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.
Vintage Fender Bassman Pushed Over The Edge
Fender ’59 Bassman Electric Guitar Amplifier Demo