Fender Brownface Concert
Of all the brownface Fender amps I have played through, the concert, to me cannot be beaten. I am biased though. I have a 1963 Concert, which I bought in 2002 (pictured).
I am a big lover of 10″ speakers. They are by far my most preferred size guitar speaker in any configuration. I really wanted a tweed 59 Bassman, as many guitarists do, but I couldn’t stretch to the crazy price that a Bassman would cost me, so I opted for a Concert, which was Leo Fender’s attempt at creating an amp to follow on from the tweed Bassman, designed from the ground up to be a guitar amp. I am still yet to give a Bassman Reissue
a proper tryout.
The Concert has a solid-state rectifier, which tightens up the low end and gives the amp slightly more power than it would have with a tube rectifier, maybe. I like solid-state rectified amps. At least the Fenders I have used that used them. I usually set the volume of my amps at maximum, using the guitar’s volume to clean up when I need to and I use a power attenuator to remain friends with other musicians and sound guys at gigs, not to mention neighbors!
The Concert has what I think is the most beautiful tremolo (incorrectly named Vibrato) of any other Fender amp. Well there are a few other Brown Fender models that had this particular “vibrato” circuit. I don’t really know how it works exactly, but the result is something similar to a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet or a univibe type effect. Absolutely gorgeous.
In June 2010 I will attempt to record a few sound samples of this amp as I will be visiting England, where the Concert currently resides and where I am from originally.
The solid-state rectifier enables the amp to retain a little more clarity when the power tubes are cooking at full volume due to having less sag. The sag from a tube rectifier, seems to make an amp more flabby in the bottom end when the amp is well into it’s distortion range. However, that is what a bass control is for anyway!
The Concert went through a couple of incarnations between 1960and 1963, which you can read up on at the Fender Amp Field Guide. This amp has been the one that helped me really hone in on what I define as “My sound”. Before I got the Concert I chopped and changed amps as most guitarists do, looking for something that was just right. This amp seems to do it for me. This is even more the case now since I discovered Tonetubby speakers in 2003.
My Concert has 2 Tonetubby 10″ Alnico speakers in the bottom and retains the two original Oxfords in the top and this amp sounds absolutely fantastic with my Custom Shop ’56 relic Strat. However I miss this amp because it still resides in England and I am currently in South East Asia. I was not keen to ship such a precious (to me anyway) vintage amp 6,000 miles! I may still do so or I may have to sell it rather than allowing it to remain idle for too long. It deserves to be used.
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