60s Fender Bassman 100?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MtnGoat, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. MtnGoat


    May 7, 2000
    A friend of mine has a 60s era fender bassman in good overall condition condition with the matching 2x15 cabinet. The thing used to work well until he lent it to somebody. Now one of the tubes is broken and the cabinet is blown. I am considering buying the head and retubing it. Does anybody have any idea what this might be worth and how much it may cost to retube the sucker? Also, what are your general thoughts on the sound of this amp? I have an Aguilar rig that I am really happy with, but might buy this bassman for the low volume gigs. Any comments are greatly appreciated.
  2. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    Bassman 100s are GREAT guitar heads, so-so bass heads. If you're in a blues band our something like that, it might be OK. It could be a good recording amp. The Bassman will break up sooner than other similar tube amps of that size [like an Ampeg V4 or MusicMan HD 130], so you won't have much headroom.

    I'd pass on the cab. I've played bass through a Bassman cab before, and me no likey. I don't think they're ported at all. Not very efficient bass cabs.

    I'm guessing $350 to $550 is what a blackface [60s] Bassman head would be worth, depending on condition, parts, wear, etc. Check on eBay or Gbase for a ballpark idea, though they're usually on the high side. The silverface ones go for $250 to $400 usually. Bias and retube by a tech ... $100 to $150? Depends on the tubes + the tech.
  3. These are great sounding amps! A friend of mine used to have a Pre-CBS Precision(early 1965) with a bassman 50 amp; what a sweet & warm tone! I'll never forget how this used to sound. Unless you've heard real vintage Fender stuff live, you don't know what you're missing. I agree with Mr.Grieves about the breaking up part; I don't know at what volume it'll break up, but 100 watts, even if it's tubes is not a ton of power. If you buy it for low volume gigs, I'd say pair it with a small cabinet. 2x10, or even a good 1x12.

    Mike J.
  4. Very nice. Where did he find it?

    Tubes don't cost that much. GC usually caries 'em, but I don't know about vintage stuff. You might be able to shoe-horn in a modern one, but I don't know what that will do to the sound quality.

    Rock on
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I have a 1974 Super Bassman the matching 4-12 cabinet. It a nice amp for practicing and garage jams but I would never use it at a show unless I had some really nice monitors to reinforce the stage volume. It is not loud at all. I play mostly 5 string now and it is impossible to use with a 5. It is a nice toy, but nothing you should expect to get a great deal of utility out of.

    For recording a four string, they are awesome if you have the right mic in front of them.

  6. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    If you do buy it, don't tube and bias it yourself unless you know what you're doing. Otherwise you'll be getting less than optimal performance out of it. And probably burn out the tubes early.
  7. boogiebass


    Aug 16, 2000
    A totally unsatisfactory bass amp for all but the most modest volume requirements. Hard to be heard with it over drums and a guitar unless you're playing low-vol jazz. I suffered through my teenage/garage band years with a '60's Bassman Piggyback rig and a blasted Hofner. I hated 'em both with a passion. Never had any balls, wooly and very inarticulate sounding amp, especially with the POS Hofner. As has been pointed out, however, Bassman amps often make great guitar blues amps.

    Unless you're a hobbyist/tweaker with a huge nostalgia jones, I'd pass on that sucker.
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A Bassman 100 can't be "60s era" because it came out in the 70s. For that matter the "74" Super Bassman is really from about 1969 or so, it PRECEDED the Bassman 100.

    The original cab for a Bassman 100 would be that monster 4-12 cab (used ot own one). The 2-15 cab would hav been for a regular (50 watt) Bassman or maybe a Dual Showman unless it's mid to late 70s (whrn the 4-12 cab had been discontinued).

    Value? About $350 for the head in WORKING condition. Since it needs at least some tubes replaced, $250 and then expect to pump $50-100 into it for tubes, more if you want to buy pricey NOS tubes.

    The cabs are of much less interest, especially since the drivers are blown. Figure $75-100 in the current condition and $150 to recone the speakers i it now, $150-400 for new drivers.
  9. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    I have a 76 silver face bassman 100, its class A tubes, so it sounds great. I really love it. I agree about the breaking up and headroom. I use a boss limiter pedal and efficient speaker cabs to combat that problem, a bag end 15, and an ashdown 2x10. I can easliy play med loud venues(as long as there is a big room for the 15), plus I enjoy that small amount of distortion growl. Also if I want more bottom I use my rack EQ (since the bassman has passive EQ), however it takes away from the quality of the tube sound.