Sick of Bassmans? read this

Well you're right there are more incarnations of Bassman amps than silver 
and tweed.  The tweeds exist in several circuit incarnations also.  The 
F56A version being the legendary 59 circuit.  The first Bassman was the 
single 15" speaker version.  The first of the 4-10's showed up in 1954.  
This was the model FD6A and it only had two inputs.  A bright and a 
normal.  This model only had a 30 watt power output. I've heard that a 
few of the tweed Bassmans were made as late as 1960.  The original 
Bassman circuit was not designed by Leo Fender.  It is a Western Electric 
design from 1948 that was later licensed by the Fender Co.

In 1960 Fender started making the first of the tolex covered amplifiers.  
These are called brown face amps.  Fender switched from a chromed back 
panel control setup to a painted face control setup.  The faces were 
painted dark brown.  These brown face Bassmans came in three tolex 
colours, tan or light brown, brown, and white rough.  The tolex amps are 
all of the piggyback design where the head sits on top of the speaker 
cabinet.  The major changes between the tolex Bassmans and the tweed 
types were switching to solid state rectifiers, losing an adjustable 
midrange tone control in favour of a fixed value, and changing transformer 
vendors from the Triad paper wound interleaved type transformers to the 
bobbin wound non-interleaved Schumachers.  

The third major type of Bassman amplifier is the blackface black tolex 
type.  These models have a raised script Fender logo instead of the 
previous flat logo.  They also are the first of the Bassmans to lose the 
presence control.  There are some black face blonde tolex bassmans with 
pressence but they're very rare.  

C.B.S. bought the Fender company in December of 1965. (I'm not for sure 
on this date)  Many changes were made in Fender models.  The Twin Reverb 
is a good example of an amplifier that suffered from the changes.  Bright 
switches had already showed up on the blackface Bassmans then deep 
switches showed up on the new white face amps introduced in 1969.  The 
white face amps were replaced by the anodized aluminum silver face models 
in 1970.  The power of the Bassman line kept going up.  From the original 
30 watts to the 50 watt 4-10's then the Bassman 70 and 100.  The Super 
Bassman puts out an ear shattering 135 watts.  It's interesting to note 
that the Fender company made gradual style changes with no clear line.  
Black face amps were made through 1968 several years after C.B.S had 
bought the company.  Many amps are strange mixes of grille cloth 
coverings and tolex.  

It is true that some amplifiers made after C.B.S. bought Fender remained 
totally unchanged the Deluxe Reverb was not one of them.  They are easily 
changed back to pre C.B.S. spec however and are a good alternative to the 
overpriced black face Deluxes.  The Vibroverbs didn't change much either 
and are a good buy in the silver face configuration.  FJM

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