Blonde vs. Blackface Bassman


Hi, I'm new to vintage Fender amps. I got a '67 Fender BandMaster Head a few months ago and I really like the clean sound and use pedals for more dirt. I'd like to get something else and I've been looking at Fender Bassmans.
I've got the chance to get a '62 Fender Bassman Head, with solid state rectifier and a period bassman replacement OT, it's retolex and they want $1000.
Or I could get a blackface Bassman for about $500 which i've seen on the bay and around my area.
$1000 is a bit more than I thought I would spend. Is it worth it?
Tell me what you think and help me make a decision please.


Platinum Supporting Member
Of the Bassman heads the Blonde Bassmans with the presence knob are the ones to get. For the blackface bassmans there are 3 circuits, 2 common ones the AA864 and the AB165. The AB165 has another gain stage on the normal channel which is nice, but has some strange things going on in the power amp. I modded my '67 Bassman with an AB165 to give it the AB165/AA864 (combination of both circuits).

If I could swing the money I would go for the blonde, if you get the blackface, find out what circuit it has.


Very satisfied '62 blonde Bassman owner here. It is one of the more aggressive sounding old-style amps Fender produced. Goes from sweet to screaming with your touch. I like it much better than the reissue '59 tweed.


Silver Supporting Member
I'm no Bassman expert, but own a ~'62 blonde 6G6-B - has presence knob, solid-state rectified. Great amp, but I know some folks much prefer the 6G6-A, which I believe is tube-rectified. There may be other differences as well.

I think the major point is that there are sub-models/circuits across the years of blonde/black so it's a bit more complex question than blonde vs. black. Also, some models are more easily modded than others into something really spectacular. That said, I think are are good (but different) things to say about almost every model of Bassman head.

Not sure if you've seen this thread:


Senior Member
the blondes are a lot closer to the old school tweed and brownface amps... it may be worth the investment though as the blondes are sure to skyrocket in price.


Both BF and Blonde Bassman heads are outstanding amps - but have a different tone. I've got a couple of each, so here's my thoughts:

Blondes sound have cross between the Tweed and BF tone. More mids and slightly softer highs like a tweed, but a tighter tone and more bottom like a BF.

BFs has a slightly scooped midrange (but still a nice midrange when cranked) than the Blondes, with a bigger and tighter bottom and clearer highs than the Blondes.

There are multiple versions/circuits of each variant - but, IMO, they all sound good. I like the Bass channel of the Blonde 6G6-B better than the 6G6-A a bit, and I really like the AA165 circuits for the BF - they seem to be dirtier than the other circuits.

Both amps have great clean tones, nice blues/rockabilly tones, and an all out crunch that rivals anything out there. The Bass channel is really where the magic is on these amps. Neither varient has a lot of headroom either.

Blondes also bring a bit more money than the BF amps do.

If you get a chance - play them both and see what your ears like. I like them both equally. I hope that helps.

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