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Retubing a blackface Bandmaster

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by LHanson, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. LHanson

    LHanson Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    I like lots of gain, but the clean sound of this amp is just so SWEET. I'm torn between tubing it to distort and tubing it to be clean and getting a good pedal to distort.

    Suggestions, ideas, warnings? I would like to come away with a good breakup/hi-gain tube suggestion, and a good clean sound suggestion. After all, I could just switch tube sets.:D
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Mar 17, 2002
    Changing tubes won't make enough of a difference to the gain to give you a lot of overdrive, so I wouldn't even try.

    I would just fit it with the best set of tubes you can find to give exactly the sound it was designed to do - NOS RCAs or GEs - and use a pedal for higher gain.

    If you do want a slightly cleaner sound, JAN Philips/Sylvania 6L6s will give a touch more headroom.
  3. Swarty

    Swarty Member

    Dec 16, 2003
    As John said, tubes won't do much to gain the amp up....However, if you want more flexibilitiy (clean to mean) you may want to have it Swartyized - check out the link - Click Here
  4. Mark C

    Mark C Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    El Paso
    Get a good pedal. Hell, some even halfway decent pedals will make a blackface Fender sing!:D
  5. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    In a white room
    Leave it be - if you really care, then just plug in NOS pre-amp tubes, at least. Then hit it with your choice of pedal.

    I got a BF Bandmaster recently, completely original down to the RCA and Telefunken pre-amp tubes. Great sound, as it was intended. Remarkably pedal-friendly!

    Seriously, part of its charm is that it HASN'T been modded or used as a science experiment. I think that will help its value in decades to come. Let them age gracefully, without facelifts.

  6. Dr Blasto

    Dr Blasto Guest

    I have two bandmasters, one SF and a BF. The SF has a bassman OT (the original died) and the BF is stock. Both amps sound great and, to me, represent an excellent tone-for-the-buck head. Seems most of these are completely overlooked compared to their other BF brethren.
  7. CrazyChester

    CrazyChester Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    Sacramento, CA
    I also have two Bandmasters, one is a 65 and the other is a 66. I built a combo case for one of them and use a 80 watt Celestian in it. This makes a fine Jazz Amp. The other I've kept stock. Like mentioned eariler the Bandmaster is very pedel friendly. A Tube Screamer and a Holy Grail reverb and it sounds great without blowing everybody's ears out. If I need to get louder I use a BF Bassman or preferably my Allen Old Flame. Quieter My Allen Accomplice fills the bill.

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