Fender Bassman 10-any good?
Recently, Ive been thinking of buying a fender bassman 10, since I play guitar in one of my bands and bass in the other, and I think it would b a good idea to get an amp I could use for both. The amp that currently use in the band that I play guitar in is a Vox VT20+, and it's not really loud enough for gigs. In my other band I use a fender rumble 100 that our drummer has laying around in his basement, since the bass amp I have at home isnt loud enough. I really like using the rumble amp, and it's plenty loud, but I'd rather use an amp of my own instead of having to use a borrowed amp every time we play. Is the Fender bassman 10 loud enough to use for both instruments at gigs, or should I get something like a bassman 100 or separate amps?
bassman 10's are open back combos, and even the original 50's ones are pretty lousy with a bass unless you never turn it up and i'm not that impressed with the RI bassman 10 even with guitar either. IMO, a vintage blackface bassman with its 2x12 sealed cab would be a lot better for bass (and guitar).
The bassman I'm referring to is the closed back, silverface model, not the tweed openbacks from the 50's
With VERY efficient speakers, the silverface Bassman 10 might hold its own in a mellow 60's blues band setting on bass.
Not very likely in a real world gigging situation though ;).
For guitar it IME sucks as a tube amp, the UL design means pratically no output stage saturation, so really just one tone on only one volume level.
Unless You're using a ton of effects, which IMO defeates the need for a tube amp in the first place.
There's a TBer who's handle escapes me ATM, who did sell and service those Bassman 10's in the 70's and he have reported on the TB threads that there was a lot of variation on the amps. Definitely don't buy unless you can try it first.
Mine is a 212 open back sitting in the wood shed ATM and since it's IMO more or less useless as a gigging amp, it'll probably stay that way for a while ;).
I would like to experiment with 4 high efficiency NEO's with it though, but that will have to wait.
I too recommend a different amp... The SF Bassman 10 has multiple small ports, and is severely underpowered... Though ok for use as a practice amp at low volume, it won't keep up with stage volume.
I used a Bassman 100 through the small Fender 2x15 Showman cabinet, loaded with EVM15Ls in a Chicago Blues band for over a decade. It served me well. And that would be my recommendation for a vintage Fender bass amp.
Traynor YBA1A MkII from the early 70s is also a great bass amp for blues. I prefer the Traynor when switching between bass and guitar (more "Marshall-y" than The Bassman 100)...
Bottom line (ahem) is to steer clear of the Bassman 10. Its only marginal for bass, and just terrible (in my opinion) for guitar. It's too "stiff" and dry sounding for both instruments.
I'd recommend a vintage Fender Studio Bass Amp, except it is quite heavy to tote, and the particle board cabinet falls apart easily if transported often. At least mine did. They sound pretty good though! Mine had an EVM15L in it as well... But the joints just couldn't take the stress of constantly moving and vibrating...
So many amps, so little time (and money!)... Good luck in your quest! Remember to use your ears. You'll find one you like that way.
I did some research, and the Traynor YBA 1 is 40 watts. Is that loud enough to gig with?
Here's an alternative that could meet your guitar/bass needs. The Roland CB100 or the newer 120. I have the CB100 and use it for bass. 100 watts into a single 12 inch speaker. I bought it as a rehearsal amp and have gigged with it ever since I bought it five years ago.
As a bass combo, it's great. I've used it many times with different drummers and it cuts through with ample kick and bottom end. The trick is to keep it n the floor to couple and give good bottom end.
For guitar use, which it was never designed for, the amp had modelling and one of the amps modelled is the Fender Bassman. Furthermore, the amp has reverb, chorus, flanger and an octave effect. I tripped on its guitar use one night by accident when a guitarist was over at the house. We plugged him in, selected a touch of reverb, ran the gain very high and controlled overall volume with the master. The gain produced a great tube driven sound. When coupled with the bassman setting and the reverb, it sounded really really good. That guitarist, who previously used Fender Super Reverb's loved the sound and borrowed it a couple of times.
So, you may have an option here to nail both needs with one amp. For some weird reason, I never took Roland to be a good bass amp maker. The price was right when it came up used and I grabbed it. My big Markbass rig stays home more than the Roland does. Try it out. It may or may not work for you.
I loved the old Bassman 10 amp. It was first rated at 50 watts and then 70, both with 4x10's in a closed back cab. It's a tad under powered, heavy and lacking bottom end. It's an old design.
Good luck and let us know what you go with.
I've owned a Bassman10 for a couple decades, it has it's strengths and weaknesses.
it's strengths are, it has amazing tone, as far as a recording amp goes, I think it's amazing, my P bass has never sounded more like a P bass than through the Bassman10.
I have the 70w UL version and this is another internet myth that needs to be called out, this amp has amazing break up and grind, get's a thick crunchy overdriven tone when turned up.
to say that UL amps won't break up and stay clean, is pure 100% Grade A BS.
for guitar, it's an awesome amp imo, get's a 4x12ish lowend thump that an open back Fender combo won't touch.
it doesn't have a lot of headroom so it won't be good as a stand alone amp in a loud band.
I used it in a heavy band but I used it beside a full range rig that took care of the bottom end and top end, the Bassman10 cut through the middle with a thick chunky grind.
I've used it on a couple blues gigs and it did a great job, I've seen guys use them in clubs with PA support and the soundman was happy because there wasn't a lowend wash coming off the stage conflicting with the PA.
the tone was great, they mic up really well.
I wouldn't want it as my only bass amp, but for the right situation it's a real tone machine.
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