June 3, 2013 in Blog

A Quick History of Fender Amps

oldfenderampWhile Fender is highly regarded in the music world when it comes to their legendary guitars, they don’t often get the respect they deserve when it comes to their high quality amps. Let’s take a historical walk through some of the legendary amps Fender has put out over the years.

The K&F Woodie

Produced in 1946 when the Fender Electric Instrument Company was still K&F Manufacturing, which was run by Leo Fender and Doc Kauffman. These amp’s finishes were baked in a family oven. Created with a “gray crinkle” finish, few of these have survived today and they are considered rare collectables.


These amps are appropriately named after their cloth covering, which is composed of varnished cotton twill (whose feel and … Continue Reading

May 23, 2013 in Blog

Fender ’57 Bandmaster Amplifier

Fender '57 Bandmaster ReissueOne of the iconic older amplifiers in Fender’s history is the old 1957 Bandmaster amp with 3-10″ speakers. Fender has reissued the amp with PCB board electronics and 4-10″ speakers, but for the purists out there it’s the old point-to-point hand-wired Bandmasters that set the standard for what this amp should sound like.

Preferred by a great many of touring pros the original ’57 Bandmaster is the sound of Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and many others. Some would call it the holy-grail of non-reverb tube amps. If you want more proof look at all the knock-off versions of this amp being made by smaller amp builders everywhere.

So, last year … Continue Reading

May 22, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Upgrade Your Telecaster Pickups

Fender Custom Shop Nocaster PickupsOne of the first, and easiest upgrades to any electric guitar is usually the pickups. Pickups not only determine the quality of sound produced, they also help the player create the right feel of sound. There are many different types of pickups, and just as guitarists choose different kinds of guitars for different genres of music, various pickups can also be used to create different types of music.

Telecaster pickups, for example, can be upgraded, replaced or combined to fit the kind of music being played. They are mainly used for playing country, rock, blues and jazz. Picking the right type of pickups can … Continue Reading

May 21, 2013 in Historic Fenders

Historic Fenders: Bruce Springsteen’s Fender Esquire

borntorunBruce Springsteen is an iconic figure, known worldwide for his great contributions to the world of rock and roll. He has countless trademarks, but his Fender Esquire is one of the best known. Ever since it was featured on the cover of his revolutionary Born To Run album, the guitar has become a symbol for everything Springsteen represents.

The Fender Esquire is legendary in its own right, having been one of the most featured guitars in history, as well as being labeled ‘number one’ by Springsteen himself.

The Fender Esquire’s History

The Fender Esquire has been around for a long time, but it … Continue Reading

May 21, 2013 in Tips & Lessons

Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing

Jimi HendrixOne of the style trademarks that Jimi Hendrix was known for was the ability to play what sounded like multiple guitar parts simultaneously. He was able to do this by bringing his thumb around the back of the neck to play bass notes. This freed his index finger from barring the entire fretboard and allowed his ring and pinky fingers a great deal of freedom. This flexibility enabled Hendrix to embellish different notes in the chord he was playing, which often made it sound like a second guitar was present.

While the novice guitarist generally doesn’t appreciate the technique that goes into making this classic Hendrix sound, as a guitar player learns and grows, so does his appreciation for … Continue Reading

May 19, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Fender Mustang Floor

Mustang FloorTake the front end, amp models and effecs models from a Mustang Amp and put them into a floor unit with an expression pedal, LCD display and 9 foot switches and you’ve got the new Mustang Floor. With a $199.99 street price ($399.99 MSRP) this bundle of goodness suits a variety of needs. Only one of which is a multi-effects unit. The Mustang Floor is also a modeling preamp with low-impedance speaker-emulated outputs for running direct to a PA system, a modeling preamp with line-level outputs for use with a power amp and speakers, a silent practice system with stereo headphone output and auxiliary input perfect for playing along with an iPod … Continue Reading

May 17, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Squier Strat Guitar with USB & iOS Connectivity

Squier Strat with USBWe’re sure it won’t be long before guitars with USB connectors and on-board ADACs (Analog to Digital Audio Converter) will be the norm. But that day isn’t here just yet. There are a handful of such guitars out there. But here’s a real surprise, Fender is selling one from their Squier brand and it’s under $200 and it’s available on the Apple website. Perhaps it’s available in your local Apple store, too. We don’t know.

So, what is it? It’s an Asian-sourced Squier Strat that is pretty much your typical low-cost Squier product but it’s got a built in ADAC that converts the output of the pickups to … Continue Reading

May 16, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Fender Acoustic Custom Shop

At the beginning of 2013 Fender opened the Acoustic Custom Shop in New Hartford, Conn. The site isn’t new, Fender has built their new Custom Shop into the KMC Music plant where Guild guitars and Ovation guitars are also built and it has been used to build other special model guitars for FMIC over the years. But now one corner of it is an official FENDER Acoustic Custom Shop. Which is something new and different — but when you think about it it makes perfect sense in a brand extension sort of way.

Here’s a video of some of the work that goes on there.

For many years Fender’s acoustic guitar line was not taken very seriously. It was composed mainly of affordable but … Continue Reading

May 16, 2013 in Gear Reviews

Fender Mustang Amps V 2.0

Mustangv1-v2OK, so it’s been a couple of months since the ver. 2.0 Mustang Amps were released and it’s time we started doing some coverage of these revisions here. As a Mustang III owner, I personally, think this is one of the better low-cost Fender Amps. I mean, while we really love the tube goodness in the Super Champ SD we also find the upper level Mustangs extremely versatile to use at home, in practice, and at smaller gigs. So, what’s the ver. 2.0 Mustang got that the original model was missing?

Well, the most obvious changes, (see photos) besides newer (cheesier?) graphics, covering (v1 models had carbon fiber-looking vinyl and v2 … Continue Reading

May 15, 2013 in Blog

Gratuitous Fun in a Fender Video

OK, there is no real reason to post this video — except the music rocks, the bands deserve some promotion and the video scenes are just too cool. Check out each of the bands in this video and you’ll find some great new music. Oh, and you’ll see the new line of American Vintage Series guitars, too. Here’s the vid.

Like the music? Here’s some links:
Deke Dickerson – www.dekedickerson.com
The Gore Gore Girls – www.goregoregirls.com
Rapael Saadiq – www.raphaelsaadiq.com
The Californian – www.thecalifornian.bandcamp.com/album/sea-of-love-ep
The Love Me Nots – www.thelovemenots.com
The Black Angels – www.theblackangels.com