Do all Bassmans sound like this?

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

  1. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus Silver Supporting Member

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    I wish they did! Maybe I just got bad ones but I’ve never heard one sound that good!

    Last year I picked up a ‘67 drip edge Bassman for my buddy and had my tech service it replace some capacitors etc.

    When it was all done we played it clean and with a bass and that sounded good, then I decided to plug my guitar into it and turn it way up, a Tom Anderson. I was waiting for the mythic tones I’ve been hearing about for many years.

    What a disappointment, it just sounded awful! Flabby loose bass frequencies, and the breakup and distortion quality was extremely undesirable. My tech looks at me and says “that’s why I always hated Fenders“

    It was a real letdown. Now, I’ve heard and seen some great videos such as the one the OP posted that sound fantastic and actually very “non-Fender“ at least to me online but never in person.
    Tweed Fenders and Blondes are another story.

    Based on my experience my answer would be “no, they don’t all sound like that“.
     
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  2. LPMojoGL

    LPMojoGL Music Room Superstar Supporting Member

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    Peavey Classic 50, especially the 4x10, has some depth to the sound. Great amp, especially for the $.
     
  3. jkl

    jkl Member

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    FTW, historically ALL of them, from the Vox AC's even to the Fender Blackface Twin and most definitely the Marshalls, were trying to emulate the sound of the late 50's era Bassman's.
     
  4. john l

    john l Supporting Member

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    Sorry to hear this and I can actually relate. I wrote off the AB165 circuit as well because the first one I tried sounded similar to what youre describing. @sickboy79's postings convinced me to roll the dice on another and I have to say that my first experience was the exception not the rule there must have been something else wrong with it that I didn't find because the dozen or so that Ive overhauled after that have sounded incredible. Currently I have a 6g6B and Billy zoom modded '64 and an ab165 again and they are all simply incredible.

    I would suggest that you try another tech if you ever decide to give one a try again
     
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  5. Muttlyboy

    Muttlyboy Member

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    I kind of think that story says more about the tech. For about 5 dollars in parts (change a few capacitors and resistors to a different value) and about 10 minutes more time in the amp while he had the chassis out of the cabinet, he could have done some tuning to get it sounding very much like the amp in the video.

    To look at a client and say "that's why I always hated Fenders" makes me think that he doesn't understand how to voice an amp, and isn't interested to know how.
     
  6. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus Silver Supporting Member

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    My tech is actually one of my best friends of 30 years. In fact, that’s what he told me, “hey let’s change this and that” etc. I said “No don’t”.

    It wasn’t my amplifier... I bought it for the bass player in my band and for clean tones it sounded good and as a favor I had it gone through to make sure everything was working properly, I wasn’t going to mod the bass players amp so my guitar sounded good through it. ;)

    At the time I think I was using a Roccaforte and a TopHat Emplexador so was fairly satisfied, I was just surprised it sounded so bad after hearing how great Bassman’s sound cranked up with a guitar.
    I guess I had expectations that weren’t met.
    Prior to that I had owned several silver face Bandmasters and a Princeton and I didn’t like the way they sounded cranked up either for the same reasons, it just didn’t sound pleasing to my ear.

    The OP’s video example kind of sounds like it’s more in the Marshall camp. Oh how I wish I would have come across a Fender that sounded like that! It would have saved me a lot of time and money.

    I’ve seen several Blankenship modded Fenders I liked, and I know you can mod them to do quite a bit, but to come across an un-modded Blackface/Silverface that sounds that good would really be a treat!

    Apparently from the responses in this thread it sounds like quite a few people have come across them in the wild I just haven’t been that lucky.
     
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  7. john l

    john l Supporting Member

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    I remember when the creator of that video posted that here. He did so in a thread where a lot of people were advocating modding bassmans and his intent was to show how good they sound stock. Thats nice that you have a friend that works on amps but unfortunately thats exactly what a healthy AB165 sounds like so he simply missed something.
     
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  8. Muttlyboy

    Muttlyboy Member

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    Sorry...I guess I came off kind of snarky.
    I'm just a fan of Bassman heads, but that's no excuse.
     
  9. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus Silver Supporting Member

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    It’s cool man, I appreciate it. I guess I’ve learned something, that there are Mid Sixties Bassmans that can sound that good stock!
    I suppose after my limited experience of owning four or five silver face Fenders, whenever I heard someone singing the praises of a Bassman for guitar I assumed they were talking about a Blonde or a Tweed Bassman. So going forward I will be on the lookout for Blackface/ Silverface models too.
    I just might get lucky! ;)
     
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  10. GusFowler

    GusFowler Member

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    If you can find one, a Brownface Fender amp (or clone thereof — there are many extant) has a perfect rock voicing that is sweet all the way from clean to cranked. Brownface amps don’t have a ‘sweet spot’: they sound rich and fat from the lowest volume to the max.
    Brownface AKA Blonde Fenders are the earlier iteration of Leo’s circuit design, louder and cleaner than the primitive Tweed amps of the 50s but rounder and more distorted than Blackface designs that superseded them around the time he sold the company to CBS.
    I rock a Brownface Bandmaster myself, not as ballsy and distorted as a Bassman but a great amp of similar output (something like 45w into 8Ω). With an attenuator you can dial in as much distortion as you need at any volume. A little boost will take you into a medium gain hard rock zone. I’ve read that Eddie Van Halen used a Brownface Bandmaster Head on early VH records.
     
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  11. GusFowler

    GusFowler Member

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    15” speakers are superior for all around rock tones. They move more air, have a broader frequency (more top and bottom) spectrum and wider dispersion pattern. Unless you need ‘honk’ lead voice.
     
  12. GusFowler

    GusFowler Member

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    I’ve seen video of Townsend playing a Bandmaster through a full Marshall stack of cabs, with The Who; must have been 1965. American Fender & Rickenbacker single coil pickup guitars and American amps and British cabs with Celestions: the quintessential British Power Pop sound of the mid-60s. Bright and articulate with grind and resonance. I wish more guitarists aimed for something similar.
     
  13. deech54

    deech54 Member

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    I have a drip-edge that sounds like that. Bullet proof as well. I doubt a new amp would be any more reliable.
     
  14. GusFowler

    GusFowler Member

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    Best thing about old Fender amps may be how easy and cheap repairs are. Plus they sound good.
     
  15. HotBluePlates

    HotBluePlates Member

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    Did you play that Bassman at Volume 10, Treble 10, Bass 4, into Celestion Greenback-style speakers, with a Les Paul bridge pickup? Cause there's a lot of caveats in that compared to how many players might approach a blackface or drip-edge Bassman.
     
  16. Toowoombaus

    Toowoombaus Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes I did, my settings were more or less those, bass probably on 3, treble probably around 7, volume 10
    into a Marshall cab w/ Celestion G12H 70th Anniversary, and a G12-65 from the 80’s. I used my Tom Anderson and a Les Paul Standard on the bridge pickup.
    As I said previously, in my experience I’ve never heard any stock Fender sound like the OP’s video example.
    Apparently they do exist and I just never came across one. :hide
     
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  17. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    How so ?
     
  18. JPH118

    JPH118 Member

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    Easier access to just about everything, not as much under-board connection, space for better filter caps (try fitting sprague or F&T into some of the newer Fenders, ugh). Not to mention, greater overall familiarity... you’ll find more techs keen to take your work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 9:36 AM
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  19. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    Very nice playing sir !
     
  20. DV52

    DV52 Member

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    My question was in regards to the 'Even Hand Wired " part.
     

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