My Mojotone Bassman cabinet arrived last week, and it is beautiful! When it arrived, I took a few moments to look it over and admire it in all its perfection. Mojotone did a really great job with the upholstery.
Above: front. Below: back.
I put it on my bench and got my ruler out. Because the dimensions of the mounting holes on the original chassis and Mojotone’s replica chassis are slightly different, the cabinets are shipped undrilled. Luckily, the math wasn’t too difficult, because all I had to do was measure the holes in the original cabinet.
Once I got the measurements from the original cabinet and my chassis and double checked them, I measured them out and marked them in pencil on my new cabinet. I triple checked the chassis dimensions, then the original cabinet, then again measured the marks on the new cabinet. Once I was satisfied that I wasn’t drilling into the wrong places, I marked the drill points with a center punch and put the holes in. The chassis straps fit like a glove. I set the amp inside and tightened the mounting bolts.
You are looking at my finished restoration of a 1968 Silverface Fender Bassman. Even though there are elements of it that are not exactly period, I’m still quite proud of the work that I did here. For example, the circuit is closer to 1964 specifications, and the grill cloth is not quite period, etc., but I know one thing, this thing sounds GREAT. Take a listen below:
The video was recorded on my iPhone camera, which did a surprisingly good job with the audio (although it does clip a couple times). The dry guitar signal is split to the normal channel of the amp, and to a tube reverb unit which is returning a 100% wet signal to the input of the bass channel.
I found this project incredibly rewarding. I am happy to have successfully taken apart and rebuilt a tool of my trade, and to have learned so much about what goes into what is an essential part of an electric guitarist’s tone.
The experience has proved, however, to be bittersweet. I had not mentioned in the earlier posts that James Williams, who originally gifted the non-working Bassman to me, did so because he was diagnosed with cancer last year. I was saddened to learn last week of his passing.
I will fondly remember him and all that he taught me every time I play through this amp. Although I did not get to share the finished project with him, I would like to believe that Jim would be proud of the work I have done on this path that he set me on.
Some photos of the restored amp:
And again, where it all started: