Should I buy a BF Bassman?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by andy474x, Sep 11, 2019 at 10:22 AM.

  1. andy474x

    andy474x Member

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    The local shop has a BF Bassman head for a decent price, I know they’re generally pretty affordable. How are these amps in terms of tone? It’s hard for me to get a gauge for them because on one hand there’s the hype of BF amps in general, on the other hand the Bassmans are usually not crazy expensive compared to BF combos.

    I like a fair bite to my tone and not so much bass that drive pedals get muddy. And, having at least a moderate amount of midrange is good. Thoughts?
     
  2. PurpleJesus

    PurpleJesus Jimi actually wrote Wind Cries Mary about me Staff Member Supporting Member

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    They're fantastic amps, great w/ pedals, and b/c it's got big transformers and is a "bass" amp the low end doesn't get muddy at all. Highly recommend them. I've got a 66, myself.
     
  3. Jerrod

    Jerrod Silver Supporting Member

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    What he says. If you have the ability to turn them up and get them cooking, they drive great. A big room or some attenuation helps. I'll bet a BF with a Fryette Power Station or similar would be awesome.
     
  4. woof*

    woof* Member

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  5. Bob T.

    Bob T. Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. carl_is_tall

    carl_is_tall Member

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    It's just a great workhorse that is easily worked on, easily modded, easily changed back by most any level of amp tech. They do great with pedals, they do great straight in. 50 watts is a lot of power if you are a bedroom player but a perfect level for gigs. Of course a PS2 or similar devide make it a super versatile amp.

    I have a 1966 head that my tech modded to a very common mod. Normal Channel remains unchanged but the Bass Channel gets modded to a Plexi'ish style with more gain. Use an A/B switch to go back and forth. Awesome setup.
     
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  7. andy474x

    andy474x Member

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    I’ve got a Torpedo Captor/Cab M setup, so volume won’t be an issue!

    My drummer pal’s dad plays, he had a BF Bassman with a similar mod, IIRC he had a gain pot replacing one of the input jacks on the bass channel. He got fed up with playing for a while and sold everything, including that amp, which I would’ve snagged from him had I known!
     
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  8. ROKY

    ROKY Member

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    I've had a couple in the past.. a '64 and a '66 . I enjoyed them !
    BUT .. you should go try it if the amp is local to you, and then you'll know if it's something
    you can use .
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  9. The Tone Ranger

    The Tone Ranger Supporting Member

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    probably my favorite amp ever. There are three versions. IMO the early 65s (I forgot circuit name) is my preferred. The other 2 sound similar to me ears.

    If it's a fair price buy it.
     
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  10. H. Mac

    H. Mac Member

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    There were 3 Blackface Bassman circuits. The AA864 and AA165 have 2 gain stages, but the AB165 has an additional gain stage that neither the AA864 nor AA165 have. I think this makes the AB165 a bit better for guitar, but it’s a matter of taste.

    The two channels in the AB165 are in phase (so you can jumper) but they are out of phase in the AA 864, and I’m not sure about the AS165.

    The “165” designation on the AA and AB means January, 1965, and although this coincides with the CBS takeover, both 165s are generally regarded as desirable, pre-CBS circuits.
     
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  11. juniorhifikit

    juniorhifikit Member

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    I had an AA864 (that I got for free!). It never really gave up the goods like other Bassman's I heard, so I sold it and got an AB165. This was what I was after. I made a half-assed comparison, though they were recorded at different times:

     
  12. Hulakatt

    Hulakatt Supporting Member

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    The Bassman amps typically have the most "mids" out of all the BF Fenders.
     
  13. wgs1230

    wgs1230 Fully Intonatable Supporting Member

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    I've posted this several times over the years, but it's been a while - the Bass channel can be revoiced with some easily reversible component swaps:
    1. Change the 100k slope resistor to 33k
    2. Change the two .1uf caps to .022uf/400v
    3. Change the ceramic 250pf treble cap to 500pf
    I found it worth the effort.
     
  14. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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  15. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    Yep - do it! BF and Blonde Bassman heads are my favorites of all time. SO versatile, and an overdriven tone that rivals anything out there, IMO.
     
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  16. althekiller

    althekiller Supporting Member

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    Get it! One of my favorite amps are Blackface Bassmans or even the early silverface ones. I prefer them to most the holy grail blackface combos. More of an almost British grind when turned up and big fat cleans at lower volumes that take pedals well.
     
  17. Rossi163

    Rossi163 Supporting Member

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    Les Paul > ProCo Rat > Fender Bassman head > pretty much any 2x12 cabinet = the sound of rock
     
  18. LordByron

    LordByron The Dude abides! Supporting Member

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    I'm a drip-edge SF guy myself, but the BF, especially the AB165 is a righteous amp. Go forth and purchase.
     
  19. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Silver Supporting Member

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  20. sideman

    sideman Member

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    What would you use the amp for? And what else do you have? They are great amps for relatively high volume applications. If it was your only amp, or if you didn't already have something smaller, I'd recommend a lower wattage combo. If you're gigging or moving the amp around, you will also need to move a speaker cab (it came with a 2x12). Two friends had them. Both amps sounded great, but they were too much for the medium sized clubs those guys were working in, and they sold them and bought smaller combos, easier to move, easier to overdrive.
     

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