#1
Hey all,

So, not really knowing a whole lot about these amps, I'm curious if some Fender gurus on here can help a fellow UG-er out. I've been going through a hardcore phase of GAS and been picking up/trading for various pieces of gear. Finally pretty dang happy with my high gain-rig, but let's be honest - My ENGL is a one trick pony, and I'm looking into a second amp for non metal genres/recording better cleans.

The Bandmaster heads have caught my eye, as they are fairly inexpensive, and mid-powered at 40W. That's appealing to me because I like to be able to push the tubes a little bit, but would also wanna run it through something like a greenback loaded 2x12, and I figure a 100W tube head is overkill and asking for trouble there.

The important question though - Do they deliver the classic Fender tones I'm after in spades? Aside from good cleans, I'm looking for good surf rock tones, and both twangy and gritty rockabilly/psychobilly tones as well. I have an OD pedal if needed to get it gritty enough. How do they differ from other Fender amps such as the bassman or twin, other than power levels?
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#3
Ya, what ^ he said.

I had a 1965 Bandmaster. Wonderful full clean sounding, had the AB763 circuit. Hell even used it for high gain tones with the right distortion/pre amp going into it. Don't let the 40 watts fool you. That amp will push a 2x12 to very loud territory, it was as loud as my friends XXX.
But the damn thing was so unreliable since it was so friggen old. Some days it worked very good, some days it sucked ass So if you can find a real vintage one try it out for at least an hour if you can leave it on eat a sammich smoke a bowl and go back to playing it to make sure it works well. Otherwise its gonna cost a lot IF you can find someone who is good at fixing vintage amps.
I just decided to trade it in for a newer amp since I really needed channel switching and loops ect..... But somedays I really miss the tone it had. I have no idea how the new vintage bandmasters compare it would be nice to find out.
What the hell!!!
#4
Either one, really.

I'm gonna go ahead and assume that the vintage examples are considered much more desirable, but I'd still like to know about both of them. Some of the older heads pop up for sale for around what a new VM one goes for around here.
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#5
People pick up real Bandmasters in the US for next to nothing all the time. Keep watching the used market for an old blackface to pop up and grab it. Don't settle for less, there's no need unless you need it urgently. A blackface will cream anything Fender produce today.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#6
Yeah, I'm not in an immediate hurry for anything, but am keeping an eye out for deals. Are the blackface era amps considered the most desirable? What about Blonde and Tweed era? And I hear silverface = hit or miss?
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#7
I like silverface Fenders, they can be had for cheap money and sound just as good, it's all preference with fenders though, don't shy away from silverface models. I like the Bandmaster, buddy of mine had a BM silverface head for a while and it sounded great. If you do get a silverface and after awhile you'd like to change it up it's quite a simple mod to get it to blackface specs.
Fender Strat Deluxe
Fender MexiStrat
Epiphone Sheritan
Ibanez Artcore
Fender Twin Reverb silverface
Roland JC120
Pedals

Quote by CaptainAmerican
I would recommend the marshal MG100

Very versatile and quality sound. It should treat you well
#8
Early silverfaces are easier to blackface than the later ones. There were changes to transformers and the regulator too. The most obvious difference though is build quality. By comparison a sf looks like it was put together by a madman. The lead dress on a bf is far superior.
You can often score a silverface a lot cheaper and they are a decent sounding amp, it's just that a blackface is simply better.
The earlier ones are built as well as a blackface but they do have a different sound. You'll get more clean headroom out of later ones. Tweeds are what you buy if you want to push them into power tube distortion.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#10
Quote by gregs1020
here's a shop selling a '70 BMR head for $600. it's been gone through and tuned up.

i'd be all over the phone begging them to send it to me if i were you.

http://littlerock.craigslist.org/msd/3681440612.html


+1

i'd pay 600 for one that has been worked on already.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#12
So, I'm posting back in this thread again, instead of making a new one, in the interest of forum etiquette

I did a bit more research on the newer VM bandmaster heads - Turns out they're hybrids! . Looks like I will DEFINITELY go with a vintage example if I choose a bandmaster! (Sounds like the blues/hot rod deluxe combos are a better bet if going new to me. At least they're all tube).

I have a couple of questions, still. Research suggests that blonde era, and blackface era Fenders have some subtle tonal differences, due to different circuits used in the amp designs? I've mainly heard that the blonde era BM's have a bit more midrange focus, and that the blackface has more of a slight mid-scoop, ala the famous "Fender clean" chime. Can anyone confirm this? Also curious, because the blonde era stuff seems to command somewhat higher prices than blackface stuff (Is it because it's older, or because it's considered more desirable?)

And, I'm also curious about a totally different, and cheaper amp - The Peavey classic series stuff. I've heard they're really well made, and good for vintage tones, but still sound different than a Fender, for someone after the distinct "Fender tones". If anyone can confirm this too, it'd be much appreciated!
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff