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Bassman 100/10"/25 lb.--all three thumbs up, way up!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by adamgottschalk, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. adamgottschalk


    Aug 24, 2003
    This amp combo just arrived today ($280 from Music 123). OMFG, it is even better than I'd hoped, and I had high expectations. Having played the models of Bassman just before this, I knew they were well designed, efficient, built well, and very fine sounding. Man, they've really perfected the art of packing a whole lotta punch into small packages these day. I couldn't believe my ears at first. I played it with the tweeter off so far (has three positions, full, off, -6db). The contour switch does wonders. Within seconds I had things dialed in just fine, and the plates were rattling! That's my test on if a bass amp is loud enough. This thing is very sweet, has all pro features, and is ultra-portable. The Fender-designed Eminence speaker must be something else--it sounds so far like this amp has better definition/articulation than my SWR/RE-cab setup. I'll post another review after I've gigged with it or made other use of it (it'll probably be my rehearsal and practice amp).
  2. Bass81


    Oct 25, 2003
    I had trouble trying to get one to work well in the shop the other day. Maybe I will go back and play with it somemore. Yet, I couldn't get nothing grand sounding out of it.
  3. adamgottschalk


    Aug 24, 2003
    Your bad experience may have to do with the instrument you used. Was it a store bass? I'm using my Bassman 100 with a 5-string solid-rosewood neck (Warmoth), fretless, custom-body axe, equipped with a Seymour Duncan single-coil at the neck and an SD MusicMan at the bridge (and a 5-way switch for all kinds of variations). I tried all 3 positions for the tweeter. I like full-on the best so far, though it's too bright (depending on the axe, the pickup, the pickup settings, etc.) for Jaco-style bwah. The -6db setting works great for that; you can still get fat harmonics from the humbucker but it's not overly bright. I also just tried this combo with my Squier Affinity Telecaster Special. Sounds great too, though the pickups are only okay (and will be upgraded), the perfect match really--still get the tele twang but it's no overly sharp as it can be sometimes (some of Danny Gatton's sounds, immense as they, are overly bright to me). This amp will be a great on-stage monitor; XLR line out for the house of course. It will also be great for rehearsals. It really is 25 pounds, and it really is easy to carry. Again, depending on the pickups, active/passive (mine are passive), you can get damn loud with this amp and no signs of "breaking up". The various EQ pots do _a lot_ to the sound; I wouldn't be surprised if it takes a person some time to get a sound they like. Part of it is the semi-parametric EQ; the settings have complex effects on each other, kind of like a Boogie. There's the parametric mid, which can take you all over the map, and also a contour pot (which scoops the mids, boosts the bass), both of which affect each other. I got some sounds I found to be frighteningly deep; I think it has to do with the large amount of open space inside the closed-back cab. I think this is an extremely versatile amp, a best buy for sure if you're looking for a non-boutique, lightweight/portable rehearsal/small-show amp, which can also be used easily as a preamp and monitor for larger settings, for not all that much money. Nice piece of kit.
  4. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Great review adamgottschalk! I'm looking into these as well - how's it holding up? Any further thoughts?

  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Sounds great after you've been used to a Gorilla amp, I suppose.

    I played through one in a store just to check out a bass that caught my eye, and I had to ask to switch to another amp. OK for bedroom practice, but I think you can do better. Of course, YMMV . . . .
  6. adamgottschalk


    Aug 24, 2003
    I had GAS for this the minute I saw the specs. I was extremely happy that it lived up to my high hopes. I can understand some of the naysayers, I mean, it is a _small_ bass I amp. 100w can only do so much, and this combo does a lot with it IMHO. Sure it's not gonna rock your boat if you're comparing it to a mammoth 800w stack. But check the details, spend some time with it, use all of its abilities--like the direct out--and see that it's a really sexy thing for what it is. I happen to feel that it is more than sufficient for more than just practicing at home. But then I don't play in a metal band. As I think I mentioned in my first review, I plug the direct out (post preamp) into my Hafler P3000 which feeds two bass cabinets and the character of the Bassman with all that power coming through is really satisfying. Then for rehearsals (jazz, blues, fusion, rock) it's more than excellent sounding for my purposes and it's ultra portable to boot. I have found it, in comparison to other combos, to have some "magical" Bassman mojo which is fat and ballsy. I sold an SWR 350 (which fed the same cabinets) and like the Bassman set-up so much more it's not even funny. If it were just the portability, or just the pro features, it would be so-so, but you can get a really large number of different sounds with this unit. Again, you have to spend some time with it. As I often say, the various settings are as complicated as on a Boogie, for example. Little changes make huge differences. And there are sounds hiding in there which you'll only find through extended experimentation.
  7. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    25 pounds and a hundred watts is the thing for me. My Musicman 110 RD50 (original purchase) weighs 34 pounds or so. Of course that's a guitar amp, but back when I bought it, our bassist got a Polytone Minibrute and that thing was used on all sorts of gigs; loud and light. The Bassman reminds me of that.

    For 'bedroom practice' I never use an amp anyway - what's the point - I know what it's going to sound like when I plug in. For recording (bedroom recording), I use a POD modeler. For stage it would be my monitor, DI'd to the venue's PA, so again the hundred watts would (probably) be more than enough for what essentially is your nearfield.

    25 pounds - that's the thing that caught my attention in the first place. The nearest I could find was the Hartke Kickback (which looks like it's being closed-out in several online places), so...it looks like the Fender Mojo is going to get another customer!

    And I just 'know' my 'second hand' 70s Strat is going to 'somehow' wind up being tried out through it. :D

    Interesting thing about the direct out though; one for my notebook: it has that level control. I thought DIs were always just...plug it in and it's the same level no matter what - or at least governed by the volume control on the amp. I guess for larger venues, you what - just put it all the way up and let the sound guy do what he wants with it?

    I'm just hoping the local GC will finally have one next time I visit; the amps guy last time tried to show me a "sweet '68 Bassman" because, well, I guess I look like a blues guitarist or something - whatever that means. I kept saying "No, I'm an 'actual' bass player" and "I need an 'actual' bass amp," and he looked at me sorta blankly when I mentioned the 'new' Bassman 100 25 pound deal.

    Well, shipping for a 25 pound item from Musicians Friend won't kill me I guess. :)

  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Well, maybe I should give the new Bassman line another chance. A couple of weeks ago I briefly tested the 1x12" Bassman 150 against the new Eden Silver Series 1x12" (120/170 watts) and the Roland Cube 100. I didn't spend a lot of time tweaking the EQ on any of them, but I thought the Roland blew away the others in terms of volume and tone. It provided more punch, and a greater sense of depth IMO. And it has the smallest cabinet and lowest power rating. Frankly, I was taken aback by the huge sound from such a small 100 watt box.

    I was expecting to prefer the Fender, but I thought it sounded weak and flat for a 150 watt 1x12", and while the Eden had decent punch it was incredibly noisy IMO. Considering this performance from the Bassman 150, I can't imagine the 100 watt 1x10" version would be much more than a practice amp -- just like my Carvin PB100-10 which has the same wattage and ten inch speaker. As the review correctly observes, there's only so much you can expect from this configuration.
  9. adamgottschalk


    Aug 24, 2003
    In the jazz world, Polytone Minibrutes are still ubiquitous. If someone's going to have a spare amp lying around, it's probably a Polytone. Especially the 15" combos do bass and guitar equally well. Outside the jazz world, it seems to me that folks don't even know Polytone is still around. I know numerous pro jazz guitar players who use Polytones.
  10. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    You know? That one was on my list too, but really, the ONLY thing preventing me from getting one was that it didn't have a DI - well not the 3-connector type. I think someone wrote somewhere that you can use one of the other aux outs to do that, but...I would have one now if it wasn't for that. Balanced line out is it called?

    I play Hawaiian music, more trad style from the 40s through 60s and not the 'jawaiian' reggae derivative stuff, so stage volume is not necessarily intense.

    Unless I get my wife to put her uke through a full stack HiWatt or something ;)

    I can see it maybe being problem with large stages, more people on stage and a heavier rock or jazz style, but even in those situations, if the drummer can keep himself under control, it still doesn't have to be that loud. A hundred watts would still probably be too weak for that kind of thing though, it's true. Might go in-ear for something like that, but small clubs, or stages with a good monitor/PA guy...it might work out. Just need something to reference with. I guess it gets down to how much gear you want to lug around as opposed to how much you trust the PA guys.

    Which for me, light and pretty-loud is better than heavy and maybe too much headroom for the venue - for my particular situation though. I don't particularly trust the sound-guys or what I find onstage already (festival type things where you plug into whatever's there, do the set then make way for the next act), so a little bass-buddy type amp would be choice. You get like 5 minutes to setup and get ready, then it's 'instant-on', and then leave, you know?

    That kind of thing.
  11. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    That's sorta what happened to me too. I was wandering around the 'net looking for little combos, then remembered the name and went to search for it. I was surprised they were still going strong after all these years! I don't remember the model number of that guy's amp, but I guess it was one of the first. 15" inch and 100-something watts. Maybe it was 80. Can't remember. That was like back in '78 or '79 I think. It was light though; had the little concentric pot volume and I think the red section was distortion or something. Loud little bugger too. Made me want something smaller than my 1x12 Musicman 60 (I was the guitarist), so I got the tiny little Musicman RD50-110. Still have it actually.

    That Polytone was really stable though - reliable I mean.
  12. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Yeah, I originally bought the Carvin thinking it might be enough for a stage monitor in an electric setting with PA support, but I don't think 100 watts through a 1x10" is even enough for that. Aside from the truly mellowest acoustic gigs, I wouldn't want to hit the stage with anything less than 200 watts through a 1x12 (or maybe a little less wattage through 1x15", like those killer giant Peavey combos or a GK 400RB 115), and that's assuming PA support.

    The Carvin doesn't have a balanced line out, just a regular unbalanced quarter inch line out. While that's an inconvenience, a cheap direct box cures the problem. For low volume stuff, it's actually a very nice amp, with solid tone and a useful EQ section.
  13. Dan the Lorp

    Dan the Lorp

    Aug 30, 2005
    NW Florida
    I also have the Carvin 100 watt 10 inch combo. I think you said it---it sounds good at low volumes, but if you crank it up, it seems to sound distorted, the bass seems to drop out and starts farting. I was dissapointed with this. For practice, and in a small room, it is OK.

    But even in my small practice room, I often find myself plugging into my other combo: the Crate BX-100. With a 15 inch speaker, it just plays louder, with much more deep bass, without distortion. It is bulky and heavy, however, at 25 inches high and 60Lbs.

    The Carvin is easier to lug around, and seems more in the Fender range---16 inches tall and only 30 lbs.
  14. DemoEtc


    Aug 18, 2004
    Old thread I know, but I just received my Bassman 100 1x10 - excellent machine. Can't wait to try it out at a jam tomorrow!

    Best regards and happy New Year everyone!
  15. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    How did it turn out?