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Does anyone use the Fender Bassman for bass anymore?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MichaelThomas, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. MichaelThomas


    Mar 24, 2009
    I was thinking about it today. I mean, it's a sick guitar amp. I've been wanting a bass combo for my room lately, but I want something different. I play a lot of guitar too so maybe one of these would be a good move. ANybody here actually use one for bass? like it was designed for?
  2. cadduc


    Mar 4, 2006
    i used one for bass, i bought a bassman stack with my jazz bass back in 1966, and then i traded it to my guitar player for a showman
    wish i never did that, should have kept it and bought a showman
    oh well
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I had one back in the 70s. I would sometimes run 2 cabs ... a 2x12 and a 2x15. I seem to remember that tube maintenance was a pain in the butt with that amp. Also it used to rattle a lot too.
  4. reno88

    reno88 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2008
    i use my '66 bassman head sometimes at practice. i'll occasionally take it with me as a spare if it's safe. as we all know, gear has a tendency to disappear sometimes.
  5. I have a '68 Bassman head that I use to power a Leslie speaker system now for Rhodes piano and Hammond organ. It works perfect for that. I used to use the Bassman for bass with 2 Ampeg 210 cabs (4 ohm load and just enough volume) and loved the sound. I've since went small with Markbass and haven't returned to the Bassman for bass. I also have a '65 Ampeg B15N fliptop. The bassman and B15N have similar tones. very vintage and tube-vibe glory.

    Both the B15N and Bassman are too underpowered for any serious gigging, but I have to admit that I love the way I play when I run through them. It changes my feel. I wish they could be giggable as they both have such mojo. But they stay in my studio mostly now. The Markbass does what I need for live.
  6. Michael-
    Small gig, rehearsal, or backline through a PA.
    But they do sound pretty cool.
    I also had a Fender Bassman blackface from the 60's that I traded off when I was getting started. One of my many equipment regrets.
  7. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i still use my 66 bassman at home and in the studio. i've had alot of them over the years but sold them all so i bought this one about three years ago. it still sounds awesome for small gigs too (its got RCA blackplate 6L6's in it as well as all NOS 60's RCA pre's:

    rodl2005 likes this.
  8. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    I gig a Bassman 100.

    Love the tone, plenty loud for the small venues and sane levels I play. I recapped it this year, she's good to go for a bunch more years.
  9. Esp man Walker

    Esp man Walker

    Feb 18, 2009
    yea i do
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Care to mention what vintage you are referring to? IMHO, the 4x10 bassman never saw much serious use as a bass amp, even in it's day. IME, most bass players got a PA tube head (Bogen, et al.) and built a big box and loaded it with one or two 15's. That's essentially what most manufacturers (Fender, Kustom, Sunn, Standel, Magnatone, Baldwin, etc.) were offering by 1966, but the trend started in the early 60's when the Dual Showman arrived. Then there was Ampeg and Acoustic. Forget Vox and Marshall (oh puh-leez, let me forget)....:ninja:

    So honestly, my question is: Define what you mean by "Bassman?" :D
  11. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I got the impression the OP was talking about the RI '59 410 combo, as Dr Jim just mentioned. If that's the case, that's an open backed combo, and not very good for bass at all. Everyone else who responded seems to be talking about later Bassman heads, which are great for bass, (with a bass cab, of course). If the OP could clarify,...
  12. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I've had a 1964 (pre-CBS) Bassman head and matching 2 x 12 cabinet for as long as I can remember. It sounds great at low volume, and I've mic'd the cabinet a few times for recording. I still use it as a practice amp. I've used the head with some other cabinets and they sound pretty good together; the original 2 x 12 cabinet definitely limits the performance of the head.

    I brought it to a few gigs for my guitarist to use while his amp was being repaired and he fell in love with it - but I have no intention of selling it after all these years. ;)
  13. I have a '95' Blues Deville 4x10 that's got all the same components as a '59' reissue. I use it for small rehearsals, as long as I don't turn it up to much it actually sounds pretty good.
  14. RobertPaulson


    Dec 11, 2008
    Des Moines
    I use a sovtek mig-50 on occasion which is essentially a bassman, to be honest it's not my favorite for bass but it certainly works, love it on guitar though.
  15. I used a Bassman 100 as my bass amp for several years, playing my Ric through a bass eq pedal through the guitar channel (bass channel sounded kinda dead) & a 2 x 15 Fender Bassman bottom with JBL K140's. I received many compliments on the sound. The Fender Bassman is a great amp, even by today's standards.
  16. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    I've used a '72 Ampeg VT40 a whole lot as a bedroom practice amp for bass, it's an open back 50w+- 4x10 combo. It works well for really low volumes, but I think it, like a 'real' bassman, is best suited for guitar at any real volume. Oddly enough, I now have a 4x10 bassman too, but I've never plugged a bass into it, -I'll have to do that.
    I had a '68 Bassman(50) head, that was a fun amp through an 8x10, loud enough for quiet stages, but no surprise that it's not very loud. Those are still affordable, I probably should have kept that one, but I doubt those will go up in value much anytime soon. You couldn't go at all wrong with a 100w '70s bassman head, those can be lightly modified to be pretty loud, and just get a nice little 1x12 cabinet for practicing.
  17. MichaelThomas


    Mar 24, 2009
    Allow me to clarify; I was talking about the reissue 4x10 combo. I was just curious to see if anyone here had plugged a bass into it :)

    Man fender got it right by getting it wrong
  18. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Well, there's a real problem with this questioin. EXACTLY which Fender Bassman do you mean when you say "The Fender Bassman"? There's the original tweed Bassman, there's the dual 6L6 piggy back one, there's the various iterations of that amp with quad 6L6, then the more recent solid state ones that run the gamut from 1x8 practice amps to the re-named Sunn all-tube monster.

  19. A sound guy at a venue my band frequents had me listen to a band play (he keeps from the board recordings of every band that plays). the band was awful (think Complete) but the bassist had a TONE.

    apparently it was a old bassman 410 combo through a grabber, and it had creamy tone for miles!
  20. MichaelThomas


    Mar 24, 2009
    lol ok didn't wanna have to do this I guess I'm still unclear :crying:

    Has anyone plugged one of these things:http://bass-guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-American-Vintage-57-Precision-Bass?sku=510073

    Into one of these: http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Vintage-Reissue-59-Bassman-LTD?sku=480726
    drummer5359 likes this.

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