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Harvard, ’59


As important and innovative as Fender guitars were in the 1950’s, Fender amps were the industry standard; renowned for their tone, durability, and easy maintenance.  At Fender, the amplifier was considered as important to the overall sound as the guitar. The right electric guitar needed to be matched to the right amplifier before music could be made.


If the legendary recordings made at the Memphis Stax-Volt studio in the 1960’s are used as evidence, the perfect mate for a Fender Esquire (or Telecaster) would be a Fender Harvard Amp.  This combination was used by session guitarist (Booker T. and the MGs band member) Steve Cropper, on nearly every Stax hit of the 1960s. The sounds ranged from mellow (Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long”), to biting (The MGs’ “Green Onions”), to distorted (The MGs’ “Hip Hug Her”).


Fender introduced the 10 watt Harvard in 1955 to fill the space between the 5 watt Princeton and the 15 watt Deluxe. It had one 10” speaker (sometimes an 8” was used) driven by two 6V6 power tubes. It had one tone control and one volume control. The Harvard was discontinued in 1961.

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