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Little Walter "59" 50 Watt Head Black/Tan


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The Little Walter is an American-voiced guitar amplifier head in which the "50" is the approximate power rating, and the "9"? stands for 9-pin 12AX7 preamp tubes. Featuring 100% point-to-point construction and top-quality components, the Little Walter 59 is an addictive concoction of bite, depth and clarity.

The Little Walter 59 Features:
  • Point-to-point construction: No circuit or turret boards
  • (2) 6L6 power tubes
  • 12AX7 preamp and phase inverter tubes
  • 5AR4 (GZ34) rectifier
  • Fixed bias class AB circuit
  • Bright and Normal channels with Lo/Hi inputs
  • Three band passive EQ with Presence control
  • 4-ohm minimum speaker output
  • Pine cabinet with a wide range of available coverings
  • Hand made in North Carolina

What is point-to-point (PTP)? Early electronic assembly technology did not use board-mounted components: Components were wired directly from tube sockets to potentiometers, etc., throughout the product. It's labor intensive, and PTP favors simplicity, logical design, and avoiding convoluted circuit paths. Eventually eyelet boards, turret boards and modern circuit boards came along, improving labor efficiency, and facilitating assembly automation. While the cost benefits are obvious, the signal path and component selection “especially on a circuit board“ is a compromise between assembly efficiency and optimal circuit design.

The Little Walter 59 is not a recreation of any particular vintage amplifier design. It's built with the belief the that simplest and most direct circuit path combined with properly selected components yields the best tone. For Phil Bradbury, the founder of Little Walter, that means PTP.

The 59 sports a "Large Tweed"? style control arrangement, and a fixed bias design to provide more attack and headroom versus a cathode biased circuit. There are bright and normal channels, (or you can jumper them) but whichever channel you select the treble, mid, and bass controls are remarkably linear, with usable range throughout the dial. The presence knob (variable negative feedback) is super-effective as an overall contour control. Once you have the basic EQ to your liking, the presence control musically and easily fine tunes the tone to suit a particular room or venue. At around 50 watts, the 59 can get loud, and has a good amount of headroom. But the "sweet spot"? is so vast that you can throttle it down for practice or play it at gig volumes without a radical change in character. All your settings don't go out the window when you show up at the jam session or club.

Played through a Little Walter pine 1x12 with Eminence GA-CS64 speaker, the 59 has an American blackface feel, with a hard to describe blend of bite and nuance. There is the deep, rock solid feel you get from a higher-powered amp, but without the stiffness and lack of sensitivity that often comes with more juice. Using our G&L ASAT Classic S we got massively rich and bouncy low end, with highs that sparkle but still convey depth and body. If you are a Tele player, the 59 is a dream, and all "those tones"? are suddenly there. Plugging in our humbucker Knaggs Kenai (Sheptone Heartbreaker neck, Duncan 59/Hybrid bridge) did not faze the 59 one bit. Without touching the knobs, the character of the guitar comes through with the same low-end richness, note separation, and robust high-end clarity.

With its generous amount of headroom, you could call the Little Walter 59 a "pedal amp."? Yes, it is excellent platform for effects, but the 59 is far from a blank canvas to pummel with stomp boxes. The 59 generates superb and substantial blackface-leaning tones that are also remarkably receptive to practically any guitar, with consistently great results regardless of playing environment. Whatever you play, the Little Walter 59 will make the most of it.