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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / 1969 AB165 Bassman Head


usa Thumb area Mi

Dec 5th, 2018 07:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

What a Great amp!

The Bar is high!

I just sold a boutique hand wired amp (Plexi clone) that the builder wished it sounded half as good as this amp!

A) For me, Fenders have that feel and tone.
This Bassman head has great punch and articulation and can do it up when it comes to overdrive.

Class AB push/pull (tube or SS rectified) for me that is the pinnacle of amp design.. and how Fender does it (or did) IMO is where it's at

The Bassman Head completes my toolset in the barn.

I have a few modern Fenders (which I like a lot) and then vintage Silverfaces that I've had Blackfaced.

I'm sentimental/nostalgic about Silverfaces.(Takes me back to when I was a kid)

That boutique Plexi clone was a lesson well learned for me.

Roger Ball
Contributing Member


New guitars and old amps, baby!
Dec 5th, 2018 09:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thumbs up for a vintage Bassman!

I've been bringing my 1965 Bassman as a backup amp for either myself or for the lead player in our band. I figure it would be perfect if my Vibrolux Reverb or his Twin Reverb ever acted up during a gig.

That hasn't happened, although our bass player's big solid state rig crapped out one time and I was able to hook up the Bassman to his speaker. It sounded great and he loved the sound.

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Dec 6th, 2018 11:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

If you like the Bassman, hang onto it. You'll regret it if you ever get rid of it.


usa Thumb area Mi

Dec 6th, 2018 03:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's an outstanding amp. I have to open it up and look it over more, When I had it open (when I brought it home) I did notice an expert layout by whoever refurbished the amp, nothing but Sozo caps, carbon and metal film resistors right where they should be, and some quality ceramic tube sockets. A lot of older tech guys really like high-quality ceramic sockets.. this amp looks like one of those type of guys gave it some serious love.

It sounds like it too.

The Base channel is totally usable in fact I can't decide which I like more.. I'm thinking the Base channel might be wired to a 6G6-A tone stack.

It's loud but versatile, decent headroom and one hell of an overdrive...

Defiantly a keeper.

Not knocking modern Fenders because I have a few that I really enjoy practicing and gigging with and I'm glad I own them (To date: no modern Fender has given me trouble.. Knocking on wood!)

As I said I'm soft on Silverfaces, especially after I've BF'ed them. I acquired this Bassman for a little over 5 Benjamins

I think I'm having my cake and eating it too.

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Dec 7th, 2018 03:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a '65 Bassman PT and OT transformers and can't decide if I want to build one or not. I already have too many Fender amps.


usa Thumb area Mi

May 4th, 2019 05:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

The mod project is now complete

You purest out there don't hate on me too much.

Did Lot of experimenting with a 1969 AB165 Bassman Head.

This 50 watt Bassman head is the loudest amp I own (louder than my 85-watt Twin) getting it to overdrive without needing earplugs wasn't happening. So installed a #3 trainwreck master volume. I couldn't have stopped there, because after that the amp was pretty versatile.

I found the Base channel not really suited for guitar. Found an interesting tone stack mod on the internet called a "Texas Long Horn" sort of but not quite a 6g6b tone stack. Also Dropped a .47 cap in on the deep switch, (instead of the 1m) now it acts as a mid boost switch. Now the base channel has a lot of compression and with the MV, does one hell of a classic a mean old school Fender overdrive. (think cranked Bassman with compression)

The guitar channel just had a little to much bottom end, so I swapped out the stock 8.2k resistor on the base pot and installed the standard 6.2k (standard on AB763 etc) with the 3 prong power chord installed, the 3 way ground switch was sitting there doing nothing, so I wire a 3 way negative feedback switch 57k/none/820

It's like a Fender Bassman/ Trainwreck hybrid

Contributing Member


May 5th, 2019 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great outcome!

No hate from me. Bassmans are pretty plentiful from this era.

Besides... it's *your* Bassman. (-:

Contributing Member


May 9th, 2019 10:48 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've got a 67, every time I open it up I see the unused gain stage it's saying "hey sailor ".

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / 1969 AB165 Bassman Head

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