The Money Shot: 1961 Fender Pro-Amp

The missing link between ’50s tweeds and Blackface amps.

1961 Fender Pro Amp feature image

Kicking out 40 watts through its 15-inch Jensen, this Fender Pro is a fine example of the company’s ‘Brownface’ era of 1960-63. Often seen as transitional models that bridge the gap between the mid-rich overdriven raunch of the 50s tweeds and the scooped tonality of big-bottle Blackface amps, the early 60s Pro has plenty in common with the 5F6-A Bassman circuit, but features woozy harmonic tremolo as an onboard effect.

1961 Fender Pro Amp controls

From the growing amplifier collection of ATB Guitars in Cheltenham, UK, this old Pro is a real looker, and the eagle-eyed among you may remember that it featured on the cover of the October 2018 issue of this very magazine. In near-original condition inside and out, even the original footswitch is present and correct.

Only in the Fender catalogue in this incarnation for a brief period, by late 1963, the Pro was dressed in black and its harmonic ‘vibrato’ was switched out for an optical circuit. Then in 1965 came spring reverb and a pair of 12-inch drivers and by the following year, the plain ol’ Pro was a thing of the past.

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