Do all Bassmans sound like this?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GiorgioV, Jul 29, 2020.

  1. GiorgioV

    GiorgioV Member

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    I've come to realize that I really love old fenders cranked for that rock tone, even more so than Marshalls. It's a different flavor, a little bit more direct, and with grittier mids. A dear friend of mine has a BF Super Reverb and it's glorious for this. I also love Social Distortion and Dropkick Murphys tones and both bands use bassmans (of course Mike Ness's is famously modded).

    This tone here is glorious to me



    and it's supposed to be a stock Bassman, cranked, into a Marshall-inspired cab.

    So if this is how a "normal" Bassman sounds, Bassman is the way to go for me.

    Problem is, I need to get that tone at a volume that is manageable for the small venues that I play. Outdoor gigs are few and far between.

    What would be the right Fender for me? I'm against buying vintage because I want reliability, so I'm more inclined toward a modern reissue or clone. If there are built in attenuators to get there with no extra pedals that would be fantastic, but I do have an attenuator in case and I'm not against using an overdrive for the extra grit at lower volume.

    Also I'd much prefer a head over a combo. Other than that, the simpler the better (I don't need reverb, tremolos or extra channels).

    What should I look into?
     
  2. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    >>>What should I look into?

    A Fender Bassman.

    seriously, you said you have an attenuator. So use it. Problem solved. Why overthink it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  3. GiorgioV

    GiorgioV Member

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    Agreed, but, which iteration of it? Might even be a different Fender with the same circuit, I'm not picky about the name. IIRC Bandmasters are kind of the same?
     
  4. Roccorobb

    Roccorobb Member

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    Yup the bassman is a sleeper for rock. I don't really know if there is a smaller amp that will get you there. Maybe get a reamper along with it?
     
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  5. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    Isn't the Bassman the circuit Marshall copied, the difference only that he used local British parts?

    You might only need a Joyo American Sound pedal and a 'whatever' clean amp to get there.

    Closest after 2:40min and 3:20mins


    Another good section is after 9:20mins of this video


    Or making a whole song using it.


    It's a $35 pedal new via the usual online sources.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
  6. GiorgioV

    GiorgioV Member

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    On paper, yes, in real life tho, having compared old Marshalls to old fenders (including a jtm45) they do not sound the same to me.

    Great sounding video btw, but I do not have a clean amp to use as a pedal platform.
     
  7. reganjeremy

    reganjeremy Member

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    I really liked the supersonic's drive tones might want to try one of the 22 watt ones.
     
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  8. Roccorobb

    Roccorobb Member

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    Maybe a 5e3 would do you? Lots of folks love them for rock tones. I don't think it's the same as a bassman but I love big iron.

     
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  9. silver surfer

    silver surfer Member

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    Check out the Lil Dawg Wonderdawg (L'il Dawg amps). Excellent blackface Fender build and the owner can build a head for you.
     
  10. KBN

    KBN Member

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    Fender made a Bassman 20 combo that runs 6v6 into a closed back 1x12. It's awesome.

    Correction: 1x15
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 3:56 PM
  11. AA864

    AA864 Member

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    No, Bandmasters are not the same. They offer less gain in the circuit.

    I'm kinda partial to the Bassman AA864 circuit myself.
    If you want that AC/DC kinda bite that's in the video, get an AA864.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  12. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    No, that would be the tweed bassman, not the blackface bassman.
     
  13. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    I think that clip is a pretty good representation of a blackface bassman. One thing to consider is feel: these amps have less sag than a lot of vintage amps, which is something I like but YMMV. I haven’t tried an attenuator with mine, but it really takes pedals well.
     
  14. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    Great sounding clip.

    THD Bivalve ... $700ish if you search for a good deal on the used market. Has the big iron, built like a tank, can swap tubes to get various blackface to Marshall influenced tones. Has a built in attenuator, but using lower power tubes will provide better unattenuated results. Can use one to two tubes, almost any type of tube(s), swapping w/o bias. Forgive the cheesy iPhone clips.

    KT66 tube with attenuating speaker.


    More Marshally attempt ???


    Single 6 watt 6F6G tube ... low volume but still snaps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2020
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  15. Barquentine

    Barquentine Member

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    What a great sound !!
     
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  16. drewl

    drewl Member

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    Lots a RAWK in a little package!

    Worked on a '68 a couple weeks ago that sounded about the same.
     
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  17. Muttlyboy

    Muttlyboy Member

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    The info posted with the YouTube video says the amp is an AB165 Bassman. That's actually the version that they made for the longest period of time (sometime in 1965 to sometime in 1968)
    They are real popular for modding even though mods aren't really "needed ".

    AB165 can be Blackface or Silverface.
    Any Bassman 50 watter can get you in the ballpark and they can all be tuned to your liking with simple mods.
    I would avoid the 70 watt version...its a different animal
     
  18. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Why?

    I've gigged my vintage Fender many times with no issues.

    Vintage Bassmans are cheap over there in the US (I can't believe how little you guys pay for them). Go for it.
     
  19. Steppin' Wolfe

    Steppin' Wolfe Member

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    +1 on redgold’s post noting that The classic Marshalls are based On the 5F6A Bassman....not any BF/SF amp.
    As for blackface Bassman amps, the AB165 is the third versi9n of BF Bassman circuits, and it is the hot one. The first two, AA864 and the rarely seen AA165, hav only two gain stages in the Normal(guitar) channel. The AB165 has three gain stages in both channels. In the Normal channel, that means the topography is a 1+2.....preamp gain, tone stack, and two gain stages prior to the phase inverter. The two channel Fender BF/SF reverb amps also have three gain stages in the Vibrato channel, but the reverb and trem effects suck a lot,of gainnout of that channel. The Ab165 Bassman is the hottest stock BF/SF amp for guitar. This AB165 circuit was used in the Bassman 2x6L6 through the Bassman 50. The Bassman 10 has two gain stages in both channels.....clean mach8ne in comparison.
    As noted, the Bandmaster is a different amp. It has only two gain stages in each channel...1+1 topography. The Normal channel in that amp is hotter than the Vib channel due to the fact that the trem circuit robs gain in that Vib ch.
     
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  20. Laced Senses

    Laced Senses Member

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    To answer the question in the thread title: No, not all Bassmans sound alike. There are many different amp heads and speaker loaded combo amps with 'Bassman' in the name....TV front combo Bassman, tweed 4x10 Bassman, blond Bassman head, blackface Bassman head, silverface Bassman heads 50watt/100watt/135watt versions & some with master volume knob, silverface Bassman Ten combo, and most of these have different circuit iterations.

    I have a 1964 Bassman head with AA864 circuit that can achieve tone that matches well with the amp in the posted video. Although, when I first obtained it, the headroom was a lot cleaner. I checked the 6L6GC power tubes' plate current with a bias probe....17 to 18 mA at 433 V super cold bias! The previous owner was an actual bass player at a church, so that maybe that had something to do with it. I turned the bias pot until 40 mA achieved....ah much better.
    :dude

    Story I recall is that Pete Townsend brought to Jim Marshall a blond Bassman head with 5F6 circuit and wanted a local source for a similar sounding amp.
     

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