Here is a vintage 1960 Fender Bandmaster -Amp “6G7″ electric guitar amplifier. This particular example, serial number 01489, is in near mint 100% all original condition and includes the original Victoria canvas cover as well as the original single-button RCA footswitch! This incredibly rare transitional model, introduced in 1960 Fender catalog literature as the largest Professional line combo, was manufactured for a very brief period in between the last of the Tweed 3×10″ Bandmasters from early-’60 and the first Blonde Piggyback version premiered in early-’61. With extremely low production estimated at less than 100 total units, this is without a doubt one of Fender’s rarest amps, and also happens to serve as a pivotal model in Fender amplifier design history.
Serial Number: 01489
Transformer Codes: 67233, 606035
Tube Chart Date: JJ (October 1960)
Speaker Date Code: 220018 (Jensen, early-’60)
Pot Date Code: 137 6026 (CTS, mid-’60)
Oddly enough, though the 3×10″ Bandmaster with forward-facing controls existed for a mere 9-month period (before being replaced with the more traditional piggyback styling), two different versions were produced, of which this example is the latter of the two. The earlier of the two varieties features grillecloth from Tweed amps and the center volume arrangement. This second version features Ox Blood grillecloth (with no yellow stipe) and the modern non-center volume control panel. Both versions, however, sport the: the identical 3×10″ speaker configuration, the same 6G6 schematic, the earlier sharp cabinet with a hard shelf above the controls, rare burlap-textured rough brown vinyl tolex with the lighter pink hue, brown face plate with white screened labels, brown barrel control knobs and dog bone hard plastic handle.
The brown vinyl tolex exterior is in extremely excellent condition. The oxblood grill cloth is not faded, and only exhibits several very small superficial scrapes. The control panel is also crisp and clean. All of the hardware is in very excellent condition, the chassis is quite clean, with no evidence of damage, let alone signs of oxidation, or indications of leaky/exploded capacitors.
This incredibly rare 6G6 Bandmaster utilizes; (2) 6L6 and (6) 7025 original tubes through the original 3 x 10” Jensen P10R speakers. All of the tubes appear to be original, however, a single capacitor was recently replaced (included). Also, it appears that the rear panel “On” switch had been replaced with an exact spec. example. Interestingly, there is a unique arrangement of coupling capacitors shared by the volume, treble and bass potentiometers on both channels which is most likely an artifact from the earlier “center volume” design. Resultantly, the relationship between these three controls is highly dependent upon the placement of the other two, which creates a dynamic and tonal versatility unlike any other Fender amp I’ve heard. The amp is not tube rectified, otherwise the approach is very much like a Tweed Bandmaster, however, the two amps could not sound more different. This amp is perfect for clean, loud, and robust tone. What it lacks in tube overdrive and compression, it provides articulate clean tone in spades. The sound can be refined to sculpt a crisp delicate tone or it can be easily contoured to create dark and moody expression. It’s very loud, and very good sounding.