Retrofret Stock # 7296. Premier Model 88-N Model Tube Amplifier (1951), made in New York City, serial # 9451, two-tone fabric finish. One of the most distinctive and interesting amp designs of its era, the Premier Model 88-N is a very early example of a two-stage amplifier with a stand alone speaker cabinet and separate power/control section. This would become common by the 1960's but when this amp was introduced around 1950-51 was still a radical idea, and Premier was its primary exponent. The Model 88 was designed for guitar and/or accordion as a bandstand amp that could be configured pretty much any way onstage, with the separate side-mounted control section that detached from the speaker unit. This could then be positioned anywhere in the stage set up, connected by a fairly long multi-prong cord. Premier designed a clever cabinet where the halves locked side-to-side together for convenient transport as a single unit, although that makes for rather a heavy load in this case. The amp itself is a great-sounding with a deep rich jazzy tone, a very good early tremolo and slightly kitschy cool period cosmetics. The fabric covering is two-tone brown, with a Premier logo across the face of the speaker unit, over an almost automotive-styled grille. The control unit features a bank of colored plastic tabs used as tone voicers, just below knobs of brightly colored plastic controlling volume and tremolo for the two channels just above, all typical of the company's signature look. This Model 88-N dates to around 1951 and appears to be an early example-the amp was in production up through the 1950's but is fairly rare today. These often under-appreciated Premier amplifiers -made in New York City-have been gaining attention recently as some of the most interesting-and distinctive-of their era. This model is the flagship of the line and stands as perhaps their crowning achievement.Height is 21 in. (53.3 cm.), 25 1/4 in. (64.1 cm.) width, and 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm.) deep. A lovely and very fine-sounding example of this unique and innovative amp, probably the most sought-after product of the 1950's New York-based Premier operation. Internally nicely original with just a new 3-prong cord and some cap work on the trem section, retaining a lovely set of period tubes and the original field coil speaker. Externally this amp was customized a bit when new to be carried as two separate units instead of the intended one clipped-together piece-the luggage clips were removed and matching fabric panels carefully fitted over the exposed screw holes. The handles received the same treatment, with heavier-duty luggage handles fitted and the fabric covering patched in neatly. The original owner even procured what appear to be factory-made covers for the amp as two separate units that are still quite functional. This amp was obviously somebody's baby when new! There is some wear overall, with a number of small cigarette burns to the top of the fabric covering and the remains of the original owner's name in mailbox letters on the upper front corner. A cool amp by any standard, just oozing with period vibe-not to mention killer sound! Excellent - Condition.
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