Fender, the legendary American guitar and amp maker, just reissued an amp from 1962 for Chris Stapleton. Based on the award-winning musician’s personal go-to, the ’62 Princeton Chris Stapleton Edition amp is a unique addition to the Fender line-up. “We haven’t done a hand-wired reissue of any of the Fender Brown amps from the early 60s, so it was long overdue,” said Shane Nicholas, Director of Product Development, Electronics at Fender.
Brown-era Fender amps were produced from ’61 to ’63 and were generally cleaner and brighter sounding than the Tweed amps of the ‘50s. “If you compare a Brown Princeton to, say, a Tweed Princeton or Deluxe, it’s slightly less distorted and it’s slightly brighter,” said Nicholas. “And then, if you go to the ’65 or ’68 type amp, those are cleaner and brighter still. So the Brown is kind of cool in that it splits the difference between the Tweed sound and the Blackface sound.”
Like the original Fender amps of the ‘50s and ‘60s, this 12-watt combo is wired by hand. Housed in a resonant solid-pine cabinet, it features a ’62 Princeton 6G2 amp circuit, Fender Vintage “Blue” tone caps and Schumacher transformers (the same transformers used by the brand in the ‘60s).
Stapleton’s personal vintage ’62 was modified to use a 12-inch speaker as opposed to the stock 10-inch option, an alteration that bolstered the amp’s low-end range. As such, the reissue model utilizes a custom Eminence 12-inch speaker manufactured in Kentucky.
The simple control panel features just four knobs — Volume, Tone, Speed and Intensity — and the amp comes with a 1-button switch that controls the tremolo feature. Per Stapleton’s request, the amp cover is made by Seattle-based heritage clothing brand Filson. According to Nicholas, the water-repellent 22-ounce cotton-twill cover is “the most expensive cover we’ve ever bought.”
Geared towards aficionados and serious players, the amp is priced at $2,000. And also at the request of Stapleton, all artist royalties from sales will be donated to his charity, Outlaw State of Kind, which is administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
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