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Blonde Bassman questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by billdurham, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. billdurham

    billdurham Member

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    Hey folks...newbie here Bill Durham.
    I have a 64 Transitional Blonde Blackface Bassman with a presence control that I bought back in the 70's. OK, I'm old..sorry! The amp had a replacement Power transformer and I bought it more for the novelty than for using it as I was using a Marhsall 50 to gig with. Anyway, I just recently decided to resurrect the Bassman. I have started to refurb the amp, replaced the filters in the power supply and am replacing the trannys back to original specs. The reason for the "transitional" description is it does not match the 6G6 A or B schematic for the "blonde" bassman. The filter caps are the same as the AA-864 schematic which are 20uf 500v and two 70uf 350v caps in series on the output of the rectifier stack. Also, the 1500 ohm resistors on the grids of the finals are not on the 6G6 schematics but are on the AA-864 and are in my amp. The date codes on the caps are 6430 so it was made during the last quarter of the year probably. The AA-864 is a pretty drastic chance from the 6G6 in lots of ways.

    Anyway, question is ...which input do you use for guitar...normal or bass?

    thanks for any and all responses

    Bill
     
  2. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    You can use either input for guitar

    did someone say transitional Bassman? This one has the BF-style filter cap layout (2-70uf/350v in series) Them transitional Fenders are like a "box O' chocolates, you don't know what you'll get"

    [​IMG]
     
  3. billdurham

    billdurham Member

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    I know you can use either, I am just curious what most folks use. The bass channel pre is a pretty interesting design with the treble control after the volume control...kinda strange! Also, I noticed that the plate voltage on the first section of the first tube in the bass channel is only 150 volts versus 230 volts on the other side of the same tube. Have you ever considered raising that voltage to get more gain?

    thanks for the response
    BD
     
  4. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    Like Russ said, I use both - the only consideration for me is that the bass channel doesn't take pedals very well. Overall though, I think I use the bass channel more.
     
  5. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    I have an almost identical amp. It's from June of '64 and is a 6G6-B. It has many of the AA-864 changes like yours. From what I've heard they gradually changed things over. It wasn't like they built 6G6-B's and then the next day changed to the AA-864 tube chart and circuit. I use the bass channel pretty much exclusively.

    You should keep an eye on ebay. Sometimes you see people selling the original transformers. It would be worth it to get the right old one back in that amp.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd really like to hear what some of you guys are hearing in these Blonde Bassmans. You know forever, and ever that was my dream amp, a Blonde Bassman, with tube recto and a presence knob, then I got one, a 1961 6G6...

    AND IT SUCKED!!!!

    I had it gone through, caps replaced, checked out totally top to bottom, and that Bass channel was so thin, BRIGHT (*see ice pick in ear) and REEDY. It was terrible. The normal channel had an okay clean sound, but nothing to get excited about. I never heard a nice growl, all I heard was a lot of flatulence when you wound the volume up, and a lot of ice pick in the forehead on the bass channel. I lost $1000 when I sold that amp, and I still wonder, was it just that amp? I know my tech, and he is a master at old Fenders, I even had another tech verify the circuit, just because I wanted so bad to love and keep that amp.

    So if anyone near Iowa has one, let me know, cause I'd love to play through another one and hear what I'm missing. Some people claim they are as ballsy as an old 50 watt Plexi. I've heard plenty of good 50 watt Plexi's, but that Blonde Bassman I had, plus two that have surfaced at guitar shops, just sounded like rat poo to me.
     
  7. billdurham

    billdurham Member

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    Sunday Punch,

    I bought Weber Magnetics trannys...got them mounted tonight but they shipped without docs! I ordered them from Tonetubeamps.com and am really anxious to hear this thing.

    Bluesbreaker59,
    My old playing partner had a blonde back in the day and his complaint was exactly the same as yours! It was thin and didn't distort smoothly. It will be interesting to see and hear what I end up with. My intention is to sell this amp and use the funds to build the October amp from this page....

    http://users3.ev1.net/~cliffchappell/home.html

    I'm going to keep this blonde as stock as possible, so far all I have changed cap wise are the filters. All of the caps on the eyelet board are still original so I might have to change out those 25uf 25v electrolytics before its all said and done.

    BD
     
  8. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    From mine, I get rich, gorgeous, grand piano-like cleans and really sweet natural breakup when pushed. It hangs right alongside my other amps as having stunning tone. I can't imagine parting with it.

    My '62 is not 100% vintage — Ben Fargen restored it last year right after I bought it because someone had modded the bass channel, so that plays a part. I also put in all NOS tubes to original spec — Tung Sol 5881's and RCA 7025's — so I did everything I could to make this as close to an original as possible. It paid off.

    Total cost: $1400. Easily as good as $3500 boutique amps.
     
  9. GuitarG

    GuitarG Member

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    Hey Bill,
    I've got a '63 that I've built into a 2x12" combo using Weber C12N's. I primarilly use the normal channel. Live I run the volume at 1:00, treble at 2:00, Bass at 11:00 and the presence at 3-4:00. The Bass channel is a great sound and actually has more gain on tap. It is a strange arrangement with the treble control on the Bass channel. The gain dramatically increases when you wind up the treble. The Bass channel with the volume and treble dimed is a great, although very bright sound. I'll use it occasionally with my LP bridge pickup with the tone rolled back.
    Clarity with balls is the way I like to describe this amp. It is a very present, in-your-face type of tone with a fat, tight low end and clear high end. I'm in the middle of doing an album with my band and I'm printing the Bassman with the volume on 6-10 on every guitar track. I combine it with other amps, and it always fattens up the mix. For overdriven slide stuff I am using the Bassman on 10 combined with a Mesa Blue Angel pushed with a Landgraff OD. It is a mighty fine sound.
    [​IMG]
    Thanks for the topic Bill. Enjoy your amp. You got a good one.
    Here's a demo of one of my tunes that I recorded in my home studio. All of the guitar tracks are my '57 RI LP Custom with Timbuckers straight into the Bassman with the normal channel dimed.
    http://www.catfishflats.com/Sounds/Tryin%20To%20Tell%20You%20Baby.mp3
     
  10. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here's my 66' Bassman that was modded by David Allen. It was the AB-165 circuitry and I sent it to David to mod it to AA-864 circuitry. Normal side is the AA-864 circuitry and the Bass side is modded to Tweed Bassman/Marshall Plexi circuitry. The tone on both channels is anything but thin and the Bass side on either the Tweed or Plexi setting will start to growl and overdrive at about 5. I realize that this is not the 62' or 63' circuitry your talking about,but I just can't see any of these bassman sounding thin and farty unless something is wrong .My cab is a repro cab loaded with 2 12' Weber Californias. The head really sounds huge and big running through this cab. I have 2 Vibroluxes and have run the 66' head through the 2 x 10 configuration and it sounds so georgeous, that I'd like to get another Bassman head and put it into a 2x10 openback cab.
     
  11. Roe

    Roe Member

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    does anyone build a clone of a blonde bassman?
     
  12. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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  13. lannyhall

    lannyhall Member

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    I've got a Jan 64 Blonde Bassman. The guitar channel is definitely the way I go. Many do a minor mod to use the Bass channel, but I'm leaving mine stock.

    I just had the 2x12 cab recovered, since the tolex was really ratty, but my Bassman's tolex is in great shape, and the amp appears to have been very well cared for. I love its tone.

    btw, I had Vintage Jon (Jon Bessent) of Tonecraft Amp Repair in Austin, to completely tune it up a few months ago. It was well worth the investment.

    I hope you enjoy yours.
     
  14. billdurham

    billdurham Member

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  15. billdurham

    billdurham Member

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    An update on my amp.....

    I fired it up today and I just wish I had a 2-12 cabinet that I could hear what it really should sound like! I had it hooked up to a single 12 not in a cabinet! So far so good...I didn't replace any of the caps on the board..but I did form the caps with low voltage for about an hour before putting full voltage on the amp.
    Now, on to cleaning up the tolex!

    BD
     

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