date_range 1968

Duane Allman’s Fender Bassman Tweed (4×10)

According to few sources, Duane used this amp around the Hour Glass era (1967/68). The first of these sources is Johnny Sandlin, who recalled owning a Fender Bassman at the time he toured with the Hour Glass, and lending it to Duane.

I had an old Fender Bassman amp with four 10-inch speakers that Duane really liked, so we took it out to California with us. As loud as we were playing at the time, the speakers in the amp were not quite loud enough, so we put JBL speakers in it. [Anathalee G. Sandlin, A Never-Ending Groove, p. 32.]

Regarding the speakers, the amp was originally loaded with Jensen Alnico P10R/P10Q speakers – depending on the year of manufacture. The JBLs than went in as a replacement were likely D-110Fs. As a fun fact – given that Duane later used D120-Fs in his Marshall cabinets, and D130-Fs in his Fender Showman, it seems that he went through all of the speakers that Fender was using at the time in their cabinets (further on the subject at: Loud and Clear: The Story of JBL & Fender)

The second source on Duane using this Fender Bassman Tweed is Larry Steele, a Jacksonville local who later served as stage manager and as co-writer for the band .38 Special. As is already mentioned on the page about Duane using Vox Super Beatle amps – Larry recalled in an article on his website meeting The Hour Glass at the Comic Book Club on July 12, 1968., as they were loading out the gear and setting up the stage. He was asking around whether Duane used one of the numerous Vox Super Beatles that were loaded out of the van, but was informed that he preferred to use something else – a beat-up Fender Bassman.

“Who plays through that beat-up Fender?” I inquired, pointing to the old tweed-covered amp. “That’s what Duane plays through!” the guy on the stage hollered back. “You won’t believe the tone he gets out of this thing!” I was repulsed. “Duane Allman plays through that piece of shit?” I protested. “With all these Super Beatles, he plays through that?” “Yeah, he won’t play through the Vox. Those heads are solid state, man. That’s okay for bass or keyboards, but Duane won’t play through any of that shit. Besides, he really likes Gregg’s voice coming through those Beatle bottoms.” [1968 – The Hour Glass in Jacksonville, The Load-In, Larry Steele]

It is worth pointing out that Duane owned at least one more Fender Bassman later on, sold to him by sold Kurt Linhof on June 25, 1971 [Randy Poe, Skydog, pp. 188 & 296.] (the same day he acquired the 1950s Gibson Les Paul Standard ‘Hot Lanta’).

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