February 23rd, 2012, 04:31 PM
Think it's time to let some light shine on the doggone Bantam Bass Amp.
Some pics. Share your Bantam stories. I will post mine soon.
Some pics. http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz318/jooptraynor/1969%20Fender%20Bantam%20Bass%20Amp/PICT01251024x768.jpg
February 23rd, 2012, 08:08 PM
Oh ya, I remember seeing a few of these. Not too populart or common.
Are they good for guitar like the MMB? What is up with the speaker?
Demo or clips would be cool.
February 23rd, 2012, 09:20 PM
That is a beaut, blindmouse. The speaker is very rare because poorly made as I understand it. They blew or were thrown away before they got the chance. With a real speaker and some tweaking that would be a fun and funky thing to play.
Tell us more.
February 23rd, 2012, 11:17 PM
I've heard these cabs are a good platform for a Vibroclone: a SR or BMR chassis will slide right in, then lose the wacky spkr, and put in a nice 15"
February 24th, 2012, 03:46 AM
Fender Bantam Bass Amp
From the Fender 1970 brochure: Fender Bass Amplifiers presenting the Bantam Bass Amp, the Bassman Amp and the Super Bassman Amp.
(quote) -“Fender offers a complete line of Bass amps and electric basses for your kind of music – Rock, Rhythm & Blues, Jazz, Pop or Country & Western.
Fender Bass Amplifiers are the power behind Fender’s Big Bass Sound. Lock joint cabinet construction and big power output has made Fender the leader in its field.
Fender Bantam Bass Amp
It’s a swinging little amp for studio and small nightclub work. Producing exceptionally clear bass tones for musicians needing relatively low volume. Easy to load and carry around. Play it cool with Fender’s Bantam Bass Amp. “ (end of quote)
These Bantam Bass Amps were made from 1969 to 1971. They are from the same period as the Bassman Amp, The Super Bassman, The Musicmaster Bass Amp and the 400PS monster.
The date written on the Bantams schematic is the first of October 1969, so I guess the amp showed up late 1969. It’s a 30W amplifier with a 5U4G rectifier and an open back. Not too good for a firm bass sound. The Yamaha JA4001 ‘Natural Sound Speaker’ doesn’t help here either. It’s is known to blow up at higher volumes. It is said most Yamaha didn’t survive the road.
How about my Bantam? The Yamaha works fine. The Normal channel sounded nice (a bit stiff) for guitar and bass (for bass I use a Boss GEB7 EQ and I play not too loud). I noticed that in order to improve the ‘bass instrument’ channel with two .022 Mallory’s instead of the stock .022 ceramic caps the normal channel improved and lost its stiffness, now it had warm lows and a bright sparkle.
The ‘Bass Instrument’ first channel sounded real poor. I changed the 100K on the bass pot that set mids on 20 to a standard 6.8K. That improved this first channel dramatically – more lows, less metallic mids. I think Fender tried to cut bass in order to be friendly on the Yamaha. Further tweaking made me change the 330pF to the middle lug of the bass pot to a 680pF and change the 270K resistor in the tone section of the first channel to 220K (more gain). At last I took way the .001 cap across the first 100K plate resistor (this cap doesn’t show up at any other Fender amp, well it's on the Bassman Ten 50 and 70W too, but these were the successors of the Bantam).
What have I got:
- A nice sounding (I use a ’65RI Reverb Unit along with it) 30W 1969*Fender guitar amp with two usable channels,
- An o.k. sounding bass amp (only for low volume basement practicing use)
- A nice sounding Yamaha JA4001 speaker (I did make a 12” conversion board that can be attached to the original speaker bolts of the Yamaha – for when I take it out on the road as a guitar amp)
*The youngest date code on parts says week 43 of 1969 (some pots show 1968)
Other mods also possible like blackfacing and a stronger OT. No need for that, mostly it will be used in my basement.
My Bantam Photobucket site: