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1965 Fender Bassman Black Panel Piggyback Tube Amp Head, Pre-CBS w/ AA165 Circuit, FEIC


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Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Bassman head in excellent condition and in perfect working order. An early example with the AA165 circuit and Pre-CBS "Fender Electrical Instruments" text on the faceplate, this Bassman is freshly serviced and ready for stage and studio use. For clarity, warmth, and headroom, this Bassman excels at delivering sweet and articulate Fender clean tones. Once you reach about 5 on the volume dial, the circuit starts to overdrive smoothly and compress a bit, for a raw, thick sound that's perfect for guitar or bass.

Arguably the circuit available for the briefest period of time in the Black Panel era, the AA165 circuit designation is seen on many tube charts (Leo Fender was never one to waste anything), but under the hood, the actual AA165 circuit was only seen for a number of months in '65 before transitioning to the AB165 that would be seen through 1968. This amp is one of few to retain the original AA165 guts.

The circuit retains the original Schumacher-made output and power transformers, dating between mid-1964 and the first weeks of '65, while the choke is a replacement. The chassis stamp also dates to 1965, and the majority of the original CTS pots are intact, with visible date codes from the 8th week of '65. Both the preamp and power amp have been thoroughly maintained, with new Sprague Atom main filter caps and smaller Jupiter caps in the preamp to ensure that the amp is operating within original factory spec. The amp features a modern three-prong power cable as well. The tube complement includes a matched pair of Tung Sol 6L6s, with modern valves from various manufacturers in the preamp.

The original smooth black tolex and notably darkened silver sparkle grillcloth are intact, and hardware includes the original handle caps, corners, and sphinx glides (feet). The piggyback clip bars are modern chrome Fender replacements. Only a couple small areas of the tube chart are still intact inside the enclosure.