Watkins WEM Copicat Earthing Issue / Warning

Views 17 Likes Comments Comment
Like if this guide is helpful
There are a lot of these  very collectable echo boxes hitting eBay every month, some are in need of a  real piece of TLC whilst others have [supposedly] had this done to them and are  being sold as ready to use.

I am typing this guide after  having had a guy ring me up on another matter and in the discussion mentioning  that he has just got his Copicat back from the repair shop (via an established  Music Dealer) and commented on what a lovely new mains lead they had fitted. I  was pleased to hear that a new lead had been fitted since ALL (Valve or  Transistor) Copicats have an inherent safety issue. They were only ever fitted  with a 2-core mains lead that meant they rely totally on the host amplifier for  their Earthing!!

Of course, in today’s world  this sort of “earthless” design is banned by the HSE. To top it all, any  Copicat going for a PAT test would totally fail the “Earth Bonding” test.

To quote directly from one  of Charlie Watkins Copicat brochure’s of the 60s/ 70s era:

The Copicat will become earthed when  output lead (14) is plugged into you amplifier. But always make sure to earth  your amplifier.

What is of concern is that  if a serious failure point should occur within the Copicat, the user could potentially  be subject to a live 240VAC mains connection or worst still (if using one of  the valve/tube models) a 300+ VDC live connection – Both are potentially  lethal.

I personally will not  service / repair any Copicats unless the owner has agreed for a 3-core mains  lead being fitted. I was very surprised to find reputable repair agents (as  mentioned earlier) ignoring this very real issue. At around £20 - £25 this one  modification could well save a life.


Have something to share, create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides