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Found a Fender Bassman 50! Help needed.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bas_anton, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. Hi, I found this amp in a barn at my friends summerhouse yesterday.
    I believe it´s from 1965. Is this the model called Blackface?
    Is it supposed to be used both as a guitar and a bass amp?
    Does somone know how many ohms the cabinet is? I believe it´s two 12" speakers.
    I have never owned a tube amp and this one doesn´t make a sound, yet:meh:
    The speakers works when connected to another amp.
    When i turn on the power-switch, the lightbulb on the front shines bright red and a humming noise comes from the back of the amp.

    Talkbass can be one of the number one info sources for this kind of stuff.
    So if you know anything about this amp please tell me.
    To someone with tube knowledge. Is the black spot on the big tubes a sign of something bad? And as far as I know these tubes can be stock. Do they look like stock?
    Is this a good amp? Is it worth spending money on a service man? And do someone know what it might cost?
    I apologize for any bad spelling? Thanks in advance.
  2. more pics
  3. pics
  4. You lucky sum-biyitch!

    Tubes probably want replacing. I'd take it to a tech and have it checked over...looks like its in good nick though :eek:

    Classic amp.
  5. Those heads were 4 ohms. They are excellent guitar rigs. They do not offer much headroom at all for a bass player. Black face is a literal term, just like "plexi". It is most certainly "worth" spending money on. It would be an excellent bass rig for recording or small venues. Have a tech check the caps, power cord and everything else. The speakers may still be in fine shape, but that is something you can easily find out for yourself. That 2x12 should be 4 ohms (two 8 ohm speakers in parallel). Get it to a tech and enjoy.
    Good Luck
  6. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    You will find a switch on the back marked standby. if I where you I should Switch that one after the one on the front has been on for a while to warm the heaters the standby switch applies the high tension
    voltage to make the amp work, make sure the loudspeaker cable is properly wired first of course as its very bad to run a valve amp without the correct load.
    Interesting output tube choice, they appear to be extremely high quality Gec:
    They appear to be the very rare and sought after triple getter military spec, the getters show some signs of gassing but probably have at least another 20 years life left, Get them tested other than of course if you live in Scotland where due to the harsh and rugged climate and what with the weight and fragility of valve testing equipment and the difficulty in heaving it over Hadrians wall.
    Alas no working example of this advanced technology has so far reached Scotland in good order.
    If it still don't work or has blown a fuse take this amp to a specialist as I think the bloke who had this amp set up to run this tube set was looking for that last one percent of power/tone and unlike some appears to know exactly what he was doing.
  7. This amp has only one switch at the back. It says on/off.
    I don´t know about the recent technological advances in Scotland as I live in Sweden. I seems like this amp was distributed by Hagstöms in Sweden, and they have made some modifications on the back of the amp. All the tubes glows but there is no sound.
  8. Well I'm just going on the fact that 30 odd years in a barn in sweden probably isnt the best environment for electrical equipment of any kind. :|
  9. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Are the fuses ok is the cab plugged in the speaker out of the amp are the mains and standby switches set to run.
    Is there any noise from the speaker at all, hum hiss etc?.
    If you turn the lights out and look into the output tube and turn on and off the stand by you should be able to see a blue plasma type color change inside the output tubes caused by the presence of a few hundred volts being applied to the anodes by the standby switch on the back.
    No doubt this amp was some ones pride and joy what's happened to the original owner.
  10. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Tubes are not bothered by environmental issues unless its so bad the pins actually rot right off.
    I think its got groove tubes in the pre amp as well by the look of it.
    at least they seem to have a lot of red writing on them.
    Either the original owner was a valve tech or he knew a good one.
    I bet it sounds great when he gets it running.
    Like someone said a hell of a guitar amp for a bass amp, I spose for bass you could use one of those new fangold di boxes called a microphone if it wasn't quite loud enough on stage and have a bit in the monitors if you got them.
  11. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
  12. That amp needs service, which may or may not include new tubes. Save yourself a lot of trouble and find a qualified technician to repair the amp. Most of the answers you're getting here are no substitute for a professional overhaul, nor will they help you actually fix the amp.
  13. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    +1. And congrats on a really great find. 50 watts won't be alot, but the tone will be to die for.
  14. Great find. One thing that bothers me is that I don't see a speaker cable in any of the pics.
    Are you connecting the head and cab together properly?
    With a SPEAKER cable?
    Try that first.
    I know its obvious, but give it a try.

  15. jtc_hunter


    Feb 16, 2007
    Even though there wont be much headroom/volume for bass, just get a good mic for the cab. Should be killer. get it serviced by a qual. tech.
  16. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003


    Great amp for guitar.
    Nice bass amp for recording.
  17. kraigo


    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    My friend Paul gigs with a 50 watt silverface Bassman combo with four 10's. It's plenty loud when I'm sitting next to him playing drums.

    Congrats! It's a very very cool find and I'm jealous. Be prepared to throw a few hundred bucks into getting it fixed if you have to. It'll be worth it and you'll quite likely recoup it if you decide to sell it. It's a fairly desirable amp.

  18. Kenbuntu


    Jun 6, 2005
    Oh yeah, don't try fiddling with the insides of the amp. It can kill you.

    Nice Find BTW :D

    i wish i was this lucky. I'm stuck here with a 1982 Peavey Mark IV :|
  19. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    The tubes are toasted, those brown splotches on the envelopes are supposed to be silver.
    They must have, all blackfaces had standby switches. The rear view pic shows a non-Fender backplate with I guess Swedish writing, beneath it there's undoubtably a hole in the chassis where the standby switch was originally located. Details on this amp can be found at http://www.ampwares.com/ffg/index.html
  20. ...not necessarily. The getters, the "splotches" you refer to, are supposed to be silver, but if the tube has been very hot for long, it will burn the getter and make it brown like that. So long as the cathode still emits, the tube is fine, just ugly. The most common cause of this is an underbiased output stage. I have several tubes that look that way which still have plenty of life left in them.
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