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Fender Bassman 250/210 & 115

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Correlli, Aug 17, 2005.

  1. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Hey TBer's

    Just wanting to find out more about the new Fender Bassman 250/210 & 115.

    I want to upgrade my old fender combo for a new combo. As I like the fender gear, I'm thinking about the new bassman amps. I've read most of the (TB) comments about these amps, but hoping to get more feedback about them.

    I'm more interested in the tone difference between the 210 & 115. I've read that 115 has a warm tone, and 210 has an agressive tone.

    Loudness I not concerned with, as most of my gigs are small to medium.

    I see it has a onboard compressor. Any good?

    And lastly, is the DI good quality? If it's not, I may not get one.

    Any other thoughts about these amps are very much appreciated.


    I should add that I'm also looking at the MeasBoogie Scout combo amp. And I know that they are good.
  2. Though I can't answer all your questions, I played the 210 model this week and loved it. I'm probably going to sell my Hartke HA7000 and Avatar B210 to buy one. I'll keep my Avatar 15 as an extension cabinet for larger gigs.

    I play R&B and Jazz in small to medium clubs as well, and I'm tired of lugging around a 210 cab, a 15 cab, and a separate amp. The majority of the time, I'm running through the PA, and I don't need much stage volume. So I've been looking for a versatile, lightweight, economical, high output combo with great tone. And I think Fender has captured these qualities in the new Bassman 250/210.

    I can't comment on your question about the tone difference between the 210 & 115. Sam Ash didn't have a 115, but I'd sure like to check one out before I make my final decision. The 210 sounded and felt like it was capable of giving me all the bottom I need. I suppose if you A/B'd the two, the 210 would logically be a bit more "agressive" sounding, but I was pleased with the warmth it provided.

    I played several active and passive 4 and 5 string basses through it, to try to get an idea of how, or if, it colored the tone of a bass. My impression was that it allowed the characteristics of each instrument to come through, provided a clean thumpy tone, and didn't change any given instrument's "personality." It handled the low Bs very well and the full range of each bass was presented very smoothly and clearly.

    You also asked if the "compressor is any good." As you are probably aware, it has a fixed threshold with an adjustable ratio. I can't speak to quality, but it was very subtle and didn't squash the signal even at the most extreme setting. It seemed to perform as the owner's manual states; "The ideal setting for compression is almost inaudible to the ear, but satisfying to the fingers (a sense of control over the instrument)."

    I can't provide an opinion about the Line Out, but it certainly has the features we want. Line Level to adjust the level out, Pre/Post EQ selection, Ground Lift, and a Mute button that disables ALL outs (except tuner).

    One last mention ... I think the Room Balance control would fast become one of my favorite features. I adjusted it to compensate for the weird acoustics of the store, and immediately recognized its value. If you haven't read the description from the manual, here's what it says. "Room Balance is for the player to “dial in the room” as a final touch of EQ. This feature is OFF when in the center position (start the EQ process with this control centered; dial it in last). Turning the control clockwise emphasizes highs, while de-emphasizing lows (great if the stage sound is dark and muddy). Turning the control counterclockwise creates the opposite effect; emphasizing lows while de-emphasizing highs (helps with bright hardwood floors). This frees up the EQ of the amp to design your TONE instead of compensating for poor room acoustics."

    If you (or any other TBers) get a chance to play through these amps, I'd sure like to get your opinions. And if you buy one and play a gig with it, I'd REALLY like to hear what you think.
  3. Lync

    Lync Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2004
    I posted about this amp on the Fender board and was basically ignored! Blown off by its own people!

    Anyway...I used to have a Bassman 400. Loved it except it kept blowing speakers. I now have a Thunderfunk (with an Ampeg SVT610HLF). They don't sound drastically different (although the TF is more diverse and a tad warmer IMO).

    If that 250 sounds like the 400 (and there probably isn't a whole heck of a difference in volume), I would say it is a killer little amp-especially for the price and weight. The room balance (like the TF's timbre), helps out to warm up and fill out the tone in certain situations.

    I think they improved the compressor on the new line of Bassmans, but the compressor on my old Bassman 400 didn't don't all that much and I left it off.

    Good luck with your purchase...
  4. Correlli


    Apr 2, 2004
    New Zealand
    Thanks for the replies. I was beginning to thinks these amps were no good.

    Well, I tried out the Bassman 250 115 a couple of times, and I pretty convinced it's the amp for me. It's got lots of mid range growl, and when I plugged a Sansamp DI between the Bass and amp, it produced ALOT more warmth. More than I expected.

    I'm not a huge fan of over-using compression, so the subtle effect of the onboard compression will probably suit my requirements.

    I play mostly in small to medium size clubs and bars, and I think the Fender 250 is well suited for this type of application.

    Thanks once again.
  5. In Misc. There was a thread about someone who tried a Fender BassMan 250 and was preaching about it. Let's see if I can find it...

    *edit* Here
  6. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I'm not sure this will work. I believe the new Bassman combos deliver full power to their internal speakers (4 ohms), so you can't use an extension cabinet. Check it out before you dump your gear.
  7. Nedmundo, you are right. The specs say, "Speaker Out (4 Ohm min, full power internal, unplug internal cable for use with external cabinet)." Thanks for pointing this out.
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    You're welcome. I was seriously thinking about one of these combos too, but stopped short when I saw that.

    FWIW, I recently tried the Bassman 150 1x12" combo, and wasn't impressed at all. I bought a Roland Cube 100 instead, which is just unbelievable for the size. But I don't think the 150 necessarily represents the whole line. My fender dealer says the 2x10" model is selling well, and that folks are happy with it.