Imagine if Fender/Marshall still made amps the old way

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Crowder, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Crowder

    Crowder Dang Twangler Silver Supporting Member

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    If Fender or Marshall still made amps using vintage construction techniques...

    A) How much would they cost?
    B) Would you be more inclined to own the original rather than a boutique replica?
     
  2. XSinner13X

    XSinner13X Member

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    Marshall does, it's called the Handwired series and a 100w JMP will set you back about
    A. $3k USD Street
    B. Yes on a reissue as most of the originals got modded to death, or burnt up during the 80's
    Hair Metal days.
    https://marshallamps.com/products/amplifiers/handwired-series/
     
  3. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    And folks would complain that Fender charges 2600 for a hand wired tweed and brand x tweed is better and their 2600 is cheaper and better than fender !
     
  4. Serenity

    Serenity Member

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    Marshall released the Astoria series and the first thing people moaned about, apart from the asthetics, was the price. Like somehow they should be producing hand-wired amps for the cost of their PCB ones. :rolleyes:
     
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  5. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    A few years back Ampeg was challenged to prove they could still build legacy versions of their most desirable amps.
    The Limited Edition USA Hand Wired Heritage series listed for like $4000.00
    They sold.

    Fender doesn't blink charging $5000.00 for a properly built Fender guitar.
    The same people who will spend $5000.00 for a guitar wouldn't blink twice if Fender
    were to offer a brand spanking new, period correct B.F. Vibrolux Reverb or a Super Reverb HEAD.

    As long as it was done right, the money would be there.
     
  6. XSinner13X

    XSinner13X Member

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    IF they build it we will buy it, and pay stupid money in the process

    Right? That was on my short list when I was shopping around.
    It's the difference between Driving your Granddaddy's truck, or an Aston Martin.
    These days if you want a GOOD HW head or combo plan on dropping AT LEAST $2k to START.
     
  7. Stratonator

    Stratonator Member

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    How much did those amps cost back then, anyway?
     
  8. Hefalump

    Hefalump Member

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    Imagine if everyone stopped believing in voodoo and fairy dust.
     
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  9. zenas

    zenas Member

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    I love Fender guitars but I'll never understand why it costs 5 grand to build a decent bolt on neck guitar. There's definitely a different though. Leo designed them to be cheap to make after all.

    Hand wired amps definitely are going to cost more than PCB ones.
     
  10. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Where Marshall messed up in their Hand Wired offerings was cheaping out on the iron. Bad Form
    The iron, the boards, none of it is even as robust as JCM800 series.

    For $3000.00 you would expect a Marshall chassis to say. Now this is how its done!

    The Ceriatones are using more robust iron.
     
  11. zenas

    zenas Member

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    Some where I saw a Fender price sheet from 1958. The two most expensive amps the Bassman and high power tweed Twin cost a few bucks more than the top of the line Strat with gold hardware in 1958. But still just under 400 1958 dollars.
    $2,000 or so would buy a new car then maybe even less.
     
  12. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    A) Fender also has the "Custom Shop" line of amps, which were born in the Zinky era. They are handbuilt in Corona, CA and include new amps such as the Vibro-King and reissues such as the Tweed Twin, Bandmaster, and Deluxe. Typical new prices are $2000-$4000. I have a VK and Deluxe. They are good amps.

    I'm not an amp tech, so I'll avoid saying whether old or new is "better".

    Marshall's been answered at this point.

    B) Well, a big reason for the old ones is that there is a limited availability and a collector's market. See above. I obviously don't mind buying good new amps. The vintage one is likely a better investment…
     
  13. Stratonator

    Stratonator Member

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    Just went on an inflation calculator and $400 in '58 equals $3,295.94 today. Fender's current most expensive HW amp comes in at $2500, which is a tweed Bandmaster combo.
     
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  14. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    20th Anniversary Vibro-King at $3600 USD
     
  15. zenas

    zenas Member

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    I should've had that info when a guy was complaining about $700 for a new Vox AC15 the other day. He said he'd never spend that much on an amp.
    I wanted to say I'd never buy an amp built that cheap. :)
     
  16. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    1973 Ampeg SVT, Dual 8X10 AlNiCo cabs, covers, dollies, $1500.00 out the door.

    $1500.00 ( wholesale) doesn't sound like much, but at age 19, day gigs paid $1.65-$3.00 per hour.

    If that rig were even available in that quality today.
    Each 8X10 cab would have $1600.00 worth of speakers in it.
    The Head that was new for $500.00 and much tougher built, now costs $2400.00 ish.
     
  17. Stratonator

    Stratonator Member

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    As far as I can tell, there's nothing different except the look from a regular Vibro-King.

    These anniversary edition amps are usually a device to get more money from unsuspecting people, IMHO.
     
  18. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Unless you buy a Gries. They're all hand wired using top quality components and nothing in the line even approaches $2k.
     
  19. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    When Fender does offer something hand wired, it is usually something kind of obscure.

    What is preventing them from building a line of legacy, dead nuts correct '64 PR, DR, VR & SRs?
     
  20. BigSB

    BigSB Member

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    This is why people say that it's not just the build or the quality of the components, but the BUILDERS themselves, that made a difference in the old days.

    You see people taking apart a 50's Strat or Tele and looking for the initials of particular employees... I'm sure the people who worked on the amps were just as crucial to the overall success of the gear.

    I can handle a soldering iron, and if you walk me through the components, I can wire something. My dad, a 35-years-plus electronic engineer, can not only build whatever circuit you want (including lasers for the government), his electronic work AND his hobby woodwork (cabinets, chests, etc) have a "soul" to them that goes way beyond aesthetics. They're built "right", which means perfect and bomb-proof, because that's how it's SUPPOSED to be.

    A lot of "handwired" stuff these days is still assembly-line based; one person is just soldering their section, or their particular components. Kind of like what I imagine gets done in China with the VHT Special line. "Handwired" doesn't always mean "best quality" nor individual craftsperson.
     
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