Asta 2308

Close-up #29: 1951 Asta Amplifier
SN 2308

These amplifier pictures I saved from an online auction listing some time ago. But what is it? There are no markings of a brand, manufacturer or model anywhere to be seen.

However the distictive grille cutout looking like a letter "E" rings a bell: Epiphone used this kind of "slashed C" style "E" logo since the late 1930s. Another details pointing to Epiphone is the carrying handle – identical to those used on Zephyr and Century amplifiers.

Asta 2308

On the back there is a hard-to-see serial number stamped into the chassis: "2308", in vertically arranged digits. We know of a few other examples of this amp model, all with SNs in the 2000s range. 

Asta 2308

The view with removed back panel shows the amp chassis with tubes, transformer, etc., and the 10" speaker which bears an EIA code "328012" – i.e. made by Utah Electronics in 1950. 

Asta 2308

We looked through all known Epiphone catalogues and did not find any picture of an amplifier model looking similar to this one. However we found the entry pictured below in the price list dated July 15, 1950.

Asta 2308

The "Asta Amplifier" was the lowest priced model – and this was the first and last appearance in any known Epiphone price list: In the list of November 15, 1950, the Asta was already gone. 

Now the big question: Could this unknown amplifier featured here be that mysterious "Asta" model? We assume so – although this is pretty speculative at this point.  

Asta 2308

Let's look at the electronics – there are 4 tubes: 2 Electro Harmonix 6V6GT beam power tubes, one Tung-Sol 6SL7GT preamp tube, plus an unknown tube which must be a rectifier I guess. 

Asta 2308

Like most vintage amps this one had to be checked and repaired by an amp technician. It is good practice to keep the repair documents with the item (as here) – to show what exact work was done – ...

Asta 2308

... and the replaced old parts are also included.

Asta 2308

(Dec 20, 2016)