Fender Bassman 50, 1972, silver face. Thoughts, please. Discuss!

Vermoulian

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 18, 2009
Posts
325
Age
56
Location
Chicago, IL
I have a Bassman 50 and I never would have expected it, but at this point, if I could have only one Fender amp that would be it. I love how it sounds, and it breaks up nicely at a slightly lower volume than it's big brother, the Dual Showman Reverb. It was supposedly "blackfaced" before I got it but I have not thus far dug into it to figure out what if anything was changed in the circuit.

For me the perfect combination is the Bassman 50 through a huge late 60s Dual Showman 2x15 cabinet with JBLs, but that's not very practical for most people (although it's something to experience!). But a key thing to keep in mind is that the Bassman will be looking for a 4 ohm load, and that is not common with modern gear. It's easy enough to get by wiring two 8-ohm speakers (or four 16-ohm speakers) in parallel, but not many cabinets come that way. But rewiring for that is not rocket surgery. Some Marshall 4x12 cabinets have a switch that will let you select between 4 or 16 ohms when using the cab in mono.

A speaker that is not well-known but works great with the Fender heads set up for 4-ohm loads is a Celestion model called the G12T-100. This may or may not be what they now call the "Hot 100," but poking around now I'm seeing lots of them in 8 and 16 ohms. Some years back, however, Avatar was selling a 4-ohm version (that did not say "Hot" on it). I bought an Avatar 2x12 cab used that came with a pair of them, wired in series for 8 ohms. I pulled them out because I wanted to use the cab for some other speakers, but I put one of them in a 1x12 cabinet and used it with the Dual Showman Reverb, making that much more portable. I thought it sounded quite good. I've also used it with the Bassman with success. If you can find one, the 4-ohm G12T-100 will probably not cost much (at least compared to other Celestions) and can facilitate a cabinet that is much easier to transport.
 

KeithDavies 100

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 19, 2021
Posts
462
Age
60
Location
Cambridge, UK
I have a Bassman 50 and I never would have expected it, but at this point, if I could have only one Fender amp that would be it. I love how it sounds, and it breaks up nicely at a slightly lower volume than it's big brother, the Dual Showman Reverb. It was supposedly "blackfaced" before I got it but I have not thus far dug into it to figure out what if anything was changed in the circuit.

For me the perfect combination is the Bassman 50 through a huge late 60s Dual Showman 2x15 cabinet with JBLs, but that's not very practical for most people (although it's something to experience!). But a key thing to keep in mind is that the Bassman will be looking for a 4 ohm load, and that is not common with modern gear. It's easy enough to get by wiring two 8-ohm speakers (or four 16-ohm speakers) in parallel, but not many cabinets come that way. But rewiring for that is not rocket surgery. Some Marshall 4x12 cabinets have a switch that will let you select between 4 or 16 ohms when using the cab in mono.

A speaker that is not well-known but works great with the Fender heads set up for 4-ohm loads is a Celestion model called the G12T-100. This may or may not be what they now call the "Hot 100," but poking around now I'm seeing lots of them in 8 and 16 ohms. Some years back, however, Avatar was selling a 4-ohm version (that did not say "Hot" on it). I bought an Avatar 2x12 cab used that came with a pair of them, wired in series for 8 ohms. I pulled them out because I wanted to use the cab for some other speakers, but I put one of them in a 1x12 cabinet and used it with the Dual Showman Reverb, making that much more portable. I thought it sounded quite good. I've also used it with the Bassman with success. If you can find one, the 4-ohm G12T-100 will probably not cost much (at least compared to other Celestions) and can facilitate a cabinet that is much easier to transport.
Thanks for all that, Vermoulian. We'll rack that up as another positive review!

As I said somewhere above, I've got my eye on an old Fender 2x12 that's coming up on ebay this weekend, so that might be my cab solution. Alternatively, I did just replace some speakers so I have two 8-ohm Celestions that I could wire into an empty 2x12 cab to give 4 ohms. Not the specific speakers you've mentioned - they're Seventy 80s, so probably roughly comparable and would certainly do as an interim measure. There's also 4ohm Vox speaker coming up on ebay a couple of days later, so that's also a possiblity. And half the fun, I find, is exploring those options and seeing where you end up!!
 

Vermoulian

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 18, 2009
Posts
325
Age
56
Location
Chicago, IL
As I said somewhere above, I've got my eye on an old Fender 2x12 that's coming up on ebay this weekend, so that might be my cab solution.
An old Fender two-speaker cab is probably 4 ohms. They used 8-ohm speakers in almost everything back in the day, wired in parallel where applicable, and different output transformers (or at least different taps) depending on how many speakers the amp was designed to drive. So speaker impedance varied from 2 ohms (4x10 Concerts and Supers) to 8 ohms (1x12 Deluxes, 1x15 Showman cabs), and the two-speaker cabinets (2x10 Vibrolux, 2x12 Twin, 2x12 Bassman cab, 2x15 Dual Showman cab) were 4 ohms. (There may be exceptions but I'm not aware of them.) Bonus if the cab more or less matches your Bassman head.

Alternatively, I did just replace some speakers so I have two 8-ohm Celestions that I could wire into an empty 2x12 cab to give 4 ohms. Not the specific speakers you've mentioned - they're Seventy 80s, so probably roughly comparable and would certainly do as an interim measure.
Those should work just fine---the notable point about the G12T-100 is that it's available as a 4-ohm speaker, if you wanted to have a 1x12 cabinet that would work nicely with the Bassman. Two 8-ohm speakers is certainly the easiest way to go, especially if you have a 2x12 cabinet available.
 

Flaneur

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 24, 2010
Posts
6,261
Location
Scotland
Sorry I missed this one. I have a couple of SF Bassman heads and have gigged them, with 1x12, 2x10, 2x12, 4x12 and 1x15 cabs. :D The old Marshall cab, loaded with it's original Celestions, might be my favourite- but Bassman heads aren't fussy about that, nor about impedance. (At least, for a little while).
Definitely a keeper. Immediate service, is mandatory. Chuck your 70/80s into a cab and prepare to be happy.:cool:
 

KeithDavies 100

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 19, 2021
Posts
462
Age
60
Location
Cambridge, UK
Thanks, @Flaneur

I did indeed put the 70/80s into a cab, and did have a cheeky play with it. Crackly - because, yes, it needs that service! - but lovely. So yes, that's a keeper.

I'd just moved back to the UK and therefore no longer had a regular amp tech, but happened on someone on YouTube servicing a Selmer Treble n Bass, and it turns out he lives just down the road. I also have one of those - first amp I ever bought; £50 because one channel wasn't working, hidden under a table at the back of a little place on Kilburn High Road, around 1988 - and it's a bit crackly too, so I got in touch, took it over, and he's got that at the moment. The Bassman will go in next.

However, I unexpectedly have an imminent gig! The band I played with over 5 years ago before I moved abroad have a gig coming up that their current guitarist can't make. I'm busily re-learning 40 songs, and needed something I could gig with, probably before I can count on getting either amp back. Enter, the cheeky blonde below, purchased at the weekend. Too loud for in the house, but sounds great and should be perfect as a gig amp. Now I just need a roadie to lug all these amps around, and a venue big enough to warrant my - once-serviced - huge array of gig level amps!!
1653512365365.png
 

Flaneur

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 24, 2010
Posts
6,261
Location
Scotland
I looked at your new rig and immediately wondered what flavour of speakers are in that blond cab? I know a lot of Supersonics use Celestions but if you have an American voiced set, you'll have a wide range of options, when you get the vintage heads back......

(Not to disrespect the 70/80s. I have one in my regular lightweight combo- and I'm really impressed.)
 

Short on cash

Tele-Meister
Joined
Feb 16, 2022
Posts
164
Age
68
Location
Florida
If you have ever heard a 50 watt bassman with the 2-15" JBL's
you KNOW what THE sound is.
It just doesn't get any better, bass or guitar.
Played that setup for a few years in the 70's.
 

KeithDavies 100

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 19, 2021
Posts
462
Age
60
Location
Cambridge, UK
I looked at your new rig and immediately wondered what flavour of speakers are in that blond cab? I know a lot of Supersonics use Celestions but if you have an American voiced set, you'll have a wide range of options, when you get the vintage heads back......

(Not to disrespect the 70/80s. I have one in my regular lightweight combo- and I'm really impressed.)
I haven't opened it up yet, but Fender suggests it's got 2 Celestion Vintage 30s in it:


Of course, that's a current link, and mine is obviously not new, so that might have changed. I'll have a look over the weekend.

The 70/80s are fine. I took them out of an amp and a 1x12 cab that I had, replacing them with a Celestion Blue, in one case, and a Celestion Cream - for its higher power-handling level - in the other. The new speakers are great, with more top and clarity, but cranked up, playing with a band, I don't think anyone would notice, including me! The 70/80s seem to get a bit of flack online but I think it's more theoretical than practical. They're absolutely fine. I might be fussy and use the Blue and Cream if I was recording, but live/jamming?

Of course, now @Tele-Meister has thrown a spanner in the works. Now I NEED a 2x15 cab.

I'm gonna need a bigger house...
 

Flaneur

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 24, 2010
Posts
6,261
Location
Scotland
If you have ever heard a 50 watt bassman with the 2-15" JBL's
you KNOW what THE sound is.
It just doesn't get any better, bass or guitar.
Played that setup for a few years in the 70's.
I have an old Fender 2x15 cab. Carried it up the stairs in my house, years ago. I'm not sure I ever want to do that again. :rolleyes:

Epic sounding. The pyramid cabs are killer, as well- and not expensive. I wonder why? 😂😅:oops:
 

Flaneur

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 24, 2010
Posts
6,261
Location
Scotland
A friend of mine built a Blackface Bassman head into a combo cab, with a 15 inch Jensen. He covered it with lurid, bright green Tolex and didn't put the faceplate onto the control panel.
He would take it along to his friend's regular jam, where no-one wanted to use it. They were 'experiencing' tone, with their eyes. 😉:rolleyes:
 

Flyboy

Tele-Holic
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Posts
866
Location
scotland
Sorry I missed this one. I have a couple of SF Bassman heads and have gigged them, with 1x12, 2x10, 2x12, 4x12 and 1x15 cabs. :D The old Marshall cab, loaded with it's original Celestions, might be my favourite- but Bassman heads aren't fussy about that, nor about impedance. (At least, for a little while).
Definitely a keeper. Immediate service, is mandatory. Chuck your 70/80s into a cab and prepare to be happy.:cool:
You're not the infamous Edinburgh New Town Flaneur, by any chance??
 

Flaneur

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 24, 2010
Posts
6,261
Location
Scotland
You're not the infamous Edinburgh New Town Flaneur, by any chance??
Happily, no.....

I had to look him/her up. I would have thought the gentrification/Disneyfication of central Edinburgh was beyond parody.....:rolleyes::(
 

KeithDavies 100

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 19, 2021
Posts
462
Age
60
Location
Cambridge, UK
Oh no... what did I do this time?! Always getting myself in trouble and don't even remember why 😅😆
If you have ever heard a 50 watt bassman with the 2-15" JBL's
you KNOW what THE sound is.
It just doesn't get any better, bass or guitar.
Sorry! Was looking at the wrong bit of the name. It was @Short on cash

How's a guy to keep his guitar budget under control with this sort of shenannigans?!! :):):)
 




Top