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A Look Inside A Fender Guitar Amp

Ever wondered what’s inside your guitar amp? And we mean - each single bit! Well, us neither, but what the guys at Popular Mechanics did is still quite a fascinating watch for any guitarist out there! This is how the heart of rock’n'roll looks like - inside out!

Here’s a look at all the components that make up a Fender ‘65 Princeton Reverb amp (click image to view larger sized):

Fender Amp components

1. Cabinet: The box that holds everything. This one is made of pine.

2. Main Circuit Board: Connects all the amp’s components, including the vibrato circuit, which varies the current in the power tubes to temporarily lower the power and create "vibrato." (Technically this is "tremolo," but Fender confused the terms in the 1950s and it stuck).

3. Skirted Knobs: Sadly, these only go to 10.

4. 5AR4 Rectifier Tube: Converts AC electricity from the power transformer to DC. Rectifier tubes lose power when subjected to a lot of current—which tends to happen when a guitar is played hard and loud. This sag causes audio to break up, a trademark of the tube-amp sound.

5. 6V6GT Power Tubes: The last section the signal passes through before the speaker, these crank up the audio signal.

6. Preamp Tubes: Increase the amplitude of the audio signal from the guitar and send it to circuits that introduce effects like reverb and tremolo.

7. Power Transformer: Converts the 120 volts of power from the wall socket to a higher AC voltage and sends it to the rectifier tubes.

8. Ten-Inch Jensen C10R Speaker: The transducer that converts the electric audio signal into airborne vibrations.

9 Foot Switch: Because a guitarist generally has both hands occupied, this is used to trigger the reverb or tremolo effects.

10 Reverb Tank: A metal box containing four springs. As the audio signal enters, it is converted into mechanical action on the springs. Differences in the springs’ length and stiffness cause sound to exit the tank at different times, creating reverb.

11 Isolation Bag: A sheath for the reverb tank that protects the springs from vibrations that don’t come from the guitar.


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