Black Face Bandmasters & pedals?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by oxtone, Nov 16, 2005.


  1. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Black Face Bandmaster users:

    I'm curious as to how this amp takes overdrive and other pedals? I'm thinking of maybe picking one up for a good old clean tube amp that I can run a pedalboard into. I've noticed the lead player on Letterman used one for years, until recently.

    I mainly use a Radial Tonebone Classic, or a Keeley Moded TS-808 Reissue for distortion sounds, and some Delays, Reverb, etc...

    Any opinions? Thanks...
     
  2. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I've run BF and SF Fender's with pedals many times dating back to the 60's. There's no better amp for pedals. In those days pedals were designed to run with Fender amps as these were the most popular amps available.

    You might find that a Bassman or a Super are better for that clean tone though. The Bandmaster is a good amp but a little weak on the bottom end. Fender cheeped out on the output transformers.
     
  3. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Bob-i,

    Thanks for the help. In the early 70's I had a Black Face Super Reverb, and it sounded great! But, I didn't have the type of distortion pedals I now have. I used to turn it up to around 8 1/2, and that amp rocked! I'll look at the Bassman, or maybe a Deluxe (which I also had in the early 70's).
     
  4. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Any other Bandmaster users out there? Opinion on my pedal question and this amp?
     
  5. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    '67 Bandmaster owner here. Does fine with distortion pedals. I play it into a 4x10 cab with alnicos (mesa, of all things!) and people have commented on how good it sounds esp in a band mix.

    Most distortion pedals add a bunch of mids, and this earlier Fender seems to handle it well. The trem channel is more compressed than the clean channel, so you may want to test which channel you plug into.

    Ditto on the comment above about the Bandmaster's slightly soft bottom end, but I like it for that reason, esp w/ humbuckers.

    I got the blackface last year in excellent condition, all original incl transformers, even has the original 7025s, for $400. The only thing to watch for is (like most early Fenders) to see if it's been modded or tweaked.

    Kiwi
     
  6. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I have a '65 Bandmaster and recently had a '65 Deluxe Reverb. I think they take pedals very well. I don't remember throwing anything in front of them and thinking that it wouldn't work.

    I like the way the non-trem channel sounds a little better--it's got a little more balls, with or without pedals. But I also love tremolo so I usually go through that channel. The amp just sings on '7', though for me that's turned out to be loud for some things. I should really get one of those a/b/y splitter pedals so that I can play it like a channel switcher.
     
  7. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Thanks again for the help! A local guitar shop has four black face Bandmasters for sale, in the $650.00 range each. They also have a Duel Showman head in the $750 range.

    I may bring my Tonebone Classic down and try it with one of these heads. I have four 1x12 cabs - two are 8 ohm, and the other two are 16 ohms each. I've read that the Bandmaster's speaker out is 4 Ohms - would using two 8 Ohm cabs be ok, or does the BM have only one speaker jack?
     
  8. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    It has two speaker jack outs.

    = K
     
  9. Calloway

    Calloway Supporting Member

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    I had an old Blackface Bandmaster, I was told it was Pre CBS and I ran it through a 2x12 greenback avatar cab. Sounded amazing and would put in front of it a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive or a Fulltone Fulldrive and always had great results, but most of the time I would just turn that amp up and rock!
     
  10. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    Just the heads? $650 sounds way high.
     
  11. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a Cage one-off Bandmaster clone (well, not an exact clone, I had Pete add a midrange control), built onto the chassis of my old Fender Blues Deluxe retaining only the original Blues Deluxe transformers, that sounds wonderful, has a nice, tight bass response, and takes pedals very well indeed. Based on this expereince, I wouldn't hesitate to upgrade the stock trannies in a Bandmaster if I could do it in a reversible way (if not, I would hesitate but, frankly, I might still do it because the tone that way is so much more preferable to me).
     
  12. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    I have a 65 BF Bandmaster that I love. I use it with a 1x15 cab with a reconed JBL D130. It responds well to my Boss SD-1 and Tubescreamer.

    The thing about Bandmasters is that they are a relatively clean amp, and not real loud. A Bassman top would blow away a Bandmaster. Also, you're not gonna get Brewtal Overdrive from one no matter how much you push it with a pedal. They will distort, but you won't get Boogie type over drive from one. You could get a little more gain if you did the tremolo mod on it.

    I would bet that a Bandmaster would sound killer through a couple of Greenbacks.

    $650 is WAY to high for a Bandmaster head. If it was ultra clean pristine, maybe $500, tops.
     
  13. cameron

    cameron Member

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    Bandmasters are cool amps, but as has been remarked above, a little wimpy compared to Bassmans and Supers. A common mod, which any tech could do for you, is to replace the OT with the larger one from a Bassman. Simple, instant upgrade.
     
  14. oxtone

    oxtone Member

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    Originally posted by doctorx
    ___________________________________________________
    I have a 65 BF Bandmaster that I love. I use it with a 1x15 cab with a reconed JBL D130. It responds well to my Boss SD-1 and Tubescreamer.
    ___________________________________________________

    DoctorX,

    Cool, thanks for the pics! Very nice work. I'll have to look at the
    Bassmans, too. I use a pair of Mojotone BV30H's, and love 'em.

    Thanks to all for the help on the Bandmaster pricing...
     
  15. devbro

    devbro Member

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    I've got a 68 BFBM and recently had a cap job done and new tubes. I noticed it's pretty quiet running it into a 2x12 celestion 8 ohm cabinet. I know running a step down will kill the output tranny but could the step up to an 8 ohm cab cause this much reduction in volume and could it damage the output tranny? The amp is looking for a 4 ohm load.
     
  16. cameron

    cameron Member

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    A step (100%) up or down is generally safe. It's actually safer to go down than up (there's a widespread myth that the reverse is true - due to confusion about the bahavior of tube amps as compared to solid state amps). Going up to 8 ohm will probably give a substantial drop in volume. A Fender amp isn't likely to suffer transformer damage from the ordeal, though.
     

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