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The early MkI models have an ILP 'black block' power amp module (HY200 or HY248) but can be updated by fitting the latest EBB150 power amp module

Sessionette MkI



Please look inside the chassis.  The date of manufacture will be on a label 



Eric Clapton used SESSION transistor amps to record his 'August' album and subsequently toured using them

See Lee Dickson's interview here


Looking for a 1980s Sessionette? Please check HERE


Replacement SESSION badge/logos are available for your cabinet refit

Buy SESSION Badge:

Price 4.75



This is usually caused by the FX LOOP 'Return Jack' which diverts the preamp signal via your effects pedals when employed

To quickly establish if this is the case, simply insert a guitar cable into the FX Send and FX Return. If this cures the problem, then take the amplifier to a qualified repairer for further investigation

This is not unique to Session amplifiers



"Musos out there, if you see a Sessionette amp for sale then do your self one hell of a favour, go buy it. I bought one a year ago and have had the Retro2 upgrade installed courtesy of Stewart Ward himself and he turned what was already a bloody good amp into an unbelievable amp, even by todays standards" - Mark Cockerill


The Original British
Grab-'n'-Go Guitar Amps!


RetroTone Upgrade for all Sessionette guitar amps

Sessionette:75, 90 or Rockette:30 can be upgraded to sound just like a top tube amp!
Just have it serviced and 'RetroToned™'

Yeah, we know what you're thinking... it can't sound as good as a tube amp... it's solid-state! But that's where you'd be so wrong! Your Sessionette will come back to you sporting a tone that competes easily with any of the big name classic 1960s valve amps. Serious black/silver face tone is what it's all about

2023 - RetroTone™ upgrade has itself been upgraded. It now has a switch to take you back to the original tone as preferred by Jazz players

Loud enough for bigger gigs, fat classic American tone, channel switching, Celestion speaker, smaller than a Fender Blues Junior and weighing in at only 16kg

RetroTone III offers a credible alternative to the outright 'rock' amps and expensive 'repro-vintage' amps around in a modern portable & reliable format. Ideal for those many players, like me, who do not play wailing rock solos and, therefore, have little choice these days

SESSION is the home of 'Old-School American Tone' using reliable valveless technology

Sessionette was the first commercial channel switching amp with independent channels.

Created by: Stewart Ward - Designing since amps 1967

What does it cost? Click here



Earlier 'MkI' Sessionette models might need a new power amp module @ £59.95 (Not Rockette models)

RetroTone III now also includes Retro 'In/Out' switch to enable the earlier non-Retro sound

Sorry, we are not able to upgrade ANY 1997 onward amps at the moment. NOT for the Duette series or the valve Session 15:30 amps either



Please send in your Sessionettes for upgrade as soon as you like. Please let us know you're sending it! Do not send any payments, we will contact you with the costs when it's been completed! Turn-around is approx four weeks from receipt - longer if a bank holiday or staff holiday closure is imminent

Important: Please print and fill in the PDF SERVICE INSTRUCTION SHEET available here and send with your amp!

Sessionette Chassis

Pic: SG75 Chassis with new EBB150 Power Module Installed

When sending your amp chassis for upgrade, please do NOT send more than one chassis in a single carton. The picture above shows how the new power module, if required, stands up much higher than the chassis depth with the original power module installed. Multiple chassis in one carton can collide with each other and cause untold damage to each other! PLEASE don't risk it.

NON UK RESIDENTS: State clearly on the OUTSIDE that the item is being 'RETURNED FOR REPAIR/SERVICE' to help avoid UK Customs charges!


Approximate likely costs are shown at the end of this page

Please follow the 'How To Send Your Sessionette' instructions in the left hand column... Thanks!


What Does It Sound Like?

Video of Dean Barnes using an early 1950s
Fender Broadcaster through a RetroToned amp!

Dean Barnes sadly passed away in May 2017 aged 45. He was a dear friend and will be greatly missed

Here's a live audio clip of Stewart Ward playing through his RetroTone'd Sessionette amp featured in the video above. No pedals... just his 1963 Telecaster (with original pickups) direct to amp. Recorded live at The Station Hotel, Andover, UK: Live RetroTone Blues Solo

  • RetroTone III™ delivers much bigger overall tone quality from this tiny amp. More bass, sparkle and sheer balls... all with legendary Sessionette portability and loudness.

  • Brings increased range and new dimensional opportunities to your playing with: Mush free, whole neck soloing... not just the upper notes! Cut through the mix down at 6th string open E too

  • Chord work can be used to much greater effect with '1950s like' tonal properties. RetroTone III™ banishes the 'low end' flab of some expensive 'lust after' amps

  • 1950s tone with extra gain! More than enough distortion gain for any blues or country player when required

  • 'Monitor Level' control is converted to a 'Presence' control - fitted as part of the upgrade

  • No 'toob amp' problems, or bills, or tone degradation from age and 'heat baked' components! Definately NO CAPACITOR REPLACEMENTS ('swap outs') required

  • Only 16kg (35lbs) - They're ideal for 'jammers' and pro musicians! The perfect 'muscle' to power your favourite pedals

  • RetroTone III™ Upgrade developed by Stewart Ward (The Sessionman), creator of Session amps and pioneer of 'serious' solid state amps since in 1979. 100% British designed & built

Here's what we do:

Firstly, we usually like to do this upgrade as part of a service. We must remove the main PCB in order to carry it out. After the general service has been completed, here’s what we'll do:

Channel A (Distortion) - Boost treble pre distortion. This expands the tone range and ‘pinch’ harmonics are increased by this too!

Channel B (Clean) - Added April 2012! - Boost bass in the clean preamp and 'control' the brightness, without losing 'timbre'. Sessionettes are 'black-panel' in tone

Replace All (front panel) Pots - Due to their age now, we are finding that the original factory fitted 20mm diameter OMEG pots are mostly in a pretty rough condition. This also allows us the opportunity of upgrading their quality to 16mm diameter ALPHA pots. ALL POTS HAVE TO BE REPLACED (8 @ £4.00/each)

Noise Reduction! - New HISS reduction mods for the DISTORTION & CLEAN channels. This is a significant improvement and makes the amp less likely to squeal at high gain/volume settings as well. No extra charge!

Add Presence Control - Added April 2012! - We convert the MONITOR LEVEL control on the amp's back panel into a PRESENCE control. It can be used to remove treble overtones of both Channel A & B which can culminate in a much smoother pleasing sound. It operates at different frequencies to the TREBLE control, so the two can be use to create far more interesting tones

The PRESENCE is situated post Channel A & B and reverb, but pre FX Loop. The amp can now be swung between a bright or warm overall tonality as required. The MONITOR output is left intact and preset to maximum level

Reverb - Modify the reverb circuitry to bring deeper 'lush' tones

Power Amp - Fit RetroTone III™ circuitry. The same circuitry used in the power amp of our current amps. This is a very important part of the modification process and is explained below

RetroTone III™ - This converts the power amp to 'current drive' operation. It allows the amp's output signal to more easily 'excite' the speaker's cone(s) into creating & adding mechanically produced harmonicly rich overtones. These are not generated in the signal delivered to the speaker’s terminals by the amplifier. It affects its tone just like a tube amp does

What are the benefits? Well, you'll hear it all the time in a tube amp... or to be more accurate, an amplifier with an output transformer. The effects on the tone would still be heard if transistors were driving the output transformer! So, it’s not the output valves that bring this 'tonal-effect', it's a unique partnership between the output transformer and speaker

For example... with most valve amps, you'll often hear a huge increase in output when you play open low E on your guitar. This is due to the speaker’s natural cone resonance at around 80Hz. And with nearly all old design transistor amps, this speaker effect is heavilly damped by the power amp's 'constant voltage' speaker drive, making it sound cold and 'middle-y’... lacking sparkle or ‘chime’. RetroTone III™ nutralises those old 'transistor' issues

With the addition of RetroTone III™, many more harmonics are naturally created by the speaker's cone, allowing a unique edge to the tone when in overdrive. RetroTone III™ mimics exactly what happens naturally in an amplifier equipped with an output transformer, allowing enriched harmonics in the amp’s tone!

Want Even More Bass? - It is worth remembering that Sessionettes have very small speaker cabinets. This is great for lighter weight and convenient portability, but there is a trade off... less bass output! This can make pre-upgraded Sessionettes sound a little ‘clanky’ at times, so the upgrade will greatly improve the bass performance. However, the Sessionette cannot ever sound like an amp built into a bigger speaker cabinet! If you’d like your Sessionette to sound like a bigger amp, then simply connect it to an extension speaker cabinet of 8 ohms impedance only

Click here for the: RetroTone III™ User Guide


Turn-around is approx four weeks from receipt - longer if a bank holiday or staff holiday closure is imminent.

The above is just an estimate, so you may want to arrange a backup amplifier if you are a gigging musician - sorry

WE ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE A QUOTATION! The chassis is needed to do the required work and, from that, determine the range of work needed

Important: Please print and fill in the PDF SERVICE INSTRUCTION SHEET available here and send with your amp!


Prices: Amplifiers in good condition:

  • Service only, any required parts extra & £12.00 return carriage - £69.00


  • RetroTone III™ Upgrade, service & new ALPHA Pot (8) Set: £160.00

  • If required (not often): EBB150 Power amp Module - £59.95

  • Plus the cost of any other replacement parts

  • Return carriage: £12.00

We do not offer a DIY kit of the RetroTone III™ Upgrade... it can only be done by us in our workshop. This is to help pay for the hundreds of hours over five years in development time to create RetroTone™. Sorry

For your guidance, most RetroTone III Upgrades with a service usually averages £175.00

It's best to do the whole job at the same time whilst we have the circuit boards removed for servicing

Please bare in mind, we cannot rectify faults that do not present themselves at the time of servicing. It's not possible to 'see' anything that might be a problem in the future by physical inspection. The only way to escape this is to have an entire brand new set of components fitted, which is not a practicle exercise

Amplifiers in poor condition - Sadly, because some Sessionettes sent to us are in very poor condition (DIY modifications and badly executed prior servicing), we may ask an additional fee to cover our extra costs in such cases. We will advise you, before proceeding, what this cost might be

For insurance purposes, Sessionettes & Rockettes are accepted by Award-Session for upgrading and/or servicing strictly on the basis that their value is limited to £40 plus the cost of any work carried out

We do not accept any liability for items sent to us by our customers which are lost or damaged in transit to us

Please click here for info on how to send us your Sessionette

Important: Please print and fill in the PDF SERVICE INSTRUCTION SHEET available here and send with your amp!

Recently RetroToned

We don't get that many 'whole' amps to upgrade... usually just the chassis.

Sessionette 210

1984 Sessionette 112


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