The Brownface series was introduced in 1959 and discontinued in 1963. This period marked the beginning of Fender's use of Tolex to cover amp cabinets. The name 'brownface' stems from the brown-colored control panels, common to both the brown- and cream/blonde- Tolex-covered amps. The brownface amps originally featured a dark maroon or "oxblood" grillcloth, which was changed to "wheat" in 1962-63.
The shift from tweed to Tolex occurred in limited production in 1960. The tolex on the earliest versions in this era was pinkish brown and rough textured. There were only six amplifiers covered in tolex originally, the Professional Series: Bandmaster, Concert, Pro, Super, Twin (production halted Feb-May 1960, resumed as the blonde Twin) and Vibrasonic. These were considered a step above the student models (Champ, Harvard, Princeton) which remained tweed-covered in 1960.
Grillcloth was initially the same as used in the previous tweed era, maroon with gold stripe. Beginning in mid to late 1961, Fender introduced another color combination: a smoother but still light brown tolex with a dark maroon or "oxblood" grillcloth. By mid-1961, after this short-lived look, Fender was using the darker brown tolex which was a mainstay for many of the mid-1961 to 1963 amps. Between 1961 and 1963, there were three different grillcloth colors: wheat, brown, and maroon and many tolex-grille color combinations are found suggesting that Fender was not reluctant to use up whatever stocks of materials were on hand.
The Brown amplifiers included all of the all-in-one combo models except the flagship Twin and Vibrasonic, and the little Champ which retained its "tweed" (twill) covering. The Blonde amplifiers included all of the piggyback Fender amps (the Tremolux, Bassman, Showman, and Bandmaster) as well as the Twin and Vibrasonic combos. Two different colors of grillcloth were featured on the blondes, oxblood and wheat. There are several experimental Fender Tweed amps in blonde. While the majority of the piggybacks were produced in blonde tolex, there are a few examples of the brown tolex Bassman amplifiers.
Accomplishments for the company's amplifier division during these years include the introduction of the stand-alone spring reverb unit in 1961, followed by incorporation of the reverb circuit within a combo-amp design with the 1963 Vibroverb. Other changes include the shift of the top-of-the-line model from the traditional Twin to include other models, like the Vibrasonic in early 1960, as well as the blonde Showman in 1961. Fender began using silicon rectifiers to reduce heat and voltage sag caused by tube rectifiers, and introduced an all-new, very complex vibrato circuit.
The Deluxe made the transition in 1961. The circuit was also changed to include a tremolo effect, and the output was increased.
As the brown-era wore on, the plight of the smaller amps was varied. They all remained in name at least except for the 1x10" Harvard which was not continued through 1961. The 1x8" Champ-Amp remained a tweed-covered through 1963 and into 64 when it made the change to black tolex. The 1x10" Vibrolux remained a tweed amp until it was upgraded in 1961 to a single 12" speaker powered by a duet of 6L6 power tubes and a larger output transformer. Also upgraded from tweed was the Princeton which acquired its brown tolex in 1962 along with a completely redesigned, more powerful twin-6v6 circuit and a larger speaker array: 1x10".
Controls Ch. 1:
Controls Ch. 2:
230V 50Hz (Brown Face 6G16)
High & Low
Volume, Treble, Bass
Volume Treble, Bass, Reverb, Speed, Intensity w/Trem On/Off switch
RCA Footswitch Jacks, 2x Speaker Jacks, BIAS Points, Master Volume
Tube Driven Spring
Solid Pine Cabinet w/ Birch Plywood Baffle & back panels
Brown Tolex 2.490,- Euros in stock!
2x10“ VSA Custom made by WGS based on G10C
incl. Custom Padded Cover & 1-Button Footswitch