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Just in regard to amps. What if Leo never sold Fender?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Les H, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Les H

    Les H TDPRI Member

    Age:
    44
    71
    Jun 2, 2018
    Kansas
    Started out with tweeds then brown and blackface amps. What do you think would have been next?

    I can't imagine the progress would have stopped in 1965.

    It seems prior to the sale he was keeping amp designs about as long as car manufacturers did before changing to the next body style.

    What do you think?!
     
    stewtel likes this.

  2. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    I think Leo had hit his limits. Physically he wasn't well. He's taken the gems of the line as far as he could. Remember, he didn't like rock'n'roll. So input to future instruments?

    He was right place, right time at the beginning of the electronic music industry - for that, he's a star in the constellation. Building sensible, practical, viable and affordablr instruments earned his place in the firmament, and let other people develop their own inspirations.
     
    K1121, Kriticaster and nojazzhere like this.

  3. Les H

    Les H TDPRI Member

    Age:
    44
    71
    Jun 2, 2018
    Kansas
    Do you think it would have been a possibility he would have dropped the amp line by 1970 considering he never really pursued them after the sale?
     

  4. bftfender

    bftfender Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    i think Marshall figured out the next step with more gain, fender amps are great for what they can do,,love my CDR but for for what i play Marshall is the hard rock amp and a new type of music came out of it...i believe we should all have a fender & Marshall &(mesa&peavey)
     
    K1121 likes this.

  5. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Leo ended up with an evolving amp line at Music Man, and wasn't as sick as he thought he was just at the time of the sale. Whether he personally liked rock or not is irrelevant - Leo was an R&D guy and responded to what marketing asked for.

    Musicman was a fairly successful line and probably a decent example of the direction Fender would have headed amp-wise.
     

  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    No, but I think he was a bit out of ideas for both. He'd had the revolution. He needed someone else like Rivera to kick product along
     
    K1121 likes this.

  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    I agree. Those Musicman 2X12 65/130 Watt "twin"types were /are unreal and good value.
    I also think Fender would have looked at Ampeg/ Hi-Watt for the bigger end to compete with Marshall amps and big cabinets ( concert size) and retained the smaller range. Prices would have had to be more competitive also as Randall would want to have kept them competitive in the current market.JMHO
     

  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Interesting premise. Would he have gone the Marshall/Hi Watt/ Sunn/ Acoustic route, with the massive towers of amps, or stayed with the smaller (if you can call a Twin "small") combos, which of course came back around with a vengeance. I know many of us are dinosaurs, but to me, the evolution of amps reached its zenith with the black face amps.
     
    K1121 likes this.

  9. Les H

    Les H TDPRI Member

    Age:
    44
    71
    Jun 2, 2018
    Kansas
    I could have swore I read something at one time or another he only had input on one amp musiciman made. RD150 or something like that and his main focus was just on instruments.
     

  10. bftfender

    bftfender Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    I get that, but there would be a void for those of us who enjoy a certain style of hard rock...el34 tubes and a progressive gain circuit allow us to play crunchier..let leads really stand out..i would have to say a plexi..is a lil more versatile than a BF..can get your clean and then go to another dimension
     
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  11. Les H

    Les H TDPRI Member

    Age:
    44
    71
    Jun 2, 2018
    Kansas
    Somehow I do and don't see that. I don't see it because he wasn't a musician but I do see it because of his connection with Dick Dale and his demands for more powerful amps.
     
    K1121 likes this.

  12. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    Leo had formal education for accounting or something. He loved old radios and started tinkering at about 10 years old. He mastered radios and tube electronics. Not sure what formal electronics training he had, or didn’t have. I suspect he learned mostly at the school of determination and hard knocks.

    In my opinion Leo did peak with the Blackface Twin Reverb. He got the tone in his head, out of that amp.

    While buried in his workshop, Fender Musical Instruments became a massive company. He surrounded himself with professional enganged employees. Don Landry. Freddy Tavares. Forrest White. George Fullerton. I’m sure I’m forgetting someone.

    Then Marshall broke open in England. Rock and Roll music was king. Loud amplified guitars were in massive demand. I can imagine the market changed. Leo may have found himself surrounded by engineers at trade shows by now. Investors? All of a sudden smart people with big degrees are taking notice.

    Did Leo just bury himself further in his lab at the factory? His wife certainly complained about his “Damn Fiddle Factory”.

    Did Leo lose his confidence in the big corporate world? Did his mis-diagnosed health issues finally give him an out?
    Let the big CBS corporation take all the stress and responsibility? Then start over quietly forming Musicman? Again tinkering in the lab?

    Leo did keep going. He went down a rabbit hole of pick up development at Musicman and G&L. He went where he wanted to go. He created an awsome Musicman Bass. He left The big Fender factory behind to go back to tinkering. Such as he started out.
     
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  13. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    399
    Apr 3, 2018
    victor,ny
    I don't think thered be much different happening. Just bigger and louder. Only so much you're gonna do with bottles
     

  14. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    28
    Feb 22, 2009
    New York
    Leo was not an EE. The Tweeds were supposed to be clean for jazz, and ended up so dirty that rock and roll was invented. Happy accident.. It took him until the 60's to get an amp with the sort of headroom he originally intended, IMO.

    Leo also cost cut extremely heavily, and reliability suffered, due to that. Didn't get better after he left.



    Fender got bigger and louder, after Leo left, in case you missed the Super Six.. Or the 180 Watt Twin..

    [​IMG]
     
    nojazzhere likes this.

  15. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    europe
    Those were tiny in comparison. This is the real beast, 6L6 phase inverter and all.
    http://www.timeelect.com/400-histy.htm

    https://reverb.com/news/the-most-powerful-tube-amp-of-all-time-behind-the-fender-400-ps
     
    Ricky D. likes this.

  16. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2008
    Cologne
    Rock may have been big, but there were also country, funk and jazz musicians demanding pristine clean tone – which Leo Fender also seemed to favour. As silverface said he formed Music Man and went on in his pursuit for clean tones with the hybrid Music Man amps (solid state preamps, tube power amps). I think he would embrace solid state technologies even more as it became reliable. If he would live today he would maybe build clean, lightweight solid state class d combos and amps that seem to be in demand by the clean tone needing country, funk and jazz musicians and bass players – while club rockers want the old small tube amps and knock-offs anyway. That's just a guess. Or maybe he would build 5 channel jack of all trade monsters. Who knows?
     
    ponce likes this.

  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    I hope I didn't imply that there wouldn't have been other amp builders.....Marshall would have still been there with EL34s....and Vox with EL84s. I interpreted the thread as discussing where Leo might have gone.
     

  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I’m confused. With the Music Man amps, this is neither a theoretical nor a hypothetical question. And it’s already been answered.
     
    codamedia likes this.

  19. bftfender

    bftfender Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    oh no really enjoyed the post, in all reality we are all playing fenders to some degree and i always revere that !! we need both..we need fender & then a marshall type..it allows for diverse sounds...funny thing.. got then newer EVH 5150iii head..guess who makes it ? and the clean channel is so clean...i mean pristine...if fender would of done these type things..i dont even think there would be a marshall dominance of that period in rock... always have a 6l6 &el34 head on my cabs...i just could never figure out why they didnt go for that slice of market in 60's...i think a couple of key musicians just happened to be local to Jim Marshall and he listened
     
    nojazzhere likes this.

  20. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    As someone who services, tunes, modifies and builds hundreds of distinct varieties of tube amps I must respectfully disagree completely with that statement.

    There are an endless number of sounds, power levels and such we get from those things you dismissively describe as "bottles".
     
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