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70's era Fender Bassman 1x15 cabs - few questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by pfschim, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I am looking for a good, single driver match for my Fender Studio Bass amp. I wanted to seek the collective wisdom of TB on the mid 70's era Bassman 1x15 cabs loaded with JBL E140's.

    I recently had Don at LDS build me a 2x15 loaded with Faital 15PR400's. The cab sounds great, but it is also overkill for my smaller dates. I'd like to find a smaller, single driver cab to match up with a Studio Bass amp.

    The cab dimensions are important because the Studio Bass amp is quite wide, and I really don't like the "t-bone" look for amps. Of course, aesthetics are not everything, I also want the rig to sound good ;)

    These 70's Bassman 1x15 cabs measure out as 26w x 26h x 16d. Does this offer a reasonable amount of volume for the JBL E140 to work efficiently ? I also believe these cabs are shelf ported. Can anyone verify that for me.

    Also, any general comments or points of view on these cabs would be welcome.

  2. Why not have him build you a 115 based on the 15PR400 that meets your needs?
  3. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    good question, and I have been in touch with Don about that.

    But ... I found a Fender 1x15 locally, at a decent price, loaded with an E140 in good shape. It has the right physical dimensions for the amp, and I have always been fond of JBL drivers, so it seems like something to consider - as long as the box is at least close to providing good design specs for the JBL.

    hence my question.

    From the JBLpro site, I see that they suggested the following dimensions:

    4.0 ft/3 volume
    with a 40hz tuning
    23.6" x 19.2 X 16.7

    So, the Fender cab is a bit larger than the JBL ideal specs, say about 5 ft/3.

    any other insights from TB before I grab this cab ?
  4. map34157

    map34157 Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Burbank, CA
    I'm actually having Don build me a 1x15 cabinet specifically for my JBL E140. He hasn't emailed me the dimensions yet (He's about 4 weeks out from a start date on mine). But my plan is to pair it up with my newly acquired Mesa Prodigy.

    If all goes well, I'll probably have him build me another cab. I'll just pull the E140 out and load both of them with K140's :)

    Don said I should be able to switch drivers out with no issues...
  5. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    cool. Don is a great guy to work with and he did a great job on my 2x15. I'm just needing a smaller box for most gigs (which was predictable, but I really wanted a 2x15 for some reason :bassist:)
  6. map34157

    map34157 Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Burbank, CA
    That's why I'm thinking of just going with two 115 cabs. Keep one in our studio and the other at home. One 115 for smaller gigs and two 115's for larger/outdoor gigs.
  7. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Greetings from the North,

    Any reason for not checking out or giving the new Fender Bassman 115 Neo a try? Just wondering.......

  8. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    no real major reason, except:
    - 70's era Bassman is loaded with a JBL E140, which is desirable to me for the Fender Studio Bass amp.

    - 70's Bassman is 1/2 the cost of a new Fender 115.

    Don Oatman of LDS has said he would build me a spec correct cab for a JBL D/E/K140, so thats an option too.

    The new Fender 115 is the right width, so that's in its favor. There are not too many cabs that are be built at least 26" wide these days.
  9. Mosfed


    Apr 21, 2013
    Chamonix Mont-Blanc
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I love those JBLs almost as much as I love their d-120s. But I am not sure that a single 15 would do it for me.
  10. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    well, as I said in the OP, I already have a 2x15 loaded with Faital Pro 15PR400's, with the Faital's coming quite close to the sound of the old JBL's. But the 2x15 is really too much cab for many of my gigs. That's why I am considering a JBL loaded 1x15 as an option.

    So, no one actually have any insight into the 70's era Fender Bassman 1x15 I am talking about ?

    Calling Duke, Bassman Paul, johnk10 ...
  11. spellcaster


    Mar 20, 2007
    I think that could sound pretty great. The JBL 140 is very forward sounding with a nice high end. They are a bit louder then the K or D series and since the cab is a little larger then the drivers specs perhaps that will add a nice touch of low end. If you decide to grab it, lets us know what you think.
  12. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    As a matter of curiosity, what cabinet did Fender make in the '70s that was a single 15"? I'm familiar with the 2x15 of various sizes- the Dual Showman, the Bassman 100, and that awful 2x15 that was about the size of a shallow 2x12 is these days sold with the Bassman 50/65. That was about 26x26x115 or so.

    I was a Fender dealer from '77- '88 and they didn't have a 1x15 in the catalog after they stopped making the single Showman box until about '82.

  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    The bit of extra box size would let the driver try to run a little deeper/fart out a little sooner, but may or may not be a drastic difference depending on the box tuning.

    I'd pick it up, just because it's a JBL and would look nice with your amp. You could run it as is, or glue a chunk of styrofoam inside to take up space/bring it down to the JBL spec.

    Just listen to it, and when it's getting pushed a little too hard, bring the 215 for those gigs next time.

    The mids and topend will be the same as your other JBL's. The heft/flavor of the lowend may be a little different, but nothing a small adjustment of the bass knob or throwing a little styrofoam inside won't bend back into shape.
  14. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    John, that's a great question. Perhaps I am dealing with an imposter cab with a JBL inside and a Fender logo pasted on it ?

    Back in the day ('69-79') I played multiple Bassman (50, 70, 100) and Showman heads, but rarely used Fender bass cabs because they were not very good. I had several spec built 1x15 boxes with JBL D/E140's during that time, so that's what my Fender "memory" is based on.

    I have already decided to pass on this particular cab, but I am seeking a single JBL D/E/K140 to put into an LDS box.

    thanks to all for the input.
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Depends on the price of the cab you're passing on. If it's worth it for the driver/hardware/grillcloth, etc., I've bought several different things like that just to take all the parts and give the box away. I'd compare whatever that deal is with recent raw JBL driver sales, etc.

    I always end up using the leftover hardware, etc. on something else. Beats paying $8 shipping for $10 worth of odds and ends. I have coffee cans full of various corner hardware, jackplates, etc., and some various types of grillcloth around here. Old, broken organs people are getting rid of are a great source for large pieces of rather unique looking grillcloth. :)
  16. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Does it look like this one:

  17. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Here is an old Pair of Tannoy I12 cabs fitted with the old orange basket
    JBL d120f and on the left an Altec 417 series 11.
    Getting all the low end you want out of the DI but that old tin can top end sound is just so good in a mix, it's amazing.:hyper:
    Put a ribbon mic on the Altec and a dynamic on the JBL and you got tone
    for miles if you phase them right.:bassist:
  18. I have one of the old 70's 1x15 Bassman Cabs with the JBL speaker. It's got the old chrome Fender logo and white JBL Badge on it. I replaced the JBL speaker with a new Eminence 400 watt Bass speaker. The dust cover exploded on the JBL speaker, and it's almost impossible to find the old original dust covers anymore. I'll eventually have a new one put on though, and get it back in the cab. But with the speaker upgrade, I don't have to worry about not having enough low end if did want to use it for bass. It's a sweet cab, and I've seen them going for crazy cash on ebay a few years ago, but in the current market don't know what their worth. But unless I was just playing through it at a low volume, I wouldn't use it for playing bass. I use mine for guitar. Throw my Marshall JCM800 2x12 cab on top of it, and I have the mids and highs of the Marshall, and the low end from hell with the fender. Makes a cool stack.
  19. You can find replacement dust covers here.
  20. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    FWIW, here is the back plate of the 70's Fender 1x15 I am talking about. Someone has obviously modded it by adding some kind of speakon jack, but otherwise it looks original (at least to my uninformed eye).


    Attached Files:

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