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70s Bassman 100 Vs Bassman 100t

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Nick4496, Nov 8, 2018.


  1. Nick4496

    Nick4496

    Apr 14, 2017
    Hi all, was wondering what everybodys opinion on the two heads are. Im going to be getting a tube amp soon and the 100t is on the top of my list. My only thought was why buy the 100t for $1899 (cad) when i can get a silverface bassman 100 or even 135 for less than half the price? Let me know your thoughts, Pros and Cons to both.

    Thanks
     
  2. primusfan1989

    primusfan1989

    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    They're totally different amps, totally different circuits. The new bassman will be more versatile but I prefer the tone of the older Silverface amps. Another thing to note is an old Silverface fender is a handwired American made amplifier that can be repaired easily and like you said can be had for half of what a new bassman goes for. Personally id take a bassman 135 over anything fender makes today
     
  3. Nick4496

    Nick4496

    Apr 14, 2017
    Now what about volume wise on the silverface 100 and 135? would it be able to keep up?
     
  4. Tim1

    Tim1

    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    Never noticed a practical difference in volume between silverface 100 and 135. The issue with both of these was the amount of useable volume you could get before they got dirty, consequently they need to be partnered with fairly efficient speakers. Tone wise I used to prefer the 100, can't remember why now. If you don't need too much volume they both have lovely tone. That said,having owned a 100T and many silver faceds, I would go for the 100T over the silver faced now that they have well and truly ironed out the early problems with the autobias.
     
  5. primusfan1989

    primusfan1989

    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    Ive never compared side by side, id imagine they're in the same ballpark but Im sure there are people who could answer that better
     
  6. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    FYI, the Bassman 135 has an ultralinear output section and runs 500-520V on the plates so it is reportedly really hard on output tubes. Ultralinear is designed for clean, so I wouldn't expect it to sound great pushed hard into OD. Some people like to disconnect the screen taps from the OT so the amp no longer operate in ultralinear mode. This is probably a good idea if your going to push the amp hard. Here's a thread you may find interesting:
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/ul-bassman-mods.644789/


    The Bassman 100 runs the plates about 50V lower and does not have an ultralinear output section.
     
    SirMjac28 and 2tonic like this.
  7. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    If I remember my Fender circuits correctly, the SF Bassman 100 is an early 70's circuit, close to a BF, while the SF Bassman 135 is close to the same circuit only it uses an ultra linear output transformer. What this means is that the the 135 will generally remain cleaner the higher you turn the volume.

    Many people disliked the ultra linear Fenders as the tended to loose the tube goodness in favor off a cleaner sound. Again, alot of people thought the 135 sounded a little sterile.
     
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  8. Scoops

    Scoops Why do we use base 10 when we only have 8 fingers Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 22, 2013
    Sugar Creek, Wisc
    I am me
    You beat me to it
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  9. cornfarmer

    cornfarmer jam econo Supporting Member

    May 14, 2002
    I'd go for an OG Bassman 100. I just sold mine, not because it sucked, quite the opposite. Only because I just got a nice V-4B, and own too many amps in general.

    It had been serviced, had new JJ's and had no problems keeping up with a loud guitarist (running 2 amps) and loud drummer when plugged into either an Ampeg 8x10 or a 2x15 cab. Great amps for the money if in good condition. Just use a cab that will take advantage of all 100 watts with more modern drivers of course.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
    hennessybass and Fab Superlative like this.
  10. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    My '77 Bassman 100 is awesome, and was my main amp for many years - frequent regular gigging including quite a few road trips in the van and trailer.
    I got it on ebay for very cheep, and had new caps, power tubes, and the power cord done right off. My tech also changed a resistor attached to the bass channel bass control when I told him that I thought the low end was a little too huge. He said, "so you want a little more mids", and changed it right in front of me. Point being, these amps are simple to work on, and easy to modify if you have a good tech available.
    Over the next several years of gigging, I changed out the pre-amp tubes myself as they started making noise (super easy). It has been a work horse, and I think the best sounding amp, and my favorite, that I've owned (which is quite a few). Never had a problem with it after that first visit to the tech aside from the preamp tubes.

    No experience with the 135, but I've heard the same as the other guys about the less than ideal breakup compared to the 100s. Not sure that the extra 35 watts is really going to give you that much more volume anyway. I think the 100 is a pretty "clean" amp in general that responds to your playing / touch. My understanding is that the linear design was mostly a marketing thing put in place to squeeze a few more watts out of it, at a time when high watt amps were starting to sell better and Bassman sales were starting to decline.

    A couple things to think about if you go with an old one...
    • factor in a visit to the tech in the cost of buying the amp. Unless that work is all done, it probably will need power tubes and caps, maybe a power chord. Even then, a check up is a good thing with an old amp. Not a big deal, and shouldn't be too much, so don't let this scare you off. But access to a decent tech is important, just like a good mechanic would be if you were buying a classic car.
    • There is no DI out. Maybe not an issue. I always carried a DI with me. Countryman and others will let you do speaker level (between the amp and cab) and get you the sound of your power tubes in the mix.
    • 4 ohms only -- The amp is designed to run at 4 ohms. With old fenders, they were built very tough and can run at 8 ohms and I think 2, but you might loose some headroom or wear out your tubes, etc. I wouldn't recommend doing it on the regular. I ran mine with an 8 ohm cab a few times, an thought I lost volume, and had way more break up.
    • Speaker cab - depending on how you want to use the amp (volume stuff), this can be a thing. Not only the 4 ohm operation, but also having a cab that is efficient and pairs well with the amp. I don't think the Ampeg 410hlf would be a good match. It has a lot of low end, is kind of muddy, and not super efficient. But a Ampeg 810 with it's sealed design, tight bottom, and lots of speakers would probably be pretty cool. I have used mine with a Aguilar DB212 and a Berg CN212 - both great and plenty for my bands with 2 guitars and keyboards. I used it once with a Berg NV412 and that brought the thunder in a big way.
    Nothing like an old fender, IMO. They just sound good! Lot's of dudes get hung up about the tone controls and talk trash, but to me, a lot of those guys have probably never really gigged the amps or are getting hung up thinking about numbers and frequency charts and not thinking about how awesome their amp sounds. There are a lot of great tones in an old fenders (all different, but none bad). You can jumper the two channels too for even more tone shaping. They also take pedals very well.

    The old ones are 26" wide. New ones are 24.5" wide. The T-bone thing turns some guys off.

    I don't have any interest in the 100T. I have no interest in spending that dough, and no interest in a modern overdrive channel. I played one once in a store (the vintage channel) and wasn't blown away... but that's just a store demo, so many grains of salt.

    The 100 T does have some very nice modern features on it (DI, 2,4,8 ohm operation). Also FX loop and the modern channel if that's your thing. If you buy new, you probably can also avoid a tech for a good while, but mine hasn't been to a tech in years since I first got it.
     
  11. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Great post!!! :thumbsup:
     
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  12. Nick4496

    Nick4496

    Apr 14, 2017
    Thank you so much what a great post!!!
     
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  13. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    What can I say. I love these amps, and could talk about them all day. As you can tell from my super long and rambling post!
     
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  14. Nick4496

    Nick4496

    Apr 14, 2017
    Do you have any suggestions on price point? I saw a
     
  15. Nick4496

    Nick4496

    Apr 14, 2017
    Oops. Saw one on eBay for $500 us
     
  16. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    You provided *excellent* info to the OP! :thumbsup:.

    And as a side note, I always liked the tone of those old Fender all-tube amps, especially the non-ultralinear versions such as the Bassman 50 and the Bassman 100. The 70 and the 135 were the ultralinear versions of those two amps, and even though the 70 and 135 versions provided more clean power, they didn't sound as pleasing to my ears as the 50 and 100 did.

    Those old amps were (and still are) workhorses! :)
     
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  17. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    That kind of thing is hard to say. Depending on where you live, what the market is like, etc...

    If we are looking at the same one on ebay, it looks clean on the outside. That lack of wear, the paperwork, the lack of photo of the power cord, and the amp/cab connectors make me think that the amp hasn't been in use for a long while, and was probably sitting in someones house taking up space for a few decades - which also probably means that the tubes, caps, etc haven't been done. But who knows!!! Maybe it's been taken care of and was someones studio rig. That would be pretty cool to have the manual and original warranty card.

    The seller has good feedback, and there is a "make an offer" option, which means you could probably get it for $450. Shipping isn't horrible either for a big heavy amp. Like i said in my post, just have to factor potential tech work in.

    I feel like when I got mine, they were much more common on the market, but I see less of them now. I think I paid in the $450 range, and maybe another $150ish to get it into shape... but it's been a long time, so hard to remember. I think back then, a lot of guitar players were buying them up to use as clean platforms for pedal rigs.

    There is one on my local FB for sale for $450.
     
  18. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    My old keyboard player used to play his Nord and what ever organ he used through a Bassman 70.
     
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  19. SactoBass

    SactoBass I like all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    Jul 8, 2009
    Sacramento CA
    Good amp for that application! :thumbsup:
     
  20. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Delaware
    I use a 135. Love it.
     
    hennessybass likes this.

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