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Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head   

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The Fender Band-Master VM amplifier takes the desirable mid-powered tube head concept to "Vintage Modified" performance by combining a real tube amp ...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A real tube amp head coupled with a great set of effects.

The Fender Band-Master VM amplifier takes the desirable mid-powered tube head concept to "Vintage Modified" performance by combining a real tube amp with a complement of essential effects.

The amp head's 40W tube platform provides a foundation of great tone to build on, and the versatile tube preamp offers a wide range of tone and gain settingsā€from world-standard Blackface Fender clean to aggressive overdrive with post-gain EQ. Its high-quality Digital Signal Processing platform adds reverb, chorus/vibrato, and delay effects with the convenience and "tweakability" of standard stompboxes without the need for extra cables or power supplies. The Fender Band-Master VM amp head is ideal for onstage versatility and big, fat Fender tone.

FEATURES
  • Real tube amp performance combined with a complement of essential effects
  • All new DSP platform
  • Effects loop with Send & Return
  • 2 Speaker output jacks
  • Standby switch

Put the great tone of the Band-Master VM to work for you—add it to the cart now.

SPECIFICATIONS

Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head

  • Series: Vintage Modified series
    Type: Tube guitar Amplifier head
    Output: 40W
    Ohms: 4 or 8 ohms
    Speakers: N/A
    Channels: 2 Selectable channels (Clean and Drive)

    Clean channel Controls:
    Volume
    Treble
    Bass
    Drive switch

    Drive channel controls:
    Drive switch
    Gain, Volume
    Treble
    Middle
    Bass
    Reverb
    Effects adjust switch (Chorus/Delay)
    Time/Rate
    Delay On/Off Switch
    Mix
    Chorus On/Off Switch
    Depth

    Covering: Black textured vinyl with silver grille cloth
    Weight: 26 lb.
    Dimensions: 24" W x 10" H x 10" D
    Tube complement: 2 x 12AX7, 2 x 6L6GC
    Footswitch: Uses 4-Button Footswitch Included, P/N 0075485000,

    Footswitch button Functions:
    Drive
    Reverb
    Delay
    Chorus
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderBand-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head
 
4.7

(based on 15 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love This Amp

I'm a 50 year old musician and I've played everything from bluegrass to metal. In my years of playing I've owned a '65 Bassman, Silver face Twin Reverb, Music Man RD50, Peavey...Read complete review

I'm a 50 year old musician and I've played everything from bluegrass to metal. In my years of playing I've owned a '65 Bassman, Silver face Twin Reverb, Music Man RD50, Peavey Bandit 65, Twin Reverb II, a Princeton Reverb II, and now this amp, the Bandmaster VM. This amp may well be the best I've ever owned. I don't understand the comment "lacks real tube tone". I've owned a Fender amp nearly all my life and this amp sounds as good as any of them. I admit I was skeptical about the amp having a partially solid state preamp. But after playing the amp for 3 days now, my skepticism and worries are gone. When you play this amp there's no doubt that it's a Fender, and there's no doubt that it's tube. I played my Strat through the clean channel and just couldn't stop playing it. I'm using an Avatar 2x12 closed back cabinet loaded with two Celestion V30s. (Nothing against the Fender cabinet, but I already owned the Avatar) The clean channel starts getting a nice little break up at around 6 on the dial. It's full, rich, and percussive with a nice touch response. I love the OD channel and it would be great for Blues, Country leads, classic rock and with the mid turned up to 10, and the gain on 10, a nice harder rock tone. The amp is quiet even with the gain on 10 - just the slightest amount of hiss. You're going to get a little preamp hiss with any amp when they're cranked to 10, but this one is one of the quietest I've heard in a while. I'm using the amp for hard rock / metal by using a Boss Metal Zone through the clean channel. I've got a Boss NS-2 inserted in the effects loop and the sound is just incredible. The tubes really warm up the Metal Zone pedal and when I palm mute - it's dead silent. I could go on and on about this amp ... the effects are the best I've used on an amp, and you can fully adjust them. You can also get a nice tape effect by adjusting the time on the delay while playing. You can get the weird sounding pitch shifts ala Pink Floyd. If you're looking for a medium sized tube head - this is a good one with plenty of power for any club gig.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Average sounding amp

Nice features with DSP controls. Clean channel goes from 0-1 in about 70 decibels, kinda off/on. I could not get much top end out of the clean channel, even with a...Read complete review

Nice features with DSP controls. Clean channel goes from 0-1 in about 70 decibels, kinda off/on. I could not get much top end out of the clean channel, even with a Tele. The treble control simpply did not function. Bass was good though. Channel 2 was exactly the opposite. Plenty of gain, volume very usable for home studio. The bass control on channel 2 did not respond, more like an on/off type control. There is no fender "sparkle" with this amp. The preamp on clean sounds like solid state. The preamp on channel 2 is digital, but it sounds good. Overall, it's a nice amp with plenty of features except the one I need most - an impedance selector. I have two vintage 2x12 cabs, one 4 ohm, one 16 ohm. This can't be run at 4 ohms like the orginal. I have 1969 BM Reverb. The clean is much more toneful, treble is very usable, and the bright switch will klick in at 4k for all the top end I could ever need. Down side of owning the 1969, I need the volume so loud to get break-up I can't use it at home at all, and I hate pedals, but am forced to use one with 69 BMR. I wish the channel 2 on the VM would break up a little earlier, but overal, the distortion sounded ok, just not like tube compression, more like Digital. If I owned only one amp I would consider this one, but my own speakers. The VM 2x12 cab is overly bright and thin, and the combo sounds even thinner with P80.

Reviewed by 15 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

No Regrets

By SGjohn

from PA

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

First, this IS a tube amp; it has tubes, it is a tube amp. What has people confused is that it basically is a one channel amp (explaining why it has less tubes) with "pedals" (drive,reverb,delay,chorus) built into the head. The previous reviewer gave great tips on making it cleaner, but if you're not that technical it's just fine stock. This amp handles pedals like a champ, almost like it was made for that reason alone. If you plan on buying the matching cab like I did, plan on buying new speakers, the stock speakers have limited range to say the least.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Follow-up Review

By Old Rocker Dude

from WNC

See all my reviews

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Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

I am using this amp with a Boss Metal Zone pedal, on the clean channel through an Avatar 2x12 cab with two Vintage 30s. It sounded killer at around 5 on the volume. However, for clean playing, the amp would start to break up a little too much as I increased the volume past about 6. The Russian 5881s that the amp is supplied with break up easily, and the 12AX7 phase inverter adds to the early breakup. Also, from the factory, the amp is biased very cold at 27mA per tube which can make it slightly spongey at loud settings. I replaced the Russian 5881s with a pair of GT 6L6GE with a rating of "9" on the hardness scale. I replace V2, the phase inverter, with a NOS 12AT7 (which has a little lower output than a 12AX7), and rebiased the amp a little hotter at 33mA per tube (which is still on the cold side for a 6L6). This made the amp more touch responsive, it stays cleaner at louder settings, and it seems to have more headroom than before. The notes are more articulate and accurate when playing through the Metal Zone at high gain too. All in all, these setup changes improved the amp all the way around. This is a great amp and I suspect it is destined to become a sought after model 10 years from now. I've read some comments where people have dissed on it - but it really is a very good amp with very good built in effects.

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A descent tube amp

By The White Macho

from west coast

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

What is it with fender and their distortion? The super-sonic being the only exception, which I believe to be the best sounding tube amp on the market.Well, for under 2k.but were talking about the bandmaster VM here. anyways, the distortion from this amp is a little thin without some help. I use a turbo tube screamer and it really makes a big difference, but out of the box, I dont know, it sounds kinda solid state.If you keep the gain around 5-6, then it sounds pretty darn good, a nice crunch, but if you go above that, it gets muddy and kinda thin. maybe its my speakers, I use the VM 2x12 cab with it.idk. The clean is fantastic, its fenderlicious. I think I will most likely create my own distortion through various pedals. like my TS and others. The FX's are very usable, not noisy, just right. I dont know, for the price, there might be something better. I probably wouldn't buy one again, just because of the dirty channel/

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Love This Amp

By Old Rocker Dude

from WNC

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

I'm a 50 year old musician and I've played everything from bluegrass to metal. In my years of playing I've owned a '65 Bassman, Silver face Twin Reverb, Music Man RD50, Peavey Bandit 65, Twin Reverb II, a Princeton Reverb II, and now this amp, the Bandmaster VM. This amp may well be the best I've ever owned. I don't understand the comment "lacks real tube tone". I've owned a Fender amp nearly all my life and this amp sounds as good as any of them. I admit I was skeptical about the amp having a partially solid state preamp. But after playing the amp for 3 days now, my skepticism and worries are gone. When you play this amp there's no doubt that it's a Fender, and there's no doubt that it's tube. I played my Strat through the clean channel and just couldn't stop playing it. I'm using an Avatar 2x12 closed back cabinet loaded with two Celestion V30s. (Nothing against the Fender cabinet, but I already owned the Avatar) The clean channel starts getting a nice little break up at around 6 on the dial. It's full, rich, and percussive with a nice touch response. I love the OD channel and it would be great for Blues, Country leads, classic rock and with the mid turned up to 10, and the gain on 10, a nice harder rock tone. The amp is quiet even with the gain on 10 - just the slightest amount of hiss. You're going to get a little preamp hiss with any amp when they're cranked to 10, but this one is one of the quietest I've heard in a while. I'm using the amp for hard rock / metal by using a Boss Metal Zone through the clean channel. I've got a Boss NS-2 inserted in the effects loop and the sound is just incredible. The tubes really warm up the Metal Zone pedal and when I palm mute - it's dead silent. I could go on and on about this amp ... the effects are the best I've used on an amp, and you can fully adjust them. You can also get a nice tape effect by adjusting the time on the delay while playing. You can get the weird sounding pitch shifts ala Pink Floyd. If you're looking for a medium sized tube head - this is a good one with plenty of power for any club gig.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Average sounding amp

By Voxinator

from Florida

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

Nice features with DSP controls. Clean channel goes from 0-1 in about 70 decibels, kinda off/on. I could not get much top end out of the clean channel, even with a Tele. The treble control simpply did not function. Bass was good though. Channel 2 was exactly the opposite. Plenty of gain, volume very usable for home studio. The bass control on channel 2 did not respond, more like an on/off type control. There is no fender "sparkle" with this amp. The preamp on clean sounds like solid state. The preamp on channel 2 is digital, but it sounds good. Overall, it's a nice amp with plenty of features except the one I need most - an impedance selector. I have two vintage 2x12 cabs, one 4 ohm, one 16 ohm. This can't be run at 4 ohms like the orginal. I have 1969 BM Reverb. The clean is much more toneful, treble is very usable, and the bright switch will klick in at 4k for all the top end I could ever need. Down side of owning the 1969, I need the volume so loud to get break-up I can't use it at home at all, and I hate pedals, but am forced to use one with 69 BMR. I wish the channel 2 on the VM would break up a little earlier, but overal, the distortion sounded ok, just not like tube compression, more like Digital. If I owned only one amp I would consider this one, but my own speakers. The VM 2x12 cab is overly bright and thin, and the combo sounds even thinner with P80.

(1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Okay amp but lacks real tube sound

By PWC

from Los Angeles, CA

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

I thought this amp would be great. It lacks real tube sound (no beautifull chime and no depth). Nothing like the real Fender tube amp. If you have ever used a real Bandmaster you will probable be disapointed. Hard treble and all round stiff sound. Power tubes can be BIAS'ed so this is a plus. Putting a 5751 tube in the second socket helps the amp, softens it up and gives more of a tube feel. The distortion is tight and not fizzy and is not that bad, no over the top distortion but enough for mainstream rock. You do not get that real Fender reverb sound but reverb is okay and the effects are nice. Amp will breakup early on clean channel until a 5751 tube is in, then you get a cleaner clean channel and one thats pretty loud. It's not a bad amp on it's own but don't think your getting a classic tube sounding amp just because it has tubes.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fender chime and depth

By lpdeluxe

from Nacogdoches TX

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Ask me a question

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

This is my third Fender guitar amp, following a Jazzmaster Ultralight and a Blues Jr NOS. I was looking for a tube head to drive a 15" speaker cab for my ES-335. The Jazzmaster was fine for my Les Paul, with that compressed, focused Fender sound, and the BJ has a great bluesy sound, but I wanted something mellower and rounder for the 335. With a Hartke 115TP cab, it turned out to be what I was looking for. It has the chime of the Blues Jr, but -- unlike that amp -- that sound works equally on the lower pitched strings. It can sound very jazzy, which isn't really my thing, but mostly it has a round, full, rich tone that brings out the best in the guitar. It sounds less "electric" than my other amps. The reverb has a shimmer to it, but (and this is typical of my Fender amps) it's easy to go over the top with it.It also features delay and chorus, which I don't use. There's also an included four-button footswitch, with its cable, and a speaker cable. Although it's fairly large for a head, it's only 22 lb, so it's easy to pack. I wish Fender made a matching 1-15 to go with it.I got it a few days ago, and I've pretty much been playing it since, and I expect to be using it for a long time.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Exceeded My Expectations

By Smitty-1CKXe

from NYC area

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

The Fender Bandmaster VM Head has become my main amp. I play it through a 2x12 cabinet with Eminence Texas Heat 16-Ohm speakers, and the tone is great on both the clean and drive channels. The clean channel has a nice Blackface-style sparkle, and the 40-Watt all-tube power ensures that it gets good and full without breaking up to early. The drive channel does great punchy all-American style real tube distortion, with good "chunk". The built-in reverb, chorus and delay are all useful. They have good range and versatility (the chorus can even do a tremolo effect at high settings). The effects are very clean; I couldn't hear any background hiss from any of them. The included 4-button pedal is solid and should last a long time. Nicely done!

(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

A darn good Fender amp...

By 1starvinguitarist

from Texas

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

Tried this amp at my local dealer and I'm pretty satisfied with what I got out of it. We ran it thru the Vibro-King extension cab and it sounded much better, so I'd look at speaker upgrades if you decide to purchase. All in all it is a decent amp for any small club situations.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

The Bandmaster VM is a better than I expected

By Smitty-1CKXe

from NYC area

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Band-Master VM 40W Tube Guitar Amp Head:

On the Fender website I had seen Greg Koch play through the amp, and knew that I it would have a great clean sound, but I have to admit I was surprised how well the drive channel worked as well. It's straight-ahead all-American tube crunch (with great "chunk"), but between the tone controls and maybe some external EQ, I can cover more modern crunch as well. For Texas-style blues I run Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive (Ibanez Tube Screamer-style) overdrive pedals with an EQ into the clean channel, and that also works very well. Both my single-coil (with Fralin Blues Specials) and humbucker (Gibson and Seymour Duncan) based guitars work well. I run the amp through a 2x12 cabinet loaded with Eminence Texas Heat (16 Ohm) speakers. I no longer feel like I need multiple amps to get the sounds I want, and for the money it was a good value for me.

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