Anyone have thoughts on a Marshall Bass 60?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by rkejeepin, Dec 17, 2005.

  1. This was my first amp and Ive had it for about 9 years now. Ive never seen another one. Ive tried to find info on it and the only thing I can find about it is that it was in production from 85 to 93. I sold the rest of my gear a good while back and am now getting back into playing so this is all I have to play through for a while.

    I think the amp has a pretty decent sound aside from the shorted out knobs, which I need to learn how to fix. Anyways, has anyone else ever played through one of these? What are your thoughts?

    Thanks for any responses.
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  2. jake_tim


    Jun 28, 2005
    North Carolina
    ive been interested in marshall bass amplifacation, but i have never seen them anywhere exept for on the internet. and marshall bass heads, really expensive, for me at least

  3. I stumbled on one of these a few years ago and thought it might be useful for teaching, practicing, and keeping in the repair shop for test runs. It still works, although the pots need cleaning and lubrication regularly. Most of the similiar models from that period seem to exhibit the same problem, which makes me suspect that the pots are simply cheap components. Replacement looks expensive, since the front panel components are soldered directly to circuit boards and most amatuers wouldn't be able to replace them even if they could find suitable parts. The 60 watts of solid state power are too anemic to be of very much use for most players, for most applications.

    This amp seems to be designed well enough for a 60 watt amp, with adjustable input gain, more EQ than you need, and a large enough box to produce good bass if everything is executed properly, but it doesn't pass the sound test for me. The amp has an overwhelming, nasal midrange voice that made forty-five minute lessons feel like four hours. It didn't sound good to me no matter what I did with EQ, different basses, changing the placement, etc. I toyed with the idea of loading a higher-fidelity speaker in that big enclosure, but the idea of reliability problems with the brain kept me from doing it. I don't want to dump money into speaker upgrades or costly electronics repair when I can't accurately predict if it will still sound like mud. I figured it was smarter to sell the combo as it is, and re-invest that money in gear that sounds good.

    Even if you are only going to use it for a practice amp, I think it is too underpowered, heavy, bulky, and high maintenance for how bad it sounds. Practice sessions with this thing always run short because of the tone. I would move it if I possibly could, and look at a more modern combo with a more useful power rating.
  4. Thanks for the responses. I feel you on the pots. Mine is the exact same way. However, Im not sure how to go about cleaning them. Could you enlighten me on that please?

    Yeah, I definitely plan on upgrading amps when I have the extra cash. Itll do ok for now with a 4 string. It couldnt handle a B string for nothing on my old 6 so Ill definitely get something else before I buy another 5 or 6.

    Thanks again.
  5. Nevermind, I googled about cleaning the pots. =)

    Although, if you have any info youd like to give about the maintenance of this amp in particular Id love to hear it.

  6. mingustoo


    Aug 30, 2002
    Isla Formosa
    In my experience, the words 'Marshall' and 'Bass' should always have a drum kit between them. :bassist:
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  7. The thing that always bugged me about these Marshalls is that cleaning the pots just seemed to mask the symptoms for a while. In most applications, cleaning the pots seems to be necessary every year or two. These Marshalls seemed to get scratchy or even intermittent a lot faster after cleaning than other amps, so I started using a pot lubricant after the cleaning. You can usually buy a pot lubricant from the same source you get your cleaner. Read the instructions on the cans and be careful through the whole process. By cleaning and lubricating, you should be able to milk a little more life out of the amp.

    I remain fascinated by the volume of the cab. The internal volume and baffle size are sufficient to support a higher quality speaker, a tweeter, and a ducted port. If not for the head issue, this would be a great platform to hot rod. Using the internal dimensions of the speaker chamber and some speaker design software, you could identify the parameters of a good replacement speaker. A little more research and you could get the dimensions of the port, and an appropriate tweeter. For about a hundred you could probably get the cab side of that amp tuned up nicely, if you were willing to expend the effort. Might still sound like mud with that head, but experimenting with these things can be really fun.
    GreaserMatt likes this.