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Fender Inc. Acquisitions: It's history and effects on products?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by alaskaleftybass, Mar 27, 2015.


  1. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Greetings to fellow TBers. Hope your gigs go well this weekend.
    Over the years Fender bought several larger amp manufacturers. They vanished into corporate thin air. Or did they? Did Genz Benz, SWR, and Sunn come back as updated designs under the Fender logo? This is a legitimate question since it was quite obvious when Fender bought Sunn how the Sunn came back wearing Fender dressings. So how much more has been gleaned from these fine products into new Fender branded amps?

    So my other question is-- can anyone give me a brief history of Fender's acquisitions and how they affected their current line of bass amps? And with all the success of the current Rumble and Pro series, how much of these defunct companies contributed to the design of the new line of equipment?

    Thanks for indulging my curiosity.
     
  2. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Nobody knows anything? Shameless bump!
     
    S-Bigbottom likes this.
  3. deeptubes

    deeptubes

    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    We are Fender. Prepare to be assimilated.
     
  4. hdracer

    hdracer

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Fender was building amps long before any of them were ever thought of and has brought many innovations to the market and continues to do so.
     
    petrus61, Linnin and SirMjac28 like this.
  5. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Hi hdracer, I agree. I bought a brand new 1969 Bassman back in the olden days. But one can't help but wonder if the technologies they inherited from other companies helped to shape the new Fender company. I'm just trying to understand if there are any heritages in the new amps. SWR? Sunn? Genz Benz? Genz Benz makes sense as a contributor due to the fact they make class D and had fairly small amps before Fender bought them up.

    No slam to Fender here! :)
     
  6. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    Yes, that is very true, however, that didn't answer the OP's questions, I think.
     
    alaskaleftybass likes this.
  7. hdracer

    hdracer

    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Not if you look at their high end amps. The new Bassmans have innovations that are all their own. The 100t blends the best of the old while providing totally new features that no one else offers like silent recording mode and post power tube DI. The Super Bassman has nothing in common with the Sunn now.
    The new 500 Bassman is very innovative too. The Rumbles are nothing like a Genz.
    I believe Fender made bad investments buying the company's that they did. They were on the way out when they bought them. Genz was good but SWR was outdated.
    So to answer your question the new Fender amps have nothing in common with the brands the bought. It was wasted money.
     
    hsech and Linnin like this.
  8. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    Ok, I can understand that. If you remember a number of years ago, Fender was selling some dud bass amps that weren't very popular at least not in my musician circles. Then over the last few years they rose to excellence and developed some kick butt amps, that I greatly acknowledge. It's phenomenal the success they're receiving now on their Pro and Rumble series. How did this come about? Blood sweat and tears? Some really great amp designers and engineers?

    Whatever the reason, it's great to see a founding name make such a successful turnaround in the industry so many decades after it pioneered the first wave of basses, guitars, and amps.
     
  9. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Interesting question. Seems like Fender did have a strong Sunn influence for awhile, but not so much these days. Their latest amps seem to incorporate their Classic ideas with newer innovations. I don't currently play any Fender amps, but I've owned a few that were awfully nice. TB1200 springs to mind
     
  10. teemuk

    teemuk

    Mar 1, 2011
    AFAIK, Sunn was largely purchased to acquire their factory. When "FMIC" was formed all they got in the deal from CBS was the leftover inventory and the associated trademarks. CBS kept the rest, including the famous Fullerton factory.
     
    SunnBass likes this.
  11. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    Swr briefly produced a similar product line up under fender then died. The only new stuff I believe was the golight cabs and amplite and headlite amps and a couple combos. Not really the swr sound IMO, but good products. I believe fender absorbed swr's designs and maybe some engineers but I'm no expert. I wholeheartedly disagree that they were outdated. The company was on its way out due to some internal affairs after the founder, swr himself, left, but its still some stinking killer gear!
     
    Clark Dark and deeptubes like this.
  12. Nic.

    Nic.

    Aug 28, 2009
    Singapore
    If fender makes ultra light and clean stuff like genz benz I'd be pretty interested to grab one!
     
    lfmn16 likes this.
  13. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Until peretty recently, Fender was known for making great guitars, basses, guitar amps, but lousy bass amps. Have the purchases help with what they have done, or are they just cannibals?
     
  14. deeptubes

    deeptubes

    Feb 21, 2011
    Virginia Beach
    I have an old SWR Workingman's Tower. I love that cab and don't see myself ever selling it. It's a teeny bit smaller than the 810e it replaced, about 40 lbs lighter, and the phenomenal tone will make you have to change your drawers. I did add a 4 pin speakon, so that I can utilize the bi-amp tonal controls in my GK.
     
    friendlybass likes this.
  15. I was all SWR, then bought a Genz setup. So I'm pretty sure the next brand of amp I buy will be absorbed by Fender as well.... To their credit, I had some issues with my shuttle 6.0 head, and Fender did a great job of taking care of the issue at no cost to me (2 trips to New Jersey for minor surgery)
     
  16. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    That Sunn 300T/Fender 300T head is a Fender design sold under two different logos. It was designed by Bill Hughes, who designed tbe acclaimed SVT head when he was with Ampeg.
     
  17. friendlybass

    friendlybass

    Jul 19, 2012
    Colorado
    My first real cab was the workingmans 210 and that thing had me drooling for the big boy version!
     
  18. CyberSnyder

    CyberSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Maryland
    I Endorse Alien Audio Basses
    Did Fender really buy those brands or did they buy the parent company while prepping to make themselves larger and more appealing for their IPO?
     
  19. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Fender bought KMC (a huge distributor that owned Genz Benz and lots other brands) with plans to turn FMIC into a mega-company and offer an IPO. Didn't quite work out. The economic collapse of 2008, and susequent deterioration of the musical instrument industry as a whole left FMIC with a debt load that became unmanageable.
     
  20. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    From Wiki on SWR. This pretty much follows my general understanding of the acquisition.
    The company was founded as SWR Engineering, Inc. by its namesake, Steve W. Rabe. Rabe was known for his engineering work at Acoustic Control Corporation. After extensive research with top Los Angeles studio bassists, SWR released its first commercial product in 1984, the PB-200 hybrid tube/solid-state bass guitar amplifier. The first 5 units were manufactured by hand in a garage in the San Fernando Valley. This model soon became the SM-400. SWR then pursued development of a speaker cabinet to accompany its amps. In 1986, SWR released the Goliath, a 4 x 10" full-range speaker cabinet with a built-in horn tweeter, a first for bass cabinets.

    The company's name was changed to SWR Sound Corporation on 1 December 1997 as part of a restructuring plan. Rabe sold the company to accountant Daryl Paul Jamison and soon created a new company, Raven Labs. SWR was based in Sylmar, California until January 1999, when it moved to the former Cetec Gauss speaker factory in nearby Sun Valley, California. On 2 June 2003, Jamison sold SWR to Fender Musical Instruments Corporation for a rumored $8 million[citation needed], after a previous year of lagging SWR sales and dwindling market share. Jamison reportedly tried to sell to Fender a year earlier for a larger sum, but this failed to materialize.[citation needed]
     

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