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Bassman Ltd./Super Reverb RI Comparisons?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by PlexiFuzz, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    So, I've come down with a mild case of Fender GAS, and I need some expert help.

    A couple of weeks ago, I thought I was going to go tube-free (due to the constraints of city apartment living and the fact that I'm not gigging these days), but the good folks at TGP steered my away from that fate. Thank you. Since then, I've been having fun with my current amp, a Mesa Lone Star Special. I've been tube swapping (going to try out a full JJ retube from Eurotubes tonight), and I have an attenuator coming (Mass Lite) that should arrive from Weber tomorrow.

    However, I have recently had occasion to play both a Bassman Ltd. and a SRRI, and I am pretty smitten. I love both. A lot. At least as much as you can love something you've played at an overly loud Guitar Center. I'm not all that up on the whole BF/Tweed thing, if I'm going to be honest. I know the Bassman is supposed to be warmer with more hair and growl. And, of course, the SRRI has reverb and vibrato, which I do kinda like. But here are my main questions:

    1. Can folks here comment on the low volume differences of each in a house or apartment set up?

    2. Anyone know how they do under attenuation (I know a harness is needed for the Bassman)? I'm assuming that the natural overdrive of the Bassman is better?

    3. How about if there are any differences in how they take pedals (I currently use an OCD, TB Hot British, MXR Phase 90, and Visual Sound H2O).

    4. Finally, any differences in how they respond to different guitars? I primarily use a Gibson Les Paul (R8 VOS), but I also bring out the JV Strat and the ... um ... Custom Shop Charvel (with Hot Rod Flames) when their services are needed.

    I play jazz, blues, and rock (AC/DC, VH, 80s Hair Metal, Metallica)---as well as some bluegrass flatpicking (yes, on the electric---while I'm having my custom acoustic built), so I'd like it to be a jack of all trades for these styles, with the help of selected pedals.

    Any thoughts from folks experienced in the differences between these two would be very much appreciated. I need some education.

    Thanks,
    BAN
     
  2. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Both amps are KILLER. Neither is better. To confuse you even more, plug into a 4/10 HR Deville. I think I like it better than both of the others.
     
  3. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    both are too much amp for a apt.
     
  4. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    No offense pal, but are you nutz?? The Deville is not even in the same ballpark as the other two. All three are pretty frikkin` loud for apt use, but ignore the Deville. Too sterile, dry and up against those two, your ears will straighten you out.

    CT.
     
  5. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    No? If I post 9 random clips of all three, can you tell me which is which? Side by side, they are three variations of the same basic fender tone to my ear. I have owned all three. (The SR being an all original 66) Only the HR Deville remains. KILLER amp.
     
  6. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    I have also owned all three, so obviously your requirements for good tone differ from mine. And thats ok,,,thats what makes us all unique.

    CT.
     
  7. Rockin J

    Rockin J Member

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    Try out a fender hot rod deluxe. Great clean tone at very low volume. I just got one. At low volume I think it's better than the deville. The bassman ltd sounds great but I have'nt picked up one yet. The ltd may be fenders best sounding currently produced amp.
     
  8. VaughnC

    VaughnC Supporting Member

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    Different animals so it will probably boil down to personal taste. Personally, I think the BM sounds fuller than the super but the BM can be a little loose on the bottom end. However, IMO, both need to be cooking to sound their best and, IMO again, an attenuator won't cut it because moving enough air with their speakers is part of their vibe/tone.

    As far as reverb/vibrato go, you can add that to any amp so, personally, I'd buy for tone first and worry about FX later, if need be.

    Bottom line....neither is better. Which one is a better fit? Only YOU can answer that question.
     
  9. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Thats cool, but you said the Deville was not even in the same league. Come on now. The tonal differences between all three are very small. They are extremely similar. You can easily dial in anyone to get VERY close to the others.
     
  10. notpetrucci

    notpetrucci Member

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    Bassman, and I hate saying it becuse the SR is one of my favorite amps of all time.

    BUT, you play rock, jazz, and blues.

    If you were plaing just jazz n blues id tell you the Super, but you throw in the rock thing and the Bassman shines. Its such a great canvas for any tone from those Fender cleans, the Tweed growl, all the way up to a hot JTM 45. It also takes pedals really well. And, (my stupid assumptions) im guessing you play humbuckers...

    No other way to say it than to go down to your GC, grab a good Strat, and a good Les, play both the amps with both guitars and you'll clearlly see what you need.

    best wishes,
    -Jon
     
  11. Pedro58

    Pedro58 Supporting Member

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    How do you dial reverb into a Bassman? I don't think the LTD and the SR can sound that much like each other, IMO... I guess at low, clean settings, maybe they could be similar. But the way they break up and behave on the edge are very different to my ears.

    I have a SR, not a reissue, but I've heard good things about them. I'm guessing they are tighter and louder than my old one. I've played the LTD. Both are way too loud for an apartment. I don't know what else to tell you. An attenuator won't get you there.
     
  12. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    Yeah, you guys are all probably right---these amps might be way too loud for apartment use, even if I am about to do a substanital upgrade in apartment size. In fact, I was at the guitar store yesterday and played the Bassman again (I really love that thing) and with the volume on 2 I could easily be heard over the store's in house music and the 6 shredders playing way too loudly (and poorly). I think this amp might have to wait until I move out of the city ...

    Also played a Super Sonic while I was there and left feeling like I had just had dental surgery. To me, it was a really painful sound that assaulted the center of my brain. But maybe this is one of the bad ones---I hear there are some great ones out there. Also played a Blues Deluxe RI that sounded nice.

    Maybe I'll look a the Deluxe Reverb RI---22 watts might be more reasonable.

    Thanks,
    BAN
     
  13. Jazz guru

    Jazz guru Member

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    Go play a Vibro King and then compare. Even a DRRI is too much for an apt.
     
  14. sanhozay

    sanhozay klon free since 2009

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    Carr Mercury. $$$ but made for the big tones at low volumes. The Deluxe Reverb is still too fricken loud to give up the goods and enjoy at bedroom levels. The Mercury loves pedals and loves singles & humbuckers but mostly loves the players who live in an environment like yours.
     
  15. 1964

    1964 Member

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    > "No offense pal, but are you nutz?? The Deville is not even in the same ballpark as the other two. All three are pretty frikkin` loud for apt use, but ignore the Deville. Too sterile, dry and up against those two, your ears will straighten you out."

    +1 :p
     
  16. GenoBluzGtr

    GenoBluzGtr Supporting Member

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    I have gigged with both, own the SRRI, and have owned HRDlx/Deville. I must agree with CocoTone... the SRRI and BMRI are both heads and shoulders above the Hot Rod Series.

    You can get decent tones from all of them, and the Cleans on the Hot Rod series amps is pretty good. However....

    The circuits on the SRRI and BMRI are MUCH better... both from a signal processing standpoint and a tone standpoint. The voicing is different and the results are noticably different. The Hot Rods have their own mojo that makes them attractive, especially with the lower $$$ factor, but this is another case of 'you get what you pay for'.

    The SRRI is the king of mid-wattage, scooped mids, cleans and gritty, bluesy overdrives. It loves overdrive pedals, and has the flexibility of two separate channels (although you can play only one at a time.... or switch with an A/B box). It also has the advantage of on-board Reverb and Tremolo.

    The BMRI has "2" channels (normal/bright) and these can be jumpered together to take advantage of the interactive-ness of the two volumes for a wide palette of tones. The newer model has a Pine Cab (sounds much better than the original) and lacquered tweed. The BMRI circuit excells at sparkly cleans with that mid hump that tweed is known for and especially the best natural overdrive of all time for blues and early rock n roll. Jim Marshall copied the circuit for a reason.

    Head to head, I would love own one of each... the BMRI breaks up earlier and smoother, but the SRRI cuts through with an organic quality that you can only get from BF circuits.

    Both are VERY VERY Loud. The dispersion of four 10" speakers is an amazing quality and the "Swirl" that results has it's own effect that makes the amps seem to have unlimited bottom end.

    Both amps love pedals, the SRRI's reverb is the best there is (although too strong for my tastes... usually run it at less than 2). The BMRI's pine cab and lacquered tweed resonates so well you don't need reverb unless you're doing surf music.

    The BMRI loves both Humbuckers and Single coils. The SRRI is okay with both but does Single coils much better than humbuckers.

    The BMRI has a tighter bottom end, the SRRI farts a little at high volumes.

    The SRRI doesn't sound it's best until you get the volume above around 2.5 to 3. The BMRI sounds great at low volume, but once you crank it, you will find it hard to play it low, the break up is addicitive.

    Either amp is WAY too much for home use, much less an apartment. If you run an attenuator, you might get away with it, but these amps sound their best opened up naturally. I LOVE to play my SRRI at outdoor festival stages... it kills!
     
  17. Upgrade

    Upgrade Member

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    Bassman LTD w/ Reissue Fender Reverb is real pretty!
     
  18. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

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    Once again tone proves to be such a subjective thing. All of the amps mentioned are excellent including the Hot Rod series. I'm one of those guys that matches up amps to guitars to form rigs, meaning I have humbucker amps and single coil amps and am rarely satisfied with one amp for both types of pickups. My HRDx is my humbucker amp and I am not as happy with the sounds I get from the Bassman or SR for that application. YMMV. On the flip side, I'd prefer a SR or Bassman for single coils. If I had my druthers it'd be a SR over the Bassman though.

    For apartment playing you should probably look at a Champ.
     
  19. PlexiFuzz

    PlexiFuzz I know karate. Voodoo, too.

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    Excellent post, GenoBluzGtr---really informative. I have pretty much decided that either of these is, indeed, too much for an apartment after playing them again in the store.

    Anyway, my attenuator arrived yesterday, and I am now experimenting with my Mesa Lone Star Special under attenuation. I might pick up a DRRI or a Blues Deluxe RI to bring home and try out with the attenuator, too.

    Thanks for the Champ recommendation, Sparky6string, but I've been there and I don't think I can go back: even at low volumes, I prefer a 12-inch speaker in a decent size combo. I'm thinking a somewhat attenuated DRRI or BDRI for the cleans and my pedals for dirt might get me what I'm looking for, but I'll have to try it out and see. And I do still jam with friends, so those extra watts won't go completely to waste.

    BAN
     
  20. 1964

    1964 Member

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    > "Thanks for the Champ recommendation, Sparky6string, but I've been there and I don't think I can go back: even at low volumes, I prefer a 12-inch speaker in a decent size combo."

    There are quite a few options for a low-watt amp with larger speakers. L'il Dawg, Victoria and Clark come immediately to mind as offering 1X12" Tweed-style Champs. I picked up an amp from Winfield Thomas that he'd built using an empty Silverface Champ chassis and Musicmaster Bass cab he'd ended up with. The BF/SF Champ chassis are the same size as the MmB's, and he wired up a slightly modified Blackface Champ circuit. Cost me $200 on eBay. I also have a 76 Champ (with an 8” Celestion G8L-35 speaker) and a 67 Vibro Champ (with 5F1 mod and a Weber 8A125 speaker) and the 12” speaker makes a huge difference, and at the moment it's still the old Oxford that was originally loaded into the MmB.
     

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