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Here we have a very desirable amp from Music Man, the company that had its genesis in 1971 when Leo Fender (as a silent partner due to his 10-year non-compete clause in the 1965 contract that sold the Fender companies to CBS) teamed up with former Fender employees Forrest White and Tom Walker to form Tri-Sonics Inc. The partnership was named Music Man in 1974.

It was that year that the company started producing its first product, an amplifer designed by Leo Fender and Tom Walker called the "Sixty Five". The amp instantly proved a hit, with high-profile guitarists using the bullet-proof, fantastic-sounding amps. Guitarists and bands who have used Music Man amps take in all styles of playing, including Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton, Joe Strummer, Albert Lee, Robbie Robertson, Johnny Winter, Alabama, Jeff Beck, Mark Knopfler, James Burton, Merle Travis and Waddy Wachtel. And me...and maybe you?

The amps were characterised by their hybrid design, but not in the ridiculous (cynical?) way most manufacturers do now, putting a token 12AX7 valve in the preamp circuit, then feeding a transistor (solid-state) power section. The Music Man amps used the classic 6CA7 / EL-34 power valves in push-pull in the output stage, and had a 12AX7 splitter/phase inverter feeding them, after a well-designed, reliable and extremely usable 2-channel solid-state pre-amp, with all the usual Fender® appointments of lush spring reverb, great tremolo, bright switch and even a deep switch. Unbelievable clean tones, yet when the power stage was pushed hard, the amp had full, natural valve distortion. This was enhanced by the fact the amp had a low/high power switch, which dropped the plate voltage on the low power setting so the natural valve distortion happened earlier.

Coupled with the beautiful alnico-magnet speakers that these early Music Man amps were fitted with (later versions went to harsher ceramics), these are delicious-sounding amps, that are extremely loud for their power rating, yet are reliable to a legendary degree.

The original CTS pots date this amp to 1976 (all 30th and 31st week), and the serial number is BN03347. This amp still has the very desirable 12AX7 driver valve, where later versions went transistorised. These early versions can be recognised easily by their power rating being written in text - i.e. 'Sixty-five' - on the front-mounted badge.

This amp has been used, but well looked after. It has some knocks and scrapes to its edges, which show clearly on the photographs, but overall is very tidy. It is also totally original, and in superb under-chassis condition (see the 'more pictures' link below).

This vintage Music Man amp measures 62cm(W) x 42cm(H) x 27cm(D), and weighs in at 22kg, a very portable and giggable package!

Sold to John


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