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Fender 59 Bassman users (vintage, RI, clones...) - Please share your experiences!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by TheTonequest, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. I´m currently searching for a somewhat portable all tube bass amp/combo.
    The reason is that I need to be able to get to recording sessions and gigs etc. without a car, since I dont own one ;), and still be able to carry with me what I need in order to play, which basically is a bass and an amp...
    My search has now led me towards the 59 Bassman 4x10 combo type of amp.

    The reason why I think it looks promising is:
    1. 50w all tube, which I think will be enough for my needs.
    2. Fender sound, which I really like for bass.
    3. A combo format that doesn´t weigh like a ton. I had the Ampeg b15r earlier and it was great but was just to heavy for me!

    I am aware of the fact that since it´s only 50w and an open back 4x10 it isn´t going to produce the same volume and sound pressure as a "normal" bass rig, but my plan for live situations is to use it together with a DI-box and also always use a mic on the amp and let the PA-system where I play produce the volume needed...

    So basically I would really like to hear from you that have experience of using this type of amp live and in the studio!

    (Suggestions on other amps would also be appreciated, but in that case they have to be all tube!)
  2. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I owned the reissue. It, like the original, is renowned for being great for guitar, not bass.
  3. Did you ever play bass through it?
    If so, what was your impression?
  4. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Unless you're using it only in the studio it's not a good choice. The problem lies mainly in the speakers, which are totally unsuited for electric bass at more than studio level. You can get a 2x10 or 1x12 cab that works much better, and mate it with a tube head for a better result that's far more portable. Or maybe one of the Fender TV series. The '59 isn't exactly small or lightweight.
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Would have to agree with billfitzmaurice on a TV series being a better option than a bassman.
    But i would question the use of all tube for the situation you are describing.
    Portability and power come from modern design and manufacture.
    I myself record using a line6 studio 110 and have used it live as well if required (usual rig a TC classic and Aguilar cabs).
    Small and prefect for studio recording, and when put in to a PA(of any size) the 110 is more than enough for any live situation.

    Maybe a Phil Jones briefcase amp is something that may work for you?

  6. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    Yes, I bought it with the intention of using it for bass. It was during my "collectibles" period when I owned and played a lot of vintage basses and I thought the '59 Bassman would be a nice fit. There's not much beef or low end extension to the cab, nowhere near the depth and sound that comes from today's 4x10 cabs.

    I bought an SWR combo for bass and used the '59 Bassman for guitar, for which it is fabulous! I'd say almost every Bassman series made by Fender is better for bass than the '59.
  7. honistly i tryed the reissue and it seems like its more aimed at guitar players than bass players
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Fender lists the '59 in the guitar amps section of their website, not in the bass amps.
  9. i rest my case

    so im the mean time im standing by my silverface bassman
  10. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I played through the first '59 Baseman RI that FMIC shipped to town, usingng my 1983 Fender VS '62 P with LaBella. Old Original flats (the was before they called them the Jamerson set). Jamming with a buddy doing Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters stuff, very low volume (speaking at normal conversational levels OVER our playing, no drums. It was a great sound, but the speakers were at their limit in this living room application.

    The amp ain't really that portable, the tube mojo isn't going to come through that well, and I don't think it will even work as an on-stage monitor.

    Me, I'd go for real portable system by eschewing tubes in favor of a great sounding modular rig. It's much easier to carry a small powerful amp in a bag over one shoulder, a small cabinet that you can tote with one hand, and your bass in a bag over the other shoulder than to pick up a Tweed Baseman and carry it any distance.

  11. P-oddz

    P-oddz Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    No experience with the 59 Bassman, but.....

    man, I could sell you on the Bassman TV combos! TV15 combo owner here. You're not getting an all tube signal, but the single tube pre, paired with the classic Fender tone stack and some more modern amp components have made it an incredible choice IMO.

    The amp has plenty of vintage tube mojo, packs in at 350 watts, and doesn't weigh a ton. Seriously man, I can not say enough good things about this amp. Pushing the gain, especially with an OD, or boost pedal in front of it - this amp just sings! Dirty and punchy and warm. The triumvirate of rock and roll.

    If you are at all interested - I've got some recordings of it, and would be happy to answer any questions about it. Just ask.

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