Fender Bassman TV Fifteen

(Dave Molter | Posted 2009-12-05)

Fender Bassman TV Fifteen

Everything has to start somewhere, and long before the rolled 'n' pleated Naugahyde Kustom 200, Ampeg SVT and Acoustic 360 bass amplifiers appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fender just about had the market collared. These were simpler times, and bands played at lower volume, without using microphone for drums and guitar amps. The Fender Bassman TV Fifteen is a throwback to those lower-DB days, but witsome modern touches that should appeal to traditionalists or those looking for tube preamp sound in a relatively small package.

Called the TV series because the design looks rather like old TVs, with a "tube" surrounded by light brown tweed covering, the TV Fifteen looks very retro indeed. The top mounted controls are on a chrome plate and sport "chicken-head" knobs, just like the Bassman amps of yore. Two inputs accommodate active and passive basses. The TV Fifteen has gain, bass, mid and treble knobs, Deep and Bright switches and a Master Volume. Unlike its 50-watt ancestor, however, the TV Fifteen offers 350 watts from a Class D solid state power amp coupled with a single 12AX7 tube preamp. A single Celestion 15" speaker in a sealed, ported cabinet give you maximum low end from the small enclosure, unlike the original open-back design. An XLR output with ground lift allows you to end the signal to the PA or direct to the board for recording. The package weighs just under 60 pounds, which is in line with other combo amps in this price range, with an MSRP of $$,500 and s street price of around $1,000. Fender also offers the 150-watt TV Twelve ($849 street) and the 350-watt TV 210 (for a tighter, more modern bottom end at the same proce as the TV Fifteen).

If you've been playing forever or just want to look and sound like you have, the Fender Bassman TV line is worth considering.

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