Blackfacing a Rumble

by Kevin Smith (TalkBass: Kevins1701)

January 11, 2016

originally posted to

I like my Rumble 500 Combo, but it had a little cosmetic dissonance going. Fender borrows styling details from various eras of its history for these amps, but to my eye black Tolex and silver grille cloth recall the classic mid-‘60s look. And the flat logo, cutout corners and cream knobs didn't hang with that. The handle also looked a little foreign. Turns out they’re all easily and cheaply fixed, using genuine Fender parts, and the changes are all reversible.

The signature lipped corners to use are the “flat” ones, without the dished screw holes, Fender part #0991348000. They like one of their screws in a slightly different spot, and they’re shaped for slightly thicker cabinet lumber, but I like the change. I looked at lots of pictures of ‘60s Fender amps to get the right orientation of the Blackface logo (#0994093000), and of course, logo placement from the factory was all over the map! The skirted 1-10 knobs (the small ones, 7/8-inch across the base, #0054419049, not the common 1-3/16 size) push right on to the Rumble pot shafts. I oriented mine with the mid-point (“5.5”) straight up beneath the control label. Finally, the proper Blackface handle (#0990947000) fits right on using the original Rumble screws.

I have a set of tilt-back legs (19-inch, #0990713000) and they will probably go on eventually. But those change the rules by requiring holes drilled in the amp sides. For now, the better integrated Blackface theme makes me smile.

Rumble 500 blackfaced

click to enlarge

Rumble blackface dials

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Rumble blackface dials

skirted knobs on Colesy's Rumble 500 Head - click to enlarge

Parts List

description qty Fender part no. price
Black-Silver Skirted (1-10) Push-On Amplifier Knobs 4 0054419049 $10.99
Fender® Blackface™ Amplifier Logo 1 0994093000 $10.99
Pure Vintage 2-Screw Mount Amplifier Corners 4 0991348000 $8.99
Pure Vintage Amplifier Handles (1-Screw Mount) 1 0990947000 $12.99
Pure Vintage 19″ Large Tilt Back Legs 2 0990713000 $65.99