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why is it called a Bassman..

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by glocke1, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. glocke1


    Apr 30, 2002
    when i only ever see guitars play through it..and they even appear to be marketed towards guitarists. Seriously love the look of these...wouldn't mind having a small tube driven combo like this for use around the home or smaller gigs.

  2. _Some Dude

    _Some Dude

    Sep 14, 2016
    I was told they were originally bass amps... back when a guitarist would've been using a 12w Deluxe.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Yeah way back when there wasn't much (if any) difference in a guitar amp and a bass amp.
  4. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Fender's early bass amps were pretty much guitar amps with a bassman badge on them.
  5. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Fender needed an amp to go with their new style bass guitar. They called it a Precision because it had frets which allowed for more precise playing. At the time an amp was an amp. They made the Bassman with a sealed TV front cabinet and a 15 inch speaker and a whopping 40W. It took a few years for the 410 open back version like in your image to appear. Who would have thought that the 410 format would stick.

    The ‘59 5F6A version was the last tweed Bassman. This is the circuit design that Mashall copied and tweaked to launch their company with what would become the JMT45 head and 412 cabinet, and the 1962 212 Bluesbreaker combo.
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Because the original Bassman amps were indeed made and marketed as bass amps. Guitar amps were smaller then (the fifties). As amps and volume increased bass amps changed. Guitarists started using the old Bassman amps for guitar because they sounded great- tube rectifier sag, four 10" speakers in an open cabinet, etc. Then in the late '80s Fender introduced then'59 Bassman reissue, marketed to guitarists for obvious reasons

    This stuff has been going on for almost seventy years, so having perspective from only twenty years leads to false assumptions.
  7. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Back when a lot of this was guesswork, it was intended as a bass amp. Remember, the SVT was a guitar amp. People also played a LOT softer back then.
  8. Only instead of using a 6L6GC they used a British tube made by Mazda the KT66. The amp would work just fine with a pair of 6L6GCs installed. The one I had, back in the late Sixties, I substituted a pair of 6L6WGB tubes. I still have the pair of KT66s I took out.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    beans-on-toast likes this.
  9. They named them after BassmanPaul of course!
    BassmanPaul and blubass like this.
  10. blubass


    Aug 3, 2007
    Modesto Ca
    Current: Blackstar, DR strings, Nady. Previous endorsements with: GK, Rotosound, Ernie Ball, Cleartone, EMG, Dean, Dava Picks, Rebel Straps, Dickies
    If they had called it a Trebleman, it would've scared off the very buyer they were looking to attract.
    eb3mike and bobyoung53 like this.
  11. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    This is small?
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    1. True. The Bassman works just fine as a bass amp as long as you don't drive it harder than the speakers can handle. Fender kept fine tuning the Bassman design...dropping the 1-15 open back for a 4-10 open back, then piggybacks (head/cab) a 1-12 sealed cab, 2-12 sealed cab, 2-15 sealed cab, a 4-12 horn loaded cab and on and on. In the 1970s there was the Bassman Ten combo, this time a 4-10 in a closed back (forget whether it was ported or not).

    2. No, the SVT was not a guitar amp, although like the Bassman some guitarists used them. The V9 was the guitar equivalent. Notice the reverb and distortion controls and no ultra-lo switches.


    3. People only played softer becasue the amps weren't as loud.
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  13. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008

    I have a Marshall 1962 reissue but here it came 6L6GC’s, unlike the British original that had the KT66 tubes. There are those that say that UK 50Hz sounds way better than North America 60Hz. Maybe there’s something in that.

  14. There were virtually no closed speakers made when the first Bassman's were designed, according to Wiki, they weren't even invented until 1954 although as Beans posted the first (1952) Fender bass amp had a closed back and two ports:

    Acoustic suspension
    (or air suspension) is a type of loudspeaker speaker enclosure design which uses a sealed box. Acoustic suspension systems reduce bass distortion caused by stiff motor suspensions in conventional loudspeakers. It was invented in 1954 by Edgar Villchur, and brought to commercial production by Villchur and Henry Kloss with the founding of Acoustic Research in Cambridge, Mass.

    Brian you'll remember this place:
    Charles Bean Music in Worcester, Ma had a V9 in their front window back in the 70's, it was the only one I've ever seen other than pictures, never heard one either but I've been told they couldn't handle a bass.
  15. Rick James

    Rick James

    Feb 24, 2007
    New Jersey
    Sealed cabs go back almost as far as moving coil loudspeakers, to the 1920s. The acoustic suspension speaker uses a sealed cab, but not all sealed cabs are acoustic suspension by any means. One of the characteristics of acoustic suspension is very low sensitivity, so it's not at all suited for electric instruments. I don't think there has ever been a successful acoustic suspension bass cab. Even in hi fi they're almost non-existent today.
  16. In the UK Selmer brought out an amp called the Treble and Bass 50 or TB50 for short. It had a Treble and a Bass control. 50 watts out of a pair of EL34s. Not a bad amp at all.
    webmonster and /\/\3phist0 like this.
  17. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    It's just another example of Leo Fender's rampant sexism. It'll soon be rebranded as "Bassperson" or maybe "Bassist".

    MusicMan's company name and logo are next in the crosshairs.
    bobyoung53 and Ampslut like this.
  18. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    I think that it was Don Randall that came up with the Bassman moniker. He was a marketing guy. But back then the guy that fixed radios, like Leo Fender, was a radioman. The guy that played the bass or sang bass was the bassman.

    Not original but Jimmy’s confrere. This one’s gotta be on the set list.

    Cc: @JimmyM
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  19. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    acoustic suspension as in AR audio speakers?
    bobyoung53 likes this.
  20. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Life: It's sexually transmitted and always fatal Supporting Member

    I had one of those and stupidly sold it.

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