Fender Bassman 20

Model/Circuit Number:
Years of Production:
1982 – 1983
Era: Rivera
Configuration: Combo
Controls: Black forward facing w/ white labels
Knobs: Black skirted w/ chrome center, numbered 1 – 10

Schematics

Faceplate:

  • Front: In, Vol, Treb, Mid, Bass – Power Sw, Pilot Lamp
  • Rear:

Cabinet:

Tolex/Tweed:

Grill Cloth:

Logo: Grill mounted, raised, chrome & black, script
Weight:
Speaker:

Effects:
Watts: 18 watts
Tubes:

  • Pre amp: 2 x 7025
  • Power: 2 6V6
  • Bias: Fixed
  • Rectifier: Solid State

Comments:
Less than 500 of the amps made from 1982-1983

23 thoughts on “Fender Bassman 20

  • November 25, 2011 at 5:25 am
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    I’ve been researching the Rivera-era range of amps since 2004 and it looks like they made around three thousand Bassman 20s. The confusion arises when people misread the tables at the back of the excellent Teagle and Sprung book – it’s easy to mistake the ‘original price in dollars’ column for ‘how many made’. My website (info only, non-commercial)

    http://www.stratopastor.org.uk/strato/amps/twoseriesfenders/twoseriesfenders.html

    Reply
    • October 7, 2013 at 6:13 am
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      Thanks Andrew.. Great site!

      Reply
    • December 16, 2020 at 11:20 am
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      Note: the Riveria redesigned Bassman 20 was a solid state amp with yet a 15″ speaker. It appeared in 1993. Probably was produced in numbers exceeding thousands. But this should not be confused with the short lived previous version which was a 18 watt tube driven hybrid 1981-’82. Which Fender produced in numbers of roughly 500. The cabinets look quite similar. However the Riveria solid state models faceplate is stenciled with the word ‘compact’ underneath the Bassman 20 lettering.

      Reply
  • June 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm
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    18 watts??
    More like 70 watts.

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    • September 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm
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      70 watts? no way not with just 2 6v6s in the power section.

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      • September 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm
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        Faceplate has the following info:

        120v 60Hz ~
        0.7 A 70 watts

        Reply
        • October 7, 2013 at 6:13 am
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          amps are discussed in power section output dissipation. 70 watts is the draw at the wall power.
          any dual 6v6 amps will dissipate 12 to 20 watts depending on the circuit.
          Hence the “20” in the name.

          Reply
          • October 7, 2013 at 5:40 pm
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            I was in error. Thanks for the info! Sure sounds bigger than a 20-watt amp.

  • May 17, 2014 at 7:53 pm
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    Hey- My Bassman 20 was featured in Premier Guitar’s “Trash or Treasure” column(Feb/2014) & Zach’s (who works for “Guitar Bluebook”) research found that under 600 of these were made.@ no time did these sell for $600. The simple circuitry in these makes a great amp for recording bass & guitar. I paid $125 for mine in 1985. -Thanks-JB

    Reply
    • December 30, 2015 at 1:42 pm
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      James, no disrespect to Zach but I believe he’s accidentally passing on an internet myth. However if he’s actually done research I’d be pleased to exchange info with him! best wishes…

      Reply
      • December 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm
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        actually I’ve just looked back at Zach’s article and he says “I’ve seen reports of around 500 or so being produced.” No mention of research, so I’ll stick with my findings at least for now. Around 2500 made.

        Reply
        • June 15, 2016 at 10:48 pm
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          Andrew — Was just looking again @ our conversation & while you disagree w/#’s this rarity(or not) has never had a correlation to worth — as Zach clearly states. It’s worth more than the $125 I paid for it 30 years ago it’s relative low worth has never been something anyone disputed.It is a great guitar/recording/studio amp that I use w/an SRC Crossover — JB

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        • February 16, 2020 at 4:37 am
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          Just out of curiosity what research have you done to come up with the 2500/3000 number? I’m not disputing your claim at all and actually think it’s more likely than 500 to 600 but you didn’t site any sources or provide your research methods for coming up with that data either unless i missed it

          Reply
  • December 2, 2015 at 5:38 pm
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    Anyone know what the value of these amps are now?

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    • June 15, 2016 at 10:53 pm
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      Tom — I paid $125 for mine in 1985 & it’s gone up some due to it’s worth as a studio amp – low watts & simple circuitry & it’s use as a guitar or bass amp. The highest $’s I’ve seen were $550 — I haven’t seen 1 for sale in a long time tho — Thanks –JB

      Reply
  • July 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm
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    James, I thoroughly agree with Zach and yourself concerning the amp’s actual worth. I would be pleased to own one no matter how many were made.

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  • August 14, 2016 at 7:54 pm
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    I traded a 2014 epiphone mini 335 style for mine, extremely happy with the trade.

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  • March 23, 2017 at 10:51 pm
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    The trouble with the Bassman 20 is the transformers. The output transformer is from a Princeton amp and not up for the task of reproducing bass, in fact the amp purposeful rolls off bottom end to stop early distortion.

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    • February 22, 2020 at 6:46 am
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      It’s not going to put out as much low end as a ported 15 with a 100 watt head. But it puts out plenty for recording. You don’t need to move much air to get all the bass you need for recording situations. Most engineers roll the bass off pretty substantially also compared to what you hear from an amp. It won’t ever sound like an Ampeg or Mesa, but it’s not supposed to.

      Reply
  • September 20, 2020 at 3:36 am
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    The trouble with the Bassman 20 is that it uses a Princeton output transformer, the power transformer is Champ sized. The output transformer is way too small for a Bass amp. You would do better to put a Deluxe Reverb output transformer or something with a bigger core. Once that is done the circuit has to be modified to allow the bass response to pass through the amp. I have removed this stuff only to find out the amp distorted very easily.

    With a better transformer set and a little modification it would be a better sounding bass amp.

    Reply
  • May 6, 2021 at 9:51 am
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    I own three. Of the tube version. I might have a problem…………..

    Reply

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