...what if Fender bought out Ampeg? Is that completely far-fetched? I realize it's a bit ridiculous to discuss this without knowledge of the inner workings of LOUD, Fender, and the Ampeg brand, but wouldn't it be nice? Hear me out. The thought occurred to me yesterday while playing through a Fender Bassman 300 for the first time. It's a fine amp in its own right, but I couldn't shake the feeling that the engineers (I suppose I should say the engineers behind the Sunn 300T) took the blueprint of an SVT and then added a bunch of crap just for the sake of establishing a different niche, a lot of which made the amp more cumbersome. For example, why is there no midrange control knob? What if I like tube amps and like to have control of my midrange, but I hate graphic EQ's?? What if I want something in between a "dirty" channel that's too dirty and a "clean" channel that doesn't break up at all until pushed to about 9.5, but the two blended sound weak and forced??? The only answer I could come up with is that this amp was created to be "an SVT, but not." This is largely based on conjecture, of course, but I had a long conversation with the store manager, who deals with a lot of the top guys at Fender on a regular basis, about the Bassman 300 and Fender's bass amp line as a whole. This may not have been the original philosophy behind the amp, but it seems to be how Fender is "marketing" it. I say "marketing" because... where the hell are the Bassman 300's?! Or the other Fender bass heads? How many people have played/heard about them without specifically seeking them out? Apparently Fender is putting little to no effort into marketing the current line and even less into the development of new amps. OK, back to the music store experience... in frustration, I plugged into the store's SVT-VR stack. Wow. The holy grail. Wouldn't the world be a better place if Fender just threw in the towel and made a bid to buy out Ampeg? Sure, I appreciate options as much as anyone else, but there are already plenty of great 200 or 300 watt tube amps on the market that are NOT simply an SVT, but not (Orange, Traynor, Divided by 13, etc.). Fender seems to be treating the Bassman 300 as little more than an afterthought. With the Ampeg name all but smothered by a deeply troubled company, why not help a brotha out and quit worrying about their own half-assed line of bass amps? With all that money they may or may not be making from the recent price hikes, maybe they could restore the Ampeg name to its past glory. Just a thought. Commence cries of ignorance and burning at the stake.