Fender - Are they missing market share?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Mad Kiwi, May 13, 2019.

  1. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    A couple of threads recently got me thinking last night....

    My wife is VERY kind (and neighbors too) in letting me run pretty loud in my music room with a PA and amps of various sizes when I rarely want to run at full noise.

    I have an AC30 to gig and practice out with and also a 50w Crate Vintage Club 50 (which is spectacular but earth shatteringly heavy AND loud).

    BUT

    I most often play at home out loud with songs, backing tracks, Digitech Trio+ looper etc through the PA and with any of my 5w amps. Sometimes in stereo. Not quiet but not obnoxiously loud. i.e. perfect 5w territory.

    Of the 5w (or thereabouts) I have managed to buy used for reasonable prices are,

    Marshall
    Class 5
    DSL 5
    and have coming the SL5 (Slash Signature model with a 12" Celestion V30)

    Vox
    Ac4tv (sold long ago didn't really like it)
    Ac4 C1 12
    Pathfinder 15

    Chinese Handwired Fender Champ clone


    What got me thinking is that among these smaller 5w amps I regularly play through, none are traditional Fender clean with reverb.

    I would like to have a nice Fender clean with a reverb in the 5w (or maybe 8-10 for the headroom) but there aren't really any available. Not as a main stream line anyway.

    All the other manufacturers have been in the smaller 5w market for a long time with replicas, versions of their famous bigger tube amps but Fender seemed to have ignored this section to date...?

    I bought (at a bargain) a Fender Pro Junior but a/ it is really loud at 15w and b/ no reverb like the famous bigger brothers and as such isn't really a version of a more famous bigger amp. It's more its own thing.

    I notice Marshall have now introduced the Studio series 20w JCM 800 and Plexi models...further increasing versions of the famous amps in lower wattage packages.....

    Nothing from Fender.....

    Am I missing amps from Fender, or even the whole concept.....thoughts?
     
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  2. Keefsdad

    Keefsdad Tele-Holic

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    Don't they have Tweed champ re-issue?
     
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  3. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    Not really a true Fender clean with nice reverb though is it? (genuine question).
     
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  4. tarheelbob

    tarheelbob Tele-Meister Platinum Supporter

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    Well, you mention 15w Pro Junior and 20w Marshall Studio. If you're looking in that range, wouldn't the Fender Princeton, at around 12w, be the perfect answer to your search for Fender cleans with reverb?

    - Bob
     
  5. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    No a 20w cooking is too loud for most people. Even the PJ is too loud (edited - these days)...

    I mention it as an example of a manufacturer recreating an existing famous line in a more useable (given the sound levels onstage now being so restricted) form factor that Fender pretty much have ignored.

    My breakdown and requirements are incidental (more provided as a rationale) to the question...why isn't Fender in this market?

    a 5 or 10w Twin Reverb "studio" or practice style amp as the Class 5, SL5, JMP1, JCM 1, Vox AC4 C1 12, the AC10 (sort of) and so on.....all TUBE versions/recreations of bigger brothers.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  6. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    From what I can tell a Princeton is still quite a loud amp (gig worthy even?) and once again more its own historic thing (isn't it?)

    I just don't see Fender having made any moves in to the smaller lower wattage Amp field in terms of a recreation of an existing model or sound like most of the others have.

    Perhaps they feel with the range they have it's not necessary but I would think given the success of all the other amp manufacturers in this space that perhaps they should..unless I am missing something?
     
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  7. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Fender had the Champion 600 a while ago, no features to speak of, small amp with just a volume control.

    I don't think the market for 5 watt amps is significant at all.
    Not sure how many years ago , but IIRC Epiphone started with the 5 watt Valve Junior.
    Then Blackheart Little Giant and a few more. Most manufacturers have left the 5 watt market.

    Still too loud to open it up and not loud enough to jam with a drummer.
    I think it is a very limited market.
     
  8. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Holic

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    Seems it might be tough to fit that long reverb tank for that sweet blackface reverb into a 5 watt package.
     
  9. Woollymonster

    Woollymonster Tele-Meister

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    Yes they are missing market share. Look at the Carr Sportsman. Great Fender Princeton tone and the "headroom" control dials it down to bedroom levels. PTP hardwired goodness.
     
  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Neither fish nor fowl.

    Too loud for home. Too quiet for shows.

    I’m supposed you can use a Class 5 at home. I used mine at shows, mic’d, all the time. Other guys used an AC15 and DRRI unmic’d. Plenty loud for stage.

    But then to me, even. JMP-1 on .1 watt is very loud for home


    Also, I don’t think Fender ever did a 5w Reverb amp. Just Champ and. I do Champ. Drip edge Vibro Champ reissue would be cool though.
     
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  11. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

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    There is the Bassbreaker 007 at 7 watts though you would have to go up to the 15 if you want reverb.
     
  12. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    I think we're all chasing a ghost here; a tube amp that sounds great at 'polite' volume levels. It doesn't exist.

    The problem is that 'polite' volume levels aren't fun... LOUD is fun. And fun sounds great.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  13. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    The SPL / volume differences between 5, 7, 10, 15, 20 watt amps are so small.

    The difference between a 5W ot 20W amp set "clean" is unclear, too. Turn a 20W amp down and it's clean and running at 1W.

    Want a clean Fender amp running at 5W? Turn your Princeton down to 2
     
  14. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    so much searching going on with bedroomcore...it really is in the volume. Soon as that amp hits that spot..tone is there,,always has been.. BTW, every single amp i own can do super low levels better than a tiny amp..its all in the circuit set up...proper PPIMV & turn it way down & then boost bottom end to fill up..even at talking levels..
     
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  15. Snfoilhat

    Snfoilhat Tele-Afflicted

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    Sweetwater shows the '65PRRI for $999. An Alternate Reality '65 Champ Reverb would have to cost less than $999 and would be PCB and whatever PRRI cabinets are made from these days. There would be pressure on the product manager to use an 8" speaker even if a 10" sounded better in order to preserve the traditional 'shape' of the product line and not cannibalize PRRI sales. Or a 10" wedged into the traditional Champ cab that reviews would inevitably say sounds boxy :rolleyes:. Exactly why a single-ended amp sounds different from a push-pull is one of the techy things that at this point in time doesn't seem to be widely known by consumers or fit with the groudwork laid by other Fender amp marketing. In fact, Fender doesn't seem to be very good at talking about amp technology at all, and maybe that's purposeful. Seems like a hard sell.

    And because of the price (too low) and the construction, it wouldn't be competing in the same category as something boutique anyway, which are in part desirable because they are expensive. The '65 and '68 reissues get a bump in perceived value from (just making an informed guess here, I'm not an economist) substitution effect, where it's pretty easy to talk oneself into buying the modern PCB amp for $500 less than the vintage when it looks and sounds nearly the same as the truly desirable original. Minus tech headaches, plus warranty. But there never was a real '65/'68 Champ Reverb, so it might get compared instead to other large competitors' 5 watt amps and immediately appear to be overpriced!

    I built a 2.5ish watt scooped EQ single-ended amp with tremolo and reverb recently, and played it at practice Saturday. I thought it sounded rad, but I don't think anyone at FMIC was paying attention
     
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  16. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    A Princeton is 12 watts and a 1x10, which isn't functionally different from a 5 watt amp with a similar speaker. I have a Champ clone (Ceriatone, BF circuit with a Tweed-like switch for more gain) - it's 5 watts and I have gigged it unmiked with an efficient 12" speaker in the cab. I don't think the Pro Jr is "too loud" - but the stock volume pot makes it very hard to use more quietly, with all the volume coming on between 0 and 2. It's also a gainy EL84 amp and doesn't try to be anything like a classic Fender sound.

    So basically, yeah - Fender should do a mass market VCRI (Vibrochamp reissue) for sure. At around $750, it would probably sell pretty well. On the other hand, at that price you really are competing with your own Mustang and other modeling amps, the Bassbreaker series, the Blues Jr., etc.
     
  17. jondanger

    jondanger Poster Extraordinaire

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    I wonder if Fender could make something like this on a PCB at the $700 price point. Would probably do pretty well.

     
  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    VHT Special 6 Ultra. 6 Watts of Fender like 6V6 clean with better than Fender gain (IMO). It took me quite a few years to find this solution and my only gripe is that the 12" combo speaker was too dark for me and ended up buying a head and building a cab. It is not the 6L6 Fender clean, but you can adapt a 6L6 power tube into it. It is a lifer amp for me and I am a Fender clean type guy from day 1. FWIW. This amp blows me away and you'll find plenty of fans here in TDPRI Land.
     
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  19. Random1643

    Random1643 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Good thread. Thanks.
     
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  20. Mad Kiwi

    Mad Kiwi Friend of Leo's

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    That reminds me, I did try the Ibanez TS15 as many mentioned here it had Fender like cleans (it is a 6v6 or 6l6 amp which is rare at that lower power level ...or was) but while it was a nice amp, it didn't have that crisp clear fendery quality "I" envisage so sold it on....I am interested in the TS30 though, perhaps the extra headroom might do it better...trading off volume issues no doubt.

    Maybe I need to try a Princeton reverb but I suspect it will be too loud and is certainly too expensive here.

    Whoever said that the 5w market is small or limited, Im not so sure. Pretty much every low wattage amp Marshall bring out ..Class 5, JCM 1, JMP 1 etc all eventually sell out. The SL5 as well. Down here at least the Vox range of AC4 's since the TV on through the C1 12 sold pretty well.

    I just think a nice low wattage version of the twin reverb or similar "famous" model would at least sell alright....

    Re the impacting the modeller market. I just cant see that they are the same markets. The middle age, cashed up market is way more into replica tube amps than modeller or SS amps....

    I'll certainly be all over a 20w JCM800 or Plexi if it gets decent reviews and pops up in a year or two on the used market, even if it is just to have it sitting in my music room on display :) (but I am sure it would get use) however I aint paying $2000 NZ or more for a new one.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
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