Completed - SN02 contact StillAmp'd for availability

 Guitar Amps   September 11, 2021


The Westy 02 is built in a 1946 Westinghouse H-130 AM Radio radio cabinet that is sealed to preserve the original patina and lettering. Tastefully finished with vintage leather handle and hardware, matching knobs and art deco grill cloth. The all octal four vintage tube circuit consists of a powerful dual triode 6SL7 (or 6SN7) for PreAmp, a dual triode 6SN7 for Phase inverter and a dual triode 6BL7 (or 6BX7) in Push-Pull output stage delivering a powerful 10 watts through a vintage 1950’s Jensen Alnico 6x9 speaker mounted to a birch ply baffle.This is StillAmp'd second build, thus the designated serial number 02.

The Radio

The Westinghouse H-130 radio was a fairly common AM Radio from the 1940’s. The radio contain 6 Tubes including the 6SA7 6SF7 6SC7 25L6GT 25L6GT 25Z6GT it was a Superheterodyne design; ZF/IF 455 kHz; 2 AF stage(s) it contained 6 AM circuit(s) Broadcast only (MW). It had the ability to drive a Record changer. It operated on AC between 105 - 120 Volt. Its Loudspeaker was Permanent Magnet Dynamic 6.7 inch. Power out for the radio was 5 W. Was housed in a Wooden case. Model: H130 - Westinghouse El. & Mfg. Co. -Tablemodel, with any shape - general. Self Contained Loop Antenna. Circuit diagram reference in Rider's Perpetual, Volume 15; 1947 and earlier.


This distinctive 1946 Westinghouse radio is a rarely seen model that bridges mid century modern design and Art Deco with a powerful 6 tube radio that plays well and receives stations across the AM band. This is model H130, a Superheterodyne radio with its original finish on the wood cabinet, as well as original knobs, grill cloth, decals, emblems, factory labels, and back cover with loop antenna. It plays superbly with strong station reception across the dial (550-1600kc), clear tone, full volume range, and no hum. Dial lights , phono jack and all controls were tested and found to work as intended. It has a good safe pliable power cord. The dial light also lights up a small green "W" logo (for Westinghouse) on top.

When a compatible record player is attached to the phono jack, a "phono" position on the front lower right knob enables this function when needed. This calls for a specific type of record player designed to play through tube radios of the era, using the radio's amplifier and speaker to broadcast the sound and also control tone and volume. Several radio manufacturers offered these units as an available accessory for their radio customers, such as RCA, Decca, Silvertone, etc. Contact the shop if interested in buying one of these, as we usually have one or more in stock (example shown in past picture).

The distinctive lines of the radio's wood cabinet set it apart with rounded vertical corners and top dial that curves forward 90 degrees to the front. Specific dimensions: 9 inches high x 14 1/4 inches wide x 6 inches deep. The original finish displays well, with what is likely a later-applied top clear coat. All veneer is original, tight, straight and undamaged, including the faux wood trim line bordering the grill area.



As Received, the radio was in very poor condition and was not very suitable for radio restoration as evidenced by the following pictures. By converting to a guitar amplifier this radio (now named Westy) will see regular use as opposed to be a restored radio that sits on the shelf



Cabinet Repair

After disassembly the cabinet was cleaned. Many of the joints had dried out and were loose so these were glued tight. The original finish was flaking off and it was decided that rather than refinish this fine old lady that a topcoat of clear finish wou9ld be applied to lock the original patina in place. The finish was sprayed on because brushing would have flaked off more of the original finish. The final result was a great home for the new guitar amp to reside. 

The original grill cloth was very tattered and it was felt that a new period correct radio grill would provide a great look as shown. The grill was mounted to the speaker baffle discussed in another section

Since the radio was received without any knobs, period correct reproduction knobs were sourced and installed. The knobs were spline shaft which caused them to slip. So the volume/switch shaft was ground into a D shape and some modelling putty filled in the knob to match the shaft. Works perfect and looks great.


Finally, a fine vintage leather handle was sourced and restored along with mounting clips that were aged. The final cabinet result has a great vintage vibe and is fully functional as a great guitar amp - Westy.



The Speaker

Originally the radio had a small 5” speaker that was fine for playing radio stations in the 40’s but no way would this stand up to 10w tube guitar amp. It was decided to go with a vintage Alnico Jensen speaker so as to fit the largest speaker possible in this relatively small cabinet. And as you cab see the entire speaker opening is filled with the speaker. Then Jensen alnico was a great choice as it really makes this amp sing and stands up to the driving crunch that can be delivered. The speaker was mounted to a birch ply baffle that solidly mounted the speaker to the cabinet. The grill cloth was mounted to a stiff cardboard insert.



The Chassis

The chassis is perfect size for the octal design guitar amp. Remove the IF transformer cans and clean the chassis. 


The output transformer is mounted inside the chassis (inspired by the radio design). The output transformer is a multi ta and can 

The radio tuner is removed to make room for the Hammond power transformer and a new tube socket installed for the 5Y3 rectifier tube, All other tube sockets are original to the chassis. Now to drill out the back for power cord, pilot like and input output jacks

A really tight fit but everything is ints place and it's a very beautiful artful design. I like looking at the back even more than looking at the front.


The Circuit

The all octal four vintage tube circuit consists of a dual triode  6SL7 for PreAmp, a dual triode 6SN7 for Phase inverter and a dual triode 6BL7 in Push-Pull output stage delivering a powerful 10 watts through a vintage 1950’s Jensen Alnico 6x9 speaker mounted to a birch ply baffle. There is an option to run the Westy as a head through an 16ohm external speaker cabinet. The chassis is point to point hand wired for low noise, high tone and performance. Modern magnetics from Hammond with a 5Y3 power supply rectifier. The original chassis is used to house the circuitry. A pure tone machine with Volume and Master control.

Everything is mounted to the chassis ready to start wiring. An original capacitor is left on the radio/phone switch (which is dummy in the guitar design) just to keep some original history in place.

Everything is wired up and all resistors and capacitors installed. Looking neat and clean.

The original radio volume/switch was not working right so it was replaced with a modern equivalent.




The Westy 02 guitar amp on the right compared to an original Westinghouse h130 AM radio on the left. Larger speaker in the guitar amp and the radio tuner space is taken over by the Westy power transformer.

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