same money: DRRI or '63 BF Bandmaster?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by whitewave, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    No, I'm not going crazy.
    I have two deals right now and I have to choose between one of these two amps. A very good condition used DRRI and a pre-CBS Bandmaster head, same exact money. I don't mind about modulations, power and headroom, but the questions is about the age of components.
    The DRRI was bought in January, we know the mods to do to these new reissue and I'll have quite a good amp, I'd change the OT with Mercury Magnetics too.
    As for the Bandmaster I can't try it before buying, but I trust the owner. It's not in super conditions, and maybe a check will be useful.

    If I put a new OT in DRRI why should I buy the Bandmaster?
    For PTP board? I'm worring about 43 years old capacitors.
    For re-sale value? I really hope to keep a blackface amp forerever, I love them.
    Tighter bass response? It will be useful since I'm playing Rock with it, but tube rectifier sag in leads is very good too.
    .......

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
  2. trisonic

    trisonic Member

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    I like the Bandmaster and would greatly prefer an original BF over any reissue.
    I saw someone the other day playing bass through one, he sounded really nice (on stage too).

    Best, Pete.
     
  3. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    Don't be an idjit-get the Bandmaster.:cool:
     
  4. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I found a BF Bandmaster at a garage sale a few years back and it's proven to be a great sounding amp. You can't go wrong with any working BF Fender amp.
     
  5. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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    Anyone is suggesting the same things, but my question is WHY?

    Assuming that MM OT sounds really good, all the differences coming from 43 years old mallorys could be only nuances in the tone but problems in the future.
    Two questions more:

    - do transformers suffer years of using or they virtually last forever?
    - is it possible to run 6V6s in Bandmaster?

    Thanks.
     
  6. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    Rusty transformers are a bad thing. If they're clean age is not a problem. I had a blackface Bandmaster as my first Fender. They won't hardly break up, without a booster, so know that going in. It's a good clean toned amp, though. The blackface Bassman has an extra gain stage and they WILL rock out. I don't know what you would gain with 6V6s.
     
  7. jgyn

    jgyn Member

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    Get the Bandmaster. You can always get a DRRI.
     
  8. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    After you put in the MM transformer you've already spent $100 more than the Bandmaster. If you worried about the caps, have a cap job done. It won't set you back more than $30. With the DRRI you'd probably need a new speaker too. And new tubes. And a PTP board. You're in for a few hundred dollars at that point.

    Martin
     
  9. dmagalhaes

    dmagalhaes Supporting Member

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    You can run JJ 6V6's in the Bandmaster. You'll have to turn the bias pot all the way down to around 35ma which is as low as it will go and the JJ's will handle that. Cap replacement is cheap. 50 bucks will buy you all the Electrolytics and another 20 will buy you all the Orange drops for the tone circuit. I run those tubes in mine with no problems.
     
  10. Jatmosphere

    Jatmosphere Supporting Member

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    sweet tonal history vs. complete modern mediocrity... you decide.
     
  11. bluesbreaker59

    bluesbreaker59 Silver Supporting Member

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    Get the DRRI, its smaller, lighter to carry to a gig, or jamming with buddies. Its already got reverb (though below average IMHO) and really crappy sounding trem, but at least it has both. You said you're going to replace the OT, so go for it, do some mods to polish that turd. Then come talk to us in a few months when you're tired of it and will lose around $200. But sure, go ahead and buy the Deluxe if you really dig it.

    sorry, just feeling a bit sarcastic today...

    I never dug the any of the Bandmaster heads, so I really don't like that sound, so honestly I might also buy the DRRI, or keep looking until I found a Peavey Classic 50, and save some more money, and have better tone. But what do I know, I like Tweed amps, with no "features"... The Bandmaster will at least hold its value if you decide on that route, so that's a plus.
     
  12. suprotennessee

    suprotennessee Member

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    You might be wrong on the rust comment:
    See: Transformer Rust -- Friend or Foe?
    http://www.mercurymagnetics.com/pages/nav/mainframe.htm
     
  13. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I've owned both and I'd take the Bandmaster head every time. The components, while older, are generally better quality (no edge connectors, no thin/flexible/cheap PCBs, easy repair, well understood circuit, better transformers) and it's a far better decision financially. Just be sure you can live without reverb :) If you can't, a SF Deluxe is only going to set you back $200 more than the reissue and have all the above listed advantages, and still sound much better than the RI (at least all the ones I've owned have).
     
  14. HHB

    HHB Member

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    the bandmaster!
     
  15. taylorooney

    taylorooney Active Member

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    bandmaster for sure! come on dude! those are great amps! (ever heard one thru a marshall 4x12? they smoke). 60's blackface is great value, and very sturdily built as well. with vintage fender amps you can have your cake and eat it too.....what i mean is they are always going to appreciate in value, but are rugged enough tour with. those are great amps. they are also easy to mod, and reverse mod if you want. (roy blankenship has a great bandmaster mod that makes it sound like a jtm45). its a super amp. i have the matching bassman head. they are killer for gtr and bass, good clean amp, great platform for pedals, and have a great crunch of their own if you get em turned up. go for it. DRRI is shite. why waste time with a bunch of mods just to make it playable? go for the real thing my friend.
     
  16. whitewave

    whitewave Member

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  17. GuitarsFromMars

    GuitarsFromMars Member

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    It really does not matter:if the amp works,buy it don't be an idjit.You can obtain MM trannies for a Bandmaster as easily as a Deluxe Reverb...:jo :NUTS :confused:
     
  18. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Decent looking amp and I wouldn't be too scared of the rust. It's moisture, not rust that's going to hurt the trannies and that amp doesn't look like it was too wet (paper lable still looks good, tolex is fine). See the article on Mercury's page...
     
  19. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I've never been a huge Bandmaster fan--they've always sounded flat and lifeless to ME, but I'd much rather have one than a RI Deluxe.
     
  20. Jatmosphere

    Jatmosphere Supporting Member

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    which amp would Leo want you to go for? :angel
     

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