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Fender Bassman Silverface head question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Scorpios777, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. Scorpios777


    Oct 13, 2005
    A coworker of mine let me take home and try out a bass rig he has had sitting in storage for ages and wants to sell it for a couple hundred bucks. It turned out to me a Peavey 4X12 cabinet, which I have had before and not to fond of for bass, and what appears to be a very old Fender Bassman Silverface Head... I fired it up and after about 2 minutes of playing I heard a sizzling noise and saw smoke coming from the left side and quickly shut it off, so now I have two questions...

    How do I find out the year of the head?
    the serial number as A55930 and the speaker output says "50 watts"

    Second.. is anyone familiar with the symptoms I described of the smoking? Is this an amp that would be worth repairing and selling? It definately isn't something fitting to my taste in sound
    But if can sell it for enough cash to by something more suitable for me, that would be a great!
  2. Matt H

    Matt H

    Jul 30, 2005
    Ithaca, NY
    fortunately, you killed the amp...

    never fire up a tube amp that's been sitting in a closet for a number of years without being serviced and/or used.

    it now needs a cap job. most amp techs will charge at least 200 bucks for this.

    a silverface bassman head generally goes for between 250 and 350 depending on condition, vintage, etc.

    i can't help you dating with serial numbers, though I know it's possible.

    baiscally, if it's silverface but doesn't say "bassman 50" it's pre72? or so. does it have a master volume? if so, it's '75 or later.
  3. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Vintage? Late '60s. Smoke? Probably a resistor, and likely not too tough a fix, but as noted an amp that old could stand to have all the B+ caps replaced, probably with higher value as current cap technology is much better than it was 40 years ago. Value? Not much for live, except jazz perhaps, but still a good studio head. But it will cost at least a hundred, probably two, to get it up to speed.
  4. It's worth fixing and I wouldn't power it up again unless you are a tech. Old Fenders are going up in value all the time, that's 50 WRMS out, not very much for a bass but guitar players love them sound like early Marshalls, also make good sounding practice amps or good amps for small rooms. Could be filter caps as mentioned and also could be a resistor, could be many things, get it checked out, it's probably a late 60's early 70's head. There's a way to date them with the tube placement diagram on the inside R of the head for the key, google it you'll find it.