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Fender BandMaster / Bassman (tubes)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jsa0100, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    Are there any one that have used older
    fender 50-100 watts tube heads on stage ?
    Like the 50 watt Bassman or The BandMAster.
    Is a 100 watt tube amp to little for stage ?
    The amp in question is a dual BandMaster by Fender (1964).
    I know that they was popular by bass players back then.
    And they have 90 watts (4 x 6l6) of power.
    They are called dual because they have twice the power
    of an ordinary BandMaster.
  2. adam precision

    adam precision

    Mar 26, 2008
    If you use it with an efficient bass speaker it will compete with the drums. If the drums get miked so will you..
  3. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I used a Bassman 70 (2x6L6) for a few gigs with a 4x10, it was good enough but not great. The gigs were no PA support but they were in a boomy hall so I was heard off stage, but I had a hard time hearing myself since I was standing a good distance from my cab. You'd probably be fine with a Dual Bandmaster, especially if you have PA support.
  4. toobalicious


    May 6, 2008
    triad, nc
    dual bandmaster?

    dont you mean dual showman? i have never heard of a dual bandmaster, and i have been a fender man for virtually all of my playing career.

    the other part of your question.... i have a bassman 100. it has great tone, if you can find it. i find the onboard tone controls to be fairly useless, but a good eq pedal fixes that right up. it and the 2x15 cab are enough for, say, a blues jam or lesser. OTOH, it completely falls apart outside or with a loud band. so, i guess it depends on how loud you need to be. it records VERY well.
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The Bassman and Bandmaster were on a 2x6L6 chassis. The Showman and Dual Showman were on 4x6L6 chassis, shared with the Twin Reverb. The Showman came with a 1x15 cab, the Dual with a 2x15 cab. All were great guitar amps, all underpowered for bass.
  6. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I love 'em all - as recording or practice amps. Once you suss the tone stack there's a lot of great tone in there. These are color machines, not hifi, not amps to run flat - revel in the color!

    Start at everything on 6 for a nice Fender amp blues tone and go from there...
  7. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    Well her is a picture of it :


    Yes i am sure it's a dual BandMaster, and they are not very common.
    2 x 6LG are present, but there are 4 sockets trust me.
    The transformers are OK.
    I am not so active on guitar so i have just kept it around because it's
    Fender and it's old.

    However i have heard that this was considered to be a dream amp
    for bass players in the early and mid 60's.
    And since we sometimes plays 60's music in smaller places.
    I can't get read of the thought of using this amp as a bass amp, playing Creedence or Beach boys.
    BTW i can also live with a slight distortion.
  8. toobalicious


    May 6, 2008
    triad, nc
    yes, i can see the beartrap tube retainer. those were added post-factory, as was the big-assed output tranny (in the "middle" of the amp). a normal bandmaster has an OT about half that size. yours is not the first modified fender i have ever seen, and i guarantee it wont be the last. i can also guarantee with a great deal of certainty that your amp did NOT come out of fullerton in that configuration.

    doesnt mean it is bad or anything, just not original. some modifications were executed by experts, and they perform as such. unfortunately, the rest of them were executed by NON-experts (or people who claim expertise, like torres), and may have crap components, $hitty lead dress, bad decisions, etc etc etc.

    what does the front panel say?

    edit: BTW, i forgot to add that bandmaster chassis were stamped for four power tubes, and had a screwed on cover over what would be the first and third (or second and fourth, depending how you count).
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    That tranny is the output transformer, can't say why it's tilted. Tube retainers were SOP, odd that there aren't any on the 6L6s. The lack of shields over the pre tubes and apparantly bent output transformer mounting indicate a less than pristine sample.

    Fender chassis were shared by various models and unused holes were covered with plates.
  10. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    I am sorry i have mixed up the names Showman and Bandmaster.
    (Wounder if others have done that before me)
    I was jumping to conclusions that when some one was referring to
    a dual Showman that was what i had (because of the 4 6LG).

    The soldiering for the extra tubes looks OK, but the
    exposed wires does not.


  11. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Someone tried to add a second pair of output tubes to it. Looks like a real hack job in there.
  12. jsa0100


    Apr 6, 2005
    Not the best job i have seen.

    The transformer is not tilted on purpose, it happen during transport.
    I am tempted to restore the amp to 2 x 6L6, and plug the extra holes.

    I have done some more research on the dual Show master.
    And it's called dual because they equipped it with a speaker cabinet
    with two 15" speakers.

    I thought it was popular by bass players because of extra power, but
    it's because of dual 15" speakers.
    Still it seems strange to me that Fender would write dual on a separate
    amplifier head. Since anyone with a baseman or showman could
    also have used the speakers.
  13. Bluesbob


    Mar 13, 2000
    Springfield, TN
    According to Teagle and Sprung, the amps with the large block letter "DUAL" used a different OT and tied the PI and neg. feedback to ground through a 47-ohm resistor, as opposed to the 100-ohm resistor in the regular Showman.
    A regular occurence in bands during those times was for the bassist to play through the Showman (or Dual Showman) with its' 15" speaker(s) while the guitar(s) were pumped through the Bassman amp. The Beach Boys were one of the groups doing this and have been photographed and filmed in concert using this arrangement.
    I used to use my 40-watt Bassman head with a passive J-bass into a BDDI and a folded horn single 15" (JBL E140). This kept up with a particularly loud drummer and an aggressive guitarist with a 200-watt SS Crate 2X12 box o' distortion.
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    The Showman, Showman Reverb and Dual Showman Amps were popular among bassists as they were double the power - it was not uncommon to see Twin Reverbs remounted in 'head boxes' as it was the same amp. They were also popular as they used the 3 band tone stack not 2 band.

    In the late 60's early 70's it was pretty common for folks to mod thoseamps and add a pre-amp line out to drive a power amp of some kind. That is a part of the business that got Alembic off the ground.

    One of the beauties of an old Fender is that they are pretty simple and they are very well documented. Parts are readily available. They were easily modded and they are just as easily returned to stock, though sometimes stock will have some extra holes depending on who did the original mods... no matter on the holes though unless you want a museum piece.

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