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Bassman 2x15 cabs. Why are they so hated? Paired it with a Fender Studio Bass head.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Justin Smith, Jan 6, 2017.

  1. Justin Smith

    Justin Smith

    Jan 6, 2017
    So, I recently bought a Fender Studio Bass and fell in love pretty much immediately. I found it for a great price and thought everything was perfect except it just wasn't quite loud enough. Also the only way to get good volume out of the one 15 was to turn the Overdrive all the way up.

    I figured going for two fifteens would expand my options and allow me to be loud and clean or loud and dirty. I found a 2x15 in great shape today and bought it and it was everything I had hoped. I love how loud it is. I love the tone. I hate the weight but thats ok.

    I looked on here and learned that you all hate the bassman 2x15s. I just wanted to know why they are considered so poor in quality? I love mine, and I know that's what really matters but I just wanted some specifics or maybe to learn some future dangers that I didn't know about.
    markjazzbassist and BurnOut like this.
  2. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    Other than a 215 being a beast of a cab to move around. I don't see a problem with it. I like the bump of a 215. Go with what makes you happy.
    Bassdirty and Stumbo like this.
  3. ScottTunes

    ScottTunes Gear-A-Holic

    Feb 7, 2011
    So Cal
    I like vintage Fender 215 cabs. My fave is a '66 Showman 215 I used throughout the 80s and 90s, until I built my own cabinets. They sound fine, depending which drivers are in em. I built a slightly smaller version of that Showman cab, and stuffed Eminence 3015s in it. Sounds amazing!

    Enjoy your Studio Bass and 2x15s!!
    markjazzbassist likes this.
  4. EfEmDee


    Oct 19, 2012
    SE Wisconsin
    There are several flavors of vintage Fender Bassman 2x15 cabs. Do you know which you have?

    When loaded with JBL x140s, they do get some love here.

    The cabs are what they are. As long as you aren't looking for perfectly reproduced fundamentals with Hifi clarity or incredible efficiency, and are cool with the vintage vibe, you should be happy (which is what matters).

    Of course this is coming from a guy who owns two. :)
    ScottTunes and markjazzbassist like this.
  5. They do what they do as well as they ever did.
    The Dual Showman cabs are probably the best of the old school
    Fender 215s.
    They get a little deeper, due to the extra size.
    The JBLs they used have always sounded great.

    The thing they don't do well is compare well with modern cabs.
    For the same size, weight and overall bulk a newer design
    can handle more power, go deeper and get way louder.

    I am old enough to remeber when a Dual Showman with
    D140s was the ultimate bass amp.
    Even moreso with two cabs.
    Even now, that rig would sound good.

    Moving it, not so much. :eek:
  6. kbakerde


    Jan 24, 2012
    I remember buying my first stack was like a 1981 Fender Bassman 135 with matching 2x15 cabinet. The cabinet while on casters was an absolute beast to move. And while the cabinet sounded good, the head could sound as good or better with a more modern better designed cabinet. Now I think my cabinet had EV's in them, nice but not the JBL's. This was the larger version of the cabinet which was absolutely massive to haul, but it was on casters.

    Last winter I re-bought another Bassman 135, I even built myself a modern 2x15 cabinet with the 3015 drivers. It's nice, but not as good as my Avatar 2x12 cabinet, which has some extremely nice Genz Benz special Faital Neo speakers and makes everything sound better anyway.
    John B jr likes this.
  7. Is the Bassman 2x15 an 8 ohm cab?
  8. andawun


    Jul 13, 2009
    I still have my Dual Showman cab. It's not the tone it's the size/weight issue. Actually the showman was pretty light compared to other 215's at the time. I use two rumble 115's now that cop the dual showman vibe and can fit in the back of my pontiac vibe.
  9. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    this .. the older Fender 2x15's just don't stack up so well vs modern cabs. Not terrible, just not as much performance per cubic ft.
    I also have a Fender Studio head and like the old school tone - but want better performance than the older cabs and drivers.
    This is my solution:
    Fender on Fender rebadged LDS sm.
    Not a Fender really. It's an LDS 2x15 loaded with Faital 15PR400's, which are very much like the old JBL D140's, but with much better specs (power handling, excursion, weight etc ..). I just dressed it up to look like a Fender angled 2x15 cab.

    Studio Bass sounds great through this cab (and others).
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    There was the small 2x15 that was about the size of a modern 4x10, only much more shallow front-to-back. It was marketed eith Bassman 50/75. It was truly awful, just way too small a box for two 15s.
  11. slagheap

    slagheap Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    sweet rig. very nice. i have one of Don's 2 x 15PR400 cabs, too.
  12. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    thanks, it works really well for certain things - and delivers a great visual too (if anyone besides me really cares ;))
    Don does great work at a very reasonable price.
  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    a lot of people don't like them or remember an era when 100 watts tube head couldn't keep up with a terry bozzio wannabe drummer and an eddie van halen wannabe guitarist.

    thankfully if you're not playing with a$$ holes you should be fine. I personally love the old sealed bassman cabs (diagonal 2x15 or vertical 2x15 or 1x15) and think they sound great. they sound like all the great bass tones of all the records I listen to from the 60's and 70's which is the tone I strive for.
    ScottTunes likes this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    They sound quite good and will get to a reasonable enough level before fartout, but it's my opinion that the older 215 Bassmans are in too small cabs that throttle their output to a lower level than a bigger cab would give them. OTOH, if you're happy with it, that's all that matters.
  15. slagheap

    slagheap Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2011
    bottom line, baby - that's it.
  16. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    I had a silver faced dual Showman Cab with the JBL D140F speakers and also had one of the larger Bassman 212 cabs with JBL D120F speakers back in the early 70's . I had a new just released Bassman 100 head I used with the Dual Showman cab and it sounded just awesome up to a certain volume level . The band I was in had 3 guitar players and so I really didn't have much of a chance to keep up . I was into the Airplane and Dead kind of sounds and with my Guild Starfire 2 bass and with the Fender amp and cab I was in love with the tone when playing along with the tunes by myself but with the band It just turned into mud .

    Same with the 212 cab . It really wasn't meant to be a bass cab with the D120s but I played it through a 60's bassman head that I bought from a friend of mine who sounded great through the rig with his band with a 64 Jazz. I could never get the volume I needed with that head and cab for bass but I sold it to one of my best friends who played guitar and it just killed for that . Neither cab would get anywhere near the volume of modern cabs but up to their limits they really sounded awesome .
    markjazzbassist likes this.
  17. I've 2 of the "new" Bassman Pro Neo 115 cabs THEY work great.

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