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#1
I have been poking around for a new amp for a while. Finally, making the upgrade to a tube amp. I am looking for a decent upgrade. But I am also looking for one that won't brake the bank. After a bunch of looking I found a '59 fender bassman reissue on craigslist for 700. I wanna know what you thing about the amp, about the price, and maybe other amp suggestions to look into. Also I am not very framilar with tubes so how often will I need to be changing them with this amp?

Thank you I'd love to hear what you have to say
Last edited by lil PopTart kid at Jul 17, 2010,
#2
you're two conditions are mutually exclusive.

the bassman isn't bad. but it's no final amp.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#3
I suppose your right. Well how good is it for a first tube amp? And do you have any other amp suggestions that might be better? Thanks
Last edited by lil PopTart kid at Jul 17, 2010,
#6
I'd buy it for $700 easily. I love Bassmans. The '59 Bassman is a classic rock amp. It doesn't sound like your typical Fender Blackface though, its darker and dirtier and meaner. Halfway between what you'd typically associate with a vintage Marshall and a Fender.
#7
As little as possible with still getting a good amp. No more the 800. I am also leaning more towards a combo amp, I have no room for a stack.
#9
Well I have to room and could make it work just saying that is as big as I will or can go. A stack like a 4x12 would be nearly impossible. I also don't want to work with two pieces more to set up more to worry about and it's heavier.

And for my genre and gigging situation well stuff like led zeppelin nirvana van halen. And for gigging situation just a bunch of small gigs we arnt going on a world tour yet you know.
Last edited by lil PopTart kid at Jul 17, 2010,
#10
lol, 4x10 combo amp would be MAD heavy. hahaha

having an cab with casters, and carrying an amp head... or... having a heavy ass combo amp. they usually dont come with casters. i dunno. imo, 1x12 is quite heavy for me.
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#11
Do you need 2 channels? do you need an effects loop? do you need cleans at all? do you like hi-gain?
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#12
Quote by AcousticMirror
Do you need 2 channels? do you need an effects loop? do you need cleans at all? do you like hi-gain?

No,no,yes, low gain to medium for a beautiful clean sound. But I'm pretty flexible.
Last edited by lil PopTart kid at Jul 17, 2010,
#13
the bassman is an extremely clean amp. you have to crank it pretty hard to actually get decent overdrive. and that noise level is a bit louder than an un-mic'd drummer.
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#14
tonemerchants.com
Dave Friedman's Brown Eye Jet City 20. You'll have to buy a cab but trust me it'll be worth it.

that might actually be a final amp. in the 20watt category.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#15
How much will that cost all together and will 20watts be loud enough for live shows not mic'd or band practices. Also I am still interested about how often the tubes will need to be changed. And will those expensese be huge in thanking run
#16
Depending on the cab, $700-$2000 or so. A nice 2X12 from Avatar is $299 right now which would bring your total to $800. No rig will compete with that at that price. And 20w is plenty for gigging unless you play modern metal.
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#17
if you can depend on a p.a. system and someone to mic your amp you'll be good.

The jca20 takes new production tubes into account. 3 12ax7s and 2 el84s. Like 50-60 bucks every few years.

just make sure to cal up tonemerchants and ask them for the jet city brown eye. It's not sold anywhere else.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#18
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/1837676121.html

This just popped up on my local craigslist. It is the amp you recommended at an unbeatable price. I think i probably will go with this one I'm going to look around just a little more first and I am still open to amp suggestions.

There was also this one
http://pittsburgh.craigslist.org/msg/1789973439.html
a classic Vox AC30. Its about twice as much as the other one but it is very famous and could be a final amp. I just want to know what you think.
Last edited by lil PopTart kid at Jul 17, 2010,
#19
Do it. it's not going to last long at that price. You can always have it modded later.
The stock one is no slouch by any means.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#20
Quote by AcousticMirror
Do it. it's not going to last long at that price. You can always have it modded later.
The stock one is no slouch by any means.


This is Pittsburgh the musical industry is in no way BIG around here, and with the bad economy I rarely see anything go on Craigslist. But yes I would like to grab it quickly just in case I am still worried about the size.

And what kind of mods are you thinking of?
Last edited by lil PopTart kid at Jul 17, 2010,
#22
Is this an amp that can put out beautiful clean tone because my theory is you can always make an amp sound dirtier and more trashy but you can make it sound cleaner really. The final option that is that I can make one myself. I have electronics experience I just have never used tubes before. This way I could get just the sound and usability I am looking for. However it will be more work. What do you think about that route?
#23
Listen to SRV's 90s stuff. He used a '59 Bassman Reissue mostly. That's the best example I can give.
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#24
Quote by lil PopTart kid
Is this an amp that can put out beautiful clean tone because my theory is you can always make an amp sound dirtier and more trashy but you can make it sound cleaner really. The final option that is that I can make one myself. I have electronics experience I just have never used tubes before. This way I could get just the sound and usability I am looking for. However it will be more work. What do you think about that route?

Beautiful cleans and a good high gain channel are rarely found together except at much higher price points. The JCA20 is a one channel amp meant for distortion.

As for building an amp, expect to do a whole lot of reading up on tube design. I've got electronic experience too and am studying electrical engineering at uni but I'm far from being able to build a decent tube amp at this point.
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#25
Quote by justinb904
Beautiful cleans and a good high gain channel are rarely found together except at much higher price points. The JCA20 is a one channel amp meant for distortion.

As for building an amp, expect to do a whole lot of reading up on tube design. I've got electronic experience too and am studying electrical engineering at uni but I'm far from being able to build a decent tube amp at this point.


Yes I am aware of this that was the predicament in making one but the plus side is being able to get what I want. I am all for reading and learning. And could even build a modified clone. (it wouldn't be a clone anymore) like the bassman with out a tube rectifier with only 1 input and a switch to select between bright channel clean channel or bothe and also find a place to throw again pot on. This would be perfect for my wants and I would hardly need to know more about tubes then I do now.
#26
Quote by lil PopTart kid
Yes I am aware of this that was the predicament in making one but the plus side is being able to get what I want. I am all for reading and learning. And could even build a modified clone. (it wouldn't be a clone anymore) like the bassman with out a tube rectifier with only 1 input and a switch to select between bright channel clean channel or bothe and also find a place to throw again pot on. This would be perfect for my wants and I would hardly need to know more about tubes then I do now.


You'd still need to know a lot more about tubes but fortunately for you their is a good book by Merlin Blencowe about preamp design and a good few online communities dedicated to building/modding tube amps like ax84.com

Also, it seems like you would need something with more gain than the bassman.
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Last edited by justinb904 at Jul 17, 2010,
#27
What will i need to know about tubes if I am changing the rectifier to a non tube rectifier and just adding a gain and combining the inputs into 1 switchable input. Just curious. And what other amp would you recommend to model it off of besides the bassman. I just love the bassman's clean sound its beautiful. If it wanted to trash it up I could use my big muff or all tube overdrive.
#28
Quote by lil PopTart kid
What will i need to know about tubes if I am changing the rectifier to a non tube rectifier and just adding a gain and combining the inputs into 1 switchable input. Just curious. And what other amp would you recommend to model it off of besides the bassman. I just love the bassman's clean sound its beautiful. If it wanted to trash it up I could use my big muff or all tube overdrive.


If you know how to design a proper rectifier circuit then replacing a tube recto with a ss diode recto wouldn't be much of a problem. As for inputs that's just a matter of rearranging a couple of components and adding a toggle switch.
As for the gain control, that would require knowing how the common triode based gain stage works. It's a bit more complicated than just sticking a pot in the middle of a circuit.

If you like the sounds of your big muff and od pedal and want a great clean channel the the bassman is a good amp and you're more likely to find a good diy clone of a bassman than most other amps.
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#29
you can cascade channel one into two with the one wire mod. google it, its really simple. and tube to ss rectifier just requires a plug in replacement but will require a re-bias unless the amp was biased really cold to begin with because the ss rectifier is going to increase the plate voltage.
#30
Yeah I knew it was more work then plopping a bot down somewhere all i was trying to say is i wouldn't need to know how to design and build a full out tube amp. I could read some articles and data sheets. Also get some help from people here on the forum. I've looked at the schematic for the bassman now remembering that the power supply will need to be super high voltage. Where could I find a 320 volt power supply. Because those just arn't common.
#31
You're correct, you don't have to know how to do anything to make basic mods. It's literally a matter of being able to read a schematic (or even just looking at the layout if you have one of the specific mod and amp) and not shocking yourself. A monkey could do it granted he knew how to use a soldering iron. The 320V comes from the wall, its upped from 120V to 320 by the PT.
#32
Quote by al112987
you can cascade channel one into two with the one wire mod. google it, its really simple. and tube to ss rectifier just requires a plug in replacement but will require a re-bias unless the amp was biased really cold to begin with because the ss rectifier is going to increase the plate voltage.


Cascading the channels by linking them with cables is not what I am looking for though. I want 1 single 1/4 inch mono input and 2 switches one that is 3 way and another that is 2 way. The 3 way will select between the normal channel the bright channel or both. and the 2 way will select between the high and low gain. I am more concerned about making the SS rectifier. And also would a SS rectifier effect the sound. I wouldn't think it would.
#33
you should buy the bassman and restore it to blackface specs as a project. that's worth doing.

that amp is heavy as hell though.


Quote by lil PopTart kid
Cascading the channels by linking them with cables is not what I am looking for though. I want 1 single 1/4 inch mono input and 2 switches one that is 3 way and another that is 2 way. The 3 way will select between the normal channel the bright channel or both. and the 2 way will select between the high and low gain. I am more concerned about making the SS rectifier. And also would a SS rectifier effect the sound. I wouldn't think it would.


you can't make a one channel amp a 2 channel amp...
high and low gain switching is achieved by either jumpering the channels or switching out how the tube path cascades.

the vht deliverance has a 3 stage /4 stage switch.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
Last edited by AcousticMirror at Jul 17, 2010,
#35
I'm not talking about bridging the channels. That's not cascading the two channels in a Bassman are in parallel.

http://www.lynx.bc.ca/~jc/marshallAmps.html

You can figure out where to place the switches to activate and de-activate the mod.
#37
why are you trying so hard to make the bassman an amp that it's not....
I can see making it sound more like the originals or changing the voicing but you're looking for an entirely different amp.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#38
Quote by AcousticMirror
you should buy the bassman and restore it to blackface specs as a project. that's worth doing.

that amp is heavy as hell though.


Blackface specs?

That would make the price even bigger. At that point I think I would rather make one for less money and it would be brand new instead of 9 years old. I spoke to the guy selling it it is quite old. It is the 90's reissue instead of the more modern one. This reissue got a bad reputation for having a harsh tone and not being true to the original '59 bassman. Also I could make it with no rectifier tube and a Solid State rectifier for much cheaper. Plus when tubes need to be changed it will be 30 dolars less. And I could add the gain knob and a very high gain channel to get all the sounds I want.
#39
320v power supply is a pretty low plate voltage for tube amps that size. and also, DC rectified voltage and the PT's HT (AC) secondary is going to be different. if a PT has a 250-0-250vAC secondary (500vAC peak to peak), after being rectified with conventional 1N4007 diodes, it'll provide about 250v x 1.414, which is 353vDC after rectification. that being said, when the supply is rectified by a rectifier tube, the voltage after rectification will be lower. tubes have more voltage drop than solid state rectification.

upon purchasing transformers, i've looked at heyboers and mercury. they seem nice, good quality, but the price is astounding. i like PTs from hammond mfg, they make nice transformers at a pretty nice price. however, if you want to know which one to get, you have to learn what transformers do and what sort of difference it makes in an amp.

i get the transformers (hammond) here: www.angela.com
wide variety of hammond transformers (PT, PP OT, SE OT, chokes, etc) there.
Call me "Shot".

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#40
Quote by lil PopTart kid
Blackface specs?

That would make the price even bigger. At that point I think I would rather make one for less money and it would be brand new instead of 9 years old. I spoke to the guy selling it it is quite old. It is the 90's reissue instead of the more modern one. This reissue got a bad reputation for having a harsh tone and not being true to the original '59 bassman. Also I could make it with no rectifier tube and a Solid State rectifier for much cheaper. Plus when tubes need to be changed it will be 30 dolars less. And I could add the gain knob and a very high gain channel to get all the sounds I want.

making an amp isn't the hardest thing, but it isn't the easiest thing either. i went through a lot of crap (and money) to build my first amp. and it's just a single channel one trick pony that's rather "simple" out of all the amps i can build.
Call me "Shot".

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Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


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