Piggy by Prince BP-210W MIJ Combo Used

$599 $750

Very cool, and rare! Japanese-made Piggy 1x10 solid state combo, probably 1970s.The brand is Prince, which later became Arion in the 1980s. This amp has 2x inputs (normal/boost), pre and post gain, bass and treble control, and awesome sounding reverb! Love the mesa-ish hardwood finger jointed cabinet and basketweave grill. 



History of the Prince Company:

Prince Tsushinkogyo Co. Ltd.
Japanese trading and manufacturing company originally founded in 1950 and based in Nagoya in Aichi prefecture, their name would translate to “Prince Telecommunication and Engineering”, but Tsushin Kogyo, written as one or two words, was until the 60’s a common name used in Japan for what we would call electronic companies today.

Very little is actually known about the history of the company, they are manufacturing musical instrument amplifiers in the 1960’s under the Prince brand, these include a couple of valve based models but the wast bulk of them is transistorised combo amps. All of their early amps appear to be named although some have model numbers as well, larger amplifiers have names like “Princeton” while small portable practice amps get insect names like “Wasp” and “Beetle” and it is for those practice amps that the company is best known especially in the West. They are in fact rather interesting in some ways, the bulk of these seen are not branded Prince but rather as Piggy but that is actually not an inference or copy of a the Pignose brand as is often stated but rather it starts life as a model designation for a small budget combo amp that manages to combine a fairly cheap construction with a rather good feature set for such an inexpensive model, including dual channels and something that a number of the Prince amps somewhat uniquely feature at the time; headphone outputs. The Piggy name then later turns up on other models as a brand although the Prince or Prince Amplifier name is usually also shown on those as well in smaller letters, this is especially common in markets where the Prince trademark already exists, but another Japanese company called Yoshinaga Prince Co. owned the trademark in a number of countries.

The Piggy practice amps were sold in a variety of versions, ranging from dirt cheap models with just an input and gain control and featuring small loudspeakers intended for portable radios and suchlike to quite well specified models that feature dual channels, reverbs, EQ and quality drivers seldom seen on small practice amps, some of their small portable amps could even have optional built in tuners, if there is a T at the end of the model name there is an electronic guitar tuner built in at the back, and a fairly good one at that, something we do not see on the market again until amps with built in digital signal processors start hitting the market. As said before the bulk of their amps unusually enough feature headphone outs but in the latter half of the 70’s the Prince Tsushinkogyo takes that to its logical conclusion by releasing a miniature practice amp that does not feature a loudspeaker, this appears to be the first guitar headphone amps in the world, and was released as the Piggy “My Way”, it does appear to predate the Rockman by at the least 3 or 4 years, which is quite funny since the Arion headphone amps are universally referred to as Rockman clones although in practice it is the other way around.

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