Fender Guitar Amplifier Range: 1993

Bob Leggitt | Saturday, 5 July 2014
Fender guitar amp range in 1993

What a great roundup picture this is, coming from the summer 1993 edition of Fender Frontline – the brand’s own promotional magazine. It doesn’t show all the Fender guitar amps available at the time, but it does give a good overview of what was on offer.

Whilst there was still an obvious need in the market for modern gain staging, you get a clear picture that retro influences had come heavily into play by this time. The early ‘90s were great for Fender amplification. In the ‘80s the company was having to chase alien ground to compete with the hankering for technological bells and whistles. But the blues and vintage boom of the early ‘90s took tastes right back to the ‘60s and ‘70s, meaning that Fender could simply dig out its classic, historic designs, either replicate them to the letter or expand on their aura, and deliver hit after hit. The designs not only already existed – they also had a ready-made fanbase.

The sub-ranges shown in the ad include the Standard Series, the Performer Series, the Custom Shop Series, and the Pro Tube Series. Not all models from each series are included. Surprisingly, The Twin is missing from the Pro Tube Series and is not even referred to in text. Only the Custom Shop Series is depicted in full. As well as these sub-ranges, there was a Vintage Reissue Series, an M80 Series and a Champ Series. The Twin Reverb – part of the Vintage Series, was a separate model from the aforementioned Twin.

My pick, although it’s not depicted in this post’s ads, was the ’63 Vibroverb from the Vintage Reissue Series – which I bought new in 1993. A fantastic, back to basics replica in brown tolex, which is still doing the business over two decades later. Warmer and less bright than you’d expect from a Fender, but still beautifully defined and dynamically spectacular. It’s constantly rendered my original ‘60s Vox AC30 redundant, and that takes some amp!

Fender Vintage Reissue, Custom Shop and Pro Tube amps circa 1993

I remember finding the above ad very powerful, and it still makes me want to go out and buy gear. It comes from exactly the same period, and promotes the Vintage Reissue, Pro Tube and Custom Shop amps – two models from each range. Amps depicted include – going clockwise from immediately behind the Sunburst Strat: the Twin Reverb (Vintage), the Bassman (Vintage), the Concert (Pro Tube), the Super (Pro Tube), the Vibro-King (Custom Shop), and the Tone-Master (Custom Shop).

The addition of a couple of Fender Vintage Strat Reissues and a Telecaster to the ad really sets off the scene. The Ocean Turquoise Strat looks like a Standard AVRI ’57, but the Sunburst ’62 Reissue is almost certainly from the Custom Shop – it’s definitely not a standard AVRI. It could feasibly be a Japanese '62, but it would have to have been at least a year old to have white plastic parts, rather than the post 1992 aged set. Given the upmarket aura of the ad, I’m sure you can assume it’s from the Custom Shop. You can’t see enough of the Telecaster to tell which model it is, but translucent blonde with rosewood board and Kluson copy heads once again suggests the Custom Shop.