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Bassman 135 speaker inputs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by JeromeV, May 4, 2005.


  1. JeromeV

    JeromeV

    May 4, 2005
    Hi everyone,

    I have been sitting with a problem for more than a year now, and hopefully someone can clear it up.

    On the back of my Fender Bassman 135, it says minimum loads 4 ohms (instead of total 4 ohm load for both, like on the bassman 100).

    [​IMG]

    My question is:
    -can the amp take a 2 ohm speaker load?
    or
    -does the amp put both speaker inputs in series when two cabinets are connected? (the previous owner gave me this version of the story but since I haven't seen it confirmed anywhere....)

    I have a schematic for the amp which I can post if needed..

    Your help will be much appreciated, I have two 4 ohm cabinets and I'm very eager to try it out on both, but I'm not sure wether the amp will be damaged.
     
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    Neither one of these, but the previous owner was close. :cool:

    The external speaker output switches in a separate output transformer tap when you plug into it. Each tap is meant for a 4 ohm load, so you're good to go. The Fender schematic is kinda hard to suss if you haven't seen it before, but that little square thingie connected top green and green/yellow is actually a switch on the external jack.

    Oh, yeah: you must use the "speaker jack" first or the external spkr jack won't work, due to the other switch on the speaker jack, which creates a short when nothing's plugged into it. This a a transformer saving feature, BTW.
     
  3. JeromeV

    JeromeV

    May 4, 2005
    Thank you very much!!! Do you also own a Bassman 135?

    When it says under each input 4 ohms, one would expect to be allright, but since this an unusual feature I would rather go safe.

    I'll try it out tonight, thanks again. 2x15" Mesa/Boogie + 4x12" Ampeg, this should make the poweramp tubes distort I hope, because this amp is darn clean, it is really hard to get an overdriven sound out of it.
     
  4. Ben Clarke

    Ben Clarke Liquidating to fund a new business. Buy My Gear!

    Jan 6, 2005
    Western NY
    There may be substitutions of the small tubes that would get you where you want to be.
     
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    No, but I've been working on Fender amps for around 30 years. I even did a (very) brief stint in the factory in the early 90s. The 135 watt Twin Reverb has the same output arrangement as your amp, and I've lived with and/or worked on a boatload of those amps.

    As far as power amp distortion, your amp may be a tall order to get pleasing results from, in my experience. Fenders with the ultralinear output transformer like yours has are generally regarded as being not as graceful when clipping as many tube amps are. They went out of their way to make it hard to overdrive the output section for a reason, I think. The tradeoff is the very nice clean sound that you've experienced. That shouldn't discourage you from trying it for yourself though. You can start with a jumper or "Y" cord to parallel the two channels, for instance. This is a very common approach to driving the output section a bit more. A good splitter or active A/B box will work a little better for this, BTW.

    The only common tube sub I can think of that'll drive the power section appreciably harder is a 12AX7 where the 12AT7 lives now. That'll work better with some circuit changes most likely, which you probably want to avoid. I'm not too sure about potential stability issues in that particular amp, you might ask on the Fender boards or Ampage about that.

    If you want preamp distortion, any of the standard mods or add-on pedals can get you there readily enough. Good luck with the extra cab, hope it gives you what you want. You could also play with a single speaker that breaks up early if you want speaker distortion, which can be fun in its own right.
     
  6. JeromeV

    JeromeV

    May 4, 2005
    I've tried it last night, damn!

    The sound was great. I use a Fulltone Bassdrive and on the bassman 135 the sound is a lot more "musical" than with my Svt-2Pro which I am now selling ;) The Bassman had more of a vintage tube growl than the Ampeg did.....Maybe an older 70's SVT would be even better....

    I am now looking for a second bassman 135....

    thanks for the advice....
     
  7. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    Just picked one of these up, and the above confuses me... do I need a speaker-gauge Y-cable to run two 8ohm cabs off one output, rather than running them each off their own output jacks (i.e., one off the "speaker" and one off the "external"?)
     
  8. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    You can access the proper transformer tap there by chaining your 2 cabs together first, then plugging 1 speaker cable in the main out.

    So, 1st speaker cable from main speaker out to first cab. 2nd speaker cable from first cab to second cab. That gives a 4ohm load to the 4 ohm tap.
     
  9. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I just looked at a schematic. With a 4 ohm load plugged into the main output, the speaker connects to a 4 ohm tap. When you plug a second 4 ohm cabinet in, the jacks are wired in SERIES and that series pair goes to an 8 ohm tap. There is no 2 ohm tap, or separate 4 ohm taps.

    Two 4 ohm cabinets will be put in series for 8 ohms, and that series pair will go to the 8 ohm tap. So you are good to go.

    If you run two 8 ohm speakers, plug one into the main speaker jack, and plug the second cabinet into a second jack on the speaker, assuming there is a pair of paralleled jacks on the speaker cabinet. If there is only one jack per cabinet, then you will need a paralleled "Y" speaker cable to plug into the speakers. You will not use the ext speaker jack in this application.
     
  10. ThisBass

    ThisBass

    Aug 29, 2012
    Germany
    Jack 1 = Speaker Jack 4 Ohm
    Jack 2 = Ext. Speaker Jack 4 Ohm


    The following combinations are possible

    Jack 1: 4 Ohm Load
    Jack 2: no Load

    or

    Jack 1: 4 Ohm Load
    Jack 2: 4 Ohm Load

    or

    Jack 1: no Load
    Jack 2: 8 Ohm Load
     
  11. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    You can also run a single 8ohm cab by plugging the cab into the ext. speaker out, and a dummy plug (just a plug not hooked up to anything) in the main speaker out. That trips the switch and puts your cab on the 8ohm tap, though I ran 8ohm cabs on the 4ohm tap for a long times with no trouble. Not something you want to do with just any tube amp, bit those fenders are pretty robust. Will sound a little better though running the cab on the matched/proper tap.


    I still keep my 135. Not everybodys favorite amp, but I like them.
     
  12. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    AH. Nicely done, gents - this is the kind of detail I needed. WAY more flexible than I initially understood.
     
  13. ThisBass

    ThisBass

    Aug 29, 2012
    Germany
    The dummy plug must be shortened.
    By the other hand the speaker Jack shortens by itself when nothing is plugged in.
     
  14. takeout

    takeout Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Kansas City area
    So, solder a jumper from the Tip lug to the Sleeve lug, close it up, done?