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Certain words and phrases pique the interest of vintage guitar players and collectors worldwide, like “Burst,” “Blackguard,” “Plexi,” and “Blackface.” Named for their black control panels, Blackface Fender amps are one of the company’s most famous and coveted product series.
Blackface Fender amps tend to be categorized into two groups by collectors and players: “Pre-CBS” (mid-1963 to mid-1965) models with a “Fender Electric Instrument Company” label and “CBS” (mid-1965 to mid-1968) models with a “Fender Musical Instrument” label.
These amps, fondly referred to as the “lunch box,” were sold by the thousands to students and professionals alike.
Immediately popular for studio use, they also found favor from musicians playing small gigs.
Sometimes referred to as the “Baby Twin,” the Pro Reverb provided a lot of musical firepower and fit the bill in larger venues.
Tech Specs: The 4x10” Concert amp put out about 40 watts.
The new style Champ and Vibro Champ amps featured slanting control panels.
All of these amps put out about 4 watts and had a single 8” speaker.
Each version featured a single 10” speaker and about 12 watts of output.Overshadowed by the Princeton Reverb, which is widely considered one of the most famous studio amps ever built, the non-reverb Princeton is a sleeper hit.Its existence in the shadow of its reverb-capable brother is a shame, as it offers some of the finest pure Fender tones you can find in a compact package.Fender offered a full range of amps in their Blackface line, ranging from the diminutive Champ to the massive Twin Reverb.Cosmetically, the amps featured the aforementioned black control panels with white lettering, black tolex protective covering, and silver thread grille cloth.
Attesting to Leo Fender’s engineering genius, Blackface Fenders are legendary for their rock-solid reliability.