Is it possible to capture the sweet tones of small, classic Fender amps at louder levels?

Back in the 1950s Fender made a design decision whose repercussions would endure for decades: While a pair of sweet-sounding 6V6 tubes was sufficient to power the company’s smaller amps, when it came to larger models such as the Super and Bandmaster, the solution was not to add more tubes, but substitute a pair of larger, more powerful 6L6s.

And so it was—until the boutique era, when builders began to imagine the Fenders that might have been.

Read MoreShow less