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April 2017 Giveaway

Piggyback Amp

This term generally refers to any electric guitar or bass amplifier in which there are two parts consisting of a powered head that is designed to sit on top of a separate speaker cabinet. The first example of this configuration was a custom-ordered Bassman amplifier that shipped in 1958, although the earliest standard production model was very likely the 1960 Fender Showman amp. Although the development of this “tandem” approach was quite often attributed to making a heavy amplifier easier to carry by splitting it into two separate components, the real reason was more likely because the Showman’s speaker cabinet had an elaborate porting system that enhanced the low end response of the onboard Lansing speaker. By 1961, many Fender models switched to this piggyback approach, including the Bassman, Bandmaster, and Tremolux amplifiers.

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