Masco MAP-15 Tube Amplifier (1950s)

Masco  MAP-15 Tube Amplifier (1950s)
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Item # 11803
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Masco MAP-15 Model Tube Amplifier (1950s), made in New York City, two tone vinyl finish.

This is a very nicely preserved 1950s Masco amp, manufactured in Long Island City, New York, by the Mark Alan Simpson Company (M-A-S-Co). This company's wares have come to prominence again largely in vintage-minded blues-harp and guitar circles, where many are fond of converting their all-tube PA heads into harp and guitar amps.

Masco Amplifiers were largely a mail order brand available through Layfayette, Archer and other large electronics supply catalogs. They could also be purchased at music stores and appliance stores as an inexpensive house brand. Their guitar/instrument oriented amps are terrific contemporaries of Gibson and Valco-made amps of the era and according to blues lore, Little Walter was playing through a Masco amp when Muddy Waters first heard him.

This model, the MAP-15, sports three inputs and shared volume and tone controls. A dual-6L6 push-pull power section puts out roughly 15 watts into a single 12" speaker. Unlike many amps of this era, the Masco sports a newer-style combined "chassis" mounted towards the top of the cabinet. The lack of top vents is mitigated by a large metal plate reaching over the tubes, which is showing some discoloration from years of heat. This is a very solid and well-made 1950s combo, not as rugged as the era's Fender amps but easily in league with many other competitors.
Height is 18 1/4 in. (46.4 cm.), 15 3/4 in. (40 cm.) width, and 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm.) in depth at deepest point.

Cosmetically, this little amp is in fantastic shape for its age. Save for some very minor edge-wear, the two-tone croc-style vinyl covering is beautifully intact with hardly any wear to show after nearly 70 years of use. The wheat/beige grille cloth is also in terrific shape with no tears or signs of fraying, preserving its brown treble clef graphic. The control panel is spectacularly clean with its cool music note motif and graphics fully intact. The handle and its associated hardware is original to the amp as well with plenty of life left in it. The amp also comes with a quite elaborate, homemade-looking wooden box/case that likely is a big reason why this amp is so well-preserved after all these years!

Electrically, the little Masco is all-original. The 12" Alnico GE speaker still bears its original cone and sounds fabulous. All the transformers and pots appear to be original, including the power transformer, which bears the code 295-75x, the manufacturer being Mark Simpson (Masco) himself and the EIA code likely pointing to late 1947 date. The amp has received our typical maintenance and servicing, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, a grounded 3-prong power cord installed, all sockets, pots and jacks cleaned and output tubes biased to spec.

A wonderful and highly esteemed amp in the vintage blues harp and guitar community, preserved exquisitely-well for its age Excellent Condition.