Other Amps

56 5E6 Bassman restoration

1

A year ago, I craigslisted this "Vintage Hot Rod Deville" for a decent price. It cost me about what two new Devilles would. It was from SoCal, and in the mid sixties, the owner allegedly had Fender update the cosmetics to modern Blackface specs. But the guts were gloriously untouched and two original P10R speakers remained, along with two newer ones.

3

The seller was skittish about dealing long distance. After I had agreed to buy the amp, the seller delayed shipping it to "take it to a tech and have it checked out". I was initially really miffed by this delay and potential shadiness. On arrival, the amp came with a receipt from an old time TV/Radio shop and a full complement of NOS '50s RCA and GE tubes (yes, matched 6L6GCs) .

But it was still an ugly duckling. I contacted Larry Rodgers (RIP), who wasn't doing any tweed work, so next in line was Gregg Hopkins. Gregg took longer than I'd have like, but his work is second to none. He even removed the black paint from inside the cab, while preserving the FJ tube chart.

5

Restored chassis, with new electrolytic caps hiding in the old cardboard wrappers. Quiet as a church mouse and has a tone that the Allmighty Himself would envy.

12

I really admire the skill of guys like yourself Josh, and Tavo..Billy Zoom...and all of the GDPers that have the cojones and the brilliant craftsmanship and electronics chops to tear down vintage amps and rebuild them cap by cap, resistor by resistor and solder by solder.

It's a skill I'd dearly love to learn.

Looks amazing!! I'm sure it sounds amazing too!

13

Thank you, Greg! The subtleties like the pine knot bleeds and darkening of the tweed near the tubes are what I love. It's an art form!

14

I watched the first post come on...then silence for a while and then the pics came up...

KILLER!

15

That's what I'd call a "dream amp." Some great work there!

16

What a beautiful machine. Although I kinda dig the "Blackface" cosmetics, it deserved a proper restoration.

PS nice straplocks on that Strat!

17

very cool! 5E6, is that still cathodyne phase inverter?

I kinda liked the black tolex look too, but that is a beautiful restoration indeed.

19

5E6 has indeed a cathodyne inverter, the best phase inverter.

20

very cool! 5E6, is that still cathodyne phase inverter?

I kinda liked the black tolex look too, but that is a beautiful restoration indeed.

– WB

I too was diggin the blackface look. Killer amp!!

21

That's the buisiness right there! Great project JB!

22

Thank you guys. The idea was to put it back as historically correct as possible to preserve it for future generations. The black face cosmetics we're kind of neat, but I love the look of old tweed, even if it is new old tweed. And the two hole bassman circuit is less efficient, but I love the tone at lower volumes. It would work in the small clubs I play in

23

Love the tweed, love the circuit work. Looks dead-on original. Very clever.

24

very cool! 5E6, is that still cathodyne phase inverter?

I kinda liked the black tolex look too, but that is a beautiful restoration indeed.

– WB

Like the low power Tweed twin. Or Super/Pro/Bandmaster with bigger transformers

http://ampwares.com/schemat...

25

That's right! A Bandmaster is almost the exact same amp, with a little less magnetics. And Fender has a nice reissue of those, no doubt influenced by Mike Lewis, who uses a vintage one.


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