Up for sale, a 1961 Fender Bassman with a 6G6 tube-rectified circuit and 1x12 Tone Ring speaker cabinet. This is the first iteration of the "Piggyback" version of the Bassman, decked out in original rough blonde tolex and oxblood grillcloth.
One major standout of this early Brown Panel Bassman is the Tone Ring 1x12 speaker cabinet, an elegant and ingenious idea, yet one which Fender dropped very early in this model's production run. This 1x12 enclosure was designed to offer the clearest, most pure tone, utilizing a dual baffle board design in which the speaker floats between the baffles, mounted to a metal "Tone Ring." The cabinet works as a closed back, ported enclosure, delivering ample bass response and an overall sweeter, rounder tone than later Bassman cabinet designs. The single speaker enclosure also results in earlier breakup and is ideal for studio use.
This Brown Panel circuit drives two vintage RCA 6L6 power tubes for 40 powerful watts of pure tube goodness. Like the Tweed amps that preceded it, the Brown Panel circuits respond extremely well to picking dynamics with Fender's hi-fi, glassy clean tones. The EQ controls have a broad sweep and at around 5 on the volume dial, the amp cascades into very rich, textured tube overdrive that compresses noticeably, with the added benefit of the "sag" germane to the 6G6 circuit's tube rectified design.
The circuit is very original and has been well-maintained and recently serviced with Sprague Atom filter caps and a modern three-prong power cable. Many of the yellow Astron signal caps are intact in the preamp, with stock Stackpole pots and carbon comp resistors. A few additional vintage silver Astron signal caps have been substituted, and the smaller electrolytics in the preamp are Spragues. All of the original Schumacher-made transformers are original, with 1961 date codes. The tube complement includes matching RCA 6L6 power tubes and 5AR4 rectifier, with a host of vintage valves in the preamp as well.
The Tone Ring speaker cabinet retains the original fiberglass baffling and the wooden “fins” on the inside of the back panel, a telltale sign of a true Tone Ring cab. The cab was at one time painted black, with the vast majority of the paint cleanly stripped back to the original blonde tolex. Black still remains on the bottom of the cabinet, and on the inside edges with the back panel removed. The cabinet was at one time fitted with a 15” speaker, as evidenced by the extra mounting holes surrounding the metal Tone Ring, now fitted with the original Tone Ring and an era-correct Jensen C12N 12" ceramic magnet speaker. The speaker has a clean black frame, properly rated for the power of the head, with a date stamp on the edge of the frame from '64.
The tube chart is partially intact inside the head cabinet, and a handwritten "A" suffix on the 6G6 model. Since the 6G6 circuit was the only one to have a tube rectifier, we're advertising this amp as a 6G6 (not a 6G6-A), which is more accurate to the actual circuit in this head, and in-line with Fender's constantly changing circuits and often mislabeled tube charts. The KK stamp on the chart dates to November of 1961.
The original rough blonde tolex and oxblood grillcloth are intact, save for a replacement blonde back panel on the head. A pair of modern replacement dogbone handles have been installed, while the original tilt-back legs, piggyback clip bars and thumbscrews, corners, and flat Fender logos are intact. The Brown Panel faceplate is very clean, with a full complement of original cream barrel knobs.