Tweed is a generic word used to describe a style of amplifiers first produced by Fender. The Fender “Tweed” sound has its genesis from the middle 1950’s through to the middle 1960’s and their “Tweed” amps, named for their tweed-like covering, appeared in many professional players backline.
Nowadays many boutique amp builders rely upon early Tweed schematics from the Fender Champ, Bassman, Super or Tweed Deluxe and Fender themselves have introduced the Eric Clapton range of tweed amplifiers. With the advent of solid state electronics and the need for higher volume Fender’s amps evolved through the “blonde” and the “blackface” amps of the next era – these featured a harder attack and cleanly detailed, brighter sound. Noticeably the Blackface features controls at the front of the amp – guitarists were standing in front of their amps.
The Tweed sound is characterised by a rich tone with a warm high end, soft compression and an organic quality when overdriven – ideal for bluesy rock and country. Originally very popular with lap steel players these amps deliver the kind of tone and sound characteristic of players such as Keith Richards and Eric Clapton.
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