What year did Fender amps switch to PCBs? Recos?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by welcometoashley, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. welcometoashley

    welcometoashley Member

    Mar 30, 2007
    Chicago (Humboldt Park/Ukrainian Village)
    Hey guys,

    Can anyone tell me when Fender switched from hand-wired to PCBs? I'd like to get one that's handwired solely because they're a bit easier to repair/service. I'd rather this thread not turn into a handwired vs. PCB debate - I've had both and they each have their pros/cons.... :)

    I'm also looking for a recommendation for a fender as a back-up amp. Looking for 30-40 watts preferably w/ tube rectifier (but i'm ok with SS rectifiers too), preferably 2x12 but would consider 2x10. i think it kind of narrows it down to pro reverbs and vibroluxes but your input is appreciated.

    i currently have a tophat super deluxe and it's impeccably built, but i want to take a backup on the road with me. i've currently got a UK-made AC30 TBX for a back-up but i'm not sure i trust it for road worthiness. So, thinking of selling it and picking up an silverface fender.... don't wanna spend more than $1,200 or so...
  2. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

    Dec 12, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN
    I believe they still handwired their amps up to when CBS sold the company to a group of their employees in the mid-80s.

    In truth, they only sold the rights to all the Fender stuff to the new owners and they took those rights and built the production facilities for the new products from scratch. I believe they started making amps with PCB boards at this point.

    One thing is for sure, all pre-1980 amps are handwired if I remember right.
  3. Joe M

    Joe M Member

    Nov 3, 2005
    The Rivera-era amps in the early 80's were the last of the hand-wired amps, IIRC.
  4. puls

    puls Member

    Jun 30, 2007
    If I remember my Fender history, which may or may not be correct, CBS began making pcb amps with very spotty quality control. Like I said, I could be wrong...

  5. silverface

    silverface Member

    Nov 5, 2007

    afaik the Redknob amps were the first PCB *tube*-amps. They were produced from the mid-80s on.

    Best wishes,

  6. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 9, 2004
    Yup, the above information is correct. So, any SF Fender will be fine. And you're right: the Pro and the Vibrolux reverbs are the only ones that fit your criteria. Get the Pro if you need volume to get over a loud drummer and another guitarist, the Vibrolux for small rooms and much lighter weight (or a Deluxe Reverb, DRII, PRII or other 2 6V6) amp if you can put it on a stand and mic it...

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