Fender Bassman 70 All-Tube Head-Only Reviews
Daddys Junky Music, Albany NY USA $200
including a big heavy wooden ATA case.
I bought to back-up my Bassman 50 head,
but the older head will now be backing
up the Bassman 70.
It's all about the tone. At low to mid
levels it's Boston Cream Pie, and the
pie crust is adjustable [it lives on the
second channel, the non-bass channel].
The two-channel design really makes it
for me. I won't look at single channel
tube heads any more. Many times we have
used the 2 channels for jazz guitar and
bass with output to a 2x10 with horn it
comes across clean.
Compared to the Bassman 50, this is more
of a bass player's amp - not so crunchy
on the mid-to-high range. Also it has a
master output volume knob that serves
both pre-amp channels. Since, like many
Bassman users, I use and external 1/4"
jumper to bridge both channels, the old
"50" heads require you to adjust two
volume knobs together to adjust overall
output [a 50 has no master volume knob].
The "70" also has a line out jack that
is lacking on the "50".
Another thing to like about Bassman tube
heads is that all the other tube heads
that I tried that were of similar age and
size were unusable with many older basses
due to a huge buzzing hum cured only by
playing underwater. Buzzy hum on the
Bassman is minimal to near zero [varies
with choice of ax].
It's heavier than the "50" although it
seems to be otherwise a near-twin [same
chassis, tubes, overall design etc].
OTOH, it's lighter than most other tube
About 10" high & 8" deep, less than 2ft
wide, weighs about 35lb. 4 preamp tubes
and 2 output tubes, a wacking big mama
transformer and assorted other stuff is
visible from the rear, where you also see
the fuse, standby and main switches and
jacks for line-out and speakers [4 ohms
minimum]. AC cord not removeable.
Front side has 2 channels, "normal" and
"bass", with gain, bass & treble knobs
for each plus a master volume for both.
Each channel has 2 inputs [differing in
impedance or gain] plus a "brite" switch
on the Normal side and a "deep" switch
on the Bass side.
There are no printed cicuits etc. It's
all point-to-point hand-wired.
The Bassman heads are well-known, with
most of them used by guitar players who
seek out the 50 watt series [thereby
inflating its price] but they disparage
the 70 watt Bassman 70 as lacking tone
[thereby allowing it to sell for cheap,
as is proper for an old and primitive
electrical device]. Bass Players may
take solice that the "70" is noticeably
better for bass than is the "50" [NOT
that the 50 is a poor choice, it's way
cool in it's own right].Golem
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