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

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    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.
     
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  2. grolan1

    grolan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Makes me drool a little just thinking about it... wow
     
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  3. Gibsonsmu

    Gibsonsmu Tele-Holic

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    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 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    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.
     
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  5. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    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.
     
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  6. Bendyha

    Bendyha Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    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.
     
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  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    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.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junior_Barnard
     
  8. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    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?).
     
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  9. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

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    ...Talking like eternal fifteen years old!

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

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    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
     
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  11. Tele wacker

    Tele wacker Tele-Holic

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    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.
     
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  12. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    You should preserve that digitally... and share with us!
     
  13. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    When you were 12? You must've mowed a LOT of lawns! :D
     
  14. Ira7

    Ira7 Doctor of Teleocity

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    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. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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  16. Mayas caster

    Mayas caster Tele-Holic

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    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...
     
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  17. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I got my first brand new (the previous ones had been used) Fender in the summer of 1968. It was a Fender Super Reverb. I remember being mesmerized by the beautiful new look Fender had and I remember the smell of the new amp...new Tolex, new tubes, etc. I had come into the music store in Belle Plaine to check out what I could get for a trade for my Fender Dual Showman. The Super Reverb was selling for list at $429.00 and they wouldn't budge on the price. But, we did come to an agreement to trade even up. They had a new Martin D-28 hanging on the wall for around the same price that I really wanted and could have traded for that, but I really needed a smaller amp because my Dad was constantly harping on me to get something smaller that he wouldn't have to help carry into the car and bars I was playing at. That was a wonderful, and beautiful amp. Wish I still had it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
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  18. agogetr

    agogetr Tele-Meister

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    if you bought used 'back in the day' you had a fighting chance, my dad bounced when i was 13 in 1975 so i had to hussle up my own guitar it was a cheesilly decent lyle sg copy with no case.
    the next year i got my amp from my buddy a 58 bassman for 70 dollars, 35 dollars down and the rest in payments. we cut the deal up in his tree fort. i wanted to buy it really badly before he blew it up running his tape deck through it 50 hours at a time nonstop during our weekend partys, i would go to his house the next day and it would still be on, week after week.
    it had come from his grandmas junk shop in town.
    i have used it for hundreds and hundreds of hours playing parties and bars, my brother used it 5 years straight at an elks lodge,
    ive never made a repair to it. i use mostly my twins now but i fire up the bassman about every decade and it still works fine. actually its about due to be fired up again to keep it going. i plan to start using it more.
    even folks buying new fenders in the day got every pennies worth if they kept them
     
  19. agogetr

    agogetr Tele-Meister

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    my pal has old reel to reels of bob wills from the late forties (one is 1947)to mid fifties he would go to the gigs and roll tape. i,m gonna snag them from him. the musicianship was above and beyond. live tapes!
     
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  20. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Get those tapes digitized before they are gone!
     
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