#1
This one is for everything Bassman. I'm hoping this is a pretty good start to what could be an awesome Bassman reference (with a little help).

In 1952, Fender released the first Bassman (5B6 circuit) to complement their P-Bass. This one used a 1x15 speaker configuration. Obviously, it didn't take guitarists long to figure out that it was an outstanding guitar amp as well.

1954 Saw the first 5D6 (4x10) prototypes. Only a small handful of these are still around. The 1954, 4x12 tweed is rumored to be, “the greatest guitar amp ever made,” –George Fullerton (From “The Soul e Tone” pg 164). The full production version of this was released in 1955 as the 5D6-A.

Tweed Era- these had a more raw sound than later era circuits.

These had a normal and bright channel, vol1 and 2, treble, mid, low, and presence control. They originally used 2x5y3 rectifiers and changed to 5u4gb after the 5D6-A was introduced in ’55. 6sc7 (pre) and 2x5881 (power) tubes were used.

1955: 5E6 (4x10)
1956-1957: 5E6-A (4x10)
1957: 5F6 (4x10)
1956-1960: 5F6-A

*These used a cathode follower that increased the dynamics of the amp by slightly compressing the signal while increasing the current.
**Marshall and Traynor used the 5F6-A circuit as a model for their amps. Ex: JTM45 (basically a British Bassman clone) and YBA-1 (If you see one out now, I think they’re called the Bassmate).

Blond Era- Said to saturate very well. These began the “piggyback” style heads with a 2x12 cab.

These had two inputs for Bass (with volume, treble and bass) and Normal (volume, treble, bass and presence) channels. They used 3x7025 (pre) and 2x5881 (power) tubes and a GZ34 (5ar4) rectifier (I'm guessing the early models). Later blonds, for sure, used solid state rectifiers.

1960: 6g6
1961: 6g6-A
1962-1963: 6g6-B

1963: I’ve seen people say that this one has the best clean ever (I’d be willing to bet that everyone would say that about their preferred Bassman circuit) and that the presence control “makes” this circuit. This one was used in studio by the Beatles (George), Pete Townsend, and Brian Setzer.

1964: 6g6-B – These are often referred to as transition era because Fender was moving to blackface cosmetics but hadn’t changed the circuit yet. The bass channel is gold on this one from what I gather.
*The years associated with these got all screwy. Definitely ’60-’64. If you have the right info and want to shoot the corrections if it’s wrong, feel free.

Blackface Era- More clarity and smoother overdrive.

These had 2 inputs on the Bass (deep switch, volume, bass and treble) and Normal (bright switch, volume, bass and treble) channels. 7025 (pre) and 2x6l6gc (power) were used with a solid state rectifier.

I started noticing people talking about different speaker cab configurations in here. They weren’t very specific as to which heads/circuits they went with: 1x15, 2x15, 2x10, 2x12?

1964: AA864 The bass channel has an additional gainstage and similar tone stack to the 6g6 circuits.

1965: AA165 (rarest model made for about a month?) AB165

*Here’s a link that describes the AB: http://acruhl.freeshell.org/mga/main/AA864_vs_AB165.html

1967: I heard from several sources that the bass channel on this one is almost useless for guitar unless it’s been revoiced. Confirm?

Silverface Era- 1968-1983 AA165, AB165, AA270, AA371, AA568, AC568, AA864

These had 2 inputs on the Bass (deep switch, volume, bass and treble) and Normal (bright switch, volume, bass and treble) channels. 7025 or 12at7 (pre) and 2x6l6gc (power) were used with a solid state rectifier. This is a generalization for most of the silverfaces.

There were some suggestions that some really odd tones came out of the later circuits as well as crazy weird speaker configurations, like speakers facing each other in the cab? If you’ve seen it, jump in!
This link goes through some of the specs on these amps:
http://ampwares.com/amplifiers/fender-bassman-silverface/

Heard Hendrix used one of these on Electric Ladyland and a couple other random recordings. I didn’t figure out which version.

*Fuchs hotrods (blackfaces) these.

1990: Fender 1959 Bassman Reissue based on the 5F6 circuit. They revised the RI to an LTD edition: http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=2171000010

Here is the wiki link, which I tried to stay away from as much as possible. After digging around I finally gave in… Almost all of the stuff I found was there as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Bassman

**I have to disclaimer all of the tone descriptions. I’ve not had the privilege of playing most of these so I’m going off of what I’ve been able to find online. If you do have experience with these feel free to confirm and elaborate or completely shoot down what I’ve got.**

I have seen several people echo that Bassmans are picky with overdrive pedals. The 2 or 3 posts I saw said an OD pedal either sounds amazing or horrendous. I’d share a link on this but I’m not finding the pages… It would be great if someone could shed some light on which ones to use and which ones to stay away from, or if this is true at all.

This link goes through most of the Bassman model specs. Specs only but it’s a good reference: http://ampwares.com/line/bassman/

There is a ton of stuff I didn't include, and as I said a couple times above, add your own corrections, thoughts, experiences, pictures. ANYTHING BASSMAN AMPS! After all, that's what this thread is all about!
Last edited by bpdeem at Dec 14, 2011,
#3
Sweet thread. Could use a cleanup.

I haven't had time to look over the entire thing, but a few points jumped out at me:

1) In your second paragraph, it's actually the 1954 4x12 tweed that is considered the "ultimate amp" and the one showcased on page 164 of Soul of Tone

2) 5AR4 and GZ34 rectifiers are one and the same. And I'm pretty sure all Blonde era circuits used solid state rectification. I know for sure that the later ones did.


Quote by 311ZOSOVHJH
needs pics


Okai


#4
Thanks for the corrections! Changes made! Hopefully there isn't too much to change in there, but for now I'll try to keep up with it.

Sweet pic!
#6
Dude, if I had a rig that looked as classy as that, I'd be the same way!

I'm curious, though, what kind of headroom do you get out of the 6g6's? Can you get usable gain at refearsal/small gig volumes? Would jumping make it breakup at lower volumes? I've got no experience with jumping anything...
#7
Nice job, much better.

I'd reserve some posts though, I'm sure Denied, 311 and I will gladly delete these posts to get your up with the OP. Chances are you'll need multiple posts by the time this thread is complete.
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BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#8
I say this thread won't last more than a week before its abandoned and forgotten. Although, I do like me some bassman
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She will join the prom.

She insists to wear this lights.

I don't think so.

How can I persuade her?
#10
Quote by bpdeem
Dude, if I had a rig that looked as classy as that, I'd be the same way!

I'm curious, though, what kind of headroom do you get out of the 6g6's? Can you get usable gain at refearsal/small gig volumes? Would jumping make it breakup at lower volumes? I've got no experience with jumping anything...


It's definitely a pretty clean amp. I pretty much use boost and OD pedals for gigs. Breakup starts at about 12, and its not super loud so you can actually run it all the way up. But even cranked it isn't a ton of drive.

It's the ultimate amp for compressed cleans with a bit of dirt, right on the threshold. Mine was actually modified with a gz34 rectifier, I meant to change it back, but I'm a big fan of the sag.

The bassman has more of a nice round clean tone as opposed to the more chimey bells of most Fenders


Quote by joe_k
i was waiting for bassam to come in and take over. couldn't help showing the pic could you?


Nope!
Last edited by denied at Dec 14, 2011,
#11
Quote by denied
It's the ultimate amp for compressed cleans with a bit of dirt, right on the threshold. Mine was actually modified with a gz34 rectifier, I meant to change it back, but I'm a big fan of the sag.

The bassman has more of a nice round clean tone as opposed to the more chimey bells of most Fenders.


It sounds like bliss. I don't usually use a whole lot of gain anyway. Yeah, that round clean was what I liked about the '59 RI, but it left me thinking, ""if this is the reissue, how much more awesome are the original ones?" You probably work the volume nob, no? Does it loose a lot of the highs when you roll back for cleaner tones?

I swear, the more I learn, the more I feel like I HAVE to try some of these originals out!
#12
I'm sure most people who are look into DIY stuff for Bassman probably know all this already, but if not, here is a quick overview of the things you'll need and want to consider. I'm not sure I totally agree with everything on this page, it seems mostly consistent with things I've seen elsewhere.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6453538_modify-fender-bassman-tube-amps.html

This one has a pretty good list of board layouts and schematics (not just bassman):
http://turretboards.com/
#13
Quote by bpdeem
It sounds like bliss. I don't usually use a whole lot of gain anyway. Yeah, that round clean was what I liked about the '59 RI, but it left me thinking, ""if this is the reissue, how much more awesome are the original ones?" You probably work the volume nob, no? Does it loose a lot of the highs when you roll back for cleaner tones?

I swear, the more I learn, the more I feel like I HAVE to try some of these originals out!


Yep, it's all in the volume knob It was a big moment in my playing when I realized I didn't have to leave it on 10 all the time.

They are absurdly nice sounding. And the blackface ones can actually be had real cheap.
#14
If you're a true Fender fan, then you'll copy and paste this
Blackheart
Blackstar
Bugera
Egnater
Fender 5
Jet City
Laney
Line Six
Marshall
Orange
Peavey
Vox

Into this thread
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?p=28737464#post28737464
Guitars: Fender FSR Standard Strat, Squire Affinity Strat, Epiphone Nighthawk
Amps: Vox AC15C1, Roland Cube 15x, Peavey KB-1
Pedals: Digitech RP355, HD500, Joyo AC-Tone, EHX Soul Food
#16
I'm really interested in picking up a late 60s early 70s bassman, but a 4x10 cabinet seems a little excessive for my tastes. Can anyone recommend a smaller cab (1x12, 2x12) to look into instead? also what is a good used price for late 60s-early 70s bassman?
Strauss!
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absolutely what will said

Yay, my first compliment!