Fender Blackface Bassman
Model/Circuit Number: AA864, AA165, AB165
Years of Production: 1964 – 1967
Controls: Black forward facing w/ white labels
Knobs: Black skirted w/ chrome center, numbered 1 – 10
- Front: Bass: In, In, Deep Sw, Vol, Treb, Bass – Normal: In, In, Bright Sw, Vol, Treb, Bass – Pilot Lamp
- Rear: AC Outlet, Ground Sw, Fuse (2A), Power Sw, Standby Sw, Speaker, Ex. Speaker
Cabinet: Reproduction Bassman Head Cabinet / Reproduction Bassman Extension Cabinet
- Dimensions: Head: 8″ x 22-1/4″ x 9″, Cabinet: 21″ x 32″ x 11-1/2″ ~ 1964-1967, 40″ x 29-1/2″ x 11-1/2″ ~ Late 1967
- Hardware: Large Chassis Straps 5 5/8″, Side Bar Clips, 16″ Tilt-Back Legs, Thumb screws, Thumb screw receptacles
- Handle: Black strap handle with Chrome ends
- Feet: Chrome Glides
- Corners: Chrome Corners with Lip
Logo: Grill mounted, raised, chrome & black, script
Weight: Head: 30 lbs ; Cabinet: 52 lbs
- Size: 2 x 12
- Impedance: 4 ohms
- Model: Jensen C12N, Oxford 12T6 or Utah ceramic 12(For more info, check out the Jensen Replacement Speakers)
Watts: 50 watts
- Pre amp: 7025
- Power: 2 x 6L6GC
- Bias: Fixed Bias, adjustment pot (AA864) or balance pot (AB165)
- Rectifier: Solid State
24 thoughts on “Fender Blackface Bassman”
1965 blackface pre CBS. Best tone on planet EARTH!
Fender was fully owned by CBS in 65, 64 was their transition year, company was sold January 5th 1965 but the transition logo was used in 1964 because plans for the sale had already begun. So unless an amp was built and finished in less than 4 days there are 0 pre-CBS 1965 fender amps.
AA864 Bassman was switched to the AA165 in January of 1965 until about mid-March give or take a week. Almost every AA165 Bassman has a tube chart inside the back of the cabinet that shows the AA864 circuit. After March at some point the AB165 circuit was manufactured and most of the early AB165 amps actually show the AA165 tube chart. Very confusing. To my knowledge (research) no AA165 amps exist with true AA165 tube charts. Has anyone ever seen an AA165 Bassman with an original AA165 tube chart?
I have a Bassman AA165 tube amp 200 watts by fender Musical Instruments from Fulerton, CA. I have pics also.
Don’t confuse power consumption wattage with speaker output wattage.Consumption numbers are near the convience a/c outlet and are with the 120v-60hz lable.The speaker wattage is under the left side speaker jack.
It must be the Super Bassman, built around 1970, therefore a Silverface Era creation. The head looks oversized like the Bandmaster Reverb ir the Dual Showman Reverb.
This can not be correct, because I have a ’66 Bassman, it is labeled as having an AA864 layout, and it actually has the AA864 layout, as indicated by the presence of a bias adjustment pot and the fact that all of the components are correct to the AA864 schematic and layout sheets. It does not have a balanced bias setup, and the only modification ever made was to add the grounded three-prong line chord.
I’ve got a ’65 Bassman with the AA165 circuit and the AA165 tube chart. It was made in April of that year – stamped OD – and it is wonderful! Turn it up all the way and it sounds amazing. I’m not sure about your research source but here’s proof that they exist.
I also have a 1965 Bassman with the AA165 label, however it was made in November of that year and has the AB165 circuit. It is true the AA165 were only made from January to March 1965 then Fender switched over to the AB165, however they made many, many tube chart labels for AA165 which they used through out the year until they ran out and ended up in many, many AB165 circuit Bassman’s. Fender never wasted a thing and kept poor records so there are many instances of inconsistencies from tube charts to guitar woods. I cannot speak on the 1966 Bassman with the AA864 circuit that was only used in the Blonde Bassman’s of 1963 which features a presence knob and lack the extra gain stage in the guitar input. Either it is a total fluke, which is highly unlikely because we are far into production by 1966 and CBS has taken over… perhaps there was a modification at some point in its lifetime to revert it back to the Blonde circuit that people do love.
I have one with the AA165 stamp sitting right next to me. Still alive & well! Can send pictures for you to admire 😉 hehehehee
I need the fender part number for the volume pots on my 1965 AA165 Bassman. Anybody got that part number. I can’t look at the Amp because my son has it New Orleans and I’m in Oregon.
The part that you need is a 1M Audio pot for either volume control.
So if I use both the speaker and the ext. speaker outputs of my 67′ Fender Bassman amp simultaneously, that means I need two speaker cabinets of 8 ohms each? Also, I am planning to use this setting for playing bass, not guitar, so, what wattage do you recommend on the cabinets/speakers?
If your going to use both cabinets together all the time do your amp a favor.Load 16ohm speakers rated for 50 watts.I like 12″ Mod 50 16 ohm Jensens if your on a budget or of course Celestian Vintage speakers are nice too.4 12″ 16ohm speakers add up to a 4ohm load. This is exactly what your amp wants.In the event you only want to use one cabinet it will sit at 8 ohms and play just fine.Be sure to remove any and all fiberglass insulation and drill 2 one inch port holes at the bottom when cabinet is standing up.This simple procedure will make that old nasty ‘Muddy-muffily’ sound brighten right up and 3 times more sound will fill up the room at any volume setting.Playing with the volume lower will extend the life of your unit 10-fold .Remember to use fresh strings and switch to the lightest gauge you can find. You wont believe the difference.You don’t need that battery cable e string so never buy another one..
I have a ‘66 bassman with out at 4 ohm bow can i hook up a 4×12 cab at 16ohm? So one 16 ohm cab into my ‘66 bassman
I have a ‘66 bassman at 4 ohm now can i hook up a 4×12 cab at 16ohm? So one 16 ohm cab into my ‘66 bassman at 4 ohm
I am thinking of buying what is being called a 1966 Bassman head and cab, and I’m confused about several things. First it has a AA185 tube label so shouldn’t that make it a 1965? And secondly, it has 2 10″ Upton speakers which the owner believes are the origin as they are stamped 39th week of 1965. Again – a ’65 or a ’66? And I thought they only made the cabs with 1×12’s during that time… Thanks very much for your help.
You would have to look inside at the wiring to determine which circuit is correct. I’ve never heard of AA185, or 10″ speakers in a Bassman. All piggy-back Bassmans had two 12″ speakers, until the big cabinets with 15s became available in the Silver Face era. Either your information is skewed, or the unit has been modified. Don’t pay too much for it.
That cabinet is likely a Tremolux cabinet,
I just repaired a Blackface Bassman head that has a very late 1965 xfmr set (543, 539, 545) with a AA165 label, and rubber stamped “13” (no letters). It has been converted from a bias balance ckt to adjustable bias. The chassis is also rubber stamped “4665” between the bottom of the PT and the eyelet bd. What might the “13” signify? It’s definitely two numbers, not two letters. It’s not the normal two-letter stamp like in my ’65 Deluxe Reverb.
Back in 1970 I bought a 66? blackface Vibrolux that came with (I thought) a Bassman speaker cabinet.
I have tuned up the amp a couple of times, but the Bassman cabinet just recently stopped working. When I opened it up, I found a crossover on the center cross bar. the speakers were both blue wire on the common to the red dot, and the yellow was hooked to the 2.5K Woofer connection. The 12″ Fender speakers had a part number of 023044. Did someone hack this 50 years ago? Did Bassman speaker cabinets ever have crossovers?
I have 2 Bassmans. They never put a crossover in them. I can’t imagine why anyone would. You want a full range speaker cabinet. Check the ohms of the speakers. If they’re 8 ohms just wire them in parallel and get rid of the crossover. If they’re 4 ohms somebody might have put it in there if the crossover made the ohms load in the 4 ohm range. Don’t ever run the amp with less than a 4 ohm load. It’ll cook. 8 ohms is fine. If the speakers are 4 ohms wire them in series. You lose a touch of volume but not enough to matter. The amp will actually sound a touch tighter with 8 ohms. Tubes will last longer and it will run cooler. If you’re using it for guitar it’ll be plenty loud with the best sound you’ll ever hear. I put 4 10’s in one of my cabinets and it kills, even with a bass. One has the original Altec 15. It’s a bit muddy. But using them together gives me enough power to keep up with the band on bass. Looks cool, but it’s a workout hauling all of it around. Thats why the wheel and handcarts were invented.
Ah, the fuzzy gray years between sale and handover. Or if your really that keen you need to date your amp to DD/MM/YYYY, the ‘What’s on the shelf’ period. Leo, bless him, was a practical man. He designed the best amps in the world for as cheap as he could. There has been lots written about what was going on at this stage at Fender, but basically be happy you have a Blackface. Trying to date them is a joke. And the secret is not in the board, it’s in the circuit.
Happy owner of a nominally ’66 Bassman.
PS My sticker says AB 165. It’s not, it’s a AA 165. Just using up those AB stickers before the sale instead of ordering new ones for AA 165. Either that or they ran out of AB 165 boards and had plenty of AA’s left.
The guy with the “1966” Bassman with the AA864 probably has a 1964 and does not know it. He thinks its a 66 due to the “Patented 66” on the front panel. Its a common mistake. He should verify the chassis serial number, and internal stamp along with the pots and serial numbers on the transformers.