Amps for sale

Fender ’59 Bassman £4950

Vox AC50 1966 £1600

What’s the deal?

A new idea – a new, safer, fairer way to buy classic amps. From someone who understands them inside out and has done any necessary repairs. From someone whose reputation depends on selling you equipment that has been honestly described.

Amps for sale on this page have been restored/inspected by me to the point where I can offer a three month parts and labour guarantee in case of any faults arising. They are kept in secure storage, and may be seen and played by appointment by interested buyers at my workshop in the Somerset countryside near South Petherton. I share the space with a luthier, who will be selling guitars in a similar way.

Where possible I will post pictures of the restoration process.

These will usually be ‘player’s amps’ – amps that have been maintained properly and thus are not totally original. The usual understanding is that a ‘player’s amp’ is worth about half the price of a collector’s amp in good condition with totally original parts (given the normal life of some parts such amps are of course unreliable at best!). That’s why these amps can look cheap compared to the book prices usually asked. These are solid, reliable amps that are not 100% original but which will absolutely give you the true experience and tone of playing a historic amp, night after night, gig after gig.

If you’d like me to sell your amp, here’s the deal:

  1. I will only sell classic valve amps – guitar, bass, PA and some hifi. I get to define what ‘classic’ means! Feel free to ask.
  2. All sales start on my bench. Every amp I sell will need to be in full working order and with any current or impending issues dealt with by me. You will of course need to pay me for this work at my normal rates before the ad goes live.
  3. With regard to the above, I will be guaranteeing the amp under my normal repair terms, performing and paying for any of my repairs that fail that fail under guarantee.
  4. We will agree a commission on the sale. This will be much lower than you’d pay a high street guitar shop.

Fender Bassman 5F6-a, 1960. 120v. £4950.

This is a genuine example of the renowned “1959 Tweed Bassman” (manufactured early 1960). It has original transformers (codes can be seen below) and what would appear from the ‘3’ in the year date code to be 1963 Jensen P10R alnico speakers (the other two are RSC Canadian-made RSC period ceramic replacements, date code DWE7, educated guess April 1967). I’d stick with this speaker set if I were the buyer – try it and I think you’ll agree. Most internal components have been renewed as you can see.

This amp spent its early life in Alabama, and was purchased in the 1980s by Ian Briggs, well-known harmonica player, who has owned it since. He wanted it for gigging and gave it to amp tech and harmonica player Mark Burgess, who fitted the chassis in a new cab, made it reliable for gigging and optimised the circuit for harmonica. It’s been Ian’s main gigging amp for thirty years or more.

I have removed the minimal mods Mark Burgess made and thoroughly checked the amp electronically. I have restored the original cab (it may look timeworn but it’s now rock solid, all joints reglued and reset) and refitted the restored amp to it. There is one pic below of the cab as it was – I have tried to retain as much of its patinated character as possible whilst making it solid and useable. I felt it was particularly important to retain the floating 3/8″ ply baffle of the original, as I believe it is key to the sound of the amp. Having reset the cab joints with new glue, I trimmed off the frayed tweed, and applied a light coat of button polish shellac – as used by Fender originally – to unite and stabilise the surface. I had to renew the grille cloth but the old cloth comes with amp, as does a bag of old components. It still has the old baffle and all the timber is wonderfully dry and resonant – there’s a nice ring when you tap it and it is very light. One of the baffle bolts was in a worn-thin section of the cab (as you can see, top right front), so I felt it best to fit a small metal bracket internally to support it (also pictured).

The combo plays beautifully; it has that resonant quality that means you are unlikely to want to add reverb – it sings as it is! Believe the hype – this is the optimal guitar amplifier. Enquiries to stevetheampman@gmail.com.

 

Vox AC50 1966 4 input twin channel £1600

This lovely amp, an AC30 top boost on steroids, basically, goes from Beatley chime to a fat growl, is compact, loud and reliable. It has original transformers, Siemens EL34 output valves, period preamp valves inc. Mullards, and many other original parts. The cab is original but has been recovered.

Electrolytic caps have been renewed. The big box AC50s were always solid state rectified. New diodes have been fitted. The famous brimistor (never really necessary) has been replaced with an MOV, excellent idea and another layer of safety/reliability. An IEC ‘kettle lead’ socket replaces the old unsafe and condemned Bulgin, and normal jack sockets replace the tiresome three-pin speaker sockets on the original. All essential work to make this amp useable and giggable.

It’s a grey/blue panel amp (contrary to appearances, see link below), big box, twin channel, four square inputs, serial number in the 6000s. The panel has lost its grey paint and the brass beneath is showing through. AC50s from this period are prone to this – check the example on this page from the generally excellent voxac50.org.uk site.

It was restored by the owner. I have carefully checked it, improving solder joints etc.

A very useable, giggable amp, very versatile. How about a nice Foundation cab for it to sit on!