As you probably know all too well we at fenderguru.com are die-hard fans of the Leo’s blackface amps because of their tone, robustness, versatility and simplicity. Still, we have to admit that the oxblood grill cloth and the yellow tolex of the Blonde era have a more attractive look. Not to mention the Tweed amps with a timeless and exclusive design that makes all other amps cheap and boring.
The picture above shows a Tweed Deluxe, a Blonde Tremolux, a Blackface Bassman and a Silverface Bandmaster lined up in a cold spring morning outside our house at the inner fjords of Oslo, Norway. The various Fender amp models have gone through several cosmetic changes since the 40’s when Leo Fender started developing amps for guitars and instruments. Let’s list the vintage Fender eras below.
46-48 Woodie and K&F
48-60 Tweed (wide panel + narrow panel)
These years are not written in stone, and between all eras there were various transition models, some more rare than others, where Fender mixed circuits, tolexes, grill cloths and face plates. Some models skipped a few transitions, such as the Champ that went directly from Tweed to Blackface in 1964. After 1981 came the transistor amps followed by a new series of blackface amps. Then was the Riviera amps and various reissues…. We have to stop here. Many people are defining the post silverface amps as modern amps, and not vintage.