Blackface Bassman Grill Cloth

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by insearchofspace, Sep 22, 2021.

  1. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    Is the cabs grill original and really faded, or is it a replacement? The head is more of what I would expect on a BF amp.

    I've tried to find one that looks similar but haven't had any luck. No date stamps in the cab, but I found written and crossed out "Johnnys Jesters Sept 3 1965 sounds perfect wit 'p' bass", which probably means the cab is around that old. Amp is from November 64.

    Just got the amp back from the shop and haven't had the opportunity to crank it yet, but boy am I excited.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  2. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I cant really tell for sure, it seems a bit too unblemished along with a cab that's been scraped up some, but maybe not. Many of the BF era grillcloth's turned that tan color.
    Here's how to tell:
    Remove it and look at the cloth that is bent over inside the head and compare with the face. That will usually be a different color due to being inside there. Much more grey likely.
     
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  3. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    I had it opened up and empty for the past 2 weeks, but never thought to look since I didn't have the head there to compare. I might have to bite the bullet and remove all 27 screws and 16 pieces of itchy insulation just to satiate my curiosity.

    I do think the weave looks different between the 2 though as well...
     
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  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    :lol: I thought you were talking about the head!
    I need to get off here and drink some coffee, misinterpreting everything this am!:eek:
    You'd think they would match, but depending on the year... what year is the cab?
    That cloth does not look right, the rectangles should be wider like the head cab's are. The black stripes are running the wrong way. It's the older smaller cab right? Not the 67 and later larger cab...?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021
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  5. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    Luckily I took a picture! I think this solves it, either super faded or inside out.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    Yeah, I think its a 65 cab. I'm pretty happy with how the head looks, "ass istrument" channel and all
     
  7. ampking300

    ampking300 Tele-Meister

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    I agree with Schmee----cabinet tolex is not original as the thread pattern is not like any black face grill cloth, faded or not----I have about 15 or so blackface Fender amps/cabs, the grill pattern on this cabinet is non Fender---head grill cloth looks killer, nice amp and cab regardless.
     
  8. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Holic

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    Grill cloth is tight, but it's 90° off - black lines should be horizontal, not vertical.

    Mojotone and others sell new and aged black-panel grill cloth. The aged will better match your head. It's what I did with my 65 Tremolux cab when I had to replace the baffle - someone had tried to hog it out for 2x12...
     
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  9. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    I think that's right. I haven't been able to find anything that looks like it anywhere. I'll probably pop off the back just to double check the inside. I think the tolex between the 2 does match though.
     
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  10. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    I'll probably just leave it and pretend it came like that from the factory. No signs that it didn't...

    I love what people did way back before these things were collectable and sought after. Might as well hog out the baffle. Or might as well hog out the strat body for a PAF.
     
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  11. nedorama

    nedorama Tele-Holic

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    I got the cab for $150, and the grill cloth was also spray painted black. previous owner hogged out the baffle and left nothing in the middle, so I already knew I wanted to change it since it would have rattled. Sounds fantastic with two Weber alnico 10A125s.
     
  12. ampking300

    ampking300 Tele-Meister

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    I meant to type speaker cabinet grill cloth is not original---
     
  13. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    I went with 12F150 and 12F150B in this one and man what a sound.
     
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  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    There is nothing about the cloth on the speaker cabinet that is correct. It is not anything like the BF cloth should be. It is not even the same thread design even if it where rotated 90 degrees. There is every sign that it did not leave the factory with that cloth.

    The cloth on the head may very well be modern ‘aged BF grill cloth’. The wale looks to be too wide for vintage cloth. And….that does not affect how it sounds at all..play on.
     
  15. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    The head cloth is most definitely original, as this amp sat in a closet for 40 years. It's former owner was shocked and insulted when I arrived with a guitar and not a bass to test it out.

    But yeah the cab cloth was clearly replaced.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2021
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  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    in search of, it may be the angle of the shot or the extreme cleanliness and sparkler of the cloth that gives me pause on the head cloth. I have seen cloth that clean, but the tolex on the couple of BF Fenders with cloth that clean had pristine tolex, too….dead mint amps. I have only seen two in that condition. This amp has been carried around a bit.
    If you ever pull the chassis, take note of the color of the staples. They could be black. But then….there are those who spray paint their staples before applying the cloth. One member here does that. There is no modern cloth that matches with regard to the width of the wale, though.
     
  17. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    Could be because previous owner kept it covered with the Victoria Luggage vinyl cover.

    The guy also had and sold a blonde, and a drip edge before this one hit the market. Completely reasonable it was just well cared for. When I did the cap job only 1 screen resistor had been obviously changed, so that also makes me lean towards original.

    Cab on the other hand had one 12T6 reconed with a curved seam cone, and one non functional 12T6. Also half of the screws were missing from the back panel. That all points to work being done there.

    As you pointed out it all doesn't really matter. Hopefully I dont want to replace that cab cloth with the same stuff because they don't make it. I'm only in 1500 with tubes caps and speakers, so maybe the cab will get the matching treatment at some point.
     
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  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    At one time, there was a cloth made that was ‘aged BF’. It would have been close enough to the head for me to use it. Most people would not notice the difference….or at least it would be a vast improvement over what is there. Now what I have found that people are using for ‘aged BF cloth’ is not really close…but if you squint your eyes slightly out of focus from 15-20 feet, it might work?? Lol..


    The thing is that BF cloth that is kept under cover will not be that golden color. It will still be black,silver, and white. It takes UV light and/or nicotine…and this cloth on your head does not have nicotine stain, imho.
     
  19. insearchofspace

    insearchofspace TDPRI Member

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    Well my last patient of the afternoon cancelled, so when I get home I'll pop out the chassis and see what the staples look like. The panel had lots of nicotine tar on it, the rag looked like it was used to polish shoes.
     
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  20. ampking300

    ampking300 Tele-Meister

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    I would bet my entire amp collection that the grill cloth on this Bassman head is original, have too, too many that are exactly alike.
     
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