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So it is not a big surprise that they used a solid-state design (ICs and transistors) for the pre-amp section.
Solid -state requires lower voltage and less energy and thus causes less heat.
The distortion that is created when a tube amp is overdriven was something invented by creative musicians or by chance when musicians tried to get as much volume out of their amps as possible.
Fender didn`t focus on the distorted sound, in the contrary, they even tried to avoid it.
The preamps used the then burgeoning solid state "op-amp" integrated circuits embodying traditional Fender preamp time constants and architecture, while the power amps typically featured a Cathode Driven Tube power amp stage, much as were used in the radio broadcast industry in AM Transmitters.
There were a few models with a tube phase splitter in them, but for the most part Music Man amplifiers used the faster responding common Grid, Cathode Coupled drive from a solid state front end that players characterized as "loud as hell". 15 of the 28 pages from 1976 catalogue were dedicated to amplification.
Guitarists and bands who have used Music Man amps take in all styles of playing, including Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Joe Strummer, Albert Lee, Robbie Robertson, Johnny Winter, Alabama, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, James Burton, Merle Travis and Waddy Wachtel. The amps were characterised by their hybrid design, but not in the ridiculous (cynical?
) way most manufacturers do now, putting a token 12AX7 valve in the preamp circuit, then feeding a transistor (solid-state) power section.
Far from it, however, this flagship model really is the final evolution in a sonic goal Leo Fender had been working toward for three decades, even if it was introduced into a world largely chasing different sonic goals at the time. As is well-documented, Leo Fender signed a non-compete clause when selling his company in 1965, and was retained as a consultant for several years after.