Fender Amps, Why Are They So Loved

Discussion in 'The Squawk Box' started by yamariv, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. vintageguitarz

    vintageguitarz Member

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    First off, lets get it straight, the ONLY Fender's that are "beloved" are those made before CBS (1966), but because of the oppressive prices for the "Great" vintage models, the "Blackface" CBS models and even some of the "Silverface" models of 68 on are "loved", tho not "beloved".

    From my sizable "studio rigs" tool collection (all work-horse amps) ALL from before CBS - a trio of Princeton's 64-62-57, a 62 Pro, an orig 62 Blonde Bassman, a 63 Pro, a 62 Tremolux (with a rare 83 Jap "58 RI" Squier Tele), early 65 Twin Reverb, pair of 64 Deluxe and Deluxe Reverb, 64 Reverb tank, early 65 Bandmaster head, 64 Bassman "slack" w/ 62 Strat.

    Princeton Triplets.jpg 62 Fender Blonde Bassman.jpg Fender_Pro_63.jpg Fender 62 Tremolux 83 Jap Tele Squier.jpg Fender Twin Reverb 1966  front.jpg Fender pair 64 Deluxe and Reverb.jpg 64 Fender Reverb tank.jpg fender_bassman-head_65.jpg bassman_stack.jpg

    LOVE those Vintage Fenders! :jb:
     
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  2. dodona

    dodona Junior Member

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    Fender Amps aren't so loved, only some vintage ones from the 50ths and early 60ths are.
     
  3. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    While true to the people who have had the pleasure of PLAYING those pre-CBS amps, what you are saying here accounts to a certain level of snobbery.

    With a Fender - depending on your goals and expectations - you can even make one of the "horrible" late 70's Master Volume, linear power amp models work for you. While I have never been able to be 100% pleased with those models, I have heard PLENTY of guys with 78-79 Silverfaces have stunning tone.

    Yeah, to sound like Joe B be ready to drop some cash - and play LOUD. Having owned and used Fenders from every era, except Brown, I have experienced pleasing tone time and time again. To a player that has never owned, played or seen a pre-CBS amp (and, at this point in time there are plenty) a 70's Fender is killer. Shoot, as mentioned above, the Rivera-era II series amps are amazing. Yeah, Fender has some amps to avoid - in my opinion most of the "red knob" amps should be avoided if you want a FENDER amp. They're not to bad if you just want an amp. While the reissues filter differently, for many THAT is the sound of Fender.

    Again, it's all about perspective. It's rather unfair to pop into a thread where somebody is inquiring about an amp line that has existed for more than 60 years and say the ONLY amps that are "beloved" are pre-CBS. If that were TRULY the case Fender amps would not continue to sell or be used faithfully (and you really don't see too many weekend warriors hauling around 50's era Tweeds) night after night.

    While I agree with your overall sentiment, I do not find it to be true - or beneficial.
     
  4. RockerDuck

    RockerDuck Member

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    I own vintage a vintage 65 Twin and a 68 vintage Prince non reverb. The cranked tones are great. But JB and others mod their amps for a more aggressive tone. Hence, the use of a tubescreamer to goose the tone, more aggressively. You can also get a new Blues cube, based on a Bassman circuit, and get that sound, (I own the Artist). They have a modded Bassman circuit in the crunch channel.
     
  5. dissaffected

    dissaffected Senior Member

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    While tweeds are some of Fender's best IMHO, some of their recent amps have been great. The Super sonics and Deluxe Reverb Reissues( I like the blackface version better than the silverface) are both solid newer version Fenders.
     
  6. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Member

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    I've never played through a tweed, but was in a band with a guy who played a Gretch Chet Atkins through a old Bassman, got a great sound. Only other experience was with a silver face twin, (late 70's) we used as a back-up. I never could get anything I liked out of that thing.
     
  7. Axis39

    Axis39 Senior Member

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    My first 'good' amps were thoise crappy 80's and 90's Fenders. I'd played through a few Silverface amps, but not owned any then. I ended up with a Mesa Mk IV for about 18 years. It was a struggle... Some days it sounded awesome! Some days I struggled to find something I was happy with. A lot of it had to do with my general skill at dialing in an amp and my awful playing (it was during that period when the kids were small and I never got time to practice). A lot of ti was too many dials and switches for my empty head to comprehend. The first time a buddy brought over his '66 Deluxe Reverb, I couldn't get rid of the Mesa quick enough.

    My tone path has since almost devolved.... I had the Deluxe Reverb Ri, a nice amp that sounded a lot like the '66, but not 100%. Then I swapped it around for a '63 Vibroverb Ri. Next came an added '69 Vibrolux Reverb, another great amp. Then a '73 Bassman 50. The Vibrolux got traded for a Cox ultimate 5e3... That's when things really changed. Along came a '59 Bassman Ri which became the #1 for a good long time. The Bassman 50 never got played, so it left... Now I had to Tweeds and Brownface and was really quite happy.

    Then, a life changing event occurred. I lucked into a 1958 5f8-a a High Power Tweed Twin, like Bonamassa and Keef use... I can gush about it for days on end, but I won't just now.

    One advantage that Fenders have is that most pedal builders are very, very familiar with their tone. They build a lot of their tones from the clean blackface tone as their foundation. It makes a lot of pedals work well with a lot of Fender amps. Fender amps have also been such a standard in US Studios over the years, they are kind of the sound of popular American music. That was the thing that struck me about that Deluxe Reverb, cranked, it was the pure tone of Rock and Roll! Grindy, dirty zing! But, dial it back and you got a great sounding clean.

    My current gig rig is either the Bassman or the Twin... Running my Tele, Gretsches or one of the Les Pauls through a reverb pedal into either of these amps is pure tone heaven! If I want a Marshall sound, I can turn them up, or add a pedal for lower volume grind. The total package.
     
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  8. vintageguitarz

    vintageguitarz Member

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    To you it's snobby, probably because you don't own any 50's or 60's vintage Fenders and maybe envious; to everyone that is serious about great sound, not just good, it's a FACT and yes it cost money to get the sound you want. I've talked to many a guitarist that thought their late 70's or 80's Fender 'want-ever' sounded great and didn't need a 57, 62 or 65 until they finally bought a good one .... and their story changed 180 degrees.

    It comes down to buying Silverface and then spend another $600 to $800 on fixing the circuits and re-capping/ resistors and re-tubing, or just biting the bullet and buying a 64 or early 65 Deluxe, Super or Twin Reverb for just a bit more. But maybe you convince yourself your VW Pasat is the same as that BMW 5 series.... almost.

    As for "and play LOUD", if you were a real musician that performs other than in a local "bar band", the LOUD is done via the "houses" PA system off a "Mic'ed" great sounding small amp(s). You've obviously let all those pictures of a "wall of Marshall Stacks" go to your head and not your ears. Those are all for image and not great sound at a concert.

    Yes an early Silverface Fender can be an extremely good amp, nearly as great as a 64 or early 65, though a second half 65 and 66 Blackface (first CBS changes) is a better starting point for modifications. If anyone out there has these, be proud of these and if you have the bucks, have them modified. I'm a amp tech as well as a Luthier, so I did my own "conversions" and I love my 66 (first Silverface, notice no grill trim "picture frame" marks a 66) Vibrolux Silverface, a 67 Bandmaster Reverb head (Chuck Berry loved these) and even a lowly 68 Champ I used in studio. But all of these have been considerably modified to "pre-CBS" specs. Wonderful amps, love 'em.

    No snobbery, just reality

    fender_vibrolux_rev_66.jpg fender_bandmanster-rev_head_68_sml.jpg fender_champ_silver_67-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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  9. no jimmy p

    no jimmy p Junior Member

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    Fender set the standard long ago . To me , there is no guitar-amp combination that sounds as good as a humbucker equipped Gibson played through a Fender amp . Marshall , Vox , Ampeg , Supro , et al , they all sound great. But IMHO , the Gibson-Fender pairing sets the bar .
     
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  10. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Sigh.....

    No need for a pissing match. You don't know me, what I have owned, the size venues I play on a regular basis, or the tours I have been a part of.

    All I was saying is:

    1. I agree, having owned a sweet vintage Fender collection - including Tweeds, and Blackfaces - that I recently sold off to a big name collector who was enthused at the pieces and their original condition.
    2. However, for somebody inquiring about Fender amps instantly shooting them to Vintage is a bit unfair - especially if they have NO frame of reference.

    For those of us with experience, yeah pre-CBS IS the way to go. It's one of those things that if you don't "know" it doesn't hurt to look at other decades of amps. By instantly throwing the "pre-CBS" is the ONLY "beloved" amp, you could be influencing someone in a direction they may not A) wish to go, B) don't NEED to go.

    You know, or should anyway, that once you start getting into the vintage realm the amps come with the possibility of several issues. Among those are mods (not just the "good" mods), potential repairs, and price inflation (unless you KNOW what you are buying and current market value). To somebody who doesn't KNOW the amps (like me when I first started buying them 15-20 years ago) it is easy to make a purchase that you THINK is the grail, but ends up being a can of worms. Also, unless you KNOW the models and have the chance to REALLY play and work them, it is EASY to go on an expensive tone chase where you are CONSTANTLY finding, buying and flipping models to get where you WANT to be.

    That was MY point....hence the comment about snobbery. YOU know the amps (I am guessing, based on the number you own - nice collection BTW) so, much like me (again, assuming you are holding the same knowledge level as I am), you KNOW what models/years you would be looking for when chasing a specific tone. I am also assuming that, like me, funds are really a non-issue so being able to snatch up the EXACT amp you are looking for when it appears is a reality.

    So, anyway, kudos to you for your awesome amps. Glad you enjoy them. I hope you get my point.
     
  11. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Nah, my Cadillac CTS-V gets the job done quite nicely when I want sporty. Otherwise, my Caddy XTS fits the bill ;)
     
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  12. Shelbyblues

    Shelbyblues Senior Member

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    :laugh2::laugh2::laugh2:

    First we had a pi$$ing match with tube amps vs modelers...now we have a pi$$ing match with tube amps vs tube amps.

    Gotta love this place. :beer:





    My amp can beat up your amp!
     
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  13. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Yeah. I guess it's me. I am just sick of certain types of comments. I am short for this place anyway. After the modeling thread, and now this, I have realized I just no longer have the patience for internet forums - stuff annoys me that shoudn't. Too bad, because I enjoy this place for the most part...

    Meh, there are other ways to kill time!!
     
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  14. Pappy58

    Pappy58 Senior Member

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    IMO, Electric guitars and amps were perfected by about 1959. A Les Paul or ES thru a nice tweed amp and you have instant mojo. With inclusion of the plexi's and Blues Breakers of the 60s and early Boogies, everything else has either been a variance of, or badly modified version of one of the above. (Computerized and SS amps not included, but they still can't hit that warm tone - live touch connection between player and speaker). Joe knows this. :jb:
     
  15. NotScott

    NotScott Premium Member

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    It's not you and it's not just this place. It's a forum for opinions on a passionate and subjective art form. Many times a written post just comes off wrong when being read by others. Just give them the benefit of the doubt. That being said, there are some people who remove all doubt and are real horses' back ends that spout off from time to time. Best to just ignore them. Believe me, there is a silent majority here who know who's who around here. :cheers2:
     
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  16. Shelbyblues

    Shelbyblues Senior Member

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    Meh,

    I just take it with a grain of salt.

    I don't let it bother me at all.
     
  17. needlespauls

    needlespauls V.I.P. Member

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    But don't forget the Princeton....you don't need to get this one super loud at all to get fat and full warm cleans. What an amp.
     
  18. yeti

    yeti Senior Member

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    Regarding snobbery, I am definitely picking up snobberies unpleasant odor in some of the comments here. I'll be the first one to say that to me some of the old Pre CBS Fenders are the best Fenders out there by a long , long mile but what really bothers me about some comments here is the notion that everything else is just meh at best. Nothing could be further from the truth. The right player with a lowly red knob Fender will sound phenomenal. THAT is the message that ought to be put out there to any inquiring newbie minds. If you're a good player then almost any Fender amp (there are a few exceptions, the really dreadful ones) will get to to where you need to go, the pre-CBS stuff might just get you there in style, that's all, a little bit of extra magic, a nice-to-have, not a must have. The guys who insist that everything but the vintage stuff is worthy take all the fun out of this subject, just like those weirdos in the vintage Les Paul section who keep insisting that a Norlin Lester can't possibly sound good.
    Just one man's opinion, as always.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  19. waxout

    waxout Junior Member

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    Joe Bonamassa would make a solid state reproduction Fender Champ sound good soooo...
     
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  20. Splattle101

    Splattle101 V.I.P. Member

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    Yeah, in my collection of Les Pauls I have a Norlin that is not only the least collectable and least photogenic, it's also the one that kicks the arse of every other guitar I have or have had.
     

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