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‘64 bandmaster - good deal??

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by sothoth, Oct 12, 2018.

  1. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    That is high for a non-original head here in the U.S., imho. However, the situation where you are might be different, and it could be a good player amp. One could ask where else are you going to get a fresh handwired amp for that money???
     
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  2. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    Seems high to me, even if the cab was original, but you are not US? And if it fits your needs not out of the question. Clean looking.
     
  3. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

    570
    Nov 24, 2010
    Kepler-186f
    Thanks... I keep feeling like I want to take the vintage plunge but unless you know the amp pretty well it’s hard to know if you’re getting a good deal or a money pit or...
     
  4. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    That's WAY over "book" price. The current Vintage Guitar Price Guide notes a range of $600-840 for a head-only in excellent condition. That one *looks* to be in excellent physical condition,

    But replacement of all that metal hardware actually *lowers* value. At least the old parts are included, but I'd be concerned about what was done *inside* - no way to tell without pictures of the actual chassis. No footswitch is a deduction

    But the big issue is the non-original cabinet. From a vintage player/collector standpoint that's at least a $200 drop on this particular model. I authenticate and grade guitars and amps just about every week, and I'd grade this one as "good" - maybe very good if the "guts show just normal service (filter & bias caps, power cord wired correctly - many replacements are not - and original coupling and tone caps in place.

    As is - $480-675. And that's "dealer retail". I wouldn't offer more than $450 myself., but I wouldn't buy one with a replaced cabinet. As a "player" amp $500 is about fair IMO. But some buyer will miss the "replaced shell" and pay too much for it.

    If you want to take the "vintage plunge" order the Vintage Guitar Price Guide. It''s what dealers, collectors, techs and platers use and lists guitars, amps, effects, steels, banjos, mandolins & ukes, along with grading info (the "Blue Book" is a pawn shop tool - avoid).

    "Fender Amps - the First 60 Years" by Teagle & Sprung is a book with good history covering each vintage Fender amp model evolution. It's very hard to NOT get taken unless you have access to at least these two books.
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    59
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    High for all the changed "vintage" parts, I'd sooner buy a SF Bassman head, but those aren't cheap any more either.

    For an actual guitar shop to omit pics of the wiring seems pretty shaky too, they only show the replacement stuff, not the vintage original portions like transformers and guts.

    I never liked the Bandmaster, and would not suggest it as a "take the vintage plunge" amp. Some like them though.
     
  6. ScottJPatrick

    ScottJPatrick Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2011
    Stirling, Scotland.
    Where are you? Kepler-186f ?
     
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  7. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    I own 2-'64 Bandmasters and I think they are underrated still, but that is over-priced and Armor-All'd the crap out of it. If you are collecting Fender amps, the '64 and older are the way to go, but they have to be original to matter....this one is not. That means it's real value is as an amplifier which makes it way over priced in my view. You can always blackface a silverface head and get the same amplifier without paying extra for that little "fender electical" script with the same tones.

    I wouldn't give up on a Bandmaster though, they are great amp heads regardless of what some will tell you. You should be able to find a '65 Blackface for around $700 - $750 very easily in most areas...I even saw a '65 with matching cab sell for under a grand in my area and this area is normally very high priced.
     
    Silverface likes this.
  8. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Hey, a little more "shopping" advice in general:

    If you don't work on your own amps, add $150-400 to your budget just for normal service (the higher number includes all tubes needing replacement.). Virtually every "newly purchased" vintage amp I see has original or very old filter and bias caps, which only have a service life of 15 years. They often last longer, but they are not "lifetime parts" - they're like tires on a car. "General, periodic service" includes replacing those caps (regardless of appearance or sound - they can fail with NO warning and damage the power transformer), taking voltage readings, replacing off-spec parts and tubes, clean/lube of all pots and jacks and checking tube sockets for tension (retensioning if required).

    This should be done on EVERY tube amp that's going to be played, and techs often need to bee told - many only do "repairs" or work that's requested. Also, amps that have been sitting unused for 5+ years usually need those caps replaced IMMEDIATELY. they tend to crystallize with lack of use and are even more prone to failure.

    With most vintage tube amps - especially more valuable ones - if you don't know for sure parts are up to date it's best to not even turn them on if the condition is original (except for these normally replaced parts) and it's working. Take it straight to a tech, because using it at all is a crapshoot that could cost you $200+ for a power transformer, installation labor, the regular service costs - and a significant hit in vintage value.

    Once an amp's been serviced properly it should need little or no work for another 15 years or so - *if* you install NOS tubes, which generally last for decades. But tube replacement and power tube bias adjustments will be needed every few years or so if newer tubes are used - they simply don't last as long.

    Good luck!
     
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  9. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    I paid $900 for this 64, all original components. I removed the death cap, replaced the cord with a grounded one and replaced the filter caps did the work myself so really didn't cost much. The amp had one original Oxford speaker & some 70's or 80's fender speakers. The Amp sounded great but I ended up building a new head & speaker cabinet then I found a new face plate followed by two 63 Jensen C12N's. So I'm probably into it for about $1300 tops. I kept all the original parts, when I did the filter caps I pulled the whole board and made a complete new one (Amp sounded fine with old caps) So all and all I really like the Amp no regrets about buying it. Sorry for bad pic
     

    Attached Files:

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  10. keithb7

    keithb7 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    47
    Jan 9, 2010
    Western Canada
    AD532E68-5004-4FF3-ACE8-27ED6A79C682.jpeg

    Just walked past my ‘64 Bandmaster in the basement. Snapped a quick pic for this thread.

    In my experience the stigma behind the ‘64 Bandmaster’s performance is unjustified. It sounds great. It breaks up very nicely. It’s not massively different sounding than a ‘64 Bassman. (which among many, is one of the most beloved Blackface amps.) I A/B’d a ‘64 Bassman with my ‘64 Bandmaster and I was impressed. The Bandmaster held its own very well.

    The Bandmaster has good clean headroom levels too for band scenarios. The price is generally lower than all other BF amps. Making it a smart, purchase. We all work too hard for our money to throw it away. Seek one out and enjoy it.
     
    bryan83 likes this.
  11. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Don't want to dissuade anyone from taking the vintage amp plunge. But listen to Silverface about the service aspects of old amplifiers.
    You will either have to find a tech that actually knows what he's doing. (Some otherwise fine electronics techs really don't, remember that.)
    Or educate yourself and do it yourself. That takes some commitment and passion. But is much easier now with forums like this one.
    You can never trust a seller's word on an amps condition! I don't care if it's a private sale or from a famous vintage guitar shop with a real live amp guru caged up in the back room.
    You have to be able to assess the amp inside before you buy or you will get screwed sooner or later.
    Just out of the vintage amps I've personally bought, exactly one didn't need anything done. (my brother's old Ampeg) Think I have 17 now and I'm not sure how many moved on.
    Just expect them to need some work and pay accordingly. No big deal if you know what you're getting into.
     
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  12. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

    Oct 1, 2011
    Tampa, Fl
    The amp looks nice (did not read the deatails) but I would guess it would be worth $600-$700 max.
     
  13. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    I'm curious as to why you built new cabinets - and you mentioned keeping original parts, but did that include the cabs? Did they have dry rot, fire damage or termites (I'm serious, as those are the only reasons I can think of that require replacement)?

    Also, why build a new filter cap board - or did you just not want to remove the old one from the old cabinet? FWIW the caps needed to be replaced either way, working or not (and the center 20uf is visibly leaking fluid) - the originals are decades past their service life & could have failed with zero warning. I never save original filter caps when servicing an amp as they add nothing to resale value & can't be reused.
     
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  14. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    Why did I build new Cabs One reason: any excuse to fire up the shop tools:) I bought my first power tool when I was 12 just love woodworking and have a pretty nice shop. Yeah I have the old cabs.
    The reason I kept the FC board intact just incase I sell it some day some people just want the original parts wise or not. I've seen the old Filter caps tubes stuffed with new caps just for the looks. I thought about doing that and if I ever sold the Amp would truly tell the buyer about it.
     
    Silverface likes this.
  15. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    Great point about dealers. I know a few dealers and brokers - and I mean a FEW - that regularly prepare amps properly for sale or disclose every detail. That's why I hammer on budgeting money ahead of time for service.

    Pretty close, as previously noted. But the looks are rarely indicative of the electronic health. I've seen minty-looking amps with replaced transformers (of the wrong type), white crust pouring out of filter caps, completely different circuit boards - but more often than not, the cleanest-looking amps with original exterior parts have never been serviced at all; or 3-prong plug installed (about half of them backwards) but filter caps untouched, or a few tubes replaced (often ONE power tube).

    And described as "in excellent condition with "Killer Tone!" (oh, how I hate that term - I'm still waiting for a clear definition. Is it just a little better than "UFC Tone"? How good is "Championship Arm Wrestler Tone" or "capable of kicking you from behind and running like hell tone"?) :lol:
     
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  16. ozcal

    ozcal Tele-Holic

    639
    Feb 5, 2015
    ca
    i love that blond bandmaster sacdave... i remember when i found that one on CL and did a PSA post here... kinda regret letting that one get away...
     
  17. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    Actually a new cab and keeping the old one isn't a bad idea, for a few reasons.
    One.
    I think it takes less time to build a new cab than it does to strip and prep an old one.
    Two.
    Some people like the vintage look and might prefer a ratty old cab. (me)
    Three.
    Recovering a vintage cab is like repainting a vintage guitar, or reblueing a gun for that matter. No matter how bad it was and how good it looks now, it's worth less at sale time.
    Four.
    There's several really good cabinet makers out there now and the prices are actually pretty low. Probably not far off from paying someone for a recover that probably won't look very good.
    Five.
    If you just can't stand the "vintage look" you can sell the original ratty cab on the bay. Depending on the amp it might pay for part, all, or more, of the new cab's cost.
    Six.
    I really hate doing recovers. ;)
     
    SacDAve likes this.
  18. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    67
    Dec 23, 2009
    Rocklin Ca.
    yeah I jumped right on it. I had a silver face in the 70’s just always regretting selling it. Probably not the most sought after Amp in the vintage world..........bu to me a golden memory.
     
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  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Just to keep things straight for those who might not be acquainted with details, SacDave’s amp is not a blonde era 6G amp. It is a BF circuit in blonde cosmetics. A true 6G7 Bandmaster from the blonde era is a much more valuable amp with the complex harmonic Vibrato circuit.

    The comparison of a ‘64 Bandmaster and an AA864 Bassman is a comparison of very similar amps when talking about the Normal channel in the Bassman. In fact, the Normal channels of these two amps are identical....two gain stages and an identical tone stack, iirc. There is a difference in the output section with the Bassman having a larger OT that yields more power and a stiffer Sonic.
     
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