the amp designed by the man who created solid guitars such as the Telecaster and Stratocaster, as well as electric guitar amplifiers.
Leo Fender is an indispensable figure when talking about electric guitars and guitar amplifiers. In 1938 he founded Fender Radio Service, a repair shop for audio equipment and radio communication devices, in Fullerton, California. He then started building steel guitars and amplifiers. In 1947, the company changed its name to Fender Electric Instrument Company.
At the time, most guitars were hollow-bodied, but in 1948, Leo Fender introduced the Esquire, the world’s first guitar with a solid body. The name was later changed, and in 1951, the guitar went on sale as the Telecaster, which is still on sale today. At the same time, the world’s first fretted bass instrument, the Precision Bass, was also introduced.
In 1954, they released the Stratocaster, one of the most popular electric guitars only rivaled by Gibson’s Les Paul. Equipped with an innovative vibrato unit, the synchronized tremolo was intended to create a vibrato effect similar to that of the steel guitars used in Hawaiian music. The Stratocaster was a new step forward in electric guitar playability for a variety of famous players. Fender also adopted the bolt-on neck, where the neck and body are bolted together. This eliminated the gluing process that had been used on acoustic guitars and enabled mass production. Fender also adopted a mechanism in which electrical parts are fixed to the pickguard. This laid the foundation for the structural design of modern electric guitars.
In 1965, the company was sold to CBS. When talking about Fender’s vintage history, it is divided into pre CBS and post CBS, referring to before and after the acquisition by CBS. In the 1980s, the company’s management deteriorated to the point of crisis, but they continue to be a representative brand of electric guitars with a lot of support and engineers.
One of Leo Fender’s many accomplishments is the design of guitar amplifiers. In the early days, he introduced the Champion 600, a single amp using a 12AX7 and a 6V6GT, the prototype of later Champion models, as well as the Tweed Amp with a Tweed fabric exterior. The Bassman was also introduced, boasting high output using two 6L6s. The Bassman was so influential as a guitar amp that it became the prototype for Marshall’s JTM-45.
In the 1960s, the design was changed from the models produced during the Tweed Amp period, to a design with black Tolex and black panels. Most models from this period were equipped with a spring reverb, and the Deluxe models from the Tweed period were changed to the Deluxe Reverb, and the Twin models were changed to the Twin Reverb. This established the image of a clean amp with wider headroom than the Tweed without the so-called overdrive sound.
After the acquisition by CBS, the black panels were replaced with silver panels, and are now referred to as silver face. Although the lineup was mostly the same as the black face period, many guitarists prefer the black face models due to its rarity and differences in circuit design. After that, they went downhill as a guitar amp brand, but from the 80-90s, the company aggressively developed new models. Currently, the company reissues vintage models from the past, produces Super-Sonic amplifiers and the HotRod series, and manufactures guitar amplifiers that are trusted and loved by guitarists all over the world.
With the exception of a few models, Fender amps are characterized by their combo amp style, in which the amp and cabinet are integrated into one unit. While other manufacturers use thick birch cabinets, Fender’s models have enclosures made of American pine. The open back of the combo amp gives the clean sound a wider range of sound, creating the clean sound of a Fender.
This ToneMaster cabinet was released in the 90’s and uses a stack that is rare among Fender amps. It is a model equipped with a clean channel and an overdrive channel, and has a closed back, which is also rare for Fender amps.
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