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Fender Bassman 59' Reissue Amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by soma89, Sep 14, 2008.


  1. soma89

    soma89

    Jan 7, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Hey, I recently fell inlove with the Fender 59' Bassman RI's guitar tone and hoping to get one soon.
    Unfortunetly, as i dont quite have the cash or room for more amps, this will mean that i'd have to sell my Ampeg b100r combo that I use for my only bass guitar. I'm hoping to use the bassman as a guitar and bass amp but I'm finding it hard to find reviews on the 59' bassman as a bass amp. Anybody know how it'll sound compared to my b100r?
    I play a 1971' Harmony h22/1 with flatwounds i just hope it's not too bassy for it. Thanks
     
  2. RickenBoogie

    RickenBoogie

    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    It's an open-backed guitar amp, despite the name, "Bassman". It'll be ok for very low volume playing, but losing your 1 bass amp will mean you can't rock out on bass anymore.
     
  3. soma89

    soma89

    Jan 7, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    But didn't these come with Fender Precision's back in the day??
     
  4. I own a 59 Bassman LTD custom shop relic....sounds AMAZING with guitar...I can get very nice bass tone at low volumes, say bedroom practice..but I did try it with Drums once...in order to get enough volume you have to turn up too high..starts to break up like a good guitar amp should..but gets farty with a bass...I would recommend AGAINTS getting this amp if you intend to use it for bass gigs.... its the best amp Ive ever owned for that tube crunch guitar tone. Its like 40 watts man...breaks up early.
     
  5. They were originally a bass amp..had a single 15 inch..and the guitarist started using them....
     
  6. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    As a guitar amp the '59 was quite possibly the best ever made. As a bass amp it's in the running for the worst.
     
  7. bassforce

    bassforce Guest

    Feb 7, 2007
    Hey, dont be too tough on that.

    I played on 59 Bassman reissue, and with jazz bass sounded great.

    With stingray it played soo damn good that I couldnt stop - the sound was powerfull and "ballsy" enough to make devil himself cry for momma.

    Was loud enogh to play with not too loud drummer.

    I will buy it, use at house and studio.
     
  8. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    Find someone who can be on retainer who will recone or replace your speakers regularly.
    (yes they do sound good but folks tend to limit their technique when speakers are weak or about to fart)
     
  9. I bet with some actual bass 10's in it it would be better...
     
  10. bassforce

    bassforce Guest

    Feb 7, 2007

    Dunno, friend of mine bought it to home playing, I'll wait few yers and see what happens ;) I have few things to buy first, so time doesn't matter
     
  11. No. That was the Fender Pro. The Bassman was a 4x10 combo from the get-go.
     
  12. soma89

    soma89

    Jan 7, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Thanks for your input guys but i still don't have a definite answer. I think i'm going to call Fender tomorrow or something. I just want to know if the Bassman RI's could take a bass. I always thought they could, but i don't want to mess up a speaker because i am also using it for guitar.
     
  13. bassforce

    bassforce Guest

    Feb 7, 2007
    Try it, then you'll know. I think some people will murder the speakers in a week and some will enjoy the sound for years.
     
  14. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Not really. An open back cabinet cannot have good response down low. That's why the '59 configuration only lasted two years before being replaced by a sealed cab, and why no open back cabs have been successfully marketed by any major manufacturer since.
    One reason why the open back '59 stayed in the line for even two years was that, as poor as it was, it was still the largest bass amp then available, so it was the king by default. Another reason was that in 1959-60 the majority of bass players still played stand-up. Electric bass didn't take over as the preferred instrument until roughly 1961-62, mostly courtesy of The Ventures.
     
  15. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    I can give you my definitive answer right now. This is based on me using the new at the time Fender Bassman 4x10 when I first started playing bass. I had one from a store that was made in 59 and I bought it in 1961 and it had only been played in the store. There weren't many electric bass players back then where I lived. It's not loud enough to play any kind of gig with involving drums and guitars unless they play very quietly or you want to sound like a bass kazoo. Great guitar amp and good for bedroom practice bass. Back then it was the best Fender could do. Your Ampeg will blow it away for volume.

    A guitarist I regularly work with uses one of the originals and another guitarist has the reissue. I've played through both with my Fender P. Time hasn't faded my memory of the orignal I owned. It won't cut it as a bass amp for today's uses. Even back then it wasn't adequate and you'll notice Fender next came out with the same amp basically with a 2x12 sealed cabinet. That was a bit better. Still a poor bass amp but better.

    Back when I had mine I saw Ike and Tina at a gig and their bassist had the old 410. But he'd done major mods to it. He removed the amp and put it in a separate box and built a closed back cabinet for the 410s. You could hear him but just. I talked to him and he said it was un-useable the way it was before and he was just waiting to get himself an Ampeg B15. That was another woefully underpowered and under speakered amp but it was a bit better.

    However, ignore what I say and try it for yourself with a good bass.

    Then go out and get a Mesa Walkabout Scout and see what modern technology can do. You'll get all the tube warmth and tube grind and tube squish and vintage sound you like once you learn how to use it.

    Edit to add--I didn't see Bill's response until I posted mine. He's right on.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    How dare you call the B-15 underpowered and underspeakered! ;)

    I'm just kidding...by today's standards it definitely is. I find it very hard to care, though. I do agree about the Bassman as a bass amp...lousy for bass, wonderful for guitar, although using it with a "real" bass cab would improve it.
     
  17. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
  18. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
    That's right. I think, or so the story goes, that the 15 used to blow up too easily so Fender came out with using 4 10" speakers theorizing that they would share the load and be more reliable. But putting them in an open backed backed cabinet was a bone headed idea. Leo Fender knew how to make good guitar amps but knew nothing about making bass amps and neither did many others back then. But also, way back then, guitar players were using guitar amps of 15 or 20 watts and were always being told to turn down. And drummers were still using calfskin heads on their drums and used to tune their drums so they sounded like drums and if they had tuned their drums like the tin can sounds used today and pounded away as loud, they'd never have got a gig.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Boy, that's the truth! I had a drumset with calfskin heads when I was little. They were temperamental, but sounded a million times better than these plastic heads. And what the heck has happened to parade drums? They sound so horrible these days...all ping and no tone.
     

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