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We will further focus mostly on the AB165 vs AA864.
Some things have not changed since the beginning; The Bassman never had reverb or tremolo.
At the Fender factory they used old tube charts when new models came, probably because the tube layout was the same.
Determining production date by serial number and transformer codes is better, and you should also inspect the circuit to be completly sure.
Production years 1964 -1967 “blackface” circuits AA864, AA165, AB165 1967 -1977 “silverface” circuits AA165, AB165, AA270, AA371, AA568, AC568, AA864 Tube layout AA864 Tube layout (Seen from behind, V1 is to the right side): V1 12ax7 = Preamp bass channel V2 12ax7 = 2’nd gain stage bass channel (and normal channel for AB165) V3 12ax7 = Preamp normal channel V4 12at7 = Phase inverter V5 6L6 = Power tube #1 V6 6L6 = Power tube #2 Summary The Fender Bassman is a legendary guitar amp known to both guitar and bass players.
The red circles in the schematic below illustrates these changes.
The bassman was a combo amp in the tweed era with the 1×15″ and 4×10″ speaker configurations.
From the blonde era Fender made the Bassman as a amp head and 2×12″ closed cabinet. The video below compares a Bassman AB165 to a Princeton Reverb and a Deluxe Reverb.
From right to left: – Switch the polarity of the two wires coming from the output transformer going to the speaker terminals.
You need to do this only if you change the negative feedback loop to AA864 specs.