Other Amps

Fender 75 amp

1

Anybody had any experience with the elusive Fender 75 amp? Some had a 15 inch speaker. It's hard to tell much from the YouTube videos but seem to sound pretty good. Nothing like first-hand experience tho! Jis wunderin'. Thanks, Steve

2

I didn't know they were that elusive!

Anything with a 15 gets my attention.

Probably heavy as hell tho.

3

Played one that was for sale about 4 years ago. Glad that it had the lower wattage switch. It had a 15 but I couldn't tell what make it was. Power for days but I couldn't get a Gretsch tone out of it - I was playing my Super Chet through it. I'd best describe the tone as generic and not particularly warm. I passed on buying it.

4

A Boogie amp type clone. They were notoriously unreliable. I have seen several cross my path in music shops I worked in over the years. Could not get a sound I liked and would avoid one at all costs. That’s just my experience.

5

Steve, I've owned a Fender 75 Lead amp since 1983, after I purchased it from the original owner, who bought it new in 1980. These amps were produced at the tail end of what we now call "vintage" (aka super heavy) Fender Amplifiers. I absolutely love this amp, I have the deluxe version with a 15" speaker, and it is very HEAVY, it weights about 65 lbs. It uses vacuum tubes for the entire audio run (12AX7, 12AT7, and 6L6GC), but it has a solid state full wave bridge rectifier in the power supply. I stack mine on a Fender 4x12" cabinet (from the same era), and play through all 5 speakers. This amp has a High/Low power switch. Low Power is 37 watts, and High Power is the full 75 watts. You definitely want to use High Power when using the External Speaker Cabinet. It pushes a lot of air, and has enormous head room. It has a dedicated, footswitch selectable, Lead channel with its own volume and master volume, it also has a spring reverb pan in the bottom of the solid oak amp cabinet.

I've always loved this amplifier, it's a great platform for clean fingerstyle playing, but it really does need a foot pedal distortion/fuzz/overdrive for rock. Even the lead channel won't get good distortion at low to moderate volume, but it is very good for popping up the volume and giving it an edge to cut through the band for soloing.

The Bass, Middle, and Treble pots are the Push/Pull type, for a tremendous amount of tone control, but the Bright switch adds too much treble for my tastes.

This is a hand wired, basic electronics amplifier, and is simple for a technician to work on. I happen to be a an electronics technician, and I've always worked on this amp myself (I have a schematic supplied by FMIC). It has been extremely reliable for me. The only work I've ever done on it was: the original owner had spilled beer on it while it was powered up, and the beer ran down into the output tubes. This caused extensive damage, burning out all of the tube filaments, one of the 6L6GC tube sockets and associated components (the tube socket actually caught on fire), the On/Off switch, the High/Low power switch, the volume pot and the speaker coil. I bought the amp for a song and very few dollars, and I rebuilt it myself. It performed flawlessly for 35 years, until last year when I needed to replace the all of the electrolytic capacitors. It had developed a hum, cause by leaking power supply filter capacitors. I usually just replace all of the electrolytic capacitors, since once one starts to go bad, the rest aren't too far behind.

My experience with it has been all positive, I'm very picky about equipment, and if it had been quirky and unreliable I would never have kept it. It saw me trouble free through countless gigs in several European countries (while I was a soldier), and half a dozen or more states back home My only complaint was that it is so heavy, I stopped using it a few years ago, except for in the house. I've curtailed most "away missions" for this 5' tall rig, in lieu of a more modern and lighter weight amplifier.


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