Rose Morris Goldentone Bassmaster


How's this for a stunning piece of history? I found this Rose Morris Goldentone Bassmaster valve (tube) amplifier sitting at the bottom of a stack of old solid state pa amplifiers at a garage sale down the road (same place I grabbed the old mixer).

When I found the amp, it was in pretty poor shape, missing a valve, with missing and broken knobs, covered in glue because the tolex had been ripped off, and in the somewhat abridged form you see here. At some point in its life, a previous owner decided to turn a combo* into an amp head, cutting off the box just short of the tallest capacitor in the amplifier. The original base of the case was moved up, possibly put on backwards, and spare bits and pieces of the case were used to fashion a crude front panel. The legs, handle and speakers were all missing. I talked the owner down to $10 for it.

* The first photo I found of this type of amp was a combo. I have now seen photographs of a head/speaker box arrangement where the head lifts off, attached to the top panel of the speaker box and can be turned upside-down and stored in the speaker box for transport. (Thanks Richard). This head is now very much like one of these. Perhaps this was a prototype for the new case arrangement, or more likely, whoever bought it decided they wanted their amp in the other format.


The case was sanded back to wood, then given multiple coats of clear lacquer, as I prefer wood-grain to tolex: I feel wood shows it's history in a way other materials can't. The front piece of wood had two oval cutouts sawn in it, then was covered with black aluminium mesh. The knobs were replaced. Feet were attached. The missing valve was guessed (a 12AX7 proved to be the correct valve) and the filter choke replaced. Some other parts were also replaced, and the whole chassis cleaned up.

Article, art & design copyright 1999 by Ken Stone

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