Vintage 1963 Fender Bassman guitar amplifier

John Shults

Posted on February 19 2020

Vintage 1963 Fender Bassman guitar amplifier


This vintage 1963 Fender Bassman guitar amplifier in blond Tolex with wheat grill cloth came through the shop a few years ago. It was a fine sounding guitar amplifier and an excellent example of vintage Fender craftsmanship. I'm always a buyer for vintage Fender guitar amplifiers but I especially love the Fender Bassman amp. Please contact me to sell a vintage Fender guitar amplifier.

If you're looking for help with how old is my Fender amp? then check out my blog post on How To Date A Vintage Fender guitar amp.

Check out a few other vintage Fender Bassman guitar amplifiers that have come through the shop:

1958 Fender Bassman amp tweed

1964 Fender Bassman amp black with white knobs

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. T

his 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.

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1 comment

  • Tim: October 01, 2020

    Hi. Thank you for posting this. Great article. I am a fan of Gene Vincent. That is fantastic that you got Mr. Jones rig!!
    I have an early silverface (still has blackface circuitry) Super Reverb that I play through currently. I very recently bought a 63 Fender Bassman off Am looking forward to playing through it. It has the original speakers in it. I realize that all of this about amps is a personal preference and achieving ones tone that one can live with. I am going to check out your dating vintage Fender amps. Below is the description of the amp that I purchased from the seller: Griffin’s Guitars in Salisbury, NC: I am not sure if the speakers are Oxford or Jenson? The images show the speakers and there is a number stamped on them 12M6XH646. I would appreciate any input that you might have.

    (1963 blonde Fender Bassman head and cabinet
    ’62 output transformer and choke
    ’63 power transformer
    Tube chart is stamped “MC” – March of 1963
    Original speakers
    “Bias cap and diode has been replaced
    Grid resistor has been replaced one power tube
    All electrolytic caps have been replaced
    A couple of resistors have been replaced
    Three prong power cable has been added
    New power tubes added and biased (approximately 15 watts per tube)
    All pots, jacks, and tube sockets have been cleaned
    Thoroughly tested and works perfectly
    All in all, there has been $600 worth of work so buy with confidence that you are getting a great gigging or recording amp!”)

    Thanks again for the the article. :-)

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