One of the most important sounds of the British rock during the 50's and 60's The Watkins Dominator was one of the most popular amplifiers within the so called English Beat Boom bands. From the majors (The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones) to the short-lived and obscure (The Black Knights, Group One, The Snobs). Back then, Watkins would compete against brands like Selmer and Vox. Its founder Charles Watkins has contributed with the music business with numerous inventions. He created the very first PA systems that were used in big British festivals and the famous Copicat tape delay unit as well as his classic amplifiers. It was released in 1956 and its visuals reflect the style of the 50's in the most amazing way. Its white and blue striped cabinet is equipped with 2 angled Elac 10” speakers.
According to Charles Watkins, the angled design was created because he believed that this way the sound would be spread more broadly and that would make the amplifier sound big despite its 17 Watts of power. The control panel features 4 input jacks, 2 volume controls and 2 tone controls and a tremolo with speed and depth controls. The early versions have a black control panel face plate and the later versions have a blue control panel face plate. Its circuit employs EL84 (2) and ECC83 (3) tubes. 
60's Watkins Dominator from NRG Studios


The Watkins Dominator is one of those amplifiers that you do not worry too much about the settings. The Volume control acts like an Overdrive knob and you wish it would go up to 11 how good it sounds. We have set the volume knob at about midway for this video and the amp delivered a pleasant and fat crunch tone somewhat like a Marshall head had a baby with a Vox AC15. In fact Marshall has copied the Dominator circuit in 1958 releasing a 18 Watt amp that is known as the Bluesbreaker younger brother. At the time it was priced at mere £38! Nowadays it is a very rare amp and if you are lucky enough to find a good one, the price can go up to £2000. In 2010 British Amplifiers had it reissued the Dominator, making only 100 units that were signed by its creator that has passed away later in 2014.