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Let's talk about Fender Bassman Silverface

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by sleepy_monkey, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Is there a difference between those and the black face?

    I am mainly looking at the late '60s versions. I played through a '67 silverface on Saturday night through my SVT410HLF and it sounded great...very clear and pronounced...and I can get one for much lower than the Amepeg CL.
  2. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    A true '67 would be a blackface. They made the change to silver in '68 I believe. And the earliest silverface Bassmans might have identical circuitry as the blackface, but I'm not sure of that. The later silverface were different circuitry, pretty sure of that.
  3. Oh...maybe he said '68 then. Rest assured I thought it sounded great....much better than my SVT3 even.
  4. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    Wish I had one. Fifteen, twenty years ago they were more plentiful, and not very expensive. Guitar players had a love affair with them. I had one with the matching cab about four years ago, before I took up bass. It was a silverface from the early 70's IIRC. Huge cab. I think it was a 2-15, and the thing was huge.
  5. I have one from the early 70's after they changed the head to be more appropriate for bass by giving it more "clean" power. I love mine w/ the matching 4x12 cab, but it sounds even better through 15" configs. Grab one if you can score a deal, even if you end up not liking it a guitar player will take it off your hands for a substantial profit
  6. K-Funk


    Sep 24, 2007
    Auburn Hills, MI
    I guess the blackfaces are more desireable due to differences in wiring. In "The Tube Amp Book," they have an entire section dedicated to "Blackfacing a Silverface" if you're interested in doing the mod.
  7. So should I just get a blackface instead? Yeah, the guy whose I used is a guitar player...he has it as a backup for his guitar rig.

    On ebay, it looks like they go from $500-800 typically.

    Is there a bass configuration or year that I should be looking out for? All I know is that when I hooked up my Modulus through it, I could hear it like I never had before.
  8. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    i had a late 70s silverface model that was rated at 70 watts (silverface, "bassman 70"). i believe the earlier (blackface, "bassman amp") models were 50 watts? either way, the blackface circuitry is held in higher regard these days. i played mine through an SWR henry the 8x8 and then later my vintage ampeg 4x10, sounded pretty good on both, but not all that great for my bands style. i used it for one gig only because i didnt have the room to transport my SVT/6x10 that night.
  9. i think the blackface circuitry is more desired by guitar players than bassplayers, those doing the blackface mod usually want earlier breakup characteristics and a more saturated tone, this is more suited for guitar than bass. IMO go for the higher powered silverface models, less expensive and more clean watts
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The early silverface amps were indeed idenical. My brother used to have a '67 blackface and an electronically identical '68 Silverface as a backup. I had the blackface for a few years, but I recently traded it back to my brother. Both of them are a wonderful sounding amp, though limited as to volume.
  11. Phantopeth


    Jan 10, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY

    My Bassman Ten, what the bassists in my two bands will be using when we begin to gig. I am yet to really push this amp, and I am yet to hear it in a full-band setting, unfortunately. I'm really hoping for some serious tubey break-up/grit, which I suppose is a good thing considering I'll really have to push it to be at a usable volume. I'll be sure to give a report when this is done, to let you know how it performs. This won't be until mid-April, however.

    A question to seasoned Silverface-owners: seeing how I want the distortion, if this guy is jacked to 10 across the board, should I be able to attain a giggable volume? It'll be accompanied by a live kit and two guitars.

    ... I'll be honost, the previous two paragraphs were so I could justify showing off my Ten :bag:
  12. Nice looking amp.

    I played the Fender Bassman 50 and I had no volume troubles at all..and it was only up about halfway. I mean...50 watts pushing an SVT410HLF and it sounded better than my SVT3....I was kind of sickened..haha.
  13. IME you shouldnt have trouble keeping up unless you are playing arena rock or metal, and if that were the case just mike it into the PA, the tone is to die for
  14. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    you should get a good amount of volume, especially if youre looking for breakup, the only issue with the bassman 10 is that you have an open back cab and will lose a LOT of bass response in a full band setting.
  15. Based on playing one the other night...I agree.
  16. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002

    You might want to be careful with that. They seem to be known for blowing speakers. Maybe you could replace them with better, stronger speakers and then seal the cab...
  17. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    Big +1 on this. I'd rather have the later silverfaces--more power, and they're cheaper because the gui****ists are chasing the blackfaces. A win-win in my book.
  18. Hawaii Islander

    Hawaii Islander Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    Rio Rico, AZ
    I had a 74 Fender Bassman 50 and 1x15 cab that I bought new. I had it for about 5 years and it sounded great. It also got plenty loud (for my needs anyway). It never had any problems the whole time I owned it. If you can get one, I'd say go for it.
  19. I used to use a mate's SILVERFACE one when MY rig got stolen in '88. He wasn't using it at all-so he let me use it for 18 months while I saved up for my own tube amp. IMO they've a quite "woody" sound- nice but IMO better for guitar. I liked it a lot, but liked the "new" one I bought my self in about 1990-which was an All tube PA head by Aus co. Eminar. Was about 180w according to my tech- 6 x 6CA7's 6 x 12AX7's. This amp- to me- sounded warmer & thicker than the Fender- for bass. This was used until recently when I got a V4BH which- again IMO & to MY ears- sounds thicker & warmer again. So IMHO--- I'd get/suggest looking at an old V4/B or newer V4BH. But it's of course- up to you!! Thankfully we all have differing tastes!
  20. now my vintage fender bassman GAS has flared up again, oh no...:D

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