70's Fender Bassman 50 and Matching cab (silverface)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Fender4Me, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me The Undertaker

    Well, I found a really cool 1970's Fender bassman 50 tube head and matching 2-15" cab today for a very reasonable price. My plan is to use it with a Stratocaster . Ive heard that they are not that great for playing bass. I haven't tried it so, is that true? Seems like a read that they fart out pretty quickly at any kind of volume. Cool looking old rig though!
    markjazzbassist and bobyoung53 like this.
  2. They’re not that bad. I just sold a ‘68 Bassman head. It was kind of nice for a 50 watt amp. I just had no use for it. It sat in my garage for a decade without being used.
    With the right speaker it’s a nice sounding small bass amp.

    I wouldn’t use one for guitar. The earlier ones are popular in certain circles because they get dirty better than the later versions. The one I sold had what was known as the AB165 circuit.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
    rodl2005, bobyoung53 and Fender4Me like this.
  3. BogeyBass

    BogeyBass Inactive

    Sep 14, 2010
    20 more watts than a B15 and 2 CTS speakers instead of one.

    I had a Black face 50 watt and loved the thing. I had 2 YT15 Traynor speaker cabinets. Sealed 2x15 cabinets. 8ohms
    Running a 4x15 it sounded darn good to me. Id put all the knobs to 6 or 7 and cover a drummer fine.

    I always wanted the fender 2x15 cab. It looks like a Guitar halfstack and with 2 would look beautiful

    The difference between a new chinese or whatever they are PF50T or a real american schumacher transformers in a classic fender headcase. beats me.
    Actually ill take the Fender all day..lol

    hey guys out there spend 2 grand for a tube DI. I got bad news what sounds better in the studio. Bassman, cab, microphone...all done
  4. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Do you mind if I ask what you paid? I have a friend with a similar rig who's been asking me what they're going for these days, so he can decide if he wants to sell. I'd appreciate it. You can DM if you'd rather. Thanks.
  5. Fender4Me

    Fender4Me The Undertaker

    I havent bought it yet but can for $850.00. Its very clean.
    Rock Salad likes this.
  6. Freddy T

    Freddy T

    Mar 15, 2014
    I have a '72 Bassman silverface. With guitar it gets great raw Stones and Faces type tones; and it's real nice for blues or general rock. Clean guitar tones are cool too, more edgy than sweet. With the bass I only ever used it for a brief period as a practice amp at low volume through a proper 1x12 bass cab and it sounded fantastic. It would probably be cool and adequate volume-wise for low volume roots rock or singer songwriter type music where a drummer isn't ripping it up too much; and probably the more (bass, not guitar) speakers you use the better. I always believed it would record great too but never tried it. The black faced Bassman 50s where prized for their rich harmonic breakup with guitars. These heads really deliver authentic vintage screaming blues guitar tones. The silverfaced units kick butt in their own way with a tighter voicing, less harmonically rich content and a more direct/hard response. In my view, this is why the silverface units are better for bass applications. I'm sure your matching cabinet will sound really good for guitar applications - I will take a guess that it makes a better guitar cab than a bass cab. Most bass cabs made by Fender and Marshall in that era and prior didn't have the efficiency and power handling capabilities we take for granted now. Definitely try the head through a more modern bass cab if you can.
  7. Freddy T

    Freddy T

    Mar 15, 2014
    I see you haven't purchased it yet
    Just a tip: ask the seller if the head has ever had the capacitors changed. If not, it's likely that an amp this age has leaking or soon to be leaky caps. It's easy to physically spot once you unscrew a few bolts and pull the circuit. If caps have never been changed or are leaking you could probably negotiate a discounted price for the inevitable added expense.
  8. Eighthnoterock

    Eighthnoterock Supporting Member

    May 25, 2018
    Lynden Washington
    I've owned a few Bassmans. A 50 and 70. 2x15 with the 70 and 2x12 with the 50. You won't get a lot of volume but you will get some very great tone...
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  9. Rabidhamster


    Jan 15, 2014
    On the other hand if the coupling caps have been changed, not just the filter caps, the value drops.
    kosmicwizard likes this.
  10. Adienn7


    Jan 26, 2007
    The only guy I heard used one for bass was the guy from imagine dragons.. He said was the grittested tone he ever used.. But not exactly usable for his music.. That is a ringing endorsement... Lol
  11. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    I’ve played through 70s bassman 50s. They sound pretty good for bass at a reasonable volume in the right situation. As soon as things get a little loud it definitely doesn’t work for me because I prefer a clean punch from an amp. But that’s just me.

  12. I have a 1967 Silverface Bassman with a 2 12" cab but it has the big cab, it sounds very good, it's good for smaller or medium rooms as long as the band is not too loud. The old speakers were not very good, mine has Eminence in it and it's clear and punchy. Mine has the blackface circuitry in it. When I bought it a few years ago it had a Fender CBS hang tag on it and the original tubes. I had to change the power tubes one of them was microphonic.

    It's just like this one from the web:

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
    rodl2005, JimK and mikewalker like this.
  13. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    They sound great! ... it will just not be super loud compared to bigger wattage amps and more efficient cabs. I'm a Fender guy from the get go so I really like the sound of the rig your looking at. I gigged with one for many years with no problems at all at the start of my glorious bass playing career.

    Sceptics like Bassman Paul (the crabby canadian :D) may be along any moment to tell you how crappy a Bassman 50 will sound. Don't let anyone tell you this is a bad choice. Go for it, enjoy!
    Chickenwheels likes this.
  14. If you’re in the studio, you stick a SM57 on that Bassman, and you tell me.
    That’s an excellent bass cab. Not for stage, for studio. And yeah, guitar players like ‘em too.
  15. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    What's so special about the coupling caps that they can't be changed?
  16. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Just the usual gospel that old parts are better than modern parts. When it comes to components like capacitors and resistors, this is mostly snake oil but if you're a buyer it's a good argument when negotiating for a lower price :whistle:
    zombywoof5050 likes this.
  17. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Which 2x15 cabinet? The Bass and was marketed with a small 2x15 that was approximately the size of many modern 4x10, only a lot more shallow. The drivers were arranged diagonally. It seems that 5he only design considerations were whats the smallest box we can cram two 15" drivers into. That cabinets pretty putrid.

    The bigger 2x15 was like a d
    Dual Showman, much taller with drivers arrange vertically. That one works very well. While the catalog showed the Bassman 50 paired with a specific cabinet, they were separate item numbers. So a dealer had to oder the head separate from the cabinet, and could put the head with whatever stock they had in the store.
  18. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    I bought a Bassman 100 with a 2x15 diagonal JBL cab in 74 ( I think). Sounded GREAT in all apps, bars, outside, wherever!
    rodl2005 likes this.
  19. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Lakewood, OH
    I’ve played many bassmans and still do. I love them on bass and I do fine with a single or double 15. Wonderful thick warm tube tone. Mmmmmmmmm
    JimK likes this.
  20. MasterG


    Dec 21, 2018
    I used one for years when younger. Ran with the volume on 10 with an old Marshall 4-12 sounded delicious.
    HearNoStevil likes this.
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