#1
Hey guys i'm back from my ban and have a sweet new project. Well my friend's dad gave me a vintage Fender Bandmaster 40 watt head. I want to restore it and use it as a amp for live playing because i can connect it to a 4 12 cab. It appears to be a 1960 blackface model but i am not entirely sure what year it is. The cabinet that the chassis is in is definitely not original but the chassis and all the parts in the amp are. It also appears that some one bypassed the fuse i need to date this amp so i can find a schematic so that i can rewire the fuse back to the way it was. I have picture below og the front of the amp the bottom and the innards of the chassis. Also the knobs have been removed from it and i plan to get new ones.

I just realized that this Bandmaster has no brightness switches for either channel and it has six preamp tubes and two power tubes most models have four preamp tubes and brighness switches. The logo has a line trailing after the d in "Band" as you can see in the pictures.















Last edited by Stratmaster458 at May 26, 2008,
#3
thanks dude i think mine is a 1961-1963 era "blonde" bandmaster because it has a presence knob and no brightness switches. the cab its in is definitely not original so i'm gonna either fix and mod it ore build a new one. I can't believe i got this thing for free its so old and so vintage.
#5
Congratulations on owning a blonde Bandmaster. They are better than the blackfaces, IMO. Your particular amp has the 'harmonic vibrato' which is a very nice sounding effect.

If you post the transformer codes, I can tell you when it was made. Does that cabinet have a tube chart in it?

Here's what my blonde Bassman looked like:

The tolex got way too dirty, which is why you don't see many with the original tolex.

Here's the schematic and the layout:





At the very least, you'll need to install a grounded power cord, install a fuse, and replace all electrolytic capacitors. The amp has obviously not been used for a long time, which means it will blow up unless you do some maintenance work.
Last edited by mr_hankey at May 26, 2008,
#6
thanks guys. where can i find the transformer codes. The cab is not the original i guess my friends dad changed it out but he did refer to it as being a brownish one. Since the cab isn't original it does not have any documentation.

EDIT: how would i go about installing a grounded power cable? and what else should i do before i turn it on. Also how do i go about replacing the electrolytic capacitors . Should i take this thing to a pro everything on the inside look s good but i don't want it to die when i turn it on i want to get this thing usable for recording/gigging.

EDIT2: anyone gonna answer my questions?
Last edited by Stratmaster458 at May 26, 2008,
#7
**** man i want a vintage band master. you should sell it to me for $20.
haha, i cant help you much at all, but i can remind you to get some clips up of it AS SOON as its a fixed and in working order.
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#8
Does anyone know how i can install a power cord with a ground. Also how do i install new electrolytic capacitors. I was told the amp was not used for 17 years so it was last used in 1991. The cab its in is not original i stripped the covering and it was a homemade replacement cab of poor quality so i'm going to have to build a new cab a plans kit found here: http://www.tubeampparts.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=A&Category_Code=CP1 or i may just buy it prebuilt from vibroworld
anyone have any ideas of what i should do for a new cab? and the electronic questions?

EDIT: Does anyone know where i can get the vintage style barrel knobs cheap or if anyone has some they could sell them to me.
Last edited by Stratmaster458 at May 26, 2008,
#9
I found a guy on ebay that makes cabs for vintage fender amps and heads so i'm gonna get a new cab built to vintage specs. Once i get the cab i'm gonna get all neww mounting harware and new tolex. Any suggestions to what clor tolex i should get. originally this amp was a blonde one but i'm thinking that i might do it in red tolex with a black grill. tell me what yall think of that.
#10
The electronics are completely original, so you can preserve a lot of resale value if you get a good replica of the original cab. Besides, blonde tolex looks great.

No offense, but if you're asking about how to replace electrolytic caps, it sounds to me like you don't really know what you're doing. Have you soldered before, ever worked with electronics components? If you don't do it right, the amp won't work, and might even be dangerous to use.
#11
That amp is way too nice to learn on. If you are looking for a good fix er upper amp get a silverface bassman 50 and rewire that. Once you feel comfortable with a low end amp then look at fixing up your high end amp. Otherwise you are just going to damage things and reduce the overall value of a very nice amp.
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#12
I've rewired my guitar with new 57' pickups. The only thing this amp really needs is for the fuse to be rewired and a 3 prong plug installed. the amp was last used 17 years ago so the electrolytic caps should be fine right? only 17 years on no use not 47 years of no use. once i get a new cab custom built and after i cover it and put on all new hardware i think i'll bring it to a shop. I'm not gonna waste money on a ****ty CBS era silverface when i have a pre-CBS Blondeface masterpiece sitting in front of me. The repair place says they have $60 bench charge to take a look at it and if it needs work the $60 goes towards it. Their technician has been working on old fender amps for forty years. Looking at all the wiring in the amp it looks perfect and clean just dusty. The best i can do on my own i think is install a three prong grounded power cable, rewire the fuse back into the circuit, and install the chassis into a new cab with new hardware.
#13
The star grounds are "interesting". They look to be soldered right to the chassis.

Also whats with that cap floating near the input power.


If you add an IEC socket you will severly reduce the amps value. Adding the IEC socket will require chassis modifications. Just go with the hanging chord method.
#14
what is the handing chord method

EDIT: also the current power chord's contacts are 100% corroded and completely ff-ed up. Should i install a new standard two prong power cord
#15
Quote by Stratmaster458
the amp was last used 17 years ago so the electrolytic caps should be fine right?


No!!! the electrolytics will not be fine. If you fire the amp up before replacing them you can cause other things to blow.


I'm not gonna waste money on a ****ty CBS era silverface when i have a pre-CBS Blondeface masterpiece sitting in front of me.


It's called getting experiance so you don't distroy your blonde fender. You can take a silverface amp, restore it to blackface specs, buy a reissue faceplace and then sell it for twice what you paid and actually save money. If it doesn't work out then at least you only ruined a silverface rather than a blonde.


The repair place says they have $60 bench charge to take a look at it and if it needs work the $60 goes towards it. Their technician has been working on old fender amps for forty years. Looking at all the wiring in the amp it looks perfect and clean just dusty. The best i can do on my own i think is install a three prong grounded power cable, rewire the fuse back into the circuit, and install the chassis into a new cab with new hardware.


That sounds like a good plan. If thats all you plan on doing yourself then go for it and let your local repair shop do any major restorations.
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#16
Quote by kurtlives91
The star grounds are "interesting". They look to be soldered right to the chassis.

Also whats with that cap floating near the input power.


What star grounds? They're just the standard Fender attempt at getting as many ground loops as possible.

That's the infamous 'death cap'. It filters some of the AC noise. If it fails and shorts, you'll have live voltage on your chassis.

Quote by Stratmaster458
what is the handing chord method

EDIT: also the current power chord's contacts are 100% corroded and completely ff-ed up. Should i install a new standard two prong power cord


No! Install a grounded power cord.

The heater wires from the power tubes to the pilot light look very flimsy. I'd recommend replacing it with some matching cloth wire.

Also, about the electrolytic caps: at best, you'll have a very noisy amp, with farty bass and ghost notes. They may also fail and take out a transformer; which will send the resale value down the toilet (and require an expensive replacement). Really, replace the caps. The fact that the amp hasn't been used for a long time just make them more likely to fail.
#17
I have heard that installing a 3 prong grounded power cord will reduce the value of the amp, does it really matter if i plan to keep this amp forever and take it to the grave with me? I'm just going to have the amp worked on by professionals its too beautiful of an amp (the wiring is all done by hand). However i am going to get new knobs a new case and do the tolex and grill/hardware all my self
#18
A 3-prong cord will not devalue the amp. It's a very standard mod for safety purposes and does not effect the sound- and if you were to sell it, the first thing any buyer does with those amps is install a 2-prong cord. You should do it. You need to take it to a tech and have them replace all the electrolytics and install the 2-prong cord, and check out the grounding and wiring throughout. Do this before you turn the amp on and try to use it. If the filter caps go bad (which they absolutely will after 20 years of non-use), they'll take out a transformer and you'll be screwed. Get the job done right.
#19
alright it is settled all i'm going to do is restore the amp cosmetically and take it to a tech and have the electronics all repaired and restored and a 3 prong cable professionally installed. any other tips. Also does anyone know what size chassis straps i should buy for this when i install it in the new custom made cab?

edit: anyone know any other places where i can get custom cabs besides the ebay guy
Last edited by Stratmaster458 at May 27, 2008,
#21
those guys are a little pricey so I'm gonna just get one custom made from the ebay guy it will cost have as much and he will be able to make the exact one i need. Also guys how do i know which kind of tubes to put in for new ones. I know it takes 2 6l6GC and 4 7025 tubes and 2 12AX7 but which kind you know. The amp has a fixed bias so i don't know what kind of tubes to put in. Like with my hotrod it came with Fender Groove Tubes Blue Duet and the the preamp tubes were fender groove tube 12AX7s. I have changed tubes before so i'm not a n00b, but what tubes should i get? can i put in any kind of 6l6GC powertubes as long as they are a matched pare?
#22
I got a day off this coming thursday so i'm gonna take the amp to the repair shop and have the electronics all restored. Should be hearing this thing very soon
#23
The amp in in the repair shop being restored. it should be done in 4 weeks.

-a three prong power cord is going to be installed
-amp is going to checked and tested
-caps will be replaced
-fuse will be rewired back into the circuit
-overall i will be getting back a working vintage amp
#24
nice man, you should put up some sound clips when it's all done
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#25
yeah definitely. I'm gonna use the speaker in my hotrod deluxe to test it, essentially using my hotrod as a cab. Once I hear it i'm gonna get a custom cab for the amp chassis to go in then i begin my search for a new cab.
#26
UPDATE:

The amp was dropped off on friday of last week with a bench fee of $60.
I recently got a call with an estimate of the cost in total it is going to cost $140 (THE $60 goes towards the repair and parts). This repair/restoration project is going well the amp was free the restoration of the electronics is far less than i first estimated ($500) now I just need to make a new head cab and find a cab for it. I should be able to get sound clips up in about two weeks.
#27
Ok its coming back from the shop very soon and I need to get new power tubes (preamp tubes are fine) The tubes that came in it are 5881 tubes are those interchangeable with 6L6 tubes?
#29
Clips if you have equipment?
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#30
Bah fuck that, it can't play metal
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