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Fender Bassman 1967 50W and Matching 2X15 Cab

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cates85, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. Cates85


    Mar 26, 2013
    Ok, so I was in a band recently...I used this combination when we would practice. However, I noticed that I couldn't keep up with the other musicians volume-wise and I couldn't get connected into the PA because the manager (and mixer) didn't have the proper equipment to hook me up into it.

    Anyway, I noticed that if I tried to boost the volume, I would get heavy distortion and not much of a volume increase (cause it's a tube amp...duh). This isn't my issue tho...

    The manager said that he would have a friend of his look at the amp. When he came back with it, he said that the amp was doing this because it wasn't powerful enough to power the 2X15 cab.

    This sounds like BS to me, especially since the two pieces were sold TOGETHER in the 60s. Thoughts? Should I get a second opinion?
  2. Dude, you're only pushing 50 watts! What you were told was true. You have to think about what equipment was available for bass back then and what the limitations were technology wise. Now a days that would make a great guitar rig but not some much for modern bass....
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    That's a 50w amp and it's just running out of steam, that's all. It would do the same thing no matter what cab you use.
  4. Cates85


    Mar 26, 2013
    Well dang...then why do those Bassmans go for so much (I'm seeing one for $900 on ebay) if they're so under-powered? I might as well sell it and upgrade lol.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Men, here's the deal. Those cabs sound great at low volumes, but they just aren't made to shake the walls. They are skinny (front to back), and the speakers back then just weren't earth shakers. Also, even though 50W tube can be pretty strong, it's not going to tear the house down either. The long and the short of it is that MOST vintage Fender Bassmans are used for GUITAR, and not bass BECAUSE they aren't all that powerful (that and they sound really good as guitar amps). Although they sound good at low volumes, they just don't make great modern bass rigs.

    Here's a couple of things you can try. Countryman (and many others) make DI boxes that will do speaker level DI. What this means is, you can run a speaker cable into one end, and a mic cable out the other to the board. Any good sound company will have something similar available. If that isn't available (find new management) or try sticking a mic in front of the cab. This might get a little muddy for an old 15, but at least you won't be trying to fill the room from your little bass rig. Also, call the folks at US Speaker. Give them the inside dimensions of the cab. They can probably hook you up with a modern driver that will move more air, handle lower frequencies better, and generally be louder.

    But what I would do if I were you is try to sell the thing to a guitar player. You should be able to sell it for enough to get you all the way or close to an SVT or some other really good bass rig. But a 50W Bassman just isn't it. There are tons of much better options out there.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Because GUITAR players LOVE them.
  7. Cates85


    Mar 26, 2013
    Thanks for all of the replies guys! :cool: I think I'll just stick with my acoustic 1X15 combo to get me by while I try to upgrade to something more beastly and sell off the bassman setup. :bassist:
  8. The ONLY bit of BS is that the amp isn't powerful enough to power the 215 cab. It'll drive that cab until it can drive no more... As others state above- it's a small tube amp & as you found out- sounds lovely in overdrive, but not enough headroom... for many.
  9. You could invest in a nice mic and keep using you rig clean. But only if you have a big crowd to play for with PA support and the rest of the band can rock out at your clean level.

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