Posted by: Paul | August 31, 2010

Adios Amigo

Today I say goodbye to an old friend, which has been with me for a long time. I’m selling my old Fender Bassman 20 guitar amplifier.

The Bassman 20 is a hard to find amp, only 538 were reported to have been made during 1982-83, it had a very short window of production. It seems to have been a bit of an unpopular size – neither small enough to be a home practice amp that could be tucked away out of sight, nor big enough to be a replacement for one of the large 4×4 cabinets favoured by most serious gigging guitarists. Having said that, the 15″ Pyle speaker kicks out a big noise – playing it at home in my bedroom through my late teens, if I turned it up past 1 on the volume dial it shook the walls.

It was my 17th birthday present, right back when I was learning to play guitar (in all honesty I haven’t got much better in the ensuing years). My Dad bought it for me from an ad in a local paper – the guy we got it from knew a thing or two about guitars, he was an old pro. He’d had it from new and had really looked after it, and I remember him playing a couple of Jeff Healey tunes at which my eyes widened (I was a big Healey fan at one point). He had a 25th Anniversary Stratocaster, a sort of odd sparkly greenish-silver with a black scratchplate and pickups, and I’ve never seen another one since. I bet that’s worth a bob or two now.

So with it having accompanied me to University and back, I am sorry to see it go but I need the space and just don’t play it enough to justify hanging on to it. I still have a Marshall Valvestate VS15 amp to practice on, which is plenty loud enough for me, and that has a reverb setting – something the Bassman sorely lacked, despite its otherwise pristine, warm sound. I hope it goes to a good home, someone who will love it and play with it as much as I did (before I stopped practicing every day). I will wave it a fond goodbye when the lucky winner drives off with it in their boot… 😦


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