64-67 Blackpanel Fender Collectors


Ad Free Member
Oct 19, 2020
Rhode Island
Yeah...love the Tremolux. I had been running it through my 2x12"....but once I tried a 2x10" I couldn't go back. Destiny

Got a '63 transitional Tremolux (black panel and circuit, blonde cosmetics) and it came with a '61 Bandmaster 2x12 cab with the original speakers. I've run it through that purple 2x10 under the Orange but there's something about that 2x12 that meshes perfectly with the Tremolux.

Guess I'm not technically a collecter as it's my only one but I will never let it go, so it's been collected, right?


*Edit: Added the photo with my new #1 as well. They're a match made in whatever heaven you believe in.
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Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Jul 25, 2011
Frontrangia CO
Bandmaster is to Bassman...as Tremolux is to ?

Must answer in the form of a question.

Confining this just to the black panel world, sort of tricky, but I'm going to go with, "What is the black panel Vibrolux, Alex?"

Bandmaster differs from Tremolux in having diode rectification, as does Bassman. All three are heads, but what other heads were there? Showman, Dual Showman - these 4 X 6L6 behemoths don't really match the leap from Bandmaster to Bassman.

Which stuck me in the combo world. So looking for reverb-less amps in that output realm, you got the Vibrolux (no-verb), the Pro (no-verb) and the Concert (no-verb). But the Concert was diode rectified and the Pro was typically a 1X15 combo. And Vibrolux has the same -lux identifier - I'm grasping at straws, really.

Which is the long way of saying, I give up Alex! Let greater expertise solve this puzzle.

Singin' Dave

Friend of Leo's
May 22, 2008
I think it was a '74 Twin Reverb I picked up back in the late 90's that got me started and since BF's were much more $$, went mostly SF route. Owned the following, many of which have moved on and only a couple were BF. But they all were/are great (bold ones still in service with me):

'65 Bassman w/ matching 2x12 (bought for $200 in early/mid 2000's, good story behind that one)
'65 Pro Reverb (amazing amp that hurt me to sell but just wasn't getting played much)
'68 Bassman
'69 Vibro Champ
'70 Champ
'71 Princeton Reverb
'72 Super Reverb (sold it to close friend who loves it)
'73 Deluxe Reverb
'74 Twin Reverb
'75 Vibrolux Reverb
'75 Princeton Reverb

'75 Bandmaster Reverb I paired with a BF era "Tone Ring" cabinet I think held a 15" speaker. At one point, had serious thoughts of converting it to a 2x8 combo. Needed cash though so sold both the head and the cab many moons ago.

I've kept most of the smaller combo variants and sold most of the heavy iron. Never owned a Concert Termolux etc. but curious about them. I think I had a SF Musicmaster at one time too, but never got on with it.

Tweed, Blond, Black/ Silver panel (and for some maybe even Rivera-era)- whatever your poison, its a wonderful sickness indeed!

Old Plank

Friend of Leo's
Gold Supporter
Feb 16, 2017
Maine USA
My lone entry, of which the pic has been posted here previously ... '67 VR. Beautiful sound. It's big claim to fame is, Marshall Crenshaw borrowed it once to play a solo gig in town ... just him, vocal mic and the amp. (EDIT: and his guitar o' course!)

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Apr 29, 2022
Parts Unknown
I have to cheat to participate in this thread, because one of my blackface amps isn't from the 64-67 time period:

View attachment 1078917

...'cause it's a '63 Deluxe-Amp. The Champ-Amp is a '65.

I was over at GC Hollywood earlier today, and they have a 63 or 64 Deluxe there in the vintage room. I did not play it, but it appeared to be all original including the speaker. They are asking $3500 for it.


Jul 22, 2017
All I will say is that term has been used to describe the amps for 60 years, as have "blonde", "tweed", "silverface" etc. If they were Purple, like Apogee products, people would call them "purpleface". It never was intended to "marginalize" anybody. One of the hallmarks of M===xism is to change the definitions of words to suit an agenda. Lots of that going on these days and its not good. Lets keep this a fun topic.
I agree it's all about context, and I obviously agree there was likely no ill will calling a black control panel amp by the term "blackface" back in the 60s. That same term however has another meaning widely known outside our guitar amp world...and that one is loaded.
I see this dual meaning as a problem and don't want to bring the baggage the word "blackface" has to Fender amps. I don't think anyone is using alternative terms to describe an era of guitar amps as to further an agenda here though. Language morphs and changes over time. I wouldn't think anyone using the term blackface to describe an era of guitar amps was being racist in the context of black panel guitar amps....but ya... it is super unfortunate that the term also has the more widely recognized negative meaning. I just want to avoid that and be respectful.

I have to say..I was just interested in seeing lots of blackpanel amp pics here....but the side conversations around terminology, history, language changes, and context I think is always good to have.

David Barnett

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Mar 17, 2003
The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
Was the 63 Deluxe the first model to done the black tolex and black control plate background?

They introduced a line of blackface amps in August/September 1963, in addition to the Deluxe-Amp there was also a Concert-Amp, Vibrolux-Amp, Pro-Amp, and a Vibroverb-Amp in the first batch. Maybe Tremolux too. I don't remember if they had any of the Reverb amps in the first batch other than the Vibroverb, but the Deluxe Reverb, Vibrolux Reverb, Super Reverb and Twin Reverb were around by the beginning of 1964. Some amps, such as the Bassman-Amp, Princeton-Amp, Princeton Reverb-Amp, Champ-Amp and Vibro Champ-Amp came later. I don't know when the Bandmaster and Showmans were phased in, there were some transitional piggyback amps with mixed blond/black features through early 1964.

I hope others who have more specific information on the early Blackface Fender timeline will chime in to correct any mistakes here, and add missing details.


Jan 29, 2018
Toronto, ON
One blackface I've always lusted after was the non-reverb Deluxe.
That would be really cool to have!


Poster Extraordinaire
Sep 28, 2004
I have three black panel amps, four silver panels. One amp in that earlier black panel era (Band Master), and two SS from later (Frontman 25R and Squier Champ 15G). The silver panels are drip edge (hope no drips take offense :)) Deluxe Reverb and Bassman (tall cab 2x12), a no-drip Champ and a Silvertone peeking under the Squier.




Apr 29, 2022
Parts Unknown
Im seeing really good conditioned, serviced blackface Bandmaster heads out there for less than $1000 which is still a very good deal. A 66 Tremolux head just went for $1300 on ebay today. Those are a bit more rare than a Bandmaster. Fender must have sold a ton of Bandmasters and Bassmen in the blackface-era since there are so many of them out there now. Legend has it that over 90% of Porsche's ever made were still on the road today driving. Im guessing the BF Fender amps are right up there too. Most are still going.

Here are the BFs that I currently have. In 2022 I went on a BF buying spree and bought all of these amps:

1967 Pro Reverb. March 67 tube chart. All original except for doghouse caps, grid and screen resistors which I installed, removing the originals. The tubes are original. The amp is very close to Mint, Id give it a 9 out of 10 and is the best overall sounding BF that I have.

1967 Super Reverb. August 67 tube chart. August was the final month that BF Super Reverbs shipped, and possibly the final month that any BF amp shipped. I have not seen one yet with a Sept. tube chart, either in current or old listings online. This amp is all original, including the original perfect grill cloth and faceplate and the original CTS Alnico speakers. Its a very pristine, sparkly amp with awesome cleans. Reverb tank is original. A previous owner updated the doghouse caps. I am going to do the electro caps sometime in the next couple of weeks, removing the original Tootsie Roll "Nashville Electronics" caps which are in there now. I am also going to do the screen and grid resistors, the bias resistor and bias the amp. The reverb channel is noisy and I am going to replace a couple resistors on that channel too.

1967 Bassman. August 67 tube chart. This one was beat up when I bought it for only $500 last May. The price was so good I had to grab it. Someone painted it a bad gray which was wearing off. The grill cloth was painted black, and was torn and impossible to recover. It had rust on the inside. I am in close to finishing re-conditioning it. I put 8 coats of Rustoleum flat black on the tolex and it looks really nice now. I took the grill cloth from my 74 Bassman Ten, cut a piece and it looks awesome too. The modern grill cloth has rectangles which are much wider than the original rectangles used on the BF vintage cloth. I wanted to use vintage cloth, so I used the Bassman Ten cloth. I should finish this amp by end of Feb. It cranks and is very quiet too.

1965 Bandmaster. November 65 tube chart. This was all original as well. I did the doghouse caps. This amp is dead quiet and sounds fantastic. Great cleans and vibrato and cranks when you "pony it out" to 7 or more.

1964 Bassman. Leo's original AA864 circuit which only shipped up to March of 1965 (there was an overlap period from Jan. 1965 to March, where both circuits AA864 and the new AA165 and later AB65 were shipped. Most were AA864s according to the circuit and the tube chart, not just the tube chart). This amp has a slight resistor mod for an earlier breakup on the Normal channel. This is the sweetest sounding of all of the BF amps that I have in the cleans. It gets racous when cranked up and its quite different than the 67 Bassman.

1963 Bandmaster, aka "Hotrod". This Bandmaster has a 1969 50W Bassman OT so its a bit beefier than the 65. Both sound great on the cleans but this 63 is "huskier" and more throaty than the 65 when cranked. This amp is dead quiet and very reliable. Its in a 2x10 cabinet from Mojotone with Jensen 10s in it. The head was originally Blonde, but has been recovered in black with a new grill cloth. This is Leos first BF Bandmaster circuit, AA763, the 65 is AB763. They are very similar circuits.

Photos below. The 2 empty cabs are the 63 Bandmaster and the 67 Bassman, on the right after I spray painted it back to black and put the vintage grill cloth on it.

The internal chassis shots are from the 67 Super Reverb. The amp was filthy dirty when I got it inside and out. I think it sat in a garage or barn for years but it had a cover with it too. I cleaned it out and now it looks great. Ive cleaned this chassis since these photos were taken. Will recap in 2 weeks.

Also pictured, the Amp Maniac to keep the voltage at 114v, and the Fryette Powerstation PS100 attenuator/Swiss army knife for guitar amps. These are must haves for recording at home.


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