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Fender 59 Bassman RI vs AMPEG V-4BH

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by netman411, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. I am trying to decide between a Fender 59 Bassman 4x10 Combo vs AMPEG V-4BH w/ 4X10 cab. I am playing in a 3 man blues band. The guitar player uses a tweed amp with a 12 " speaker. My '68 Bassman head played out of a 2X10 cab is good enough for the studio. However, we are taking the show on the road and I want something phat and blusey that will fill a small club. I am leaning toward the 59 Bassman RI but I'm not sure it will keep up as a bass amp. Also, I haven't played the Ampeg V-4BH to know if it will produce the deep blues tones I'm looking for. Any experience with these 2 amps would help. Thanks,
  2. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    No brainer I reckon. I have owned a 59 RI and it definitely won't cut it as a gigging bass amp. The V4B plus 410, by comparison, should be perfect for a 3 piece blues band in a small to medium club.
  3. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    The '59 Bassman reissue has a serious problem as a bass amp, especially if you're looking for "... something phat and blusey that will fill a small club...". The open back cabinet design leaves no support for the speakers. While I loved the '59 for sitting around the house with a single guitarist and no drummer, it was at the very edge if its limits.

    Go for a real bass amp.

  4. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I have a 59 Bassman. It will work for bass with a different speaker cabinet but not the 410 speakers that it comes with. It is a 50W amp.

    Given the choice, I would go with the V4BH. It has an SVT-CL pre-amp mated with a smaller, 100W, power amp. The power supply is built to support the low end that you want for bass.
  5. TorontoAlex


    Nov 28, 2011
    If you like the Bassman sound, but want a full-featured bass amp, why not look at the Fender 100t with either the 4X10 or 1X15 cab? I think Fender designed those amps for guys like you! The new Bassman series has been getting rave reviews, look into those for sure.
  6. That's what I thought. Thanks,
  7. christw

    christw Get low!

    May 11, 2008
    Dayton OH
    I want to be Tesla (tinkerer at Dayton Amp Co)
    Skip the V4BH and go straight for a vintage V4B. The V4BH has significantly smaller transformers than vintage and really doesn't do the low end justice compared to other Ampeg offerings. Even with an efficient, deeply voiced cab like an SWR Goliath I still feel that the V4BH is a rather anemic 100 watts. It's a great overdrive amp though.

    I really liked the tone I got from a Geddy J and a '59 Bassman once but it's not a gigging bass amp.
  8. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    It's a big difference indeed, I vastly prefer the old one, has anybody ever got to the bottom of which V4B's had a dual winding mains transformers as there are two schematics, one showing dual mains trans primaries and the other not, my son has just got one from the states and is using it with a step down transformer at the mo has anybody got a pic of the actual wiring?.
    Sorry to the original poster for the divert but anyway get an old V4b:hyper: it will be loud enough and it will sound Fooking great if you give it enough speakerage.
  9. I saw a vintage V4B advertised for $700. What should I look for besides the obvious; hum, scratchy pots, etc?
  10. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    I wouldn't recommend either of those amps for what you're looking to do, but of the two the V4BH will be closer to doing what you want. Even though a '59 Bassman was originally made as a bass amp they are still being made mostly because they appeal to guitar players - bass amplification technology has come a LONG way since then. the first thing i'd recommend is trying your '68 Bassman through a larger cabinet. i used a '68 Bassman through an Ampeg 810 pretty successfully for many years - loved the tone. If you're set on buying a new amp I'd greatly prefer a vintage V4B over the 90's V4HB, but if i was going to lug one of those around I'd just go ahead and get an SVT.:D

    ...and as far as buying an old Ampeg, those things were built like tanks - just check the obvious things you would with any amp, and you'll probably want to replace the filter caps if it hasn't already been done.
  11. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    which you will be reminded of every time you go to move it :cool:
  12. stiles72


    Mar 20, 2009
    Albany IL
    I gig a V4BH with a 215 in a classic rock group, competing with a Marshall half stack, and am often told by the soundman I need to turn down. Should make a great amp for you
  13. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    I have a 100T and use it for Blues and R&B with 1 or 2 15's
    It is a great amp and only 48 pounds
  14. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    netman, there's a 70's V4b listed in the classifieds - just thought i'd give you a heads-up.
  15. Thanks Spacedbassed but it was sold just about the time you posted. I will keep looking.
  16. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    bummer... I figured it wouldn't last very long, good price for a freshly serviced amp. I'd look into getting a Sunn 2000s cabinet or something similar with two JBL D140f's or K140's - you might be surprised at what that Bassman can do.
  17. With the V4B I was looking for a little more horsepower for gigs while keeping the vintage tube tone. Maybe a different cab with the Bassman would do it, hmm...that's something to think about.
  18. acubass


    Oct 10, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    I loved running my V4BH into a 410he for 3 piece blues. The only time I ever ran out of steam was on outside stages with No PA support. That was only one gig.

    I had zero problems getting a low sound out of it.

    I never ran the vintage V4B through that cab but I ran them both thru an ampeg 115 and the V4BH was a much better fit. The chassis on the V4BH is also much friendlier.
  19. spacebassed


    Jan 31, 2009
    I personally LOVE the way 15's sound in a blues band. To me, those Sunn 2000s cabinets with the JBL D140f's are THE sound - especially when paired with a Fender Bassman or Dual Showman. Phil Lesh (Grateful Dead) used Fender Showmen through those cabs, so did Jack Cassady (Jefferson Airplane), but he also used a Versatone to add the grit you hear in his tone. Berry Oakley (Allman Brothers Band) used a Sunn and later a Fender 400ps through them. Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix Experience) and Stu Cook (CCR) also used them. I was happy with the tone I was getting with my Bassman through an Ampeg 810 (the stock 2x15" Fender cabinet was awful), but when I came across a Sunn cab and plugged in... THERE IT WAS - the sound I'd been hearing for years but could never quite get. And keep in mind those JBL's are very efficient speakers so you can get more volume out of fewer watts, even if you do get to the point where the Bassman's 50 watts doesn't cut it, you can still use the cab with a V4b or something similar.

    Berry Oakley w/ the Allman Brothers Band:

  20. Good suggestion. I like that 60's SF sound, very heavy man. I will keep my eyes open for a Sunn 2X15 cab and some JBLs. If anyone has one for sale with or without speakers let me know.