Bandmaster or Bassman?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by gnugear, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. gnugear

    gnugear Member

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    Which do you guys like best?

    I've got a strat and a Les Paul. I've also got a Marshall so I've got the really good dirt covered. I know the bassman edges into Marshall teritory but I don't want that to be a reason to rule it out.

    Any preferences?
     
  2. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    Bassman, hands down. The Bandmaster just doesn't have the bottom end. My favorite bassman is the 5F6-A 1959 Tweed 4x10.
     
  3. Calloway

    Calloway Supporting Member

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    I've owned both Blackface. They both sound great, but whenever I would plug my Les Paul into the Bandmaster, it didn't have quite enough low end, farted out a bit. When I used my CS-336, I did have some of the best tone that I ever had, just the guitar and the amp. The Bassman however was much better on the low end, definately what makes it similar to a Marshall, yet it still has all the great qualities of a fender. For my 2 cents I would say go with the Bassman, especially if you are using a Les Paul.
     
  4. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    +1 on the Bassman.

    My experience is the same - I think the xformer is smaller on the Bandmaster - I could be wrong, but that's what I remember.

    A Blonde or BF Bassman is a raging tone machine, but they're pretty loud, at least by today's club standards. Guess that bigger xformer does it's job.

    I've got a Blonde Bassman head in a Black tolex cab - it's louder 'n h**l.

    Maybe that's why it sounds so good (GRIN)

    Dana
     
  5. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I have a blackface Bandmaster that I found at a garage sale a little while back for 40 bucks. I haven't checked it out too much as it has a little intermitent noise problem that I think is coming from a tube. From what I could tell it sounded like good old blackface Fender.

    I was gonna sink some money into getting it up to snuff, but a friend of mine swears by his Bassman, so I was thinking about putting a beefier transformer in it. Anyone ever throw a Bassman or Super transformer into a Bandmaster and live to tell the tale? I would think that upping the tranny would make it basically a Bassman, wouldn't it?

    Kenny M.
     
  6. sstweed

    sstweed Supporting Member

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    Was I the only one that assumed we were talking about tweeds? Am I right or wrong? The is a world of difference between the tweeds, blondes, and blackfaces.
     
  7. gnugear

    gnugear Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I'm referring to the black face amps.

    What makes the blondes so much better??
     
  8. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    If you gotta ask that question .......... :rolleyes:




    Seriously. It's a vintage thing. What makes a 50's Tele worth $40,000. IMO nothing cauz I wouldn't pay it. The BF and Blondes are about the same in value IMO. In fact you can get a Silver Face Bassman and have it blackfaced for a lot less than you'll pay for a BF Bassman, and it'll sound just as good.

    So it depends on what you want, invenstment or tone.

    Blondes or Redheads. I like redheads (I gotta say that my redhead wife is here)
     
  9. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    It isn't necessarily a case of "better", simply a transitional circuit between the tweed and blackface tone that many of us find to be exceptional and preferable to the others.

    Listen to the Stray Cats and you get some idea of what the Blonde Bassman's mojo is all about. Dick Dale likes 'em too.

    It really isn't a "vintage thing" at all. Rather a tonal magic that no other amp has, pure and simple. And Blonde Bassmans can still be had quite cheaply. I picked mine up last year for $450, put some money into getting caps and tubes redone, and still came away with a superb amp for *way* less than most boutiques.
     
  10. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I have a circa '66 BF Bassman head that's been modded to Blonde Bassman specs (6G6-B). It is one of the best, if not *the best* sounding amps I've heard, esp when driven with a Les Paul. The grind is glorious and add some front end boost and the amp just sings!
     
  11. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Tweed amps have a complex clean, that's never completely clean and go from there to pretty raunchy. BF amps have that sparkle we all know (or a scooped mid if you prefer) and have a great clean and overdrive sound. Blond and Brown amps split the difference-warmer than the BF, better clean overhead than the tweed. They're actually my favorite because there's a world of slightly overdriven tone there at the turn of a volume knob. So:

    Tweed Bandmaster VS Tweed Bassman-tough call, the Bandmaster breaks up earlier and so sweetly, that I've gotta go with it. In a loud band, the Bassman will come into it's own...

    Blond Bassman vs Bandmaster-still gotta go with the Bandmaster-it has the sweet tremelo that the Bassman lacks, all the gain you could need, and it's lighter and not quite so ungodly loud.

    BF: gotta go with the Bassman, the bandmaster is just too clean. It's a combination of PT, voltages, and OT. I don't think there's a simple way to turn a Bandmaster into a Bassman. I'd suggest fixing the Bandmaster, selling it and buying a Bassman, they're worth about the same amount...
     
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  12. Swarty

    Swarty Member

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    IMO a tweed Bandmaster and tweed Bassman... flip a coin... either would have to be considered a tool that is more than capable of creating a sonic masterpiece. Brownface varieties are louder and cleaner (I blame Dick Dale for this)...but I'd have to pick the Bandmaster because of the righteous Univibish/Magnatoneish trem. As for the BF/SF varieties, IMO they are both sonic turds compared to their predecessors.
     
  13. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

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    Exactly my experience. I have had both Blonde Bandmasters and Bassman's (Bassmen?). The Bandmasters are long gone.
     
  14. gnugear

    gnugear Member

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    How easy is it to convert a '66 Bassman to blonde specs?
     
  15. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Brian Gerhard @ TopHat did mine. Not much to it, really. The presence control, which is on the Blonde but not on the BF, is mounted in one of the two speaker out jacks on the back panel so as not to devalue the amp by drilling more holes in the chassis. All of the mods are reversible.

    http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=14190272

    http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=14190282

    .
     
  16. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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  17. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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    I have several Bassmans (two SF and a BF) and a BF Bandmaster. Check em out on my gear page. You are right that Bassmans will edge into Marshall territory. You can get overdrive out of a Bandmaster, but it won't be anything like a Bassman. It really is a fairly clean amp. I guess it depends on what you are looking for. If you have the Marshall, why would you want another dirt machine anyway? I have several of them, that's why I like the Bandmaster. I run it through a 1x15 cab with a D130 and my Echoplex and it sounds killer. You could do a dual amp setup and use one for clean and one for dirt.
     

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