The Fender Bassman has been a favorite of guitar players since its introduction in 1952. The first versions of the Bassman utilized a single 15″ speaker but was soon redesigned with four 10″ speakers and dual rectifier tubes. The Bassman became a piggy-back amplifier in 1960 when the 6G6-A version was introduced. The “-B” version came out in 1963 with only minor cosmetic changes as well as a diode rectifier instead of the tube for less sag. Fender amps went through some more in depth cosmetic and schematic changes in 1964 which saw some interesting transition features. This amplifier falls in to that transition camp. 1964 was the first year of the new AA864 circuit that is commonly referred to as the “Blackface Bassman.” This amp still retains the earlier 6G6-B circuit which is evidenced by the white knobs and Presence potentiometer. The faceplate and tolex had just been changed to black so this is a very rare combination. The grille cloth is a correct Fender “wheat” cloth but is commonly seen on Fender amps from 1961 or 1962. It’s possible that the amp received a new old stock grille cloth at some point but it’s also possible that this was the original cloth.
The Episcopal Holiness Church outside of Birmingham, AL used this 1964 Fender Bassman for big gospel revivals and Sunday morning services. The early 80s saw the congregation in decline and this amplifier in somewhat of disrepair. The small church housed this amp until its rediscovery this year. I sent the amp to Joseph Dorough of Great Dane Amplification for couple of maintenance items including new filter capacitors, a few screen resistors, a 3 prong cord and a pair of JJ 6L6 power tubes. The amp appears to have had some Fender authorized replacement parts from 1970 including two 12″ Jensen Concert speakers and an Fender branded output transformer. This amp has been ridden hard but well maintained so it’s ready to get back to rock and roll. The breakup is really smooth and natural and the mid to low end is very tight. I was surprised at how dynamic this amp feels with nice touch response.
Joseph at Great Dane Amps put this one back right so it’s solid as a rock. The tone is that classic Fender breakup with touch sensitive cleans or tube driven natural compression. Call the number at the top of your screen or email me through the contact form on the right to talk to me directly about this amp.