Fender Bassman [tube] Head Reviews
I bought it off the floor at the Guitar
Center in Albany, NY for $400 in working
condition, excellent cosmetically, and no
noticeable problems [jacks & pots quiet,
etc]. Because it's the "sought after"
Vintage-Blackface version, $400 was the
rock bottom "no warranty" price.
It's not too big or heavey, runs two
channels simultaneously [guitar & bass]
with no channel chooser switch. I got
it mainly to back up my Bassman 50 head,
which is essentially the same head with
slightly different default EQ values.
It has some distortion creeping in at
abot #3 or 4 on the gain knobs [0-10]
that works miracles with fretless bass,
giving superior Mwahh.
With the 2 channels running, it offers
2 bass knobs, 2 trebles knobs, and 2
gain knobs, and switches for Bright and
Deep. Each channel has 2 input jacks of
slightly differing impedance, so you can,
among the 4 jacks, 6 knobs & 2 switches
balance the rig for your ax and cabinet.
Sometimes we've run guitar and bass thru
together [1 channel for each] using a 12"
4 ohm bass cab with a horn, and it comes
off beautifully. 50 watts of tube power
is worth about 150w of solid state power.
It's for small venues unless you like distortion. All its clean sound is in
the lower gain range.
Theres no preamp out or power amp in
jacks. It lacks seperate volume and
It's an old hand-wired tube head, with
4ea 12ax and 2ea 6L6, 2 or 3 transformers
of various sizes, giant capacitors [that
can kill you dead] and misc other typical
electrical parts, all in a wood case with
tolex covering. It's over 35yrs old and
still cooking [although by its appearance
cosmetically, it has not led a hard life].
It's about 10" tall, 20" wide, maybe 30lb.
There's a standby switch and a ground lift
switch, as well as 2 speaker jacks and an
AC outlet [oldie, not 3-wire] on the rear.
Uses a 2amp slowblow fuse. Make sure the
spring in the fuse cover is present and
working, or power may cut out sometimes.
I wish the clean tone ran a bit further
up the gain range. The inputs, outputs
and controls are limited [or primative],
but it's a great head to drive a modest
cabinet for fretless, upright or fretted
fingerstyle bass in a small ensemble. I
use my "blackface" and "siverface" heads
interchangeably. If you can hear any
difference when playing, you're probably
very bored, and distracted from whatever
Ignoring the lack of features, performance
would rate a 5, but I'll call it 4 because
of its primative feature set.Golem
rated this unit