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1965 Fender Bassman Black Panel Piggyback Vintage Tube Amp Head & 2x12 Cab, AA165


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Up for sale, a 1965 Fender Bassman head and matching 2x12 cab in excellent condition and in perfect working order. This vintage Black Panel Fender amp is very original, and the grillcloth on the head and cabinet is among the nicest we've seen. 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. It's a simple and pure vintage Fender "piggyback" head and cab setup that provides a perfect platform for effect pedals and is ready for stage and studio use.

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 all of the original transformers which date to early 1965 along with the CTS pots and chassis stamp. Both the preamp and power amp have been thoroughly maintained, with new Sprague Atom main filter caps and smaller Mallory 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. On the inside of the head cabinet, the original tube chart is present with an "OG" date stamp which translates to July of 1965.

The speaker cab is loaded with a pair of vintage Utah 12" speakers. These speakers are detailed, clear, and quite punchy, overdriving with very rich and balanced overtones. Tested against vintage pairs of Oxfords and Jensens, these Utahs were a surprise favorite, and the original black frames are quite clean, retaining the blue foil Fender labels on the magnets.

Cosmetically, this is a clean and well cared for Bassman with original smooth black tolex and silver sparkle grillcloth. All of the original hardware is present, including the tilt-back chrome legs, nickel corners, handles, sphinx glides (feet), and raised Fender logos. The original faceplate is also quite clean and complete with original witch hat knobs. There's a bit of patina on the hardware, and some expected scuffs and minor wear around the edges of the enclosures, but as the photos show, this Bassman presents very well and would look great in a studio collection.

This Bassman is clean, complete, and works exactly as intended for delivering powerful Fender cleans and thick overdriven textures.