Dating a vintage fender amp
Each colour represents a particular Fender "era", when those different features first appeared.
Of course, there'll be purists who'll say one era sounds better than the other, but it all comes down to personal opinions.
Vintage amps don't have "Master" only "Volume" controls.
This means amps have different sweet spots, remaining clean at different volumes and breaking up earlier or later, so its with this in mind that we've separated them in three categories: Those terms are just slang terms used to identify Fender amplifiers based on the color of the control panel or tolex/cloth covering of the cabinet (these terms are often misconstrued to refer to the color of the grille cloth).
The stage was set for rock'n'roll, and most guitarists from the early days of rock used Fener amps, whether they played a Fender guitar or not: Scotty Moore (Elvis) had a 1952 Deluxe; Cliff Gallup (Gene Vincent) also had a Deluxe; Buddy Holly had a TV-front Pro and a Bassman combo; and Chuck Berry is thought to have used a Bassman in the Fifties (pics and info are sketchy, but later on Berry would use a Fender Pro, and then go on to demand two Dual Showman Fenders as his main amp at gigs - a setup he kept for over 30 years!
) When the next generation of Rock'n'Rollers started to make some noise across the Atlantic, they also used Fender amps: British Invasion bands such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, Yardbirds and others began to experiment with Fender amps: John Lennon was an early adopter, actually playing a tweed Fender Vibrolux when The Beatles were still starting, and after a well-documented interlude with AC30s, he and George Harrison used a Fender Twin Reverb in the final years, including at the Beatles famous rooftop concert: One little detail not that well-known, is that the Beatles favourite amp was a Fender Bassman, as described on our Revolver Turns 50 blog post.
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These were easily the most powerful amplifiers commercially produced back then.
We'll just conclude this section by saying that, just like Fender amps have defined the rock'n'roll sounds of the Fifties and Sixties, they've carried on doing the same into the 21st Century: the Arctic Monkeys used a tiny, vintage Fender Champ to record most of the overdriven guitar sounds on their influential debut album; Jack White used a Fender Twin Reverb in the White Stripes, and The Strokes helped to popularize the modern Hot Rod Deville series, which is now a true staple in the setup of many indie bands.
With exciting new releases such as the new Bassbreaker series, it's fair to say Fender Amps will continue to define the sound of rock'n'roll for a long time to come.
Originally purchased by Paul Mc Cartney, it was widely used on recordings by both John and George.
The list of illustrious British Fender users continues with Keith Richards (Dual Showman in the Sixties, Twin Amp now); Jimmy Page (Dual Showman in The Yardbirds), Pete Townshend (Bassman, Pro, Bandmaster and others); Marc Bolan (Dual Showman) and many others - so many, in fact, that it's almost pointless to try to create a comprehensive list of famous Fender amp users!
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You'll see some big names such as Keith Richards, Joe Bonamassa or The Edge using vintage Fender amps onstage - but they can afford to, and it's no big deal to them.