Are Fender Small Amps behind the times?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ReggiedaDog, Mar 16, 2019 at 10:28 AM.

  1. ReggiedaDog

    ReggiedaDog TDPRI Member

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    I know I may get excommunicated from tdrpi for saying this but...

    I LOVE fender amps, my main DRRI is perfect for me in every way. I’ve been trying to find a smaller amp that I can use and practice on in my house.

    But it seems to me like Fender have the heritage but there’s a gap in the market for a small valve 6v6/6l6 amp with master volume and/or attenuators? Vox and Blackstar have been doing this for ages. A Princeton with a MV would be great.

    Am I just being picky?


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  2. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Holic

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    Blues Jr?
     
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  3. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the last thing I'd want is a MV on a Princeton.
     
  4. ReggiedaDog

    ReggiedaDog TDPRI Member

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    That’s probably the closest thing but never really heard one that’s grabbed me.


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  5. Miguel-martinez

    Miguel-martinez TDPRI Member

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    Yes, specially on the low range amps, there are brands like vox that are like 100 steps ahead.
     
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  6. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I picked up a used Super Champ XD a couple years ago 'cause I missed my vintage Super Champ. It doesn't have an attenuator but it can do low volume pretty well. Plus it's loud enough to do small gigs with. I put a new speaker in it and it truly is a spectacular amp. I haul it around all over the place.

    Also, like others said, the Blues Jr. and Pro Jr. cover some of the same territory. If you need apartment volumes, there's the Champ series too. I picked up one of those little Champ 20s for keeping under my workbench, and it sounds pretty darn good too.

    If you have the cash, you can get a Princeton '68 Custom.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 11:13 AM
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  7. DrB

    DrB Tele-Meister

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    Bassbreaker 007?
     
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  8. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Princeton Recording Amp?

    I know, it's an amp from the 90's. But, Fender tried it already and I don't think it sold particularly well at the time. It was fiddly with an attenuator control that broke very easily. Traditionally, Fender doesn't have a good reputation with Master Volumes, either.

    They have the 5 watt, hand wired Champ, some solid state / modeling stuff, the Super Champ XD and as someone else mentioned, the Blues Jr.

    I would wager the Blues Jr is one serious sales leader. It's affordable, has a Master Volume and about everyone I know owns or has owned one or several at one point in their playing history.

    Fender also has a reputation for clean tones. They aren't really the distortion kings. So, to play an amp clean, you 'just turn it down', right? LOL I know it's not that simple and usually a lot of these tube amps turned way down sound awful. Other manufacturers are way out ahead of Fender in this aspect.


    Funny thing is the two amps I like playing at low volume most are two of my big 6L6 Fenders. 45 and 80 watts big. They sound really good to me at low volumes, but I am not getting any overdrive or distortion out of them, either.
     
  9. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Holic

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    Probably because a master volume on a single 6v6 is a tone suck.
     
  10. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    It's not really a small amp but the Champ 40 is pretty good. +1 Super Champ XD2.
    I had to do a downsize last year so I use mostly a Vox Mini5 Rhythm at home, second up is a wonderful 5F1 clone and lastly, an older Micro Cube.
    So i can see where the OP is coming from. I personally have no love for the Mustang series. Of course that's not a tube amp either...ymmv
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 2:35 PM
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  11. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

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    Fender created the genre ... They produce vintage style guitars and amps from 50-60 year old designs ... You want innovation, look elsewhere ...
     
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  12. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah iike Dismalhead said, Fender has the Champ:

    download.jpg
     
  13. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Holic

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    Who doesn’t love Fender amps???
     
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  14. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Meister

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    Most guitar players are very conservative in their choices, vintage, NOS, etc. etc.
     
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  15. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, I prefer American voiced amps over British voicing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 12:41 PM
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  16. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think they do a very good job of producing a passable classic Fender sound with just about every model. That’s really their niche. Mesa Boogie figured out how to add additional gain stages to get nice clean and crunch. I don’t think Fender has ever done that as well as MB. Supersonic came close but doesn’t sound as good nor is it as reliable. Based on years of trying and failing when trying to develop tasty amp crunch it probably makes more sense for them to stay in their niche.
     
  17. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I don't think you need to be excommunicated just yet, but just think about what people are saying and get your mind straight, soldier. I think the little cheap Fenders are just fine. I use my SCXD for practice and small rooms, it's great. I got a Mustang I for one of the grandkids, it rocks, with nearly unlimited tone choices, for $100. Even the Frontman amps are swell for practice.
     
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  18. ReggiedaDog

    ReggiedaDog TDPRI Member

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    Hmm I’d not really thought about the super champ or vibro champ series. Might look into them.


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  19. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

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    I also don't really see the point of having a MV low watt Fender -- makes sense for high gain amps like Marshalls and MB's but I just don't see a market for this.

    Instead of looking for a new amp, why don't you look into a small attenuator for your DRRI, especially since you already are familiar with it and really like the tone. Maybe something like this:

    http://swartamps.com/night_light_attenuator.htm
     
  20. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    I have a Vibro Champ XD. And a '68 Custom Princeton.
    The Vibro Champ has some very good sounds, including #1 which just sounds like a Champ.
    But the Princeton gets about 90% more play time.
    Sometimes I use them together with the Vibro Champ as as an effects channel.

    The SuperChamp like the Vibro, will make very nice sounds at very low volumes.
     
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