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Bassman head or AC30 head

jonlarsen002

Member
Messages
634
I currently own a bassman head, which sounds great on my Telecaster, but with my Les Paul, it really starts to fart out. It is an AB165 circuit, so I don't think the "collectors piece" element is much of a factor.

I like the chime I get with the tele through my bassman, but I was wondering if I should go for an ac30cc head or something that might give me some chime, but still allow me to use my Les Paul. For the record, I use OD pedals mainly as opposed to amp OD.
 

AL30

Member
Messages
3,001
I've got a few bassman heads and I play a LP Custom through them all the time. Two things that really helped:

1) My LP was a 1990 and it came with the 490 series pickups. Those pickups did not get along with any of my old amps. None of 'em. That inlcludes Fender, Marshall, Ampeg and Traynor. The neck was too hot and the bridge was a mud pie. I swapped them for a PAF set (Manlius FAT Diane) and that was a HUGE help.

2) I also roll back the volume on my neck pickup a few notches.

I don't have that "farting out" problem any more.

I've also run the LP through a few AC15's too (1990's Korg models). Thought it sounded great but definitely different than a Bassman.

AL
 

Mastervolume

Member
Messages
2,094
Your bassman shouldn't be farting out. I'd have it looked at it could be that you need some better 6L6s.

Harmonic content? the vox should smoke the bassman. The vox has no negative feedback loop so the harmonic content is going to be more prevalent.

That said it depends on the AC30. A real ac30 has lower filtering than you will find in the bassman and will give you a much different feel to the low end than what you are used to on the bassman.
 

jonlarsen002

Member
Messages
634
Your bassman shouldn't be farting out. I'd have it looked at it could be that you need some better 6L6s.

Harmonic content? the vox should smoke the bassman. The vox has no negative feedback loop so the harmonic content is going to be more prevalent.

That said it depends on the AC30. A real ac30 has lower filtering than you will find in the bassman and will give you a much different feel to the low end than what you are used to on the bassman.
Well, I'm definitely not all that attached to my bassman's low end.
 

ROKY

Member
Messages
7,223
Here's an idea from left field :

Get a Showman head(has a mid control) and run a quad of JJ 6V6's
in it(they can handle the plate voltages with no sweat).

Turn the bass down to 3-ish, run the mids on the high side and the
treble around 6 -- the 6v6's knock the wattage down, it crunches
great, and still feels tight, and the mid content is very nice.

That's what I've been doing lately and it's a very unique sound .

The Blonde Bassman circuit, of course works great with a Les Paul.

I've got one of each . :YinYang
 

teleharmonium

Member
Messages
2,551
I use a blackface Bassman all the time. IME they have too much bottom for many guitars. I ended up having my tech change out the cap on the tone knob of the right channel to a different value so that when I turned the bass all the way down - which is how I always have it set - it doesn't have too much bass in that setting. To be clear, it still has quite a bit of low end even at that setting, if I am using the neck pickup in any of my guitars with single coil pickups.

What cabinet are you using ?

AC30s are not particularly known for having a solid, non farty low end, so I tend to think that would be a move in the wrong direction for you.
 

jonlarsen002

Member
Messages
634
I use a blackface Bassman all the time. IME they have too much bottom for many guitars. I ended up having my tech change out the cap on the tone knob of the right channel to a different value so that when I turned the bass all the way down - which is how I always have it set - it doesn't have too much bass in that setting. To be clear, it still has quite a bit of low end even at that setting, if I am using the neck pickup in any of my guitars with single coil pickups.

What cabinet are you using ?

AC30s are not particularly known for having a solid, non farty low end, so I tend to think that would be a move in the wrong direction for you.
I'm using an avatar 2x12 with v30's.

Any suggestions on an amp head that has a solid low end but still plenty of chime?
 

teleharmonium

Member
Messages
2,551
I'm using an avatar 2x12 with v30's.

Any suggestions on an amp head that has a solid low end but still plenty of chime?
The first thing that comes to mind from those words is a Hiwatt.

Is your cabinet closed back ? If yes, can you remove a panel to convert it to open ?

I hesitate to simply recommend buying another amp without fully understanding the situation. I mean, I think the bass that I get from my BF Bassman before (and after) that small mod, was good sounding bass; there was just too much of it, relative to the rest of the sound. That's a totally different problem than the one presented by some amps and cabinets, which is that they can get farty with any appreciable bass.

Have you ever tried using a Rangemaster style treble booster ? It might be just the thing for you. You can then turn the amp down a bit from where you have it now, so you end up with better sounding bass and more present and a little bit more gainy high end. (It sounds better than it might seem on paper.)
 

m@2

Member
Messages
5,071
just adding.. I have both bassman head and AC30 head (the newer version). I like having both. VERY different tones, and I think the AC30 might be what you are looking for from your description. Definitely lots of chime (I played a les paul through it btw) but less low-end punch than a bassman. The suggestion to try hi-watt is good as well, but for lower $$ the AC30 head is worth looking at
 

kevinhifi

Member
Messages
3,430
I have a '68 AB165 Bassman head that was modded (by Allen back when he did this mod) to the AA864 circuit. I play a '76 Les Paul with original t-tops. I swapped the preamp tube (normal channel) for a lower gain 12AY7 and swapped the 12AT7 phase inverter tube for a much higher gain 12AX7. This pretty much shifts things a little further in the direction of overdriving the 6L6 output tubes as I turn it up. Sounds killer with the Les Paul and a boost pedal or overdrive pedal...especially when I get the volume above 6 or so. This stuff is all so subjective, but I have to say I'm really happy with the roar I get out of my Les Paul.

Cab is a Dr Z 2x12 loaded with Heritage 65s.
 

205

Senior Member
Messages
564
how about adding a basic eq pedal to your board and have it set it up for your les paul.




........I know you want that ac-30 though!!!
 

paulg

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,965
Bassmans' were designed for ..bass. For guitar you don't need the low bandwidth. Bassmans tend to sound pretty good with Fenders or Gibsons when played clean but bottom out with the low end from a humbacker when pushed to distortion. Swapping out the inverter caps and possibly the cap feeding the inverter will fix that baby up big time. That's about $2.50 worth of parts and a little solder. Of course, you need someone knowledgable to do the mod. I'd talk to a tech or ask you question on the tech boards.
 

silvertone

Member
Messages
176
Hmmm...A healthy Bassman should have more clean headroom than a typical AC 30. You might try the Heritage 30 watt Greenbacks, too. Although they are a lower power rating than V30s (30 vs. 70) you might dig it.
Also, are you sure you're running the Bassman into a 4 ohm load? An impedance mismatch could make it squishier/fartier.
 

kevinhifi

Member
Messages
3,430
Good point on the impedance matching. Made a huge difference with mine. My tech was able to tune mine to sound great with the 8Ohm cab I'm using, but until he did, it was a little farty. Definitely check that out.
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,467
Which channel are you using on your Bassman, the normal or bass instr. channel? I can't see the normal channel farting out through V30's. With the Bass Instrument channel that is much more likely.

I had a '67 Fender Silverface Bassman head with an AB165 and owned a Vox AC30CC1 at the same time.

The Bassman took pedals great. I used the normal channel mainly. I converted the bias balance to an adjustable bias and latter made the circuit an AB165/AA864 hybrid. Lots of cool tweaks you can do no the bassman. It did not have the chime of the Vox

The Vox AC30CC1 had great chime out of the box. It came with a Neodog speaker which sounded pretty similar to a Vintage 30. I didn't care much for the speaker so I swapped it for a Celestion Alnico Gold, which really brought the chime to a hole new level. I mainly used the Top boost channel, but I found the Vox to be picky on pedals, until I removed the bright caps and then it took pedals better. I did a few other tweaks to the amp too.

If you are going to go with the Vox, plan to remove the bright cap. Also, plan to swap the Vintage 30's for some Alnico Golds or G12H30's...
 




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