What would you say if I tipped you off about a great new amp that had ...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Kiwi, May 17, 2006.

  1. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Say I told you about a new amp that featured:
    • Point to point hand wiring
    • Terrific classic blackface Fender tone
    • Two channels, with yummy tremolo as an option
    • All tube, about 40 watts of clean
    • Easily serviced, stone reliable
    • Priced at only $500 or so for a head
    My fellow gear slootz ... would you be interested?

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    People, this amp is right out there in front of you.

    I'm talking about 1960s-era blackface Fender heads. Bassmans, Tremoluxes, Band Masters.

    In the open market, these cost $400-500 each for clean examples of these amps. Dang - power, tone, and beauty, for next to nothing!

    Well, 1960s Marshalls are through the roof. The earlier blonde versions of these Fender classics are already zooming. Are blackfaces the next wave?

    Discuss. 'Cause I love these old beasts.

    Kiwi
     
  2. DanR

    DanR Member

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    I'd say this.....

    [​IMG]

    I got this off ebay last year. It's a '67 Bandmaster in a Deluxe Reverb cabinet. Due to the fact that UPS trashed it, but I'm one of the few cases that they paid up on the insurance without much fuss, I got it for practically nothing. So, with a few repairs, new speaker, new tubes and an expect electronical inspection/refurbish, I paid about $350 total.

    It's a great little amp, by the way.
     
  3. lanesmat

    lanesmat Member

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    I agree that they're great amps, however not near a collectable as Fender amps with 'verb. Love it or hate it, reverb and Fender amps are in many minds synomonous with Fender amps. I don't know if non-verb Fenders will ever explode pricewise like their reverb cousins, but you never know about the vintage market.

    I always felt that Fender amps was (and still is in many cases) the most versatile amps ever built. ALL genres of electric guitar music has had "signature" tones using Fender amps at one time or another. Jazz, rock, country, punk, R&B, etc. a Fender amp has been there at one time or another.

    Scott L.
     
  4. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Kiwi -

    I'm thinking your pricing is a little low on those. I bought a BF Bassman head 4 years ago - paid $500 plus shipping, did a cap job for $100, and I STILL feel like I stole it ....

    I love 'em too, I just think your pricing is maybe $100-$200 low, at least in California

    Thanks, Dana O.
     
  5. danieldroukas

    danieldroukas Member

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    Let's discuss Kiwi's finer point on blondes. I recently picked up a blonde bassman head for 1K... What should I expect in the next 5 years in terms of resale (heaven forbid I sell the poor thing)? I do believe the blondes to be the much unheard-of underdog in the Fender family. Afterall, these are the melding of the gnarling tweed designs with the upcoming chime of the blackface designs. Opinion: a real winner.
     
  6. Mark Kane

    Mark Kane Silver Supporting Member

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    I've always wondered why Dr Hook and the Medicine Show never took off after they made the cover of the Rolling Stone:(
     
  7. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Good point, and it's been a good point for a while. For us players it's a real blessing too. Every day those amps don't go up in price is a gift for those of us that appreciate proven reliable tone. I never use reverb much anyway really. I'd love to pick up a BF Bassman head some day, providing these prices stay low like this.
     
  8. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    One of the editors at Guitar Player magazine and I went round and round a few years ago when I asked them to start having REAL amp shootouts, with quality vintage amps next to their new boutiques. Guitar Player just won't do it, though. Wouldn't say why, either. I suspect it's probably because some of their advertisers would get nuked by the direct comparison to some of these fantastic older amps. IMHO, you can put a blackfaced Princeton, Deluxe, or Pro Reverb up against nearly anything and they'll sound at least as good if not better than 75% of the stuff out there.
     
  9. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    If it ain't Tweed, I gots no need.
     
  10. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

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    I'm lovin my blackface bandmaster. I've had it for nearly twenty years. I never really paid much attention to what they cost now. I may pick up a bassman just for giggles at those prices.

    Scott:RoCkIn
     
  11. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Supporting Member

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    When I bought my 1st bassman 10 years ago they had them stacked up on top of each other about 5 feet high. Must have been about 10 of them all blackface. I asked how much, and was told they were all $200 a piece. I noticed the one second from the bottom had an extra presence knob so I said "I'll take that one" The guy said "Oh that one is really rare it's $250" Sounds like a good deal to me.

    I had to pay $100 and a Traynor Guitar Mate for my blonde a few years back.
     
  12. katuna

    katuna Silver Supporting Member

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    Ha Ha Ha Ha. Have you seen that video of them doing that one on YouTube? Talk about stoned!
     
  13. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    I had a Bandmaster for a few years and I thought it was a kickass amp, though maybe I paid too much. I just sold it a few months ago. I think it was $500, plus I had to have it gone over and recapped, tubed, etc. I think that was another $150-$200. Still, a very nice amp once it was cleaned up.
     
  14. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I'm hearing that demand is stronger in CA, and prices there are rising.

    Elsewhere, and on the gear boards, they're still reasonable and plentiful. 2005: $400 for a BF Bandmaster head, still has the original 7025s. I then paid $80 for an overhaul, re-cap, and 3-prong cord. 2006: $500 for a BF Tremolux, already recapped and 3-prong cord.

    Got a Bassman last month off the Harmony Central board: New repro face plate, fresh hardware, overhauled and converted to AA864 specs, shines like a penny, $500. (With the bag of old parts, too, of course.)

    I'm also hearing that our favorite retail big-box chain store, Good Choices, is buying up all the blackfaces and sitting on them, figuring they will go up in value.

    My local GC had a BF Tremolux tagged at $999. It sat there for 18 months, couldn't move it. I inquired, and was told they'd make me a special deal .... $899, just for me. I bought mine off the boards for $500 that week.

    But the GC sales dood muttered something about: GC's HQ is figuring Blackfaces are the next vintage pieces to go up, and that the stores are not allowed to deal on "vintage" pieces.

    Kiwi
     
  15. Legendofamind7

    Legendofamind7 Member

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    Man that is some sad news to hear about gc. Got a question...would a bassman head with the right set of 4x12 speakers break up at small club/band practice volumes. Or does it need to be really pushed/loud to break up? Right now I'm looking for a vintage fender amp to complement my twin reverb for bluesy od tones. Thanks
     
  16. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Kiwi -

    My BF Bassman is an older Presence knob model. I think the later 3 knob version (Vol, Treb & Bass) is still less expensive, even in CA.

    Another factor is that it's pretty easy to mod an early SF Fender to BF specs - seems to involve removing parts more than adding them (GRIN) to get them to sound the same. There are lots of SF 3 knob Bassman heads around as well as the later version 3 knob BF heads.

    Bassmans have bigger iron than Bandmasters I believe - they may be more desireable than Bandmasters in the market. Maybe the price will go up sooner on them.

    Dana O.
     
  17. Kiwi

    Kiwi Silver Supporting Member

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    Tough call. The Bassman's a pretty clean machine and has the bigger transformers for more headroom. Humbuckers plugged into the #1 input will get you some breakup around 5 on the volume knob. Might be too loud into a 4x12 for small club use.

    I think you'd need pedals for breakup at lower volumes, or get a Bandmaster or Tremolux which have smaller iron and a bit less power.

    Amyone else with an opinion here, chime in...

    Kiwi
     
  18. Phil M

    Phil M Member

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    For breakup at small clubs, I'd go Bandmaster and then use a Bassman for the bigger places. I'd still keep a tubescreamer in front of it just in case. They're all pretty loud if you ask me.

    A 4x12 is probably overkill at just about any small place.
     
  19. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Yup. I've got my BF Bassman head......it's been modded to Blonde 6G6-B specs by Brian Gerhard at TopHat......and it is a wonderful amp!!!
     
  20. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    I find the Bandmasters and Bassmen heads to be flat sounding. There isn't a lot of sizzle to the clean.
     

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