Buying a '68 Bandmaster

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by TimH, Dec 27, 2005.


  1. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    The first thing I'm going to do is get it looked at by a tech. After that I'm thinking of a couple of things...first what tubes should I get for this amp? Second, can someone point me toward the mod to take the Trem out of the circuit for more gain? Third, does anyone have suggestions as to what OD pedals (other than a tube screamer) would work well. Specifically I want a Marshally drive (thinking BB preamp or maybe Sansamp) and something thick and singing....sorta dumble-esque.

    Also, I'm thinking of having the amp cosmetically overhauled. I may either re-tolex it or have a new combo cab built. Can anyone suggest where I might look to get these things done?

    Cheers!
     
  2. plowkraut

    plowkraut Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    You may want to reconsider the combo cab. I've read that combos can greatly reduce the life of an amp or the tubes due to vibrations (I think Kevin O'Connor may have written it). Just a thought. Good luck with your endeavors!
     
  3. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    cool. Thanks for the input. I have a 1x12 Fender Vibro King Extension I can use. I may have it retolexed though just so they match and so it's pretty.
     
  4. plowkraut

    plowkraut Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Can you bridge the channels on it? That might be fun to try. Some Fenders have phase issues when doing so but can be corrected with the right approach (Barber Launch Pad). A simple splitter may do the trick as well. Congrats on the new buy. Never met a Fender I didn't like.
     
  5. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    never thought of it. I'll look into it. After a slew of amps I just like fenders. There it is...don't need anything too fancy, the tones I like come from this amp and maybe some pedals.
     
  6. bob-i

    bob-i Member

    Messages:
    6,891
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    Central NJ
    I've seen lots about this, starting with Leo Fender making the Showman a "piggy back". The truth is I don't see combo's dying like everyone expected. Most BF Super Reverb's or Twin Reverbs are in as good a shape as Bassman and Bandmasters.

    I like combo's because of the simplicity of transporting them.
     
  7. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Member

    Messages:
    3,698
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Texas Gulf Coast
    http://home.comcast.net/~priceamp/vrclone.htm

    Check this out, you may be interested in what this guy did to a 68' Bandmaster. As a matter of fact I'm looking for a Bandmaster myself, so I can have my local amp guru build me a Virbroclone type amp.
     
  8. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    that's pretty cool! If I was going to do something like that I'd get it put in a 112 combo and have the option for a closed back extension speaker I think.

    Tim
     
  9. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,730
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Location:
    In a white room
    Could I respectfully suggest that you NOT mod your '68 Bandmaster? It's getting on to 40 years old and an unmodded example will someday be worth something. Definitely have an amp tech look at it, though, and get a 3-wire grounded power cord & plug. Maybe change the caps if needed.

    Yours is blackface, no? Then you can run an A/B/Y pedal into the two channels and they will be in phase. Make one the clean and one the lead channel, perhaps with the volume cranked or with a pedal (it likes pedals!). The tremelo is beautiful sounding; classic fender. Tip: The trem channel, with the controls turned on or off, has a lovely natural compression that you don't get on the main channel.

    It's a really neat amp as-is. I have a '67 head with the original 7025s in it, plus modern 6L6s. It sounds pretty wonderful - especially with others playing through it! :)

    Secret weapon: Run it through a 4x10 with good alnico speakers. I use the Mesa (yes Mesa) 4x10 with reissue Jensens. I think it would be a great platform for trying NOS tubes, if you want to invest a little money in it.

    I'd hate to see another classic Fender used as a science experiment. Try working with it as-is, especially the A/B/Y two-channel trick.

    Kiwi
     
  10. trisonic

    trisonic Member

    Messages:
    13,161
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    NJ out of England
    I agree with Kiwi.
    I heard a tuned up but stock BF Bandmaster recently and it was lovely.
    Use pedals.

    Best, Pete.
     
  11. Shea

    Shea Member

    Messages:
    540
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Plus, the effect of the vibrations on the microphonic parts in a combo can add a subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) coloration to the tone that can sound really cool, if it's a good one. Very lively and musical sounding.

    Plus, I think O'Connor may have exagerrated the evils of combos just a tad. I've had RCA preamp tubes last for many, many years in combos. I do tend to wear out a set of power tubes after about 2 years of hard playing, but I do mean hard playing, and I figure that's an acceptable cost of rockin'.

    Shea
     
  12. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    yeah any "mods" I'm thinking of are reversable...unless of course I retolex it. I just like it to look new...it's pretty rough right now. For the most part the chassis will remain unchanged. I think I'll leave it as a head as it's more versatile that way. I can run a 1x12 for small gigs and maybe a 4x10 or 4x12 for the big rock stuff.
     
  13. Shea

    Shea Member

    Messages:
    540
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    I don't see any harm in putting the chassis in a different box, if you keep the old one.

    I'm not sure how the vintage snobs feel about retolexing, if you should ever want to resell it. I honestly don't know if it's a plus or a minus. I'd like to know, because I have a '68 Bandmaster Reverb I'd like to unload sooner or later.

    Shea
     
  14. TimH

    TimH Member

    Messages:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    you know I'm getting this head for like $160 USD so I'm sure even if it's retolexed I'll get my money back out of it ;)
     

Share This Page