This is a blonde tolex 50 watter, white knobs brown face et all. But it wasn't all so elegant from the beginning. This is a strange story.
My drummer works house to house local service job. One day he called me explaining how he'd met a gentleman with an amp for sale. It was an old "Fender Bassman" I was told, so I acted immediately.
When I arrived I negotiated what I thought was a fair price for such and took the amp home on the spot. The next day I had it at the shop and a customer and friend Bill came in and saw it. When he said that was "his old amp" I thought he meant he owned one back in the day. But after reiterating intimate details of the inner and outer changes I realized that was "HIS AMP"! It was something that was sort of "lost" over the years, not exactly stolen but maybe sold without permission after an extended period. Having lost my '59 Strat to theft the year prior I did not hesitate to return him his amp for what I had paid. Seemed fair enough & good karma.
Bill had informed me that in his yearly quest to regain his amp he had taken watch on a few others, and had a lead on a '63 black tolex. I was moderately interested, as I was much more enamoured by the blonde/brown version, but the price was right so I acted accordingly.
When I got the thing I realized it was actually a brownface unprofessionally recovered in black tolex, with a weird potatoe-sack grille cloth. What the hell, I need a project "of my own" once in a while (like a hole in my head lol). Alas, it was on. Let's get into the electronics.
Year: 1963 RA 0763 FEB14
Power Transformer-125P5B 006215
Output Transformer-125A5A 606-146
Serial Number BP01677
Tubes: 6L6 duet, 50 watts at 4 ohms. 2x12 speaker cabinet with Jensen speakers. Solid State rectifier.
The original circuitry gets extremely swampy and compressed on the bass channel. Almost effect like at levels above 4. I've read it's been labeled a "flaw", clearly "corrected" with the blackface circuit. I changed a few key components to adjust this accordingly and to maximize the extra tube stage within the bass channel.
I wanted to keep the circuit and appearance as stock Fendery as possible. Since the rectifier tube-socket-hole is prepunched and covered it only makes sense to add the tube. As some occasions desire a solid state punch I put both rectifiers on a dpdt switch (replacing the polarity switch, replaced by a three prong polarized AC cable), best of both worlds. Dual bias trimpots are crucial as well.
Filter Caps are always leaky, dried and oozing on these old amps, gotta replace them for full B+ potential/minimum 60 cycle hummmm. It's a pain but sometimes I'll carefully pull the paper covers off of the original filters and restuff them with brand new Spragues. It's a super nice vintage touch, looks the look and sounds like new. Btw, I didn't invent this idea, but I certainly can execute to perfection.
restuffed Looks stock to me! Electronics sounding great.
On to the outer aesthetic. Should look like my other brown amp:
pull the chassis
|From 1962 Bassman|
pile 'o black tolex and original parts.
I was peeling and peeling and couldn't believe my eyes
more original cloth (oxblood)
I did have to retolex say 35% of the amp, turned out great. and to top it off 1960's Jensen Speakers, sound fab and can handle what 'cha throw at them.