Fender Bassman 1966 vs Friedman Dirty Shirly

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35
Hi there,

Ive just sold some gear i wasnt using and im in the market for a new amp. Id like something that's tone rich and has some dirt when you push it.

Ive rounded it down to two amps, evidently above. Ive played through a bassman before and it was great, ive also played through a Shirly and it was
also really clean and nice. Im a bit torn on what to get as i can get either one for more or less the same money. I play primarily a wide range of most things save maybe super high gain metal, but i guess wouldn't mind the option.

Curious to see what people think. Im normally going tone over utility and resale but these things always factor in the decision.
 
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cap10kirk

Member
Messages
9,574
If you're willing to do some modifications to the amp or use pedals to get dirt, the Bassman is great. But if you want an amp that can give you good dirty tones right out of the box, the Friedman is definitely the better choice.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35
I’d take the Friedman. The Bassman is a solid amp, but needs mods for heavier stuff.
Friedman 100%
If you're willing to do some modifications to the amp or use pedals to get dirt, the Bassman is great. But if you want an amp that can give you good dirty tones right out of the box, the Friedman is definitely the better choice.
Seems like the friedman is the way to go. Ive got dirt pedals but if i can eliminate one more item in the signal chain thats always the preferred way to go
 

ZEN Amps

Member
Messages
528
If you prefer not to use pedals the bassman is a poor choice. Neither will do super high gain, so you'll still need a pedal for that though.
 

Mr. Fret

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
340
If your cab is closed back, or open back w/alnico blues & want a British feel go with the Shirley.

If your cab is open back with jensen/Weber type ceramic speakers @4 ohms do the bassman.

Personally for a variety of gigs (using pedals) I'd go with the bassman, but I'm an older roots/rock/country/blues type picker. Did use them for top 40 gigs during the '90's. YMMV.

A '66 will be a bit aggressive & more in your face. But that can be tweaked with filter cap service using close to original values & tube rolling & a cooler bias.
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,258
I would absolutely go for the Bassman and I owned a BE 100 (which is very close to the dirty Shirley)that I got as a partial trade for around a year. Contrary to popular belief, Bassmans can get plenty ornery but they need volume to do their thing so most find an attenuator beneficial. Dont get me wrong I am a slave to the plexi sound but I find Bassmans hang all day long with my old metal panels....in some ways theyre even cooler to me.

Ive played pretty much the entire Friedman line and they all have this overly refined tone to them that I cant get past. They sound great but to me theyre too polished. Great amps for sure but they dont work well for what I do
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
14,030
Both are outstanding amps but, are pretty different IMO. But, depending on what you want to do, they can cover similar ground. I own a DS 40 head, 65 BF Bassman, and 66 BF Bassman (and a couple Blondes as well).

The Bassman is just an awesome amp that will give great cleans, pushed blues/rockabilly tones, to an all out classic RnR overdrive that rivals the best Marshalls, IMO. The Bass channel has an extra gain stage that the normal does not and really gets great OD tones. You just have to set it right. Attenuator or Reactive Load needed to home/lower volume playing.

DS 40 is a classic RnR animal. Mine does not have the gain structure switch. Gain low, master up you get great pushed tones a la Rolling Stones. From there you can go to AC/DC/Aerosmith/ZZ Top, all the way to harder rock tones like the Cult or even bordering on GnR. I find the DS to be a bit more aggressive sounding and more in the Marshall camp. It also has a LOT more gain on tap than a stock Bassman. Master volume is fantastic.

Again, can't go wrong with either. Just depends what you need.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35
I would absolutely go for the Bassman and I owned a BE 100 (which is very close to the dirty Shirley)that I got as a partial trade for around a year. Contrary to popular belief, Bassmans can get plenty ornery but they need volume to do their thing so most find an attenuator beneficial. Dont get me wrong I am a slave to the plexi sound but I find Bassmans hang all day long with my old metal panels....in some ways theyre even cooler to me.

Ive played pretty much the entire Friedman line and they all have this overly refined tone to them that I cant get past. They sound great but to me theyre too polished. Great amps for sure but they dont work well for what I do
Thats some interesting input thats making me think Bassman now. I mean like with all these things the answer is to have both, which i will one day :). Ive got an attenuator and Suhr IR RL so no issues to run it hot.

I also know what you mean about the Friedmans, i really like like DS but some of the other models i wasnt to excited by.
 

James Allen

Member
Messages
1,743
Bassman. Just got a Friedman wildwood smallbox. Great amp, but the bassman I used to have was killer. Miss it.
 

ZEN Amps

Member
Messages
528
You mentioned in your 2nd post you prefer not to use pedals, so I reacted to that. Don't get a Bassman for rock if this is your preference, otherwise just get any amp with a clean tone you love.

A Bassman with pedals is a very different beast to a modern amp with plenty of a gain and a master volume.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
11,652
Yet another thread where the OP provides no useful context re: playing out with a band, playing home, using pedals, attenuators, what? what?

Pass.
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,258
You mentioned in your 2nd post you prefer not to use pedals, so I reacted to that. Don't get a Bassman for rock if this is your preference, otherwise just get any amp with a clean tone you love.

A Bassman with pedals is a very different beast to a modern amp with plenty of a gain and a master volume.
I politely disagree. Youre definitely not alone though. Ive heard people describe the AB165 as clean pedal platforms for years and Ive never understood it. They have one of the best overdrives in the business and its not at a terribly loud level either. Ive owned over a dozen blonde, black and silver faces at this point and still own a 6G6B and a BF AB165.

Granted Im predominantly a Les Paul guy but even with my Tele a Bassman isn't what I would reach for if I needed a pedal platform. I can only assume that most of the people that say that may be talking about the later silver face circuits like the AA371 and AA568. IMHO those amps much less friendly to guitar and are more actual bass amps.
 




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