Fender 59 Bassman LTD speaker replacement

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by danyjr, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. danyjr

    danyjr TDPRI Member

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    Hi there,

    I have recently bought a 59 Bassman LTD, the circuit being one of my favourites (either Bassman 5F6-A or a Marshall Bluesbreaker would take the podium as my favourite amplifier designs). Having said that the stock speakers (Jensen P10R) leave a lot to be desired. They sound far harsher than I remember a Bassman sounding, and quite stiff.

    I'm sure part of the problem is because the speakers are not 'broken in' yet, but I can imagine there may be a few easy upgrades for the cab.

    In fact I remember playing through a 59 Bassman Reissue (the USA-made reissues from in 90s) in a bar regularly and they sounded great. They supposedly had Eminence 1028K 'Blue Frame' speakers in them, and coincidentally I have a local musician close to where I live selling a couple of those 90s amps for real cheap. I was thinking of buying one, swapping my Jensens with the Eminence blue frames and sell the amp (I won't be losing much money, if at all).

    A couple of questions:
    1. Am I going to see an upgrade by swapping these speakers?
    2. Would this be a simple case of swapping the amps with no further work required, or do I have to worry about impedance, wattage etc.? Basically, do I need a qualified technician to do this for me or is this a simple DIY job?
    Many thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. bparnell57

    bparnell57 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Blue frames would indeed be a large upgrade in my opinion, but giving the Jensen's a chance to break in could certainly tame their harshness by a good bit.

    Your amp will be worth a small bit more to a knowledgeable buyer if you equip it with the blue frames.

    1:1 Swap. You could even remove all 4 speakers with the wires still attached and just unplug the harness from the chassis of each, assuming both amp's have 1/4" jacks.
     
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    You can order the blue frames direct from Eminence. That speaker is officially known as the 1028ALP, which means alnico magnet, paper former.

    The black frame version is the 1028ALK which is the 35w alnico Legend with Kapton former.

    Lovely speakers, had the ALP and the 1228ALK 12" version.
     
  4. danyjr

    danyjr TDPRI Member

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    Thank you very much for such prompt responses.

    I am definitely going to record the amp both pre and post swap to judge if the upgrade is worth it. Might even post a video on YouTube showcasing it.

    Cheers!
     
  5. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Is there a difference between your 59 Bassman LTD, and the 59 Bassman reissue? Why not buy that other amp and sell yours instead of changing the speakers?
     
  6. danyjr

    danyjr TDPRI Member

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    Very good question. Main differences, as far as I know are:
    • Valve rectifier on the LTD compared to solid state rectifier on the Reissue
    • Solid pine cabinet on the LTD compared to laminate(?) cab on the Reissue
    • Internal bias pot on the LTD, no bias pot on the Reissue
    Aesthetically also, the old amp looks real beat up and the tweed doesn't have the correct colour IMHO.

    I'm sure someone knows more than I do on this subject though.
     
  7. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Ok, that makes sense.

    Yeah, I don't think there should be any problem swapping out the speakers, especially if both connect to the amp with a jack.
     
  8. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have a late '59 Reissue, pre-LTD, that came with the Jensen speakers.

    I ended up picking up a pair of the current production 1028's for a good price on eBay. I replaced just tow of the Jensens and it did everything I wanted... IT softened the top end a hair and tightened up the bass nicely. I had played my amp, pretty hard, for about a year, before replacing the Jensens. They were better than when I first purchased the amp, but still not quite perfect. After swapping out just the two speakers, I really couldn't be happier.

    I have played a real '59, all stock, since, at Gruhn's. It sounded almost exactly like my amp. That was good enough for me!
     
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  9. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Oh, and I like your plan of buying, then selling the other amp. I think the money lost will be a lot less than if you buy new, or used, 1028's and try to sell the Jensens. The P10Rs were a sought after speaker a few years ago, but there are so many good speakers out these days, I find they sit, unsold, for a long while these days... Unless you sell 'em cheap.

    But., at the same time, I am not sure how hot a Bassman is these days.... Big amp sales can be tough. Might have to sit on it for a while?
     
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  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I hate those Jensen P10R's too. The Blue Frames I had were better... a bit. The original coveted P10R Jensens were different. Paper voice coil formers.
    Another option for you would be some CTS Alnico's from a Super Reverb. But a set will cost you probably $300 used. They also have paper formers I believe.
     
  11. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    There is also now the 10" alessandro alnico made by eminence. It has a paper former but is slightly different from the blue frame, it has a flat felt dust cap. Whereas the blue frame has a paper dome dust cap.
     
  12. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    I've been told that the Fender branded v1030 used in the old Hot Rods are pretty good.
     
  13. Bob Arbogast

    Bob Arbogast Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I'm a V1030 fan. I have a pair in a Vibrolux Reverb and another pair in a 2x10 Deluxe Reverb. All kinds of Fender-y goodness!
     
  14. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    I have a Bassman LTD that came with those Jensens. I agree, they're awful. Fine at low volume but as soon as they're pushed they get harsh and brittle. I put a pair of Weber 10A125's in the top and another pair of 10F150's in the bottom. It was the best upgrade I've ever made to an amp. It became a tone monster after that.

    Given the current economic climate I wouldn't recommend trying to sell anything right now. You might buy that amp for the speakers and find yourself stuck with it when the bottom falls out of the market.
     
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  15. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    That actually reflects what I found with an alnico jensen in a 5e3 (12", can't remember which model).
    Clean it was very nice and sounded very musical, but it fell apart at volume. On the other hand, a 12" fender special design by eminence (pulled from a hot rod) wasn't as sweet at low volume, but could deliver a decent sound at any volume.
     
  16. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    I read that the V1030 was good, so I bought a slightly used one some time ago, haven't tried it out in anything yet. I believe that speaker was designed by Ted Weber, and made by Eminence. That's the one with the brown/yellow label on it, right?.
    Al
     
  17. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    Deleted! I replied to something in the rong thread
     
  18. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    That's been my experience with every set of Jensen reissues I've come across no matter what amp. They sound nice until you push them and then it's all harshness. They sound brutal when breaking up. On the other hand I've found every Weber I've tried sings the louder they're pushed.
     
  19. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could also try a pair of Weber Sig 10s for a budget option. Not bad speakers if the 8s are anything to go by. The P and C10Q Jensen's are a lot nicer, too. Recoton who make the new Jensen's just didn't get the 10R right IMO.
     
  20. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    I've never heard four of them at a time, but my Weber Signature 10AS is very good in an SCX2, which is basically a Princeton. It gets pretty close to the old school alnico tone. Broken in, mine is clean up to about half power, and compresses and gets fatter from there.

    A '59 Bassman LTD is on my wish list and I've always though a set of Sig 10AS would likely be better than the Jensens without making my wallet implode.
     
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