Fender Bassman 1966 vs Friedman Dirty Shirly

Ultra GP

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1,861
Yes it depends on the circuit really. The AB165 would be fine if you can turn it up properly.

 

yeatzee

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3,360
I would absolutely go for the Bassman and I owned a BE 100 (which is very close to the dirty Shirley)
Very different sounding amps ime. My twin sister has the best master volume I've ever used, unless you can always turn up your amps to gig volume (and then some as that keeps getting quieter and quieter) the Friedman would be no brainer recommendation.
 

YYZ

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3,133
I have a vague understanding of what it means and does :)
All good. Was kinda kidding but also to make a point. I just feel that an old Bassman or old anything, while they sound amazing and while they are heralded as super reliable with proper maintenance, they can take a bit of vigilance. Personally, an old amp would be my 3rd or 4th amp in the house, with the first few being solid known workhorses. I know people use and exclusively gig old stuff, but IME most of these folks know their amps pretty well. Hence my initial comment. :band
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
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35
All good. Was kinda kidding but also to make a point. I just feel that an old Bassman or old anything, while they sound amazing and while they are heralded as super reliable with proper maintenance, they can take a bit of vigilance. Personally, an old amp would be my 3rd or 4th amp in the house, with the first few being solid known workhorses. I know people use and exclusively gig old stuff, but IME most of these folks know their amps pretty well. Hence my initial comment. :band
Yeah thats a good point, i wont be gigging or anything but i do want it to be easy to use. Like im happy to put some money into to make it serviceable, but you might be right on something modern and less prone to issues.
 
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TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
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35
Yes it depends on the circuit really. The AB165 would be fine if you can turn it up properly.


So the bassman im looking at is the AA165 and not the B, but everyone seems to think the B is dirtier.

Also nice playing, sounds crunchy and nice!
 
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TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
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35
Yet another thread where the OP provides no useful context re: playing out with a band, playing home, using pedals, attenuators, what? what?

Pass.
Mate feel free to not comment then. Took a lot more effort to write about how you dont want to offer anything based on a lack of info on my part than just not writing anything. Lot of extra steps. Also ive replied and answered a bunch of those questions.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
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35
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.
Yeah thats fair, i dont know how often i would go "super high gain" but its one of those like to haves than needs.
 

YYZ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,133
Yeah thats a good point, i wont be gigging or anything but i do want it to me easy to use. Like im happy to put some money into to make it serviceable, but you might be right on something modern and less prone to issues.
I researched the Bassman circuit for a bit. My understanding is the AB165 has earlier breakup and for sure is cheaper than it’s predecessor. If you‘ve got a solid tech I think a periodic visit would ensure the amp stays reliable for the needs you describe. I just wouldn’t think you’d need to take the Friedman to a tech for a good long while. What cooled me off on the AB165 for the time being is I played one (don’t remember the speakers) and it was uncomfortably loud when giving up the goods. Just not usable for my current needs. Very nice and raw sounding though. The Tone King Imperial seemed pretty close, though I think the lead channel is more of a tweed Bassman.

Another amp you might consider and that could save you some dough without major sacrifice is the Fender ’68 Custom Pro Reverb.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35
I researched the Bassman circuit for a bit. My understanding is the AB165 has earlier breakup and for sure is cheaper than it’s predecessor. If you‘ve got a solid tech I think a periodic visit would ensure the amp stays reliable for the needs you describe. I just wouldn’t think you’d need to take the Friedman to a tech for a good long while. What cooled me off on the AB165 for the time being is I played one (don’t remember the speakers) and it was uncomfortably loud when giving up the goods. Just not usable for my current needs. Very nice and raw sounding though. The Tone King Imperial seemed pretty close, though I think the lead channel is more of a tweed Bassman.

Another amp you might consider and that could save you some dough without major sacrifice is the Fender ’68 Custom Pro Reverb.
Whats funny is i have the opportunity to buy an AA circuit for significantly cheaper than the AB. I dont have a tech per se but i know where i would go to get gear serviced and repaired. Yeah a new Friedman wont likely need much (touch wood). So i havnt played the Tone king, but i have played the 68 pro reverb. I would go the tone king head as i dont deal with combos anymore, just no one to play locally. The 68 pro was borderline sterile to me, ive heard plenty of good sounds online, but in person it didnt inspire much.
 

Ultra GP

Gold Supporting Member
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1,861
So the bassman im looking at tis the AA165 and not the B, but everyone seems to think the B is dirtier.

Also nice playing, sounds crunchy and nice!

Not me I'm afraid :) Can't say it's helping the G.A.S. for an AB165 either...I've got an AA864 and it's a fair bit cleaner than that, but sounds great with a Strat neck pickup.

The AB165 I used to own (can't remember what year, but it was either a 65 or 66) definitely had more of that 70s rock sound when turned up.

I did have an AA165 around 15 years ago, but it wasn't working properly so I can't really comment on the sound. I gather it's one of the more uncommon circuits though.

So im looking at three: a 65 AA165, a 66 (and hes telling me its the AA165) , and one final one is a 66 and the guy says its an AB 165, but the tag says AA165 with the second A crossed out and b it written in pencil.

Amp 1 1965 AA165
Amp 2 1966 AA165
Amp 3 1966 AB165 (or is being claimed)

The two on reverb have been completely rebuilt. Not worth it if you ask me. The one on facebook is probably a better option, though I'd ask for circuit pictures. Post them here if you can.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35
The two on reverb have been completely rebuilt. Not worth it if you ask me. The one on facebook is probably a better option, though I'd ask for circuit pictures. Post them here if you can.
Thanks for letting me know about the two on Reverb! i will pass on those then, ive sent a message on FB so ill wait and see what he does/ says and then post any photos he has.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
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TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
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35
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.
Yeah if i can avoid using pedals for dirt and OD i will. So thats why im deciding between the Friedman, Because i really like the cleans. Soldano has great cleans to but cant get any here.
 

Bucksears

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,327
So im looking at three: a 65 AA165, a 66 (and hes telling me its the AA165) , and one final one is a 66 and the guy says its an AB 165, but the tag says AA165 with the second A crossed out and b it written in pencil.

Amp 1 1965 AA165
Amp 2 1966 AA165
Amp 3 1966 AB165 (or is being claimed)

I researched the Bassman circuit for a bit. My understanding is the AB165 has earlier breakup and for sure is cheaper than it’s predecessor. If you‘ve got a solid tech I think a periodic visit would ensure the amp stays reliable for the needs you describe. I just wouldn’t think you’d need to take the Friedman to a tech for a good long while. What cooled me off on the AB165 for the time being is I played one (don’t remember the speakers) and it was uncomfortably loud when giving up the goods. Just not usable for my current needs. Very nice and raw sounding though. The Tone King Imperial seemed pretty close, though I think the lead channel is more of a tweed Bassman.

Another amp you might consider and that could save you some dough without major sacrifice is the Fender ’68 Custom Pro Reverb.

From what I understand, from cleanest to dirtiest goes like this:

AA165 --> AA864 --> AB165

Just me personally, I want cleanest for a pedal platform.
 

Bucksears

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,327
Yeah if i can avoid using pedals for dirt and OD i will. So thats why im deciding between the Friedman, Because i really like the cleans. Soldano has great cleans to but cant get any here.

Have you considered the Friedman Twin Sister?
Two full-EQ DS channels with different gain modes and that awesome Friedman FX loop.
 

john l

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,258
So this is what he sent me
Maybe I miss where you said it but are you planing on trading or buying? Whats the price. There was pretty clean AA864 in the emporium for $1400 a week ago that might still be floating around. The thing you have to be ready for with vintage Bassmans is that they will almost always need a thing or two and you might need to put couple hundred bucks into them to sort them out. IME you will be rewarded 10x for your investment.

The pic you were sent is an AB165 and even though it looks a little rough that amp would actually clean up pretty well if you take it to the right guy. Restoring vintage Fenders and Marshalls is a bit of a hobby of mine and that amp alot of things you want to see but unforttunately some of what you dont.... That power transformer looks to be a replacement but that would need to be confirmed with more pics of the bottom of the chassis. Replaced transformers is a line in the sand for me and I will always pass as they make up the heart of the amp to me. FWIW Heres a pic of the board on my AB165




Granted there wasnt any rust inside but other than that it looked very similar before I had a couple of isopropyl sessions with it.
 

TheOddysee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
35
Have you considered the Friedman Twin Sister?
Two full-EQ DS channels with different gain modes and that awesome Friedman FX loop.
I would love to get the Twin but there have been 0 available and there wont be for 6 months. No one online wants to ship here. There is a dirty shirly available hence the option.
 
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