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Vintage Bassman For Bass?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by christopantz, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. christopantz


    Sep 16, 2015
    Seems like whenever I see any of these vintage Fender Bassman heads, they're being used on guitar. I get they sound good that way, but do they sound good on bass?

    I'm looking for a head to give me lots of tube warmth, maybe a bit of grit when I want it to. These vintage bassman amps seem like an economical option as I love vintage stuff. I'm just wondering if there's a better option for bass around the same price range ($500). Any suggestions?
    kat888 likes this.
  2. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    They sound very good, either the 100 and 135 are better for bass the 50 and 70 are better for guitar although the fifty is more popular.
    Remember if it's against a loud band you will need to get efficient cabs with as many drivers as you can carry.:)
    markjazzbassist likes this.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Song Surgeon slow downer. https://tinyurl.com/y5dcuqjg
    Depending on model, around 50 watts, that's why guitar players use them.
  4. christopantz


    Sep 16, 2015
    Yeah. I've already got an Ampeg 410HLF which seems to be more than enough with the bands I play with. Thanks for the information. I'll continue doing research on these. :)
  5. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Bassmans are great, but generally the 50w model is not going to cut it unless you are doing an acoustic, coffee house, home, or studio thing... or playing with a LOT of cab.

    The 100 watt model (I have a '77 Bassman 100) are nice, and make GREAT bass amps. And usually about the same price as a 50w.

    Depending on your situation, cab, and what you want as far as clean / dirty, of course. I think they probably have more clean headroom than an Ampeg V4B (same watts), and will have its own tone.

    Bassman amps want a 4 ohm load. The don't have options for 4 or 8, or 2. They are forgiving if you mismatch, but it can effect your power, and wear on your amp / tubes. Just something to consider.
    middy likes this.
  6. hennessybass

    hennessybass Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2008
    Houston, TX
    The 410HLF -- if I remember back about 12 years ago when I had one -- is a 4 ohm cab, so good there.
  7. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Cleveland, OH
    yes they sound great for bass, don't listen to the naysayers. fender bassman or bassman 50 or bassman 70 if you play small clubs/bars with reasonable bandmates (ie not smash and bash on drums and half stack cranked on guitar), fender super bassman or fender bassman 100 or fender bassman 135 if you need more volume and have a louder band.

    I have owned and played them live for a few years now and love the warm clean tone.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
    kat888 likes this.
  8. kat888

    kat888 Guest

    Oct 13, 2015
    The first amp I ever played through was a bassman 70 clone and it sounded fantastic. A 100 or 135 would be splendid.
    markjazzbassist likes this.
  9. Mark and I are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I couldn’t play a small gig back in the Sixties with a brand new 50 watt Bassman twin 12. For my tone, clean, it failed miserably.

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