Today would have been Clarence Leonidas Fender’s 102nd birthday!
Better known as Leo Fender, if you haven’t checked it out already and have a few minutes to kill today, check out Wikipedia’s page about Leo. Lot’s of great info about one of the biggest influences on popular music in modern history.
Thanks to Billy Penn over at 300guitars.com for bringing this to my attention.
I’ve posted a couple of times on how vacuum tubes work. I find it to be an endlessly fascinating subject. I’ve reached back into the archives to republish some old video clips I found on YouTube.
My vintage tweed Fender Champ is powered by three vacuum tubes – a 6v6GT, a 12AX7 and a 5y3GT. Since vacuum tubes aren’t an everyday occurrence these days, have you ever wonder how a vacuum tube actually works? They are the heart and soul of a vintage guitar amp. There is just something so compelling about technology that you can actually see and feel working (glowing, getting hot).
I found these old video clips from the 1940s. They are from “Electronics at Work,” a film made in 1943 by Westinghouse. I love watching old educational video clips (because they make me feel slightly superior) and they do a better job explaining what is going on inside a vacuum tube than I could ever hope to do on my own. This is the first part in a three part series. Hope you like it as much as I do.
Parts 2 and 3 coming soon (again). If you can’t wait, check out the Related Posts below.
I’ve got photos of Fender Champion 600 Serial Number 4001 today. The Champion 600s were made from approximately 1948-49 through 1953. About 5500 were made in this style. The Champion 600s were a nice cosmetic update to the Champion 800 while reducing its speaker from 8 inches to 6 inches. The Champion 600s featured a more pronounced angling of the cabinet front compared to the Champion 800 to help the amplified sound project farther.
Dating this amp by its serial number gives us a probable manufacture year of 1952. With a serial number of 4001 this is a rather late example of a Champion 600, so I think we are safe in assuming it was made in 1952. The Champion 600s do not have a two letter date code stamped on the tube chart. This is typical on later models and helps determine the month and year a particular amp was made. We’ll have to be content with just a year.
I have something a little out of the ordinary today. My wife found this video when one of her friends posted it to Facebook. It is a great view of life at the Fender factory in Fullerton during the glory days. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.