) and EF86(2) tubes and it employs a pair of Celestion G12 Alnico speakers.
The Zodiac Twin 30 looks are nothing short of stunning, featuring a giant golden Selmer logo. Its cabinet is black with imitation of croc skin stripes and all of this is topped off with a magic eye tube that shines green according to the speed of the tremolo settings! You must have heard the sound of this amplifier even if you haven't seen one before. Hilton Valentine - guitarist for the band The Animals - has immortalized its sound with the guitar riff for their biggest hit “House of the rising sun”. More recently Jack White used one of these to record guitars for the White Stripes album 'Elephant' and Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys also has the Zodiac Twin 30 as one of his main guitar amps.