Anyine know anything about vintage fender bassman cabinets?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TJBass, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. I have an opportunity to pick up a Bassman 2-15 cabinet for $150. It has older style tolex looking covering, two 15 inch speakers with what looks like silver voice coils, silver fender grill cloth and sounds pretty good with a peavey guitar amp hooked to it (thats all that was available to try this thing out) I know its bulky, heavy, and looks old with a few tears in the grill cloth but the connectors on the back look as though they have never been removed and neither does the grill cloth. How much power can these cabs handle, are they worth anything, how old could this be or how young could this be? Any information anyone can provide would be extremely helpful......

  2. You might have a cab with a pair of JBL drivers installed. They are worth the $150 for the cabinet. The E140, E145 are the latest incarnation of JBLs. They could also be the original D140 series, or the K140s.

    These are designed to be very loud and puncy, but won't go real low. Not useful for a 5 string bass. If the cabinet is sealed, you won't run too much risk of damaging them with a 5 string, but won't get much out of the low end either.

    Make sure both drivers are working and see if you can determine if there is no voice coil rubbing, by gently moving the cone and feeling for it.
  3. rockjockjared

    rockjockjared Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Lubbock, TX
    I used to have that cab! Along with a BassMan 50 head. I really have no idea how old the thing is. I'm thinking it's late 60s or 70s sometime around that area, but I could be wrong. That was actually my first rig, used it for about a year then got rid of it. The sound was o.k., but the head hardly had any power (I'm not a big fender fan anyways.) Whenever I took it to sell it the guy told me how old it was...he recognized it from his earlier days as a bass player. Said he IDed it by the grill on it. Good luck on figuring out how old the thing is! It may have a plate on the back that has a manufacturing date on it.

  4. A real easy way to ID it is look at the Fender logo on the grille. If it is underlined, like a the end of the "r" continues to swirl back under the Fender name, that's known as "with tail" and dates the cab between 68-74.

    If the Fender logo has no line running beneath it, "w/o tail" figure 74-83. The blackface Bassman (amp control panel was matte black) was originally a 2x12 but later that year, `68, they went with the 15's.

    As for your speakers, take your pick: they used Jensens (most blackfaces I've used and seen had these), Oxfords, and Utahs. I don't know if Fender put the blue label on all brands.

    No matter whether it's a "tail" or a "no tail", guitarists lust and drool over these and pay top dollar.
  5. Are these cabs any good for bass though? If guitarist drool over them then they will probably be mediocre for a bassist, right? Do you guys think this is worth it?
  6. Take steps to positively ID the drivers inside. If JBL chrome-domes, they could just as easily be D/E/K 130's and useless for bass.

    As for guitarists.. if this cab has a pair of E130s in it, yes they will drool, as it will be fearsomely loud. :D
  7. Guitarists originally became infatuated with the really old 4x10 Bassman amps, like tweed covered. Then, articles started appearing where Steve Ray Vaughn's Bassman was mentioned. After that, it was open season on any older Bassman.

    I think, (as in "me", "personally") they're good for bass because they may offer vintage tone....hard to say, though, never having used the cabs without the Fender heads. The real answer as to whether they're "any good for bass" is what you hear . Just don't expect a "modern" tone or gobs of volume.
  8. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    JBL 130's may be useless to those who seek flat response to 31Hz, but not to the tens of thousands of past and present bassists who are after something higher and more noble -TONE.

    Speaking of which, the antique Sunn 215B I got at GC for $125, with the 85 watt CTS speakers, has a box tuning of 80 Hz and has tonnes of tone! Paired up with a modern Ashdown head, it sounds better than my Eden 210. No BS. Shows you can't put your faith in numbers. :)

  9. Sorry, check again. The 130 series are strictly for lead guitarists. They are not, and have never been, bass drivers. Only the 140, 145, 155 series are bass drivers.
  10. Nightbass


    May 1, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    "Strictly for guitar"?? Geez Louise, you can do anything you want with any speaker you want. Guitarists can and do play through bass speakers, and bass players can and do play through guitar speakers. And even you have the freedom to use those Rockford car speakers in your bass cabs. You don't hear me telling you that you can't do that. :)

  11. ok ok ok, look guys, I just wanna know if it were you in my position would you buy the cab in used but decent condition regardless of the type of speaker it had in it for $125 just because of the price, I know the speakers are not blown, I played a guitar thru a guitar amp with this cab and turned all the highs down and the lows up with the mids evened off and no sign of a blown speaker. The cab itself is not beaten up, the grill cloth has a few tears in it, it has operational casters, the speaker cable connectors are clean and in good working order. The back does not come off the cab, so in order to check the speaker brand and model I would have to remove the speaker from the front, and that is not going to be an option. Thanks to everyone for they're input and advice and to those who continue to provide any and all assistance...

  12. boobinga

    boobinga Guest

    Feb 9, 2001
    Pacific NW
    If the cab is in reasonable shape and if the speakers sound OK, like they are clear and don't buzz, etc. I'd buy it for $150 any day. You can always attempt to satisfy your curiosity about speaker type by unscrewing the back and taking a look inside. The old Fender cabs do have their limitations, but if you like what you hear what else matters?
  13. You can also use a tea spoon to row a canoe and you can run Win95 on a 486 in 16mb. You can also paint an entire house with a detailing brush instead of a roller or spray machine. I never said you cannot do these things either, but I still say they are useless. It is generally assumed that someone should be bright enough to use the right tool for the job.

    So let's get real here... JBL markets specific D/E/K product lines for bass, i.e. the 140, 145 and 155 lines, and advertises them as bass drivers. For the last 40 years, JBL *specifically* advertises the 130 series for lead guitar, and not bass. Properly enclosed, the E130 is -3 dB at 106 Hz, which is almost two octaves up from Low B. Furthermore, the E130 is down -25 dB at Low E, and down -31 dB at Low B. Wow, a real bass tone performer, huh? My previous post stated my opinion the E130s are useless for bass, and the above performance shows exactly why.

    As for your personal cut about my using Rockfords, evidently you are clueless about using true subwoofers for subwoofer purposes. It is also apparent you've never heard Rockfords with electric bass either, as they literally crush the 10" cabs that everybody here swoons over. I use the Rockfords because they are ideal for 5 string bass reproduction in their optimum alignment. I use JBL E110s from 100 Hz up for bi-amping this rig, because the E110 is far superior to the E130 at 100 Hz. Yes, the E110 is also a much better "bass" speaker than the E130.

    Since you made this personal, please take a look at your "car speakers" statement and how incredibly silly it is. Rockford manufactures a premium line of engineered subwoofers, and they target them at the automotive business. There are a helluva lot more automotive speaker buyers than there are bass players, so Rockford sells a helluva lot more speakers.

    Using your "car speaker" logic, will you never use Windows 2000 at home because it is targeted as a "business" operating system? Or never using a Jazz bass to play the blues? The tool is the important part, not the label.
  14. Thanks Boobinga for your opinion, this thread may have to be moved over to the car audio forum soon! First off, I am looking for info on older fender cabs, I have not been able to find out any info on a 2-15 cab on the net anywhere, all there is is the 1-15 and 4-10. I have dated it to the tailless cab so it must have been after 74, I hope I have that right. The speakers come out thru the FRONT of the cab so without REMOVING the speakers I cannot setermine what brand or model they are. However, the center part of the speakers are chromed, or something similiar to chrome. Does this sound like an original speaker for this cab? I don't necessarily need a 2-15 cab, but if it is original and worth something more than the $125 I can get it for I would be very appreciative of that information, not the audio specs of a 74 pinto 6x9 rear dash speaker! No offense to those using this thread smack each other around! LOL
  15. boobinga

    boobinga Guest

    Feb 9, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Regarding older Fender cabs...You might want to take a look at the amp section on ebay, with a search for Fender Bassman or JBL. They usually have some for sale. Also, you can get some info by going to the JBL web site and hitting the vintage button. They have some info on the old speakers they used to make. Now at one time I was the proud owner of a Fender Bassman cab with 2 12" JBL bass speakers. As far as I know, which may be quite little, the 60s cabs had the removable panel on the back for their Bassman and Showman cabs. I'm not sure about the 70s and later. Also, I was speaking with a pro today and he uses a 2x10 cab coupled with a 2x12 cab with old JBLs and he's happy with it. Best of fortune to you.
  16. I'd buy it no doubt. :D

    Go here and look at the old Fender Brochures to see the options and stuff.

    I've been looking for an old Fender Bassman 2-15 cab for a while and haven't found one yet for the dough you are talking. If it sounds good-no buzzes or rubbing speakers, I'd get it.

    I dig the old sound. Here's one of my rigs, an Ampeg 55 Watt tube head and 2-15 cab with CTS square magnet speakers. It gets the old sound, but like others have said, it's not unbelievably loud or hifi. But to me, incredibly loud and hifi suck. :D Like Nightbass said, TONE, people. I realized it, and when you do, you'll hear what I mean (and I do mean you'll hear it in the mix).