• WARNING: Tube/Valve amplifiers use potentially LETHAL HIGH VOLTAGES.
    Building, troubleshooting and testing of these amplifiers should only be
    performed by someone who is thoroughly familiar with
    the safety precautions around high voltages.

RCA to Speakers?

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I've got a Fender '59 Bassman ReIssue that's got 4 outputs, meant to go to 4 seperate speakers. The weird thing is the outputs appear to be RCA plugs, and each one is meant for a seperate speaker. I can't find a cable anywhere that has an RCA on one end and two speakers cables at the other end.
Has anybody else got a '59 Bassman, or do you know if this is normal for Fender tube amp combos? Also, does anyone know where to get the connector cables for this? Thanks!!!


Obviously that's a combo amp: there is no such thing as "speaker in" jack: the speaker wire is hardwired to the speakers terminals.
I would suggest to remove those RCA and hardwire the speakers if you don't need to drive a separate cab or something like that. What wire? well... there are infinite discussion on hi-fi forums about speaker cable, here since we're guitar players we just stick with normal house wiring :D Get yourself some meters of 2.5mm wire and you're set... remember to connect the speakers in parallel! The Bassman wants to see 2ohm.
Waitaminute, that's an integrated amplifier / speaker cabinet, it doesn't have external speaker jacks at all. Just to make sure, I even just read the owner's manual. :)

Is this *inside* the amp? Are you saying that the four speakers inside your cabinet are just bolted in and not connected to anything at all? So somebody stole some parts from your amp?

If that's the case, you're going to have to make the cables yourself. You probably can't use "regular" RCA cables like you'd find at Radio Shack, I doubt they would sound very good considering this would be an amplified load with a butt-load of current (50W into two ohms from the spec sheet: looks like the four 8 ohm drivers are wired in parallel).

yeah, I just have the chassis, no cabinet. I need to go to Guitar Center or someplace that has one of these laying around and open a complete one up to see how it's wired. I've been told that, in the beginning, they made these amps like this because they were using this same chassis for 2 different amps: a 2x12 combo called the Bass Breaker, and the usual 4x10 Bassman. They haven't made the Bass Breaker for years now, though, as I understand it, so the speakers on a new Bassman RI may be just wired straight to the amp the way combos usually are. Btw, this is a 1990 '59 Bassman RI chassis, which I think was the first year that they reissued them. Anyway, there's a lot of stuff on this thing that is an absolute mystery to me... I mean, it all seems like it should work, it was just put together in a way that makes it a complete pain to try to reproduce or work on.

Fender does some weird stuff, though. For instance, when I first got this chassis, I was planning to make the 2x12 Bass Breaker combo, which used 2 special order 4 ohm Celestion V30 speakers. So I got in touch w/ Celestion, and they said that they only made those speakers for Fender's Custom shop, and if I wanted to get them I either had to go through Fender or I'd have to order, like, 100 or so speakers to get Celestion to make them for me. So I called Fender, and after about an hour I got to speak to someone who had heard of the Bass Breaker amp before, and he informed me that they ordered enough speakers for the number of amps made and no more, not even 1 extra speaker was ever made. So if you buy one of these amps for about $2,000 and blow a speaker or something happens to one of them, you can NEVER replace it, as there are and likely never will be any more of them. I found that a strange idea, that a company that large would use such an irreplaceable speaker...
Hey, here's a quick picture of the original layout that this amp is supposed to be based off of:

It shows 4 seperate jacks going out to the speakers as well. However, it doesn't say that they're RCA jacks, and it's just terribly inconvenient trying to find a cable for this thing.
If you want to keep the 4 RCA jacks then just go to Radio Shack and get an RCA to 1/4" converter. You may have to get a short section of cable with it (6" or so) but it will work. Alternatively just buy some RCA cables, cut of one end and solder on a 1/4" plug.

I would just remove the RCAs and install 1/4" jacks. Trivial to do and you would then be compatible with most equipment.
See my response over in the musical instrument section.

Yes this is utterly stock. The original was made that way 45 years ago, and was not uncommon for Fenders and others of the day. This reissue came out 15 years ago and kept the RCAs as a concession to history. No reason you can't replace them with something else. Yes, Fender calls them out as phono jacks - RCAs.

Don't use that patch cord from MF, it is a signal cord, not a speaker cord. The tiny little center conductor is not made for speaker currents.

No one will have RCA speaker cords on teh shelf, make your own.
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