In the 1930s, Valco was formed by three business partners and former owners of the National Dobro Company; Victor Smith, Al Frost, and Louis Dopyera. The company name was a combination of the three partner's first initials (V.A.L.) plus the common abbreviation for company (Co.)
Valco manufactured Spanish acoustic guitars, metal-bodied resonator guitars, electric lap steel guitars, and vacuum tube amplifiers under a variety of brand names including Supro, Airline, Oahu, and National. They also made amplifiers under contract for several other companies such as Gretsch, Harmony, and Kay. In the 1950s they began producing solid body electric guitars.
Norman English was a popular lap steel guitar player that also owned a studio in the 1950s. Norman chose Valco guitars and amplifiers to rebrand as “English Electronics Tonemaster.”
The amplifier section is a single ended class A circuit similar to a Fender Champ or Fender Princeton. There is a single 12AX7 preamp tube, a single 6V6 power tube and a 5Y3 rectifier tube.
The 1950s styled cabinet is larger than both the Champ and Princeton and is built with solid, finger jointed Pine.
The Tonemaster contains a lower powered 10″ speaker.