Stiring the Pot: Ampeg-CL or Fender Bassman Pro 300

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jastacey, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    I did a lot of searching on this subject .... and I found some answers and it also made me think of more questions ... Here's my question what are the virtues of the Ampeg-CL Pro & Con and the same question on the Bassman Pro 300 Pro & Con .... I've got some money for either amp in a used condition ...and there is something about an amp with 6550's in the output section ..... also if anyone has done any tube rolling on either amp what has been your experiance. in the preamp & power tube sections ....some folks will say you can get real close with the VT pedal ( and you can, I have one ...but when you use a amp with a SS output section, the sound is a too focused and a little tight, but it does sound good ) ... some people have said the the Ampeg-CL is a one trick pony and in the same breath folks will say that the Bassman-300, has a way too complicated tone control set-up ( I have the Bassman 1200, and the tone controls do take a lot of time to figure out ) ... I recently did a show where the amps were backlined and I did use a Ampeg-CL with a 8x10 cabinet ...and it was what got me thinking about getting a 300 watt tube head ...the weight issue, is not a issue ... and the Ampeg VR ...well, it's out of my price range , but if you insist ...send money !!!!! anyways .... let's stir the pot !!!
  2. I've got the Ampeg SVT-CL and like it, have never tried the Fender Bassman 300 but heard nothing but good things about it. It used to be cheaper than the Ampeg but not after Fender's price increases this year.
  3. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    I prefer the Bassman Pro by a good margin. Feels more even, cleaner, and more flexible.
  4. Tim1


    Sep 9, 2005
    New Zealand
    A muso mate of mine who tours overseas regularly recently swapped his Bassman Pro for a CL for his at home gigs. He plays loud and hard and after a couple of years the Bassman Pro is in and out of repair, plus he prefers the tone set up on the SVT-CL. This dude has had the opprtunity to regularly use both amps so I suppose that says something. Me, I have played both, but everyone knows I just love Ampeg tube amps over any other....
  5. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I've had both and if I were you, I would say neither. But since you seem to have your heart set on tubes, I will suggest the SVT CL. I had a brand new Fender Bassman 300 and it was a pain in the butt for me. It has a very clean sound to it and does not growl at all like an SVT. It had very little treble, upper mid growl - basically no clarity no matter how I set the thing. Everything was buttery smoothe sounding, punchy, but little clarity. The Bassman is also quite large and heavy beyond belief. The distortion channel is basically a mid scooped fuzz tone - useless in the band setting. The compressor was also sub par and I felt it did not do too much.

    I say no to tube amps because none of them have enough clean headroom in the low end department on the overall tone of a bass.

    Regardless of the knob ratios, the SVT CL can give you a whole lot more than the Bassman will.
  6. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    ok.. i couldnt disagree more with Gearhead.. (to each their own).. well actually he has a few points if you roll with it stock. I ABSOLUTELY LOOOOOOVE my Fender 300 pro. I get a REAL NICE GROWL OUT OF IT!!.. Now, i did some tube rolling. When i got it i found that the distortion was ALOT like how Gearhead said, i attributed it to it having a high gain preamp tube. So, i switched it out for a lower gain tube model.. i cant remember which at the moment, but i think i got em from the tube store and went with the lowest gain ones they listed. I also switched out the 6550 groove tubes that were a little unimpressive to me (much like gearhead pointed out) for Winged Cs and MY GOD is it beautiful!! The Groove Tubes gave it too much of that smooth low fender bass sound that works great for R&B but not so much for rock. I dont think the distortion channel is for solo use as its not a full spectrum sound or cutting. Its charm is in blending it in for grit and its freq meshes beautifully with the clean. I run mine with the clean channel on 4, the distoriton on 4 &1/2 with a 5 gain on it and blend em halfway. It sounds glorious!!!.
    Look at my profile at some of the gear ive had and this is the first head that made my guitarist pause and say "damn that sounds good!" I loved my ampeg, but found it to be a bit to one trick AND a little too harsh sometimes with no way of taking the edge off without killing your tone. The compressor on the 300pro isnt the greatest to me,and Im not real keen on compressors live anyway, BUT used sparingly its just the trick to take the grating edge off the growl and make it rumble your testes!... ITS A BEAST TO MOVE THOUGH and you really do need a roadcase to protect that control panel. mine has been quite reliable so far. I love the tube amps as being a blooming full gritty monsters of bass bliss. I think anyone however needs to take individual users reviews with a grain of salt, ESPECIALLY if they only use 1 bass with it. Ive had amps that i absolutely hated until i used the right bass with em. The fender 300 pro i have adored with every bass ive used it with. Figuring out the controls is simple.... Start with everything flat and adjust the eq to taste, then add in the gain you want on the distortion. leave the compressor for last and i find it best to just use it a smidge. DONT FEAR THE KNOB! i think this amp will be widely coveted 20 years from now. hands off mine buckos.
  7. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Nice Review above! I knew it was a good amp, but I should point out that I used the stock tubes. That was a huge issue then.
  8. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    yeah, at first i thought i totally disagreed with you Gear, cos my experience has been SOO good with it, but then i remembered back to when it had stock tubes, and your review seemed right on the money.

    i really do wish they would make a 200 watt version that is more compact with high end tubes!!! what a world that would be.
  9. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I just started thinking about that! Why would Fender put such terrible choices of tubes in there when it can sound so much better with different tubes? I understand budget cuts and getting a good price to the public, but when this amp is only around $1400 brand new, heck, a $100 increase in price by Fender for a much better product is well worth it to me. Every other tube amp out there is generally more than this one anyway, so why not? I can't believe Fender calls this amp great when it sounds like a warm -muddy, non-articulate mess witht he stock tubes. As for the weight, well, I would have put up with it if it sounded as good as you had it!
  10. I had a 300PRO- SUPERB amp SO much clean headroom..... If there'd been a VTBASS pedal when I owned it, I probly would've kept it, but I was usually dialling in an AMPEG SVT sound- so in the end I just swapped it 4 an SVT. BUT yes the 300PRO is a superb amp, far more versatile than the SVT, I actually found the OD channel & it's blending option to be GOOD!!!! Especially when using with the comp. Being able to use it at 8/4/2 ohms is also a +. I didn't find it too heavy either, It's actually balanced quite well & was easy to shift IME.
    Both superb amps- FAR more clean headroom outta the Fender, - IMO- try 'em both(pref. IN a band environ.) get which U like best!
  11. While I agree Fender should be putting the best tubes in from the start, it's good to know swapping out the stock tubes makes such a big difference.

    I've read Ampeg's stock tubes aren't the best either, but I'm playing mine until they die before I swap them out. They sound fine for now.

    So speaking of tubes, what would you recommend?
  12. eyeballkid


    Jul 19, 2009
    winged C's!!!!...
  13. El Tookay

    El Tookay Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Yep, hard to beat in the power section. Maybe Svetlana's or Tung-Sol's. Front end, I'm going with JJ ECC-83S 's in V1.

    Sovtek??? Give 'em to the gui****, same goes for E-H. :scowl:
  14. yamaha


    Apr 7, 2006
    They are the 2 best sounding tube amps I've tried. I give the fender 300 pro a few points over the SVT.
  15. meatwad


    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    JJ-preamp tubes and Winged "C" power tubes sound good in my SVT-CL, and more "classic" than the stock ones did.
  16. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    Well ...after much thought, I pulled the trigger on a new Bassman 300 from Musicians Friend.... the Ampeg stuff that is in the stores and being sold on E-bay ...has me wondering about the quality of Loud's attempt at manufacturing and I just don't want to take the chance of dealing with repair/disappointment issues ... I do have the ability of having an Ampeg fix, with my V4b ... also I picked up on an old 8x10 cabinet from the early 90's ..... Jimmy's right, about the speakers being brighter, they are significantly brighter ... I'll keep every one posted when it arrives and I get a chance to set it up and run it. P.S. I forgot how good a V4B sounds in those old 8x10 cabinets !!
  17. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    Well the new Bassman 300 arrived and WOW, the tones that one can get out of this amp, anyone on the fence in buying this amp ...just do it
  18. spellcaster


    Mar 20, 2007
    Good call, I had one of these (sunn version years ago) I'm sure it sounds sweet and massive through the 8x10. Congrats!
  19. Hey- CONGRATS!!! Looks great!!! TEll us how it goes- after a few weeks too
  20. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Not to hijack the thread, but can anybody comment on how the 300PROs compare to the old Sunn 300T's?

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