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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

The Cost of Fender Tube Amplifiers: 1959 to 2017

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by theprofessor, May 29, 2017.

  1. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    I bought my first SR from Manny's Music Store in NYC back in early 1965. The first floor was a long-narrow shotgun-like display and sales area. We went upstairs to the second (dusty!!!) floor which was nothing but guitar and amps -- still in their FENDER cardboard shipping boxes -- lining both sides of a central isle. Salesman said: pick one.

  2. Makes me drool a little just thinking about it... wow
    bparnell57 likes this.

  3. Gibsonsmu

    Gibsonsmu Tele-Holic

    May 7, 2015
    Cool but had they put them in their amps yet? Guess they just dropped it in and it worked. No testing necessary

  4. Bendyha

    Bendyha Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2014
    Northern Germany
    True, they had to do R&D to find the best set-up. America took a while to catch on to the LTP. Much time there is wasted by bickering copyright and patent lawers stating claims and counter litigations, rather than having a healthy let's all get on with it attitude. People like Edison held back development in the states by decades, it took wars caused decrees and legistated govenmental laws against the selfish stupidity to save the American development of tube technologie from slipping into obscurity, being so far behind Europes levels.

    Although the LTP was known and used in Europe since 1939, we have one of the leading american electronics magazines "Radio News" , printing this article in there May 1957 edition,
    which statrts;

    Phase Invertersfor Hi -Fi Amplifiers By MANNIE HOROWITZ, Electronic Instrument Co., Inc., (EICO)
    Characteristics and comparisons of common inverters with emphasis on the new "longtailed pair" circuit.

    THREE types of phase inverter systems are currently being used in the majority of high -fidelity amplifiers. Each one of these three systems exhibits major shortcomings.
    A fourth method for phase inversion, popular for many years overseas, has now been adopted for use in some of the better quality amplifiers in the United States.
    This form, popularly known as the "longtailed pair" or "Clare cathode -coupled" phase inverter, possesses characteristics superior to the other types.

    Although quite a good analysis of the different PI's, there is no advancement from the 1939 arrticle, in fact it tells one less about the self-biasing mode as used in Fender amps.

    The LTP was mentioned other popular American magazines of the periode, including;

    "Radio Craft" July 1948
    "Radio Electronics" March 1953
    "Audio Craft" May 1956
    "Radio electronics" August 1958

    So Leo Fenders use of the LTP for the first time in 1957, can not be called cutting edge technologie, and he would not have needed to do much testing to get the circuit up and running, in fact the basics are just lifted from the text books and magazines.
    Any hands on trial and error testing having to do with the feed-back loop setting, and the presence cap and resistor ratings - and this is where he created something special, but not complex.
    Wally likes this.

  5. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    United States
    The biggest difference between phase inverter design is their overdrive behavior. No one was concerned with overdrive tone in the 1950s. The LTP wasn't really needed until many years after Leo Fender started using them.
    Bendyha likes this.

  6. Bendyha

    Bendyha Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2014
    Northern Germany
    Some of the Chicago blues men where begining to invent/discover the beauty and potential of overdrive and distortion back in the fifties...........but the likes of Leo was not trying to create it, quite the opposite in fact.
    Wally likes this.

  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Not only those Chicago blues players but Junior Barnard with Bob Wills. Barnard is credited with what is perhaps the first recorded 'rock and roll' guitar instrumental in the late forties.
    savofenno and Bendyha like this.

  8. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

    Aug 20, 2007
    In 1979 a telecaster was exactly the same price as a new zundapp 50cc (the best german quality). I know because I wanted both.
    Now that is absolutly silly. The telecaster is low-tech. You can build one yourself with the skills you picked up in woodshop (brian may did..remember).
    There always been a premium price on fender.
    I actually think guitars are cheaper now. Today you get 2 standard us made fenders for the price of a vespa 50cc scooter (the ultimate moped nowdays?).
    robrob and savofenno like this.

  9. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 16, 2010
    ...Talking like eternal fifteen years old!

    ...i wish i was still 15 years only too. Moppeålder.

  10. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Memphis TN
    I don't know how accurate the inflation calculators are, how about a different price comparison?

    1967 VW's new

    67 VW price list .jpg

    2017 VW Beetle cost
    $19,995 - $32,550

  11. Tele wacker

    Tele wacker Tele-Holic

    Jun 15, 2009
    Wichita is nice.
    I have a bunch of old Fender catalogs and price lists from the 50's and 60's. Very good info to have these days. Seeing this thread made me go through my stuff and I found it all. I don't have it all but I do have catalogs and price lists starting in 1958 and the latest 1981. Lots of good info from 1962-65 and 1967-71.
    AlbertaGriff likes this.

  12. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    You should preserve that digitally... and share with us!

  13. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California
    When you were 12? You must've mowed a LOT of lawns! :D

  14. Ira7

    Ira7 Poster Extraordinaire

    Jan 8, 2008
    Coral Springs, FL
    It was Bar Mitzvah money that I got a few months earler!

    I became a man on 12/6/56, but I really don't believe that's true.

  15. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Holic

    Dec 21, 2015
    Caraquet N.-B. Canada
    Very high prices for the fifties. Well, we have to keep in mind that back then, solid body electric guitars and new design amps were a novelty. It is normal that the prices (in relation to the income) went down trough the sixties and the seventies. Just remember the crazy prices for a home computer in the eighties or for a 55" flat screen TV 15 years ago...
    grolan1 likes this.

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