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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Bandmaster head - do I need one?

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swampyankee
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 28th, 2017 05:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I really like Bandmasters for some reason, or at least the concept of a medium wattage 2-12 Fender head-cab setup. It seems to work for my current band. "My rig", or at least when there's room on stage for it, is a modern 40 watt Bandmaster VM head-cab. It gives me the volume and the punch for playing un-mic'd. I use a '90's 60 watt Concert Amp when space is limited.
The VM head is nice in that, it has a few useable effects, and a workable gain channel. A good, serviceable unit but maybe not a true vintage Fender tone that I'd like, especially when pushed.

I'd really love a vintage Bandmaster, or maybe a Bandmaster Reverb head. But I wonder if it's the most practical thing to do? Bang-for-buck, I might be better off with a more modern, 2 channel head or something.
Or is the tone of a vintage BM unique enough that nothing else will do?

stl80
Contributing Member
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USA

stl80
Mar 28th, 2017 08:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Tone is overrated,volume is where it's at. : > )
Jim

uncleuncle

USA

Tootall
Mar 28th, 2017 08:51 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a Bandmaster I bought new in 1964. I've had many amps over the years, but NONE equal the tone of the BM. Volume is bull. Who plays anywhere these days that can't be covered by 40 watts? Find a good one, and you won't regret it. (Everyone will want to play through it).

Patton
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Michigan

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Mar 28th, 2017 10:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Or try a vintage Bassman head. 50 6L6 watts and big output transformer = great bass response for guitar.

Early 68's are all blackface circuit. I love mine and am running it through a basic 2-12 cab (Bugera).


Steve25

USA

Mar 29th, 2017 06:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Even for playing classic rock if you are doing such you need a channel switching amp that has two completely independent tone stacks, and with assignable wattage settings on each channel, I myself use two amps, one with a good amount of clean power and 2-12s that can get some crunch if need be when I push it , and another amp just for full on distorted sounds.
The only good thing about the silverface face Bandmaster reverb amps is that they switched over to a rectifier tube power supply so if you Crank the amp enough it will sing better then the earlier Bandmasters with there SS power supply, but tone wise all of those crappy brown or Blue cheap coupling caps in the amp make the amp pretty dead sounding !

I have two 67 Bandmasters and even with there output transformers that are smaller then Superreverb , with stout output tubes they will pump out 45 watts of clean power, which thru 2 good efficient 12s is loud!

(This message was last edited by Steve25 at 08:07 AM, Mar 29th, 2017)

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Mar 29th, 2017 07:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm on my second BM.....the first one I had was stock and I had a smaller 2x12 cab with Celestion's in it....like a dumbass I got rid of it 10 years ago....

and a year or so ago I got the itch for another one. The SS rectifer was changed to a Weber Copper cap and the tremolo circuit was removed so that a mid range control could be added to the vibrato channel..

tons' of volume and the tone is perfect!

The Bandmasters are great sounding amps and they can still a great bang for the buck

Here's mine

(This message was last edited by Guitar Fool at 09:18 AM, Mar 29th, 2017)

swampyankee
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 29th, 2017 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

GF, that's a pretty sweet looking rig! How's it sound with the 2-10's and 2-8's compared with the traditional 2-12's?


Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Mar 29th, 2017 07:48 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

the cab has 2 inputs in it..I can run just the 2 Jensens or all 4 via the other input even though the ohm's are mismatched, the amp appears to be able to handle it quite well..

the Jensen's are 1965 C10Q's...nice and chimey, no flabby bottom, and they break up about halfway up the dial...

with all 4, its a bit warmer, punchier and LOUDER...lol.... I'll give the 2 8's credit for that...;-0

I took a gamble on the speaker set up but had a feeling they would compliment each other nicely.
I haven't been able to gig with it... I guess that would be the best test...

if I remember with the 2x12 set up I had it was big and boomy....not bad by any means...just different...

If you can bring yourself to get a mid 60's BM head then an after market BF 2x12 cabinet, you can load it with the speakers you want...the original cab's were just too damn big to lug around.... I know I had one...;-0

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Mar 29th, 2017 07:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's a pic of the back o the cab.

Rear view

swampyankee
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 30th, 2017 01:41 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

In perusing the local ads, I found a '66 Showman head for a decent price. What's the story on those? Basically a Twin circuit without reverb? I'd assume more headroom, but is it along the lines of a Twin/Bandmaster, tonewise?

pcalu

usa metro detroit

Mar 30th, 2017 04:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here is my take on the BM and every Black face and Silver Face Fender amp. Name me a boutique amp made now that we are going to be talking about 40yrs from now? I'm sure there will be some... BUT... till then, we got to go with what we know

Right?

IMO if you buy a BF or a SF BMaster, Baseman, Princeton, Twin Reverb, Deluxe, Pro Reverb, Vibrolux whatever.... and have it worked on i.e. restored to it's former glory, even Black Faced if a SF(BF if you want.. in many models SF sound kick ass too! IMO just different than a BF) You have an amp that is just as good as any Boutique amp you can buy...

(This message was last edited by pcalu at 06:47 PM, Mar 30th, 2017)

Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Mar 30th, 2017 09:08 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^
hard to argue with that statement...!

swampyankee
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 31st, 2017 11:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've found a nice-looking '66 Showman head nearby. I think I'll check it out. I want vintage Fender blackface tones to go with my 2x12 cabinet, but as I understand it, the Showman stays clean like a Twin.

RDR
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 31st, 2017 11:38 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Love my '66 Bandmaster. Recapped it and put new tubes in it. Built a custom Fender-style cab to match with an Eminence 15" speaker. Great sounds! Very loud and clean, great with pedals.

Anyone ever try a 12AX7 for the PI position to get some hair a little earlier?

I should have aged the cab grill cloth. Now I'll have to take it apart and do it. What would give it that cigarette smoke color to match the head? Spray on some coffee?

BM and Cab

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Mar 31st, 2017 03:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah, that Showman will have to be cranked to pain level to hair up a bit. If you are a pedal user it's a great platform. If you want straight in BF clean it is wonderful.

If you want a little more hair out of your BM, play with the value of the negative feedback resistor. Large values (less feedback)over stock will render some cream you didn't know was there. I'm not a fan of the X tube in the PI but YMMV.

RDR, you need a small room and 50 cartons of Camel cigs!

RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 31st, 2017 04:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks, maybe I could store it in one of those hookah joints...

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Mar 31st, 2017 04:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A cigar bar!

swampyankee
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olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Mar 31st, 2017 07:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


I'd have the same problem if I bought a vintage head to use with my VM cabinet.

I'm told tea is a good aging stain.


Guitar Fool
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Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Mar 31st, 2017 08:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

RDR...that's a nice looking set up.....

I've never had the pleasure of a 15 in any amp setting, but would love to give it a try...


RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Apr 1st, 2017 09:39 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The 15 has a nice full sound and is very sensitive (103.5 dB/watt). Not too bassy and plenty of high end. Also seems to have more horizontal dispersion than smaller speakers.

I had a BM cab and sold it because it was just too big for me. But those 2/12 large cabs do have a special sound to them.

Hmm,maybe I'll put in a variable resistor instead of the feedback resistor if I can find one of the right value.

Guitarfool, that is an awesome rig you've got there!

(This message was last edited by RDR at 11:52 AM, Apr 1st, 2017)

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Bandmaster head - do I need one?




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