Fender Bassman 300 / Sunn 300T....your thoughts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rod Harder, Nov 21, 2002.

  1. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

    I have to say that after years of Fender making fairly mediocre bass amps in pretty much every size, that they hit the target dead on with this head.
    I have played an SVT (old style '72/73 or so) and/or my SWR SM400S for the last 10 years with a variety of different cabs and I used the Bassman 300 (used to be the Sunn 300T) last weekend at a gig with my hard rock cover band and WOW!!
    The tone I got was amazing, and I had guitarists (yes, those guys, I didn't think they knew what I did either) coming up to me and remarking on my bass tone. The EQ and compression circuits in conjunction with the overdrive channel gave me everything I wanted tone-wise, and the sheer volume of the rig was frightening.
    I used it with a Dingwall 5 and a Spector NS2 4 string and an SWR Goliath Sr 6x10" and it KILLED. I am a believer, completely, and a pal who was there at the show who plays a Stingray 5 string/SVT rig is giving his SVT some second looks.
    I'd like to hear from anyone else who has used or is using one of these at the moment and get more opinions on this amp.
    I already bought a Bassman 300 of my own, so......anyone out there want to buy an SM400S ?
  2. Rod Harder

    Rod Harder Supporting Member

  3. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    TB'r (and former Amps co-mod :) ) hunter585 has a Sunn 300T (w/2x15" cab IIRC).

    He pops in here occasionally. Or you could PM him.
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I've played them alot when I worked @ Sam Ash & I liked them but (for me) thier are just to many controls. I like it pretty simple. But some of the tones I was getting was really SICK!!!!!!
  5. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I have a Sunn 1200S. Not the same animal as the 300-T but it does share some of the same preamp functions so I assume (dangerous, I know) that it sounds somewhat similar.

    The 1200S does indeed not have the clarity of some amps. It does have great tone for rock and blues however. I really like the tone I get with the 1200S, an Eden 410XLT and a Stingray.

    The only downside to the Bassman 1200 is the fairly high cost. I think the amp is worth the price, however, most players are probably going to buy an Ampeg or Eden in the same price range.

    That's too bad becaue the Bassman 1200 is a wonderful head and I'll bet the 300 is also. Put your "Bassman prejudice" aside and try them with your favorite cab and your bass. You may be as surprised and pleased as I was.

  6. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    There's a girl in Atlanta I've been in contact with, she has a Sunn 300-T. She uses it with a Rickenbacker 4001 and an Ampeg SVT-610HLF cab. She seems perfectly satisfied with this amp, and has been more impressed by it than by Ampeg heads. She has deep thick tone, ya know the rock'n'roll tone.
  7. Bard2dbone


    Aug 4, 2002
    Arlington TX
    The last Bassman I got a good tone with was (I bekieve) a BXR 400. Does anybody ever sell these things? Does anybody remember them?

    I haven't seen a used one ever. I got up the money to buy a new one, heresy for me, and the store had just sold theirs. Then they tell me Fender had quit shipping them!

    What is it with Fender that if they have a decent design they have to throw it away, but if they have an only mostly okay one it's there forever?
  8. watspan

    watspan Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    madison, wi
    I played about 6 different basses through a fender 300/2-15" cab at a music store and noticed every bass sounded dynamite--then realized the common thread was the amp! I am very impressed w/ the 300 and would like to get one! I have a Hartke 5000 now bi-amped into a ampeg 1528--nice rig, but the fender gave a real fat deep growling tone w/ all 6 basses--not sure how flexible the tonal qualities are but seems like a great head IMHO:D
  9. I love my Sunn 300T. It is the loudest most versitile and heaviest head I've played. I use the footswitched chanel EQ and Compressor to accas different tones on stage. I usually just play it clean and use the compressor as a bass boost. The distortion is new for me and like how just a tad blends with overdriven guitars. I lost a tube at a gig though. It blew the 15 amp house circut breaker before taking out the main fuse and then the .1 amp protection. Have spare fuses becase they were hard to get. The tubes and rebiasing was easy compared to finding a replacement 100ma GDC fuse. I can hardly wait to fire it up at the next gig Wed.
    Peace Benton
  10. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000
    I love my 300T. I play in a room twice a week that seats about 200, and I keep the master volume between 2 and 3, but closer to 2. I have to watch and make sure that my bass never gets turned up higher than 6 or I deafen everyone :p

    The variety of tones I get are really awesome. I can go from gritty and thick to clean and clear with the push of a button. It does take some getting used to with the controls, but once you have them down, it just takes a button.
  11. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I had a 300T for a couple of gigs...bought it from Sam Ash, went to a 1200 S instead. I can't even begin to imagine someone thinking these amps sound "anemic" but thinness is in the ear of the beholder. There's so much bottom end available. If your 1200S doesn't give you the "clarity" you think it should, maybe it's your speakers, your bass, or your technique!!. I've used the head now with SWR's 210's, EA 110's, EA 208's, and now an Epifani 310. I've used many different basses with the head, SR5's, Fender Jazz deluxes, Lakland, Modulus, Pulcinella, F bass, Roscoe. They all sound good, they're all clean, some sound "better IMO only" than others, but frankly, I can't stand Eden and SWR heads + they're WAY OVERPRICED vs volume and wattage in my book compared to a 1200 or a 300. Ampegs sound like crap too, except for the older SVT's. I heard a bass player use a Fender Rumblebass tube head with fender rumblebass speakers, and an American Jazz bass four string, sorry fans, it doesn't get better than that for me. Ballsy, grinding, penetrating bass yet every note clear as a bell. The sunn/fender 300 is a great and inexpensive alternative with a lot of great EQ and compression features which I'll say if you have a decent bass and quality cabinets, and can't make it sound cool, it's your fault!!!

    Good luck. They exceptionally good heads priced right.

  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I don't know about the Bassman 300, but I've played through a Bassman 400 210 combo a couple times, and I must say, I am forced to say, uhhh, ummmm, I liked it! Go figure. The danged thing has lots of great tone, even for five-strings. If you don't want to spring for a Metro or a Redhead, I'd say the Bassman 400 is great bang for the buck.

    ::: people all around fainting in disbelief :::
  13. I just recently bought a discontinued Sunn 300T for about half the price of an SVT. I was looking for a tube head and was ready to by a used Mesa/Boogie when I found the Sunn. Normally I would have gone for a used SVT or the Mesa/Boogie, but used ones usually need re-tubing ($200+) and I didn't have the extra money.

    I was surprised at how "warm" the sound was, even a veteran Nashville guitar player noticed and liked the sound! If you like tubes, it's definitely something to consider. Some of those used SVTs out there don't sound THAT good.
  14. Ty McNeely

    Ty McNeely

    Mar 27, 2000

    Talk to PsychoBassGuy (local tube guru) about retubing. If I recall correctly, he swears that no head needs any type (preamp or power) of new tubes unless it is 20+ years old.