Fender Amp Buying Guide

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Fender Amp Buying Guide

Even non-musical people will have heard the name of Fender. This American company has been synonymous with guitar music since the 1940's, and many Fender designs are still relevant today. The Fender Bassman amp from 1951, for example, is the basis for many well-known amplifiers that dominate rock music today. Fender amplifiers were in production before the company ever started making guitars.
Many famous musicians down the years have used Fender amps, from the Beatles to Kurt Cobain to Radiohead and many more.

Why Is an Amp Important?

An electric or bass guitar will not sound the way it should without the use of an amplifier. Artists are only as good as their equipment. A good amp will be able to project the sound of the guitar the way it should, while a poor-quality amp will sound crackly, distorted and detract away from the sound of the music. Fender amps are among the best in the market, which is why they have been so popular for so long.
Fender amps come in two different types: guitar amps and bass amps (for each respective musical instrument). Size and weight vary from model to model, but they have a few things in common. Usually Fender amps are 10- or 12-inch speakers that deliver 60-65 watts of sound. All Fender tube amps possess overdrive and gain, which are two features requested by guitarists wishing to produce a distorted sound.

Tips for Buying an Amp


Carry out sufficient research

Before making a purchase of any kind, always carry out a certain amount of research. Read online reviews, read magazines, ask friends. Pay
particular attention to which amp models will suit the guitar that is to be played, as although there is no actual rule, some amps will
suit some guitars more. Do enough research to feel secure in making an online purchase.



Where possible, test a desired amp in a shop, or visit someone who has the same model. Most shops will do this.


Back to Basics

Having great effects is useful in amp ownership, however do not overlook the importance of the sound of the amp at its basic tone with the
effects off, since this can be very different. A good amp will sound great both with and without effects.


Tube or Solid State

Choosing between the two is mostly down to personal opinions since both tube and solid state amps have their strengths and weaknesses. Tube
amps are the traditional type that have been used for a long time, but generally speaking cost more. Solid state amps do not sound as warm
in the opinion of some, but are more hardy. If possible, test a few of each to decide which would suit the user better. It is a matter of
preference and famous musicians have used either type.


The Right Size

The venue in which the msuic is to be played will have the greatest bearing on the size of the amp needed. Buying either too big or too
small can be a big mistake for a musician; too small and it won't be able to be heard, too big and it risks defeaning listeners and
drowning out the actual music. As a general guideline, 5 to 15 watts is sufficient for personal practice at home and limited recording. 20
to 60 watts is right for band rehearsals and small gig venues, and 100 watts or more is designed for large venues and concerts.

Types of Fender Amp

There are many types of Fender amp on the market, some vintage, some modern, some both, and the number of types can be quite daunting to a beginner to the market. The list below are some of the more popular amp models but the list is not exhaustive.

The 'Tweed'

A collector's item in modern times, the Champion 600 tube model, dubbed the 'tweed' due to the design on the case, is still used today. Like many early Fender amps, it is a combo (combination) amp that contains both the amplifier and speaker within the same cabinet.

The Bassman

One of the best Fender amps that had great influence on other makes and styles of amp since the 1950s, the Bassman was made originally for bass guitars. However, it is also popular with electric guitarists due to the distinctive deep sound. The Bassman is the trademark Fender amp. The vintage model will cost considerably more than the re-issue version and is of course, harder to find, and some purists believe it is better.

The Twin Reverb

This model has two 12-inch speakers and is very popular with guitarists, with many believing it has the best sound, distortion and reverb. The Twin Reverb is a higher wattage amp than many other Fender models and was famously used by Kurt Cobain. The Deluxe Reverb is a lower wattage version of the Twin Reverb.

The Vibro-King

This model combines both vintage tube amplifier aspects and more modern technological advancements. However, the Vibro King is an extremely expensive high level product best suited to experienced or professional guitarists who take their music very seriously.

Identifying a Fender Amp

Before making any purchase online, as part of the research that should be done it is key to know how to identify a Fender amp. An obvious first is to look for the famous Fender logo which will be situated somewhere on the front of the casing of the unit. This will usually be the top left corner of the face, but some models have the logo across the central fron of the casing.
The specific model name of the amp will be located somewhere on the casing, usually by the on/off switch. This will tell the potential buyer what model they are looking at, whether it is a twin, twin reverb, deluxe or another model. The location of the on/off switch can also vary, as the controls can be on the top or the front of amp.
Then make sure the colour of the amp casing corresponds to the rest of the the unit. Colours of Fender amps will be either Blackface, Silverface or Brownface (also known as Tweed).
Every Fender amp will have a code printed on the back which will inform the reader of the year and sometimes the month that the amp was built. This will tell you the age of the unit. The code can be input into a website such as the Fender official site. Amps produced between 1951-1970 will have two letters, the first letter corresponds to the year of manufacture, the second to the month. Amps produced between 1970-1989 will have a serial number corresponding to the date of manufacture, and amps produced since 1990 will have a letter on the quality assurance sticker that indicates the year.
Fender amps are expensive compared to some brands due to their high quality and illustrious pedigree, however like all electrical goods they have to be maintained. Be sure to carry out research before purchasing to make sure the correct model (which is a genuine Fender product) is going to be bought.

Where to Find Fender Amps on eBay

In order to purchase Fender amplifiers on eBay, head first to the homepage. From there, go to the links on the left hand side of the page and select All Categories, then select Musical Instruments from the drop down options. This will load the shop front for musical instruments. Go to the category titled Pro Audio Equipment and select Amplifiers from the options. This will load all the listings on eBay in the amplifiers category. In order to select Fender amps, use the links on the left hand side to select Fender from the choice of brand names. The next page will be the results of that search.
Alternatively, use the search engine on the eBay homepage to look for specific Fender amp products such as individual models.


Fender have a rich and illustrious history in the production of amplifiers, and are rated among the very best available on the market. When buying any product online, always make sure that the potential purchase is genuine and matches the user's needs for an amp, in size, wattage, design and price. By carrying out that research, a genuine and high quality product can be bought at a reasonable price and will allow the user to create music in a variety of genres to the best of their ability.

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