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Cabinet for Vintage Bassman 135

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by kbakerde, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Gallien Krueger 212MBE

    2 vote(s)
  2. Hartke HyDrive 112

    0 vote(s)
  3. BFM Jack 12

    3 vote(s)
  4. Other

    10 vote(s)
  1. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    I love my Bassman 135 head. It sounds really, really awesome. I have been playing on it for a few weeks now, and I have gotten to play in a jam setting a couple times, and it holds it's own. I love the tone, so I fully plan to use it if/when I start playing live, and will mic the cab or use the line out for PA support if needed.

    BUT, I still feel I need a new cabinet to pair with the head. I think I will keep the vintage 2x15" that I got with it. I love the way it looks, it does sounds really nice, and it allows me to keep them as a set. It does have two very serious drawbacks for now and the future. One it is very large and bulky, and quite heavy. It is in the basement now, and to get it up and down is a two man job. Second, the cabinet just cannot handle the output of the head. Recently I decided to really test what both were capable of and went for really driving the amp hard. Channels jumped, pre-amps on 8-10, master to 8-10. But even with the EQ flat, the speaker just farted out constantly. There was also a lot of distortion, which I know there will be some, but I think some of the distortion was the speaker itself.

    So I understand that I will be limited in things like headroom etc by the amp, and I accept that. But what I want is a cabinet setup that will handle and pass through the amp signal without being the limiting factor. To that end, I had originally been planning to build a pair of BFM Jack 12 cabinets. But I also wanted to consider other options in approximately the same price/weight range:

    Gallien-Krueger 212MBE 4 ohm cabinet $499

    Hartke HyDrive 1x12 - $399, but I can get it on special for about $340

    BFM Jack 12 - With the specs I am looking at this would run around $300/cab. Was planning on getting two.

    I would also listen to any other suggestions. Thanks a bunch!!
  2. Why not go with one of the new fender bassman cabs? One of the 410s would be perfect. I think their 8 ohms though... That way you could keep the killer bassman look.
  3. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    That is a good suggestion, but for a few problems.

    1) In my current status, the $800 isn't a stretch, it's a snap financially

    2) Increased mobility is a goal with the new cab, and IMO a 4x10 even with Neo's doesn't scream mobility. and finally

    3) I had to retool the look on my amp so it now looks like this:


    Which is 100x sexier IMHO than it looked when I got it. So I am not going for a cabinet match. But I might get more of this Maroon grill cloth and redo whatever I get to match it!!
  4. I understand man, the price is the only thing that's keeping me from getting one. I also use an old bassman, the 100 to be exact. I saw your post on the bassman club, I absolutely love that red on there. Made me gas really hard. I'd go with the GK if I was you.
  5. I actually have the same cab as you do, but with the classic silver grill cloth.
  6. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Mine came with black grill cloth, so it was never that interesting. But, I checked the serial number that dates my head to back in 79.

    Still, I like the cab a lot, but it cannot handle the volume.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i'd bet a pair of 15 cabs would be just right. the stack would rock old-school, and you get to move one at a time.

    or, if you wanna trade bulkiness for money spent, just replace the speakers in the cab you have. a pair of eminence 15s that would each handle 3 times what that amp puts out could be had for under $100 apiece.
  8. +1
  9. f64


    Oct 31, 2009
    If I'm not mistaken the 135 was originally pared with a 215 with a much smaller cab. I'll have to look. I have both here in storage. The correct cab had drivers closer together and on a diagonal which brought the height down over a foot and the weight down also. I don't use mine much anymore but I don't remember ever being able to max it out and we played a lot of open theatres.
    There are so many good drivers out there, including neo's. You can solve the farting and some of the weight issues for the least amount of money just with drivers. Good Luck!
  10. wow thats a sexy rig. Great job man. what did u use for the finish? is that tolex or.....
  11. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    That's the Bass man 50 cabinet. The Bass man 100/135 was paired with that goofy 4x12 cabinet Fender made with the drivers each in a separate baffle, all angled inward in a trapezoid.

    There was a larger 2x15 cabinet later, around '82.

  12. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    With that head I'd be tempted to just go with a really good, sensitive 115 at 4ohms. Of course a nice 215 would be cool too :)
  13. rogypop


    Jan 10, 2009
    Also check BFM's omni top 15, its very sensitive and has that gradual roll off in lows which reminds of sealed cab. It's also a neat one cab solution too.
  14. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Aguilar DB series is very nice with the bassman heads. I have a Bassman 100 and an Aguilar DB212.

    Aguilar mid voice works well with the fenders that can be a little mid scooped. They are also "efficient" cabs that work well with the lower power tube heads. Very cool combo. And if you get the classic black, they look good together.
  15. I'd say stick with a 2x15 as well... Something in the 200W range. Probably could use guitar speakers. Maybe the Jensen Mojo 15s?

    The 135 rig I had was paired w/ a Fender 2x15 loaded w/ JBL D-140s and man.. Awesome. Thinking of something along those lines.

    Wait, just saw the pic of your rig. Ha. If you're looking for mobility I'd probably get a couple 1x15s or a couple of 2x10s. Thing about the Bassman head is you'll need a 4 Ohm load unless you've had work done to it... So generally a single 15 won't work and a single 2x10 won't work. not many of them out there that are 4 Ohm.
  16. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your advice. To be honest, I was surprised at the responses, I figured I would get a decent number of votes for the GK, and several "GET A FEARFUL!!" kind of replies you see so often.

    Well the result will end up as moot, however the thread was productive as I have come into an agreement with a fellow TBer to purchase his BFM Jack 210 cabinet. It is loaded with Deltalite 2510's and so it is perfect for what I was looking for.

    However, I do not want to you all to think I do not value your input, you all certainly got my wheels turning. The Jack will handle portability, So I would look into down the road replacing the EV15's in my current cab probably to the Deltalite 2515's. It appears to me they would play nicely in my existing cabinet, I would only have to close the existing shelf port on the bottom, and add new ports into the baffle. The only laptop I have is my work PC, so I cannot use WinISD, but here is my response curve for a 2 deltalites at 70w each


    It seems pretty good to me, but I am not an expert.
  17. What is the output impedance that the amp is expecting to see?? Typically I would think 4Ω. Going higher will put the amp at risk. Going lower will wear out your tubes at a faster rate.
  18. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    4 Ohms. And the graph is for two 8 ohm drivers wired in Parallel.
  19. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Believe the Bassman 135 want to see a 4ohm min load. I believe on the 135, you can run 2 x 4 ohm cabs, and it will do a series switching internally and run an 8ohm load.

    Most other Bassman amps (50, 70, 100) just want a 4ohm load total,,, but fenders are supposedly very forgiving if you go higher. But forgiving for an almost 30 year old transformer doing something that it is not designed to do -- not to mention the loss of power -- is not something I was very comfortable with.

    That is one of my main gripes about old Bassmans. I like having the flexibility to run 8 or 4.

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