Silverface Fender Bassman Ten - How do I open this silly cabinet?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by desceneisvals, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. desceneisvals

    desceneisvals Member

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    So I recently acquired 74-75 Fender Bassman Ten.

    It was sitting in the corner last night in front of my snake's cage while his light was still on and I feel like I can see through the grill cloth on the top two speakers when she's backlit. Which brings the question - how in the hell do I get this closed back cab open to check it out?

    She sounds great - just really curious what's in there if it it isn't 4 32 ohm 10s.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. kinmike

    kinmike Supporting Member

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    I'm not totally sure but take a screwdriver and pry off the grill cloth frame for starters. Then, if the speakers are mounted from the front, you take them out and you can see inside the cab.

    Mike
     
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  3. desceneisvals

    desceneisvals Member

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    Thanks Mike - am I going to do any damage to the grill cloth or will it just pop off and back on? Never had to go through the front before.
     
  4. bluesoul

    bluesoul Gold Supporting Member

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    Ok...those are the ones with a sealed back. When removing the grill. Just gently pry a corner up and then another corner until you can get your fingers in there! The grill is strongly attached via....velcro.
    Yes, it will pop off/on....sometimes they feel a little stubborn. Be gentle!
     
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  5. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Don’t be disappointed if the grille frame snaps, cracks or even disintegrates when you remove it. Those frames are made of old pressboard which is prone to dry rot over the years. When I first pulled mine of my ‘71 Deluxe Reverb it turned to dust.

    The good news is that it’s very simple to make a replacement out of pine. This is a very common repair on these older SF amps. You can reuse the original Velcro and grill cloth if you go down that road.
     
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  6. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Member

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    Just FYI (and you might not want to do it on a vintage amp), I used a couple of peices of velcro (loop, not hook side) stapled to the inside of the top of the frame, toward either side hanging out the front by a 1/2” or so.

    It will make it much easier the next time you want to remove the grill frame. I’m sure there are ways to do it without staples so that it is reversable.

    Maybe some hot glue?
     
  7. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I’d bet money it’s 4x 8’s in series-parallel for 8 ohms and not 4x 32’s. To the best of my knowledge Fender never used 16 ohm speakers on anything and I’ve never even heard of anyone making a 32 ohm musical instrument speaker.

    Pull the speaker jack from the amp and measure the resistance from tip to sleeve with a DMM. It should be less than but close to 8 ohms. That’ll confirm that it’s one of those 2 schemes. Beyond that you’ll need to trace the wiring harness or meter out an individual speaker, once it’s unplugged from the harness, to get the final answer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2018
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  8. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    Exactly +1. It's just velcro. The rest ought to make sense once the front's off, though it is kind of a pain to work inside them (eg compared to a rear loaded 4x12).
     
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  9. eigentone

    eigentone Supporting Member

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    IIRC they use 8 ohm speakers in series/parallel wiring. I had one for many, many years but eventually sold it.
     
  10. Steppin' Wolfe

    Steppin' Wolfe Member

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    The Bassman Ten carries 4 x 10", 32 ohm speakers wired in parallel for an 8 ohm load. You can check the impedance of the circuit at the end of a cable plugged into the cab jack, and you can use a flashlight to visually see movement to know that each speaker is working...and you can hear any coil rub. As for opening it up to see what is there, I never disturb one of those velcro-attached grilleboards unless it is absolutely necessary. YMMV.....but I let sleeping dogs lie.
     
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  11. woof*

    woof* Member

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    Just FYI ...ampeg SVT cabs use eight 32ohm 10”s
     
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  12. zenas

    zenas Member

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    I do believe those amps came with either 32 or 8 ohm speakers, wired accordingly. (hopefully)
     
  13. Stormin

    Stormin Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Good to know - I’ve never been inside one of those. Thank you.
     
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  14. angusdeadking

    angusdeadking Member

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    Bassman Tens are often robbed for their speakers for vintage SVT replacements
     
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  15. woof*

    woof* Member

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    That’s the only place I’ve seen 32ohm speakers myself. Surprised if this is the case for this Fender.
     
  16. zenas

    zenas Member

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  17. woof*

    woof* Member

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    Looks like it came both ways 32 or 8
    4 x 10"/8 ohms total (32 ohms each connected in parallel or 8 ohms each in series-parallel)
     
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  18. zenas

    zenas Member

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    That's why it's a real good idea to check the speaker wiring or just measures the resistance at the plug. If someone replaced the 32 ohm speakers with much more common 8 ohms ones but didn't rewire, it'll be 2 ohms impedance. Not good for the little output transformer these come with. (suprising considering the OTs in other Bassmans)
    If you look inside one of these you might notice all the holes are drilled for a Super Reverb behind the faceplate. Might even have an SR power transformer with the rectifier winding. Get one like that and it's easy enough to make an SR. But SFSRs are so cheap it's not worth doing.
    I've serviced a few of these things and like the sound of them as is. Plenty of room for mods too, if you're so inclined.
     
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  19. Steppin' Wolfe

    Steppin' Wolfe Member

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    Iirc, the early ones were 8 x 32 ohms in parallel. I have never seen the 8 ohm speakers in one of these. I would prefer the parallel thing due to the safety if one speaker fails. Replacement would be more trying. But...then....I have owned exactly one of these Bassman 10's, and I didn't have it very long. They are not my thing. I'll take an earlier Bassman head with three gain stages.
     
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  20. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    I have a 1973 Bassman Ten, too! Got it about 15 years ago. I really love the amp, classic Fender cleans and that closed back 4x10" cab really punches hard. Mine was stock with the parallel wired 32 ohm speakers, which I replaced with some 8 ohm early/mid 80s Celestion G10S-50 that I got out of an old Randall cab, wired series/parallel. An Ampeg guy bought the old speakers, which were really tired sounding, the Celestions are a much better sounding speaker.

    I use it primarily for guitar (sometimes Bass VI-it's a perfect amp for it and baritones) and for kicks, bass--but only at a very low volume. After a full cap job, I made it more guitar friendly by removing the master volume and using that hole for a variable negative feedback control. Between the Celestions, reducing the NFB and jumping the channels, it's a really great guitar amp. Takes pedals all day (I tend to use a Blues Driver or Mesa V Twin to push it) and it keeps up with half stacks and drummers really well. If I was going to have a wall of amps, it would be these!
     

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