by Jef | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Fender Old Ironsides amps

Fender Old Ironsides amps  ·  Source: musicradar

Fender Old Ironsides Champ

Fender Old Ironsides Champ  ·  Source: musicradar


Fender Custom Shop’s two ‘Old Ironsides’ amps are very exclusive editions, limited to just one of each model. These are built from salvaged, left over wood from the building of the USS Constitution, a 1797 frigate that holds the record as the oldest commissioned naval sailing boat still afloat! The two show pieces will be at Fender Custom Shop’s booth at NAMM next week.


Nautical tone

Fender Custom Shop has used pre-Civil War oak left over from building USS Constitution which was found back in 2011 at Charlestown Naval Yard in Boston. The ship was nicknamed ‘Old Ironside’, and Fender has used this as the name for these two show pieces. You may, of course, remember their booze-soaked model from last year. This year Fender are giving us a more, well, salty tone.

Fender Old Ironsides amps

Fender Old Ironsides amps, made with old oak and lots of brass!

Flotsam & Jetsam

Fender used this oak timber to build a 26-Watt Old Ironsides Pro model. What they had left was used to build a 5-Watt Old Ironsides Champ valve amp. Internally, the two amps are a’57 Pro and ’57 Champ. Fender has also run with nautical theme and kitted them with bits of tackle to make them look ship-shape and fancy!

Both feature lots of brass and hand rubbed oil wood chassis, so hopefully, they will last a lifetime. All that brass and dark wood reminds the of a 1970s ‘boat anchor’ guitar mentality to guitars and making them sustain, though…


How much?

They are show pieces so expect a ridiculous price tag, but if you are serious and actually want to buy one then you won’t get much change left from your $20,000 and $10,000 dollars respectively… So, cheaper than a Dumble then!

They might smell a little fishy and if you look inside there may be a ‘blues barnacle’ or the odd ‘tone limpet’, which of course will just add to the vibe.

RRP: 26W Old Ironsides Pro ~$20,000 – 5W Old Ironsides Champ ~$10,000

For more details on the Fender Custom Shop go here to see what they are up to.

UPDATED – As Fender has supplied us more accurate information

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  • Fender Old Ironsides amps, made with old oak and lots of brass!: musicradar
Fender Old Ironsides amps

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2 responses to “Fender Custom Shop sets sail with ‘Old Ironsides’ show-piece amps”

    arth1 says:

    I would have expected sailing ship class woodworking for that price. Not ugly rabbets, machined mitres and finger joints instead of dovetails, and no mortising for things like the handle brass.

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