Fender Bassman 70 All-Tube Head-Only Reviews 4

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 heads

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 rated this unit 4 on 2004-10-15.

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