May 23, 2013 in Blog

Fender ’57 Bandmaster Amplifier

Fender '57 Bandmaster ReissueOne of the iconic older amplifiers in Fender’s history is the old 1957 Bandmaster amp with 3-10″ speakers. Fender has reissued the amp with PCB board electronics and 4-10″ speakers, but for the purists out there it’s the old point-to-point hand-wired Bandmasters that set the standard for what this amp should sound like.

Preferred by a great many of touring pros the original ’57 Bandmaster is the sound of Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and many others. Some would call it the holy-grail of non-reverb tube amps. If you want more proof look at all the knock-off versions of this amp being made by smaller amp builders everywhere.

So, last year Fender set out to build a faithful reproduction of the hand-wired version. But it’s not as easy as copying a 1957 and boom you’re done. They benchmarked a number of vintage ’57 Bandmasters and found they aren’t all identical and certainly they didn’t all sound the same. So rather than create an exact copy, they engineered some changes that Fender’s staff felt would be true to the original but be more useful and appreciated by guitar players in the real world.

An example of this change is the adjustable bias on the new PTP reissue. This was not something you’d find on an original ’57, but it’s a welcome addition in the reissue.

Priced like a boutique amp at an MSRP of $3,399 and $2,499 street the ’57 Bandmaster better be good. And, from all we’ve heard it is very good.

Check out this video by Fender’s Shane Nicholas about the amp, it’s development and what’s different about this one.

Here’s a demo we recorded at this year’s NAMM show as the Fender demo player describes all the new Fender Amps.

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