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Old 05.22.08, 7:42 AM
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Fender Bassman Heads

How clean is a 50 watt, non-master volume Fender Bassman head?
I'm looking for lots of clean headroom and can't find any 100 watt SF Bassmans out there right now.
I'm planning on running it through a 2x12 cab.
I don't want a Twin due to the backbreaking weight of it....
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Old 05.22.08, 2:29 PM
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I was thinking the same thing, I saw a 50W version on ebay from SoCal for less than 500 bucks.

I also saw a 100W one, which made me stop with this Q!
How much headroom do you need?
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Old 05.22.08, 5:29 PM
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ive been researching these lately because i think i want to buy one when i decide to get a new amp, and from what i have read the clean-ness varies.

the non master sort are the early models i believe, and i have read that those breakup pretty early around 4 or 5 and get thick and muddy at 10, especially if you change the tubes to suit. i have read that the later models (70s silverfaces and onward) are really clean and breakup from around 7 onwards.

im probably gonna go for an earlier model as well. it seems like no matter what though youll get plenty of clean and as much drive as you want. for their price especially i would go for it (if i had the money on me right now).

if anybody can correct me on this please do so cuz i wanna know about this amp too!
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Old 05.22.08, 7:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tonemonkey
I was thinking the same thing, I saw a 50W version on ebay from SoCal for less than 500 bucks.

I also saw a 100W one, which made me stop with this Q!
How much headroom do you need?
I actually think I might like a 100w head. I'd like a ton of clean headroom to tweak with pedals, and switch between/blend two sets of effects in the different channels...
I could probably settle for 50w and be fine though.
My HRDX's are too dirty for me, and they're 40 watts, although they're voiced to be dirty.
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Old 05.22.08, 9:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scantron
My HRDX's are too dirty for me, and they're 40 watts, although they're voiced to be dirty.
well...the bassman isn't going to be cleaner than a hrdx on the clean channel. ever.

If you use single coils you can get decent cleans out of it...rolling off the volume knob a little helps quite a bit.

If you want a pristinely cleanamp its not the way to go. It has decent cleans but when it comes to strumming open chords with the volume knob all the way up you're running out of room at like 4 or 5. Plenty loud miked unless you need your amp to go over a drummer (with no other monitors).

Its actually quite a versatile amp for a single channel thing. Turn your volume knob down a little for cleans. Maxed out for a little edge and then use a clean boost pedal for something a little grittier.
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Old 05.22.08, 10:38 PM
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If you're in a loud band, no the early bassman heads won't have a lot of clean headroom. I get a lot of Marshall-esque breakup from my Bassman head. I love it though.
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Old 05.23.08, 9:02 AM
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We're not that loud, but I do use humbuckers. I guess a little breakup here and there would be okay. I think I'm going to seek out a 70-100 watter.
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Old 05.23.08, 12:51 PM
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I own a '68 Bassman Amp head, its silverface 50w

Ok, first of all, forget pristine cleans at high volume, the thing start to breaks at 6-7, nothing to distorted, just a little hot crunchy drive (Tom Petty, The Clash, Bruce Springsteen) easily back to clean with guitar volume.

In rehearsals I set it at 4-5 and mates still complain of loudness. In gigs I put it at 8 for crunchy overdrive and control cleans with guitar.

I recently change power tubes to EL84 (thanks to a groove tubes device) and it works like a 30w, the breakup come early and the whole is quieter volume-wise. I like it that way, if I want cleans I have another amp for that.

Ok, bottom line, if your only thing for not getting a twin is weight, well with a bassman head and a 2x12 you have the same problem. If you want cleans got the twin if you don't mind having a nice hot crunchy tone then bassman cause really its a great amp. Very responsive and got its own character.
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Old 05.24.08, 7:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Me on crack
Ok, bottom line, if your only thing for not getting a twin is weight, well with a bassman head and a 2x12 you have the same problem.
I think that being able to carry half the weight of a Twin (Bassman head+Cab) at a time is way easier than carrying it all at once.
Thanks for describing the tone of your Bassman, what kind of cab are you running it through?
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Old 05.24.08, 12:10 PM
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gah all this talk of "breaking up around 4 or 5" and "creamy marshall breakup" is causing my GAS to go into overdrive...

are any of you bassman users using a strat with it? whenever i use a strat and a fender amp i find that theres just too much top end and i roll the tone down a bit, is this the case with the maxed bassman? whats the tonal difference between plugging into the different inputs?
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Old 05.24.08, 12:33 PM
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wow I JUST brought my 100w Silverface head to get blackfaced. As far as clean goes, it's where its at. Its just a twin without the reverb. If you want headroom, don't settle. Find one of these. I found mine just sitting in a Guitar Center.
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Old 05.24.08, 9:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scantron
I think that being able to carry half the weight of a Twin (Bassman head+Cab) at a time is way easier than carrying it all at once.
Thanks for describing the tone of your Bassman, what kind of cab are you running it through?
Well you got a point there.

I currently use either a very powerful Fender 4x12 (300w) or a 70's Marshall (100w). The Fender got this modern punchy sound with great bass and the Marshall deliver a great vintage tone with less treble and more mids. When the place is big I plug both cabs and get a more rounded complex sound. yummy

When is a small club or else sometimes I re-wire a cab to get just 2 speaker working, that way I still get correct impendance (4ohms) and less volume which is good for reach overdrive at lower volume.
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  #13  
Old 05.24.08, 9:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gbkoenig
gah all this talk of "breaking up around 4 or 5" and "creamy marshall breakup" is causing my GAS to go into overdrive...

are any of you bassman users using a strat with it? whenever i use a strat and a fender amp i find that theres just too much top end and i roll the tone down a bit, is this the case with the maxed bassman? whats the tonal difference between plugging into the different inputs?
I use a Strat currently with lace sensors that doesn't sound too Strat sometimes, but before that I never had problems with trebly sounds, of course unless you use your bridge pickup with high treble settings, like every amp. Actually I even use the "bright" switch often.
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