Dating jensen speakers
There was a lot more variety than I had ever experienced first-hand while playing in bands in the mid-to-late ‘60s.During that era Fender blackface amps, covered in black tolex with silver grilles, were everywhere.This also was the first amplifier made by Fender specifically for the bass guitar. The principal external difference was the placement of the model name of the amp on the front logo-plate.(Fender produced the first electric bass, the Precision Bass, in 1951 and it needed an amp.) No tube chart or Fender serial number can be found on this amp, though the control pots date it to 1952. This amp, made in late 1953, is one of the first wide-panel tweed amps. All Fender amps up to this point had a metal plate mounted on the front top panel simply stating “Fender.” The logo plate on this amp designates it as a “Fender Deluxe.” The naming of the Fender amp model on the front panel continues to this day. Now we are getting into the Fender Ivy League of amps. Though the amps are rated to handle the same output wattage, the Jensen “Q” speaker is rated slightly more heavy-duty than the “R” speaker.
An internal “umbilical cord” linked the chassis to the volume and tone controls at the amp top.
Starting in 1951, the tube chart of the amp (and sometimes the speakers and chassis) were stamped with two letters: Year/Month.
1951 was year A; January through December were represented by leltters A through L. This date-code system continued on a consistent basis through the late 1960s.
This amp has a silver Jensen 15” speaker and two “port” holes in the back cover to better control the diffusion of sound.
The copper chassis and upper control panel are badly corroded on this example; again, the use of copper instead standard chrome metal was a departure by Fender.Many years later, in the ‘80s, I was back into playing and recording and looked in the want ads for a Fender tube amp. That amp turned out to be an early-production 1960 Pro-Amp.