1963 Fender Bassman 6G6-b
Posted on August 05 2019
This 1963 Fender Bassman 6G6-b is an excellent example early 1960s Fender craftsmanship, design, and aesthetic appeal. The Bassman has always been a favorite of guitarists since its introduction in 1952. The 6G6 version of this model is known for both its great Fender cleans and mild breakup when cranked. The preamp includes two 12ax7s for the Bass Instrument channel and one 12ax7 for the normal input. Two 6L6GC power tubes combine to produce about 50 watts of output to twin 12" Oxford speakers. The "-b" version uses a diode rectifier that doesn't sag like a tube rectified amplifier. All of these components mount inside two finger jointed, solid pine cabinets in typical Fender piggy-back style. This version differs from a blackface Fender both in the obvious cosmetics but also because the blonde bassman uses a presence knob instead of the bright switch. This adds a bit more versatility to the amp. The blonde Bassman was used by Brian Setzer, Mike Bloomfield, Pete Townshend, and Jimi Hendrix.
This particular Bassman had one owner for all its life: Bobby Jones, bass player for Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps and author of the song, Baby Blue. Bobby toured and recorded with Gene and His Blue Caps for a few years in the late 1950s. He purchased this amplifier a few years later and played with a few different bands throughout the 1960s. Sometime in the early 1980s, the diode rectifier failed and the Bassman went into the closet for 30+ years. Bobby got married a few years ago and decided to offer his Bassman and a 1952 Gibson J-45 for sale.
I purchased both pieces from Bobby personally. See the picture we took with the J-45 and his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame trophy. I took the Bassman to my amp tech who replaced the diodes in the rectifier, on/switch and the two leaky electrolytic caps on the board. The original filter caps were in great shape so we left them alone. One speaker is a factory Oxford and the other is a Fender warranty replacement Jensen 12". This Bassman roared back to life after we replaced the power tubes with new 6L6s. It's loud with glassy smooth clean but gets a really thick drive tone when cranked. This is not the amp for full on overdrive like a tweed Bassman. This one stays fairly clean and takes pedals very well.