'72 SF Fender Bandmaster ??

Messages
1,017
So, I have had this '72 SF Bandmaster head I play through a 2x10 cabinet. I absolutely love the amp. The caps went on it several years ago and I finally got around to getting it fixed last year (cause I play a lot of acoustic/bluegrass stuff). It has renewed my love for playing electric guitar (as well as given me a serious GAS problem). However, I get on here and start searching the forum to maybe learn a little more about it, maybe see if there is a better cabinet I could play through (mine is some homemade closed cabinet, not even sure what speakers are in it) and I find tons and tons of info on the BMR's and the BF amps but nothing on the SF Bandmaster's. Is this thing rare or just wasn't as good as the older BF's and BMR's or what? I just found it a little surprising when I started searching around for info on the thing that there isn't a lot of info on it yet tons of info on the the others.

Anyone else play one of these? what tubes and speakers are you using? I keep considering upgrading to a 2x12 cabinet but it seems like kind of a small head to be trying to push a 2x12 cab.
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,000
kind of a small head to be trying to push a 2x12 cab.>>>>Not in the least bit!!!!

Tubes, get your fav modern day matched power tubes. Get a great 12ax7 NOS and slip it into the v1 slot.
 

mxvin

Member
Messages
1,259
The BMR head/chassis has been used many times to convert to a Vibroverb/Vibroclone 1x15 type thing. Usually some component changes as well at a bigger output transformer to beef up the tone and low end response. But in itself the BMR is a very cool amp and if you dig it then keep it tuned up and let er rip. A 2x12 cab would be fine. The 2 x10 prob sounds killer. I would do an open back cab and get some good 10s. Look for CTS alnicos on ebay. I have one that I am doing a 1x 15 and put a bigger OT and am using 5881s and a 5751 in V2. What a great tone and smooth semi early break up on the volume dial.
 

jrjones

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,188
Bandmasters don't get a whole lot of mention here, but they're great amps. I have a friend who has a couple. They sound great. If I wanted a fender that's what I'd buy.
 

slider313

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,225
They made the non reverb head along with the BMR. The silverface non reverb is a good amp, like it's blackface sibling, and is a great pedal platform. here's what I did with my '66 chassis: Custom Mather 1x15 combo cab with a Weber Blue Dog 15 - 100 watts @ 4 ohms. Recapped with Sprague Atoms and a 50K switchpot replacing the vibrato intensity for a more transparent sound with a bit more gain.




 

sixty2strat

Member
Messages
11,701
Read one place that the SF are considered to be better due to the rectifier and having reverb. Who knows, but they are not Junk great amps. got a nice one for a 101.00 at a garage sale. Have it sitting on and old 60's big bassman cab with 2 greenbacks. They seem to bond well, works best out of Jensen , EV SRO scumback , Black backs and Canibis Rex...the GB sound the best warm n fat
 

Mattbedrock

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,748
My Bandmaster is a great pre-CBS '64. I currently have it loaded with a great vintage RCA 7025 pre-amp tube and some 5881 power tubes. I run her through a variety of cabs but prefer my 2x12 ported cab with Cannabis Rex's. This is the ultimate pedal platform with just the right amount of power to play with a rock band with a kickin' drummer. A little more amp than my Tremolux, a little less than my Bassman or Showman.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,363
Sf bandmasters are great amps. Slightly brighter and more versatile than bassmans. The sf bandmaster reverb is more rare, obviously has reverb, and has s tube rectifier. Another great amp. Black face bandmasters are rarer yet... Rare is what drives the used market. You have a very fine (ok great) hand wired amp. I've put mine into a 4x12... Loads of fun.
 

teleman55

Member
Messages
3,590
I've got a '70 Pro Reverb. Great amp. '72 Bandmaster Reverb is basically the same amp in head form I think. Except two years newer might have master volume and mid pots.
 

ScioBro

Member
Messages
1,353
My Bandmaster Reverb is solid state rectified. I guess they came both ways.
Although mine would need a diff. tranny to get the required needs of a rect. tube.
I guess if Fender sold them both ways, they were using different trannys for the two cases.
I also have a 66 but I want to try a tube rectified one and may convert the BMR over to that.
 
Messages
1,017
hmmmmm, great info to know. Still, this thread kinda diverged straight into talk of bmr's and bf's but I guess they are all pretty similar so that is to be expected. Mine has all the same knobs as the one shown in Mattbedrock's pic above except the metal strip across the top is silver and the "Bandmaster" text is in blue and not in cursive. I have no interest in converting the thing to something else though. I prefer to keep it as all original as possible. Plus, I like the sound so why screw with it. I really like the fact I can play clean up to about 7 or 8 with single coils and it doesn't distort at all but I can switch to the humbucker and the thing just growls with that super rich tube distortion that only comes from an old tube amp like that.

Sounds like I should upgrade to 2x12 and get some quality speakers! yet another item on the list, lol.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,363
hmmmmm, great info to know. Still, this thread kinda diverged straight into talk of bmr's and bf's but I guess they are all pretty similar so that is to be expected. Mine has all the same knobs as the one shown in Mattbedrock's pic above except the metal strip across the top is silver and the "Bandmaster" text is in blue and not in cursive. I have no interest in converting the thing to something else though. I prefer to keep it as all original as possible. Plus, I like the sound so why screw with it. I really like the fact I can play clean up to about 7 or 8 with single coils and it doesn't distort at all but I can switch to the humbucker and the thing just growls with that super rich tube distortion that only comes from an old tube amp like that.

Sounds like I should upgrade to 2x12 and get some quality speakers! yet another item on the list, lol.
If you like clean you might want to look into some speakers that don't break up early. I ran my bandmaster for years with a 2x12 closed back can with JBL d120's. I run my BMR into 2x12 with e120's... a bit brighter and slightly stiffer. btw - I have a princeton reverb with e110's, which I really like (you seeing the trend?). I'm not sure the 12's are hugely better, just different. I'm a big fan of a nice pair of 10's for fender amps.
 

Flogger59

Member
Messages
11,082
it was a relative statement. Compared to silverface BM's, yah...
I guess that would depend on the area you're from. I've never seen a non reverb silverface Bandmaster in my neck of the woods, just blackfaces. A few BM reverbs, though.
 
Messages
1,017
Well, that was kind of my point. The discussion turned straight to blackface's and sf bmr's. But really does anyone play here play a non reverb silverface (blue text, not cursive) bandmaster? I have seen a few bassman's like that but no bandmaster's.
 

mxvin

Member
Messages
1,259
Fender stopped making them around 75 I think. IMO once the BMR was made the demand for the BM silver face was very limited. They are out there for sale. If you are into that amp. Either get the BF or go for the pre 68 or post 70. The 568 circuit has more fiddling to do to get the funk out of it that Fender put in at the time.
 

zestystrat

Member
Messages
2,556
My Bandmaster is a great pre-CBS '64. I currently have it loaded with a great vintage RCA 7025 pre-amp tube and some 5881 power tubes. I run her through a variety of cabs but prefer my 2x12 ported cab with Cannabis Rex's. This is the ultimate pedal platform with just the right amount of power to play with a rock band with a kickin' drummer. A little more amp than my Tremolux, a little less than my Bassman or Showman.
This is pretty much my #1 set up as well: '66 BFBM into an open back pine 2x12 cab with crexs. Its a very efficient speaker so you'll have quite a bit of headroom....which I like.

It's my understanding that the non-RV amps have more headroom and because the RV's break up quicker, thats why the RV amps are more popular....and usually more expensive.

Also, don't sweat this amp pushing a 2x12 cab...I run my SF Vibro Champ into the same cab and what is great about this set up is that the speakers get you more headroom but when cranked it breaks up nicely and can keep up with a sane drummer.
 

JNCOLLIER

Member
Messages
4
A good guitar tech can change your SF to BF specs. That's what most older players do. This amp, which is 40 watts, sounds really good through vintage P12 Jensen speakers (i.e. the real deal, not Jensen reissues they sell now)! You can still find them on e-bay. Also play them through vintage Celestion Silver Bell speakers (once again the real deal, not reissues). Also, if you have your amp tech upgrades your trans, etc. to current top quality parts, this amp will sing like you've never known before. I have several '64 to '66 Fender BF amps and they are remarkable in their tone with the right speakers.
 

monkmiles

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,081
Well, that was kind of my point. The discussion turned straight to blackface's and sf bmr's. But really does anyone play here play a non reverb silverface (blue text, not cursive) bandmaster? I have seen a few bassman's like that but no bandmaster's.
You're right, the discussion has turned less specific than the silverface non-reverb Bandmaster you wanted to talk about. So, back to that then...I've been eyeing them and will probably pick up one and also get a 2x10 combo cabinet made for it. I tend to like combos. So, I'm hoping to join you!
 




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