A Classic Fender Amp, The Fender Bassman

Fender Bassman

   I recently had the opportunity to play a ’59 Fender Bassman Reissue amplifier and I was really blown away with how amazing it sounded. As a guitarist you hear stories of the great amplifiers as you learn your craft and you hear the amplifiers on recordings. But there’s really nothing like playing the amps yourself and really being able to crank them all the way up. The thing about tube amplifiers is they give you more sweetness the harder you push them. Every tube amp I’ve played has had a sweet spot where the amplifier really sings.

   So I got to really push the ’59 Fender Bassman Reissue and let me tell you, it’s loud. But it sounds so damn good that you don’t care how loud it is. It’s ecstasy because it’s a sound that you recognize from all the recordings that have been made with this amplifier. I love it when an amplifier roars when you really hit your guitar hard and then quiets down and softens as you play softer and roll down your guitar volume. The Bassman really did well in the response department. It has the classic tube compression thanks to it’s original specification 4AR4 rectifier tube. This lets the amp compress more the harder you hit it and push it. A good tube amp will “breathe” when you play it and the ’59 bassman is a leader in that ability.

   The amp has four 10-inch speakers and the speakers and tubes will break-in and get very warm after the amplifier breaks them in over time. So a Bassman that has been played for a while will actually sound warmer than a brand new one. Another interesting thing is the Bassman amplifier was originally introduced to be used with the Fender Precision Bass but guitarists soon discovered how sweet the amp worked for the guitar.

   Another piece of Fender Bassman trivia is the fact that Jim Marshall of Marshall amplifiers actually copied the Fender Bassman circuit for the original Marshall amps. A fully cranked up Bassman really sounds a lot like the vintage Marshall amplifiers. I was able to pull some great AC/DC type tones from the Bassman.

   I’m going to point you to 3 videos that demonstrate the awesome Fender Bassman Amplifier. I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing what this amp can do.

’59 Bassman

Vintage Fender Bassman Pushed Over The Edge

Fender ’59 Bassman Electric Guitar Amplifier Demo

Fender 59 Bassman Fender 59 BassmanThe straightforward Fender 59 Bassman outperforms most of the fancy amps on the market today. In the 1950s, the Bassman was perfect for amplifying that new invention, the Fender Precision Bass. This 50W rig allowed the bass to hold its own onstage with drums, electric guitars, and miked piano, the common instrumentation of the day. Over the years, it also won the hearts of guitarists who, after experimenting with all kinds of preamps and effects racks, found its simplicity, great tone, excellent dispersion, and touch-sensitive dynamics a true pleasure. This reissue is true to the original while adding several enhancements: U.S.-made GT-6L6 output tubes, improved 12AX7 preamp tubes, and an internal bias pot, making it easier to experiment with other output tubes. It also features a genuine lacquered tweed covering, solid finger-jointed pine cabinet, and an original-spec 4AR4 rectifier tube for natural compression when you play hard. Includes fitted cover.

Author: Live Musician Central

My name is Matt Rushton. I have been playing in bands for 27 years. I've been playing professionally for 21 years. I have opened for Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Joan Jett, Little River Band, and Quiet Riot.

3 thoughts on “A Classic Fender Amp, The Fender Bassman”

  1. The most important thing to know as it pertains to this article is that this is a Fender ’59 Bassman Reissue which one day may become a collectible amp. If you, as a collector, wanted to get an original ’59 Bassman there are some out there in $5000-$8000 range. So this Fender ’59 Bassman reissue is considerably cheaper and it still sounds fabulous.

  2. I have had the 59Bassman Ltd.Re-issue for several months now,and can attest to it’s fine attributes.I t sings sweetly when I play soft,and it roars with blistering penetrating sustain when I get agressive.When I use effects,providing I tweak the controls effectively,The amp performs faithfully.Compare to pricey botique amps,I consider this amp to be an absolute bargain.The only factor I cannot comment on is long term reliability.Time will tell.I also have a Blues Jr.
    tolex,and Blues Jr NOS(Tweed),Both are great practice/small venue gig amps,and the NOS is a tone monster.I highly recommend it.Play on,Boys and Girls!

  3. Hey Tom, thanks for the great comment. I’d love to hear any soundclips you have of your 59 Bassman Ltd. Re-issue. Feel free to link to them in the comments if you have them. My Fender Cyber-Twin SE does a pretty good Bassman impersonation but it’s not quite the same as having a dedicated amp pulling off the 59 Bassman sound. -Matt-

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