Band-Commander: based on ’68 Fender Silverface Bandmaster (AB763 circuit)
Maybe not as famous as some of the other Fender amps, but the modeled Bandmaster with the AB763 circuit is considered to be another “holy grail” Fender.
This amp has the looks of a silverface Fender, the period between 1967 and 1981 following the blackfaced Fenders. Silverfaces are commonly associated with less desirable Fenders. But this amp has the AB763 circuit from the blackface period, considered the best circuit version produced for this amp. So you may as well regard this amp as a blackface version. This “hybrid” Bandmaster was produced shortly by Fender, before the introduction of lesser-quality circuits. More information. Do not confuse this version with the later Bandmaster Reverb or the earlier Tweed Bandmaster.
Ampwares.com: “In August 1967, Fender changed the cosmetics once again, this time to the silverface style. The earliest of these (Aug. ’67 to July ’68) had aluminum grill trim, black vertical lines on the control panel, and a highly textured version of the famous silver/blue sparkle grill cloth. In addition, the speaker cabinet was enlarged and ported. In June 1968, the Bandmaster was given the infamous AC568 silverface circuit. The amp shown here is one of the very last silverface Bandmasters produced with the blackface AB763 circuit.”
Fenderguru.com: “Not all silverface amps were developed in a bad direction. Let’s study the blackface Bandmaster AB763 and Bassman AA864. They are similar in the way that both are clean sounding with just one 12ax7 tube in the preamp stage (vibrato ch in bandmaster and normal channel in bassman). The vibrato channel in the Bandmaster is even more clean than the Bassman because of the vibrato circuitry loading the signal chain and reducing the gain level in the premp section. Hence, the AA864 Bassman normal channel has more preamp “juice” and reaches the sweet spot at an earlier volume knob setting. The Bassman has a slightly bigger output transformer resulting in a firmer tone and more attack. A smaller output transformer will introduce sag and compression in the power amp section. The blackface Bandmaster is therefore ideal for those who look for a pure Fender clean sound without making ones ears bleed. The blackface and silverface Bandmaster is a big sounding amp with a flexible speaker impedance of 4 ohm, allowing anything between one and four speakers (8 ohm each) to be connected via the main and/or external speaker jack. This makes it possible to adapt to small and big stages and gigs just by configuring the speakers."
This amp puts out around 40 watts through two 6L6 tubes. It has two channels: “Normal ” and “Vibrato”. The model is based on the Vibrato channel.
It’s an amp with quite a lot of headroom. When it does start to break up, it produces a nice overdrive.
The Bandmaster sounds very balanced to me. I know quite a few people use it as their main Fender model.
The original amp controls are: Treble, Bass, Volume Bright and Volume Normal, and a Bright switch. There’s no Middle tone control, so keep this at “5” in the model for authenticity. No Master Volume either, so keep the Master control in the model dimed.
Note that the range of the controls on this amp is 1 to 10, while the model's controls range 0 to 10. Here's a translation table, created by forum member Barhrecords.
The Bandmaster provides two inputs per channel. Fractal Audio models of Fender amps are always based on the input with the highest input level. To get the equivalent of using the lower input, set Input Trim to 0.500.
This Bandmaster was used with a 2x12 cabinet, with Jensen or Oxford 12” speakers. Find the 2x12” Fender stock cabs on this page.