Guitar Amp Page
Custom vacuum tube-based products and services for musicians,
hi-fi enthusiasts, nostalgia buffs, and other fanatics...
Newly available (Spring, 2007)
1958 Fender Tweed Bassman 5F6-A clones built to order
in "head cabinet" (no speakers), also available as chassis-only version.
Photos of the prototype unit:
The photos above are for a complete unit with cabinet. I'm not an expert cabinet maker but can make something such as this which is functional and fairly pleasing aesthetically. I prefer to not make cabinets at all, or perhaps just a basic unfinished usable cabinet (if you really need one) which you can tweak later (coverings, coloring, handle, grille cloth etc.)
My main focus is on providing the vintage-replica electronics, in a chassis-only version:
It has the exact component values of the original 1958 Fender Tweed Bassman 5F6-A classic, but added a 1 Meg "master" volume (black knob) which is not on the original version, a bias control pot, and it runs into one or two 8 ohm speakers, rather than the original which had 4 in parallel for 2 ohms. It uses a 56k feedback resistor from the 8 ohm tap. You may request your own tweaks, or lack thereof.
I'm using a 12AX7 for the first pre-amp tube, but a 12AY7 can be used.
Tube complement: two matched TAD Black Plate 6L6GC-STR power tubes (which have some of the highest ratings in the reviews), three JJ 12AX7 (ECC83's), and a Ruby 5AR4 (GZ34). All tubes included with your order, you may also request which you would like, cheaper, or super-high end rare tubes.
Best quality parts: All Switchcraft jacks, Alpha pots, ceramic tube sockets, carbon comp resistors in the signal path, "orange drop" and ceramic smaller capacitors, four huge Sprague Atom 4" over-spec'd 20uF 600v power caps, original American made Fender replacement transformers & choke.
So it's about 50 watts of nice power, running close to 450 volts on the plates.
Hand-wired the old-fashioned way (no turret board), and on an extra large aluminum chassis, as I don't like having the tubes upside-down on a narrow one. It can also be made with the exact original narrow chassis and a faceplate with all the numbers on the controls, but this will add a considerable amount more to the price. The approximate cost to you for one of these currently (this figure subject to change) would be around $775 plus shipping. This is for the chassis-only version. I need $500 up front as a deposit before beginning the work. If you have special preferences on anything, the figure may be higher. For a basic unfinished functional cabinet to protect it (which you can finish later), add $75, for a finished one similar to the one shown above (it will look decent but won't win any awards), add $175. No two exactly alike, but I can go for the tweed look, as above, if you like. I used regular lacquered cloth, but can use tolex as well. It was made using dowel-joined 3/4" birch plywood, small brass corners, Ernie Ball handle, etc.
Photos taken during the build, and the completed underside:
This is a fairly powerful unit (approx 50 watts) with four input jacks. I can also build the more "quiet" Princetons, etc., for about $200-300 less. Also, clones of other amp brands/models can be made, keep in mind that the tube cost may vary considerably, and there may be a bit more lead time if it's a design I'm not as familiar with. If you need a specific chassis size to fit an old amp unit, rather than a size of my choosing, I need to know this up front, as these may need to be specially ordered and command a higher price. My lead time is generally 3-4 weeks from when I receive your deposit until when it's shipped, barring parts backorders and any similar unforseen difficulties. If you are in the Western NC area, I can hand-deliver, and possibly also arrange a demo with my prototype, so you can see it and decide before you order.
I can also locate items for you on Ebay, then inspect, rebuild and restore them to usable condition...
Also providing parts location service (including procurement from multiple sources if neccessary) to ship you a set of items you need at the most reasonable prices I can find, if you don't have the time to do the legwork. For general repairs/refurbishing, I will generally only charge $50-$100 plus parts & shipping, depending on the complexity of the work. If I cannot solve your problem in a reasonable amount of time, there will be no charge for labor, just a $25 handling charge, cost of new parts which I did replace, and return shipping.
Click here to send an e-mail inquiry.
Phone contact: Frank F. at (828)-687-8718 or (828)-215-4755
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