NAD Louis Electric Tweed Bassman!!

dcbc

Member
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2,480
Thanks dcbc, that's good info on the super/harvard. Is your 5f4 an old one or a reproduction?

2008 Clark 5f4. Built like an absolute tank. Probably weighs nearly as much as my Victoria Bassman.

ive never heard a super called a baby bassman...it's hard for me to imagine what is even exactly meant by that...especially because they sound so different(ly fantastic). i could see the bassman being a link to the super...but, if i didnt know the truth, i could also see the reverse being true.

Yeah, I've read that about the 5f4 on here more than a few times. I saw your later posts that you were not making the "tweed super" connection. They're great amps.
 

dcbc

Member
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2,480
A guy I'm acquainted with is getting a bassman built by Jim at Lil Dawg. It should be delivered in the next week or so (just waiting on the cabinet from Mather). He's getting it with with Weber 10a125a speakers. I'll be very interested to hear how it sounds compared to my Vicky (with the same speakers). Jim built my Harvard, and I'm a real fan of his work.
 

ufguy73

Gold Supporting Member
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5,394
That was my Bassman Steve was playing. Lou bought it back from me as he needed a demo and it was way to loud for my applications now. If you have a big room or are playing live a Bassman is a very hard amp to beat.

The Cali is totally different. A 4/12 has a very unique sound. However, the Cali for a 1/12 sounds amazing. It can get some similar sounds to a bassman but I think the base sound is more like a low powered twin. It's still not a clone of and Fender though they say it's based on a 59 Bassman circuit. The Cali gives you lots of different tweed sounds, but it is it's own thing.
Maybe I will see if Lou could add a MV on the bassman! I know he can do it, it's a matter of if he wants to. His Bassman with a gain control, the negative feedback knob and a loop would be SICK. Lou will not build it if it does not sound as good as a great vintage one however. That's Lous love and main goal.

Tag, how would you (or anyone else with experience) generally describe a Bassman vs High Power Tweed Twin?
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
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46,925
Tag, how would you (or anyone else with experience) generally describe a Bassman vs High Power Tweed Twin?

Night and day. Totally different tones. Crank Lous HP tweed twin up and it easily surpasses the bassman tone IMO. HOWEVER....Wear 2 sets of ear protection. I'm not kidding.
One amp I would LOVE to try is Lous low power tweed twin. It's not a Fender clone. I believe Lou uses the same transformers as the high power but reduces the wattage. He raves about it. I told him to add verb and I would probably buy one, but I have never tried it yet.
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
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46,925
Funny story that is going to set me apart from most of you. My first interest in boutique amps was a Victoria Bassman. I read all about how much better than the Fender they were, and I found them at Ultrasound in NY. I HAD to have one, or so I thought. So I dragged my bassman into NYC, had to carry it 2 city blocks on my shoulder to get there after finding a place to park, and dragged it upstairs into the Ultrs room to A/B with the Victoria. So I go in the room, and what do I see? They have the Fender Bassman right there anyway! :facepalm Oh my aching back!!
So I had 2 Fender Bassman RIs to compare to a few Victorias! On my Fender, I had pulled the SS rectifier and put a tube in, and put the correct preamp tube in place of the stock 12ax7. This was NOT the bassman Ltd, it was the first version. I tried everything with my Strat and PRS to get that Victoria to sound better than my Fender, but no matter how I tried, I preferred my Fender. I was totally disappointed. To this day, I prefer both the original and LTD to the Victorias, and so does my buddy who owns the original 60 bassman that sounds unreal. He had both Fenders and the Victorias right next to his 59 and 60 Bassman, and the Fenders sounded closer. Go figure.
:dunno

Many people dislike larger manufacturers no matter how good the product. Always be careful you don't hear with your eyes. I'm as guilty as anyone many times.
 

bluesbreaker59

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,825
Night and day. Totally different tones. Crank Lous HP tweed twin up and it easily surpasses the bassman tone IMO. HOWEVER....Wear 2 sets of ear protection. I'm not kidding.
One amp I would LOVE to try is Lous low power tweed twin. It's not a Fender clone. I believe Lou uses the same transformers as the high power but reduces the wattage. He raves about it. I told him to add verb and I would probably buy one, but I have never tried it yet.
My LE HP Tweed Twin still keeps Tag awake at night and gives him night sweats. Thanks again for being a Guinea pig and testing that beast for me before it left Lou’s shop. It’s an ass kicker for sure.

The way Lou dialed that amp in to sound with my main Tele is nothing short of amazing. I just described what I wanted on the phone and the details of the guitar and what I play and he got it perfect on the first try.
 

dcbc

Member
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2,480
It's the OP Transformer that is different on the LE, not the power! However, he is waiting on the clones of the original ones he has if someone wants those.

I'm interested in what OT LE is using. I recall reading that Victoria hired someone from Triad to reverse engineer the old tweed bassman transformers way back when. No idea who is manufacturing those for them these days. Are these the clones he has on hand or is it something else?

Also, Steve mentioned there was another big difference between the LE and his Victoria and that you might have better insight on that. Is it just the speakers or is it something else?
 
Last edited:

stevebo

Member
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1,150
I'm interested in what OT LE is using. I recall reading that Victoria hired someone from Triad to reverse engineer the old tweed bassman transformer way back when. No idea who is manufacturing those for them these days. Are these the clones he has on hand or is it something else?

Also, Steve mentioned there was another big difference between the LE and his Victoria and that you might have better insight on that. Is it just the speakers or is it something else?
Other than the OT it's the speakers and the added NFB control on the LE that are noteworthy.
 

dcbc

Member
Messages
2,480
Funny story that is going to set me apart from most of you. My first interest in boutique amps was a Victoria Bassman. I read all about how much better than the Fender they were, and I found them at Ultrasound in NY. I HAD to have one, or so I thought. So I dragged my bassman into NYC, had to carry it 2 city blocks on my shoulder to get there after finding a place to park, and dragged it upstairs into the Ultrs room to A/B with the Victoria. So I go in the room, and what do I see? They have the Fender Bassman right there anyway! :facepalm Oh my aching back!!
So I had 2 Fender Bassman RIs to compare to a few Victorias! On my Fender, I had pulled the SS rectifier and put a tube in, and put the correct preamp tube in place of the stock 12ax7. This was NOT the bassman Ltd, it was the first version. I tried everything with my Strat and PRS to get that Victoria to sound better than my Fender, but no matter how I tried, I preferred my Fender. I was totally disappointed. To this day, I prefer both the original and LTD to the Victorias, and so does my buddy who owns the original 60 bassman that sounds unreal. He had both Fenders and the Victorias right next to his 59 and 60 Bassman, and the Fenders sounded closer. Go figure.
:dunno

Many people dislike larger manufacturers no matter how good the product. Always be careful you don't hear with your eyes. I'm as guilty as anyone many times.

I remember your telling this story before. One interesting aspect of the comparison to the reissues is how they differ from the original circuit, purportedly with a lot more blackface-style filtering in the preamp section, and, of course, plywood cabinet and SS rectifier. I remember the 1989--1994 reissue's I played being really loud and not breaking up until quite a way up the volume dial. That doesn't seem to be what we know about the OG 5F6A. But to be sure, I've never played a 1959/1960 Bassman in the tweedy flesh and I'm always leery of cell phone videos and the added compression. No real point to this other than the story suggests that you've got a Fender amp that departed from the blueprint and ended up being closer to the original than a builder who went to painstaking efforts to recreate the original but it didn't sound the same (at least in this example). Of course, with the internet and forums, I can find people who swear Victoria gets it right. So I guess I should reiterate your point (sort of). Trust your ears. Compare for yourself in person wherever possible.
 

SoPhx

Member
Messages
834
Just wondering: what tone stack values are in the LE? I really prefer the 'schematic' 5F6A version.
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,399
I remember your telling this story before. One interesting aspect of the comparison to the reissues is how they differ from the original circuit, purportedly with a lot more blackface-style filtering in the preamp section, and, of course, plywood cabinet and SS rectifier. I remember the 1989--1994 reissue's I played being really loud and not breaking up until quite a way up the volume dial. That doesn't seem to be what we know about the OG 5F6A. But to be sure, I've never played a 1959/1960 Bassman in the tweedy flesh and I'm always leery of cell phone videos and the added compression. No real point to this other than the story suggests that you've got a Fender amp that departed from the blueprint and ended up being closer to the original than a builder who went to painstaking efforts to recreate the original but it didn't sound the same (at least in this example). Of course, with the internet and forums, I can find people who swear Victoria gets it right. So I guess I should reiterate your point (sort of). Trust your ears. Compare for yourself in person wherever possible.
i’m no tech, that’s for sure. that said, my understanding is that the voltages are higher than original in the fender ri and ltd. i used a 5r4 in my ltd to reduce voltages to original range. never played an original, but man, that thing sounded and felt great. and was much more “manageable”. ended up with 5881s and a 5751 for v1.
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
46,925
I'm interested in what OT LE is using. I recall reading that Victoria hired someone from Triad to reverse engineer the old tweed bassman transformers way back when. No idea who is manufacturing those for them these days. Are these the clones he has on hand or is it something else?

Also, Steve mentioned there was another big difference between the LE and his Victoria and that you might have better insight on that. Is it just the speakers or is it something else?

Lou owned an original 1960 Bassman and cloned the transformers. He likes to experiment, so went through the transformer process described above as he thought he could get them to sound better. He feels he succeeded.
From what I understand, way back, he made some with the original spec transformers and some with his "improvement", which is what is in the amp Steve has. He stopped making bassmans years ago, sold his, and some how or another lost the wrapping sheets he made from his original. So a year or so ago he found and purchased 2 original sets. Power, output and choke. He reverse engineered them and has been waiting for his first order for like 8 months or more now! I BELIEVE he has the transformers that are in Steve's amp, but you better call Lou to check.
 

Tag

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
46,925
I remember your telling this story before. One interesting aspect of the comparison to the reissues is how they differ from the original circuit, purportedly with a lot more blackface-style filtering in the preamp section, and, of course, plywood cabinet and SS rectifier. I remember the 1989--1994 reissue's I played being really loud and not breaking up until quite a way up the volume dial. That doesn't seem to be what we know about the OG 5F6A. But to be sure, I've never played a 1959/1960 Bassman in the tweedy flesh and I'm always leery of cell phone videos and the added compression. No real point to this other than the story suggests that you've got a Fender amp that departed from the blueprint and ended up being closer to the original than a builder who went to painstaking efforts to recreate the original but it didn't sound the same (at least in this example). Of course, with the internet and forums, I can find people who swear Victoria gets it right. So I guess I should reiterate your point (sort of). Trust your ears. Compare for yourself in person wherever possible.

This is pretty much dead on with what both myself and member mcdaddy here have heard.
The Fender definitely sounds better and closer to the original to me. I'm not speaking for anyone else here.

 




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