Bassman vs. AC30

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by chuck1987, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. chuck1987

    chuck1987 Member

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    So I just got a LTD 59ri bassman used a little over a month ago... Part of me loves it. Clean, Punchy, Loud... But then part of me hates it. It is really loud when it sounds the best to me but more than that sometimes I just find myself not satisfied with the sound at all.

    Which brings me to the point of sometimes wanting to trade it for a Vox AC30. I love these amps and while they are a total different sound than the bassman these amps both are used by some of the tones I'm hoping to emulate

    Im going for a tone ranging somewhere from Wilco,Ryan Adams, The Band, to something like The Gaslight Anthem...

    From people who own one amp or the other or both...suggestions?thoughts?
     
  2. Adman103

    Adman103 Member

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    I love both these amps, and currently own a 64 Bassman, so a different circuit than yours. I had a 59 Bassman reissue for awhile. Liked it, although yea, it's loud!

    A Vox will be too. My old AC30 was really moving air by the time it had some decent drive. I'm not sure the AC30 would be a lot quieter. Both are great amps, but they do sound differently.

    What don't you like about the Bassman tone? Is it just a volume issue, or are there other things at hand?
     
  3. chuck1987

    chuck1987 Member

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    Sometimes my bassman is incredibly bright...and I can't decide if I like the drive sound I get with pedals....i hate the way it sounds with my analogman tubescreamer..sounds pretty good with my jhs blues driver...

    I guess sometimes I think I'd like the sound of vox breakup more....I don't know really..This thread was just saying some of my frustrations and wondering what other people would say.

    I know I can probably trade the bassman straight up for an Ac30 if I decide too
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    Both can be great... if you can really crank them to get your tone. I'd tend to lean towards the Bassman if you get a lot of tone from pedals or towards the AC30 if you mostly use the amp but if yours happens to have Blues in it... they really like to be pushed.

    On the other hand, neither would be my first choice for someone wanting to get the true character out of the amp at less than 'loud gig' volumes but I probably wouldn't listen to me as I'm a 12-22 watt kinda guy.
     
  5. chuck1987

    chuck1987 Member

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    @cratz2 a deluxe reverb has crossed my mind,as well as a handwired ac15.lol
     
  6. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    That's more like it... at least for me. Had a DRRI and had the Heritage AC15. Really liked both with a couple tweaks. Just sold them to go a more boutique direction.
     
  7. '58Bassman

    '58Bassman Member

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    How do you set the controls? That makes a huge difference. Also, you may need to re-bias it or try different tubes.

    I could never get a "classic" Tele sound with my '58 and I thought I had tried just about all control combinations. Last week, I got a second 5881 output tube, so I put the set in and fired it up. The controls were a bit scratchy, so I twiddled all of them, returning the Bass, Treble and Volume controls to their usual positions, but dropping the Middle & Presence to previously unseen territory (a lot lower).

    Bingo! I now have the sounds I couldn't get.

    Since the 5881 is a lower output tube, I boosted the volume controls, then plugged the guitar into Normal 1 and jumpered from Normal 2 to Bright 1. I had been plugging the guitar into Bright 1 and jumpering from Bright 2 to Normal 1. That way, I can alter the sound by using the volume controls. If you want it a lot less bright, use the Normal input and jumper to the Bright, setting the Bright volume lower. Also, the Middle control is where a lot of volume comes from and if you back that off, it will be a lot more manageable.
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    My feeling is that with each amp, you're covering a different texture of distortion. Having owned a BF Bassman from new, and AC30 & various takes on the AC30, I'll put this out there:

    With the Bassman style circuit, and Fender tone stack, I always found that the distortion seemed to tilt to enlarge the low mids and the distortion grain was what I'd call "bubbly."

    The AC30 gives what I'd call a higher frequency tilt, with a finer grain, more of that typical "crushed glass" that people talk about.

    So naturally, you're going to get a different response with pedals, with guitars, and so on. Neither is better, they're just different. And honestly, you can't go wrong either way. If it's me, I want both styles. But if you're not bonding with what you have, then by all means go in a different direction.
     
  9. ahcleinad

    ahcleinad Member

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    I don't own a Bassman currently, but had a SF Bassman awhile back and have a JTM45 which I assume is roughly off of the Bassman. I think the Bassman was one of my favorite amps, but I ended up trading it couple times and ended up with the AC30CC2. As much as I liked the Bassman, I much prefer the AC30 right now just because it seems easier to get a slightly overdriven tone.
     
  10. Griz

    Griz Member

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    For tones a la Wilco, the AC30 is the direction to go. I've owned a '59 Bassman reissue (a '91) and an AC30 reissue ('94 AC30/6TB). It's apples and oranges, really. Get an AC30; you won't regret it. It has that "blizzard of nails" top end, and the most gorgeous barking grind. But try to hold on to the Bassman too. Each amp covers different ground. Both are great.
     
  11. chuck1987

    chuck1987 Member

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    I do want to get the amp re biased and put some new tubes in (still has stock GTs) . Funny thing is two of the bands i listed as tone references have both used either amp.lol (jeff tweedy has an ac30 always and sometimes a bassman, while brian from the gaslight anthem has used both an ac30 and bassman at different times) i'm looking for my rhythm overdrive tone here... not lead
     
  12. timmers

    timmers Supporting Member

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    1. Go for the AC30. If you get one of the modern reissues (AC30CC, AC30C, etc.) they have nice master volume controls that'll negate your "it's too loud" problem.

    2. Both are infinitely re-buy-able, so if you're not loving what you've got, flip it and try the AC30. If you end up preferring the Bassman, I'd bet you can swap back for one within just a week or two of Gear Page time-killing at work...

    3. Whenever I'm doing a session where a "dirty rhythm" sound is needed, I always go Vox first until the producer/engineer/artists asks for something different. Perfect for the Wilco/Petty/Americana thing.

    4. Fun problem to have! Great amps!
     
  13. Jimmydeez

    Jimmydeez Supporting Member

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    Chuck - I have been looking for the same tones. I got to see gaslight in Asbury park and Brian was rocking an AC30 hand wired.

    I ended up with a British made 2000 AC15tbx. Basically a top boost ac15 with verb, Trem, and a Celestion blue. It will definitely get you the tones you are looking for. I would look for an AC inspired amp at 15 or 20 watts with a master.

    I don't get the heavier gaslight tones without a pedal. I'm using a Timmy to drive it when I want that kinda thing.
     
  14. '58Bassman

    '58Bassman Member

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    I have used one OD pedal and that's a Boss SD-1. I kept reading that they sound fizzy and nasal, but never heard that with mine. Then, I bought a BFVC and I knew EXACTLY what everyone was referring to. I looked for mods online and I found one that removes the extra diode, which makes it more like a Tube Screamer and it also changed the value of one resistor (adds gain) & one cap (changes the low frequency cutoff, lower). It now sounds great through a BF amp and still sounds great through the Tweed Bassman. The SD-1 I have has the black label, which means it was made in Japan. I haven't tried the later ones.

    For crunch, it has worked at all levels and it still allows me to back off the volume on the guitar if I want it cleaner. I just never go nuts with the gain control, like many others do. It does the Cream sounds, it gets crunchy and it still sounds unmistakeably like a Tweed Bassman. If you get a chance, try one, even if it hasn't been modded. The mods are simple and the schematic/parts list with description of how the changes affect the sound is still online.

    BTW- I play an '89 Strat Plus with 3 Gold Lace Sensors and a stock Baja Player's Club Tele with the Nocaster and Twisted Tele pickups.
     
  15. trickness

    trickness Analog with a side of DSP

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    Get a used Victoria 45410 and put NOS tubes in it. Amp of the Gods, hand made in America, not China, and no PCB.
     
  16. chuck1987

    chuck1987 Member

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    You guys have me about talked into an ac30/15...haha

    @timmers.. great post man i think you're right that this is a thing where I can probably do some swapping with little to no money involved and just figure out what i really want

    @Jimmydeez Sounds like you've nailed it..Funny thing is Brian said the whole 59 sound album was recorded with a 59 bassman clone
     
  17. chuck1987

    chuck1987 Member

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    if anyone knows anyone with an ac30 or something similar and would want to do a straight up trade for the 59ri send them my way:)
     
  18. Dexter.Sinister

    Dexter.Sinister Still breathing Gold Supporting Member

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    Les speaketh the trueth.

    I love the '59 BM circuit, the '65 BM circuit and the ''63 AC30 circuit. Each are different animules and each are beautiful for what they do. Play what suits you and dump the rest to fund your dream.
     
  19. Kitten Cannon

    Kitten Cannon Member

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    I don't know, the Vox to me always sounds like an amp that could be the wrong amp for some gigs and the right amp for others. On the other hand, I've always felt the LTD would be okay for pretty much anything I've ever played. Kind of wish I hadn't let go of my old 45410, or even my old LTD, for that matter. Sometimes those amps drove me nuts on stage, but even through some of those gigs, the minute I let someone else sit in or someone was video taping the show, I always found myself shocked by how good the tone of that rig was.
     
  20. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    what have you got to lose! seriously?

    I don't want to sound like a salesman, (mwua-ha haa) but life is short. try something new... you never know when "your amp" is coming around the corner.

    seriously, Vox amps ROCK. there isn't a better manufacturer of mid-range on the planet. once you fall in love with the mids of a Vox... you are gone. the point of no return :bonk

    *backwards voice* join us! :mob
     

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