59 bassman vs reissue

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Newbcaster, May 19, 2020.

  1. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    why do they sound so different?

    If I'm building one from ceriatone/mojo/weber....

    How do I avoid making something that doesn't sound right? Too new and solid state jangly.

    I'm a slide guy, so I like those filmosound 385s and I love it when a bassman gets syrupy and, well bassy.

    Newb
     
  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Filmosounds 385....? Pls explain.
     
  3. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    Build the 5E7 Bandmaster 3x10, the loudest 26 Watt Amp in history. This is the amp tone from “Who’s Next“ with a Gretsch 6120 and it will ROCK YOU. No question about it.
    It’s also the amp from “China Grove” too. Just not the same amp is all.
     
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  4. guspac88

    guspac88 Tele-Meister

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    Not amp-specific, but you could almost definitely play 5 original Bassmans and get 5 different tones. Component values have large ranges and if a few are off in a way that their effects can be combined, you can get very different sounding amps from the same blueprint. Your best bet is to go for an original circuit, tight tolerances, original speakers, and a cabinet built to the same dimensions with the same materials (probably pine). Even then, you won't have the same transformers, you'll need NOS tubes, etc etc etc. My advice? Build the original circuit, pair it with a speaker you like, then start modding. If a "clone" doesn't get you close enough, that's totally understandable, but it will probably take some additional tweaking to get it where you want it. Tone stacks, bright caps, coupling caps, etc can all be swapped easily until you get what you were going for. Best of luck!
     
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  5. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    The reissue matches the original 5F6A Bassman pretty closely except for the solid state rectifier and the huge increase in preamp filtering from 8uF to 44uF. The preamp filtering can have a dramatic affect on touch, sag and feel. I'm a fan of clipping one of the preamp 22uF caps out or go all the way and remove both and replace with one 8uF.

    I would guess that most of the tone differences come from the speakers though. Since there are 4 of them Fender may have cheaped out. I'd go with 4 Weber 10A125As (8 ohm, 20w, standard dust cap, light dope) or Signature Alnicos if you can't swing $416 + shipping for the 10A125As.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  6. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Keep in mind that the Fender schematic and layout show differences from most of the 5F6As that rolled out the door. The Tone Slope resistor is actually 100k, the Bass cap is .1uF, the Phase Inverter Tail resistor is 6.8k 2 watt and the Presence circuit is the same used in the 59 Reissue. I recommend these values since it's what real Bassmans have. My 5F6A layout uses these values:
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Recoton-made Jensen P10Rs are splatty and honky. Get four Eminence 1028ALKs, or two ALKs and two SC64s which are the same speaker with ceramic magnets and similar efficiency. ALKs are paper voicecoil former, alnico magnets and once broken in are a big improvement. The original amps also used a 12AY7 in the first preamp position, possibly because the 2nd input was often used for a microphone. That is a lot less gain and smoother.
     
  8. Newbcaster

    Newbcaster Tele-Holic

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    When you say these values are what real bassman have, do you mean the reissues or like an original 59?
     
  9. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I haven't played a lot of '59 Bassman amps, but I have played one or two. I own a '59 Bassman Reissue. I also own a '58 Twin (same circuit, more power, more tubes and fewer speakers). I will say that the '59 Bassman I played at Gruhn's a while ago, sounded like my Reissue (granted, separated by a few days of playing each). My Twin definitely is in the same tonal ballpark (though the Twin sounds quite a bit different, warmer, much more bass presence, and the lack of the 4x10 swirly room filling sparkle).

    I have modified my Bassman, very slightly... I added a bias pot, but also went with a Wr4 Copper Cap to lower the voltages to the vintage spec. (I did also replace the PCB with hand wired internals... But, used as much of the original parts as I could. It didn't really change the tone much, if any) In all honesty, I think lowering the internal voltages, gets you a lot closer to an old Bassman. Fender spec'd a transformer to be very close to the originals. Although, they forgot the center tap.

    Like I said, I don't have a lot of experience with a 'real' 5f6-a Bassman. So, I'd also like to know what you hear differently between a vintage amp and a reissue, or clone?
     
  10. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve played two real 1959 Bassman… Several 59-reissue Bassmans… And an early 70s Bassman 10, which is a total bastardization of the original idea.

    I love them all, and I wish I had room for each of them...

    Truth be told, if I were to ever scratch that itch I would roll my quarters and quit drinking coffee in fancy froufrou shops and buy me a Grammatico copy made down in Austin.
     
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  11. dreamingtele

    dreamingtele Friend of Leo's

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    I came here to find more about my dream amp, the 59 Bassman, then you introduced me to this one, and a local amp builder that has a stellar reputation here in my part of the world builds clones of this amp.. MAN, MAN, MAN, you sold me to this one!

    I'm abandonding my 59 bassman dreams now!! but I cannot decide if I want a Vibroverb with a 15" speaker or this new apple of my eye!!


    Getting back to topic,

    I havent played a real 59.. but the reissue sounded good to me thus becoming one of my dream amps!!!!
     
  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have the opposite situation from most...I've extensively played/gigged a vintage 5F6A Bassman, but have never played a reissue.
    I would love to get my hands on a Reissue and A/B them...although, IIRC, there are several iterations of the RI.
    What I HAVE A\B'd is my '58 and a Kendrick Bassman...actually, a BadAssMan, which is a Bassman with more bells and whistles.
    The Kendrick could definitely be made to sound so similar that I wouldn't want to have anything at stake if I had to tell the difference.
    You can go on Kendrick's website and read about Gerald Webers quest for Bassman tone.
    As far as I can tell, the 2 things that make his amps unique are his custom made output transformers, which are designed after a previously-unknown design that was only discovered when he dissected an original, and his Blackframe speakers which, although ceramic, have NOS cones from the OE supplier to Jensen. According to Weber (Gerald, not Ted), the magnets are made weaker to emulate the sound of 50-year-old P10R's.
    OTOH...after all that, he puts a 12AX7 in V1...he's a rocker.
    I'll tell you what, though...that BadAssMan is aptly named.
    bassmen.JPG
     
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  13. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had both a Bassman Reissue 1st/2nd year Reissue
    and a 5E7 at the same time and the Bandmaster had the exact tone of my ‘56 Champ, so the Bassman which weighed a ton got sold sadly the Champ went too because of bankruptcy and foreclosure in The Bubble. But...I’ve come back and I’m lean & mean. No worries.
     
  14. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    If I were to buy another Bassman Amp there is no doubt it’d be a piggyback. Piggy’s are the “Son Seals Tone.”
    That raw light of dawn - the cataclysmic sound.
    The “This Is It” sound. Son Seals on “Midnight Son” he had it. Pure lightning in a bottle.* Never got the chance to ask Son if those were KT-66’s because it was so Beano. Wish Son was still here. The Blues Guys back then were really locked in, decades ahead of everyone until Mike Soldano cracked the code.
     
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  15. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I must be desperate to play out.
    I carried the Bassman up a flight of stairs today and, I swear, I thought to myself, "Awwwww...this thing ain't so heavy."
     
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  16. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's

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    Get the amp you want. Then use an eq pedal to get the sound you want.
     
  17. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Both. Most of the original tweed 5F6A Bassmans and the reissues share the 100k tone slope, .1uF Bass cap, 6.8k PI Tail resistor and presence circuit.
     
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  18. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    I have (had?) a 59 Bassman LTD that I gigged for a lot of years and then a few years ago I had completely rebuilt with actual 5F6A spec parts and Mercury Magnetics transformers.

    The reissue sounded good once I changed out the Jensen RI speakers for a pair of Weber 10A125 and another pair of 10F150's. It was a great clean platform for pedals. You absolutely could not overdrive that sucker without taking the paint off of low flying aircraft. It had a good mid-push sound that cut through any mix.

    The 5F6-A sounds different. Not like, completely different, but enough that you can tell it's not the same amp. Original 5F6A spec sounds more complex and has a jangle and sparkle that the RI was missing. I also ended up pulling the 10F150's and now have a full quad of 10A125's in there as that speaker pairing just didn't suit the amp anymore.

    Was it worth the cost and hassle of rebuilding the amp? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Had I to do it over again I would have just sold the 59RI and bought a hand built clone.
     
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  19. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    According to the tech who did my rebuild there are some significant voltage differences in the Reissue versus the original spec. That would more than likely account for the tonal variation between them.
     
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  20. Rufus

    Rufus Tele-Afflicted

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    This guy millstap has an amazing sounding Bassman...

    I know NOTHING about the electronics but maybe this might be useful...??

    millstap has a whole bunch of youtube videos on his particular Bassman
     
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