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Amps That Don't Exist - Part Two!

by vaughn skow January 25, 2011 3 min read

Bassman Combo

Okay, so in last weeks blog I started out this little series with my 1959 Brown Fender Super Amp, which was featured in the October issue of Vintage Guitar Magazine, and will be featured in Dave Hunter’supcoming vintage amp book.  Yea, yea, I know even though that amp never "officially" existed, it obviously was made by Fender and so, it sorta does exist.  This week’s amp really never has existed anywhere ... except for the one I have, of course!  Ladies and Gents, I present to you the 1965 blackface Fender Bassman 1-12 combo, most definitely the best sounding 1-12 combo that never existed!  Interested??  Then read on, baby, read on...

It is widely recognized that the blackface Bassman amps were never really that great of a bass amp, but man do they make for a splendid guitar amp (just as is the case with the tweed Bassman).  When I bought my 1965 Bassman, it was totally stock, and yes, it was in its original head-only configuration.  I played it mostly through my Marshall 1965B 4-10 cab, and it sounded awesome.  The NORMAL channel sounds almost as sweet, fat and juicy as my beloved blackface Super Reverb, and the BASS INSTUMENT channel sounds just like a Marshall JTM45 - with lots of mid-range snarl.  What a great combination of tones!  The problem is that most of the shows I do these days are casual little affairs, and the whole head-n-cabinet stack thing just really doesn’t work for me.  I’ve always loved the size and portability of my Deluxe Reverb, but with it’s 2-6V6’s, it just lacked the bottom-end authority I crave.  So of course I did what any one of you out there would have done; I had a 1-12 cabinet made for my Bassman head ... voila!  The result was an amp almost exactly the size of a Deluxe Reverb with the full 40 watt whollop of a 2 6L6 power section, and those two distinct awesome tones, too!

As was the case with last weeks featured amp, this Bassman is running on all the original parts that it left the factory with 46 years ago.  The only mod I made to the chassis was to add a three-prong power cord.  I LOVE my vintage Fenders, but I never have been a big fan of getting the living crap shocked out of myself when I stepped up and touched the mic with my lips.  Again this amp is an amazing testament to the quality of the build and design of the old Fenders.

WGS fans will no doubt notice the speaker that is installed.  Well, the thing is, the Bassman output tranny really wants to see a 4-ohm load, and let me tell you, when you are looking for a great sounding 4-ohm guitar speaker, your choices are very limited.  I chose the Fane speaker because it sounds very good, and I was miraculously able to find an exceptionally rare 4-ohm model.  I tell ya what, though, I’m going to talk to Wayne and see if I can get WGS to make me up a special 4-ohm G12 ... man, would that sound sweet!  If I get er done, I’ll be sure to post some video sound clips!

Until next time,  -Vaughn-

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