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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / The 6AQ5A thread (or how I fell in love with a Musicmaster)!


Look at my hair ...

Apr 24th, 2016 08:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Picked up a '72 Fender Musicmaster that was near mint for dirt cheap, and proceeded to completely destroy what little value it had by installing a three-prong grounded plug, changing the tone knob to be more interactive, installing an Eminence Cannabis Rex speaker and putting on tilt-back legs.

At now 25-30 lbs., it has become my number one gigging amp, and, although we mic everything, this thing is LOUD LOUD LOUD, with great natural tube breakup and compression when cranked, but nice cleans when not, and very touch sensitive.

SS rectifier, which gets a bad rap, but 6AQ5A tubes run about $3 each and are super plentiful, so I'm expecting a good, long run ...

Anyone else a fan?

Contributing Member

Cincinnati, USA

Apr 25th, 2016 10:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

About 35 years ago I remember seeing some forgotten circuit using a singled-ended 6AQ5A. Looked it up the RCA Receiving Tube Manual and decided that the 6BQ5 was better in this application. Really haven't thought about the 6AQ5 since then.

Contributing Member


On marrige #3. Bad picker, not a quitter
Apr 26th, 2016 11:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yep, I am.

I had quite the obsession and owned 4 at one time, all 1970 0r 1971. I have two now.

My 1971 is clean clean clean, all original and sounds very nice.

The 1970 is from the 1st batch made, has a screw in baffle and is hand wired with a terminal strip. No tag board. I've seen a couple like it over the years. There are some interesting differences in those first batch ones.

The Tube Store, an old FDP sponsor, used to have the military version 6005 tube for about $9 each.

I had a 6V6 version once and didn't notice much of a sound difference.

71' Musicmaster Bass Amp

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Apr 28th, 2016 10:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

6AQ5 sounds like a 6V6 but is limited in the plate voltage it can handle...250v is stated as the max, but Fender, as they do with 6V6's, push that limit. A 6BQ5 (not a direct replacement for a 6AQ5) sounds more like an EL34...crunchier...some say "glassier."


LA , Calif

I try my best
Sep 30th, 2016 09:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had a 71 and a 77 . I liked both. The 71 had the pine cab and metal corners on the four bottom and the fender glide type feet. 77 was a particle board cab and no metal corners and the same feet like most champs had.

super mario
Contributing Member


tone to the bone no other way
Oct 6th, 2016 08:01 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Our former lead guitar player used one for years as his "practice" amp.....light, portable and dreamy, creamy tone. He mentioned that it was an amp that stays way below the radar. He would used a Blues Driver and a compressor pedal and would coax all the tone he needed to do the songs. Have thought about finding one myself.....seems like maybe its time to look a little.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / The 6AQ5A thread (or how I fell in love with a Musicmaster)!

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