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ryanspeer's picture
Lake Stevens, WA
Jan 2003
9 years ago

I'm looking at getting my first real tube amp sometime soon here (in the next month) and have seen several of these Bassman 50 heads pop up on eBay that routinely go for less than $300. Sometimes even around the $200 range. Can anybody explain to me why they tend to go for so little?

I play guitar in my church's college/20's worship band and want to rely on my pedals (Keeley BD-2 and TS-808) for overdriven tones while using some tastefully added chorus, flange and rotary sims in there from time to time. When no effects are run through it, I want something that has beautiful silky clean tone, but that can sing even louder and more beautifully with my pedals before it.

Any ideas what cabinet would be best? I have no interest in getting a 4x12, but would be far more content with a 2x12. Maybe a cabinet with JBL's?? Is there something else that would be better suited to it? Maybe a Traynor cab or something. I've seen them for pretty reasonable prices. Basically, I don't want to break the $400 mark if I can help it.

Can anybody enlighten me on this??

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special_k's picture
St. Louis
Feb 2003
4 years ago

I would check the year these Bassman heads were manufactured.
If they were done after 1970 (i believe... correct me if I am wrong) to 1980-ish they had the icky Silverface wiring scheme (an "innovation" after CBS bought Fender). If you can find one from the '50s-'60s then that would be considered Blackface, which is the ideal in my opinion.

Truth be told those old Silverface models still sound about as good as the Blackfaces, but there's a tiny edge by the Blackface.

I'm running a '65 Bandmaster through a 2x12 and it sounds like heaven. my cab came with the amp and is from the same year loaded with Fender brand speakers (they sound good, so i'm not going to replace them).

I would highly recommend a Bandmaster, because you'll get a similar tone to the Bassman and they sell for less money because fewer people know about them. My head was refurbished and works and sounds amazing, but lost some of its collector's value (which I don't really care about) because the dude installed a modern three prong plug to prevent the possibility of electric shock from the back of the amp. (watch out for that!)

Mesa Boogie 2x12 cabs are awesome with old fender amps. you might also check out the Carvin Legacy cab, too.

sorry this is so long... hope it helps some.



stratocaster83's picture
Dec 2002
10 years ago

Originally posted by special k
Truth be told those old Silverface models still sound about as good as the Blackfaces, but there's a tiny edge by the Blackface.

I tried one (silverface) and it was really good, but you must use it at decent volumes, possibly with a single coils guitar (my les paul custom didn't cut through that much at practice).

Mesa Boogie 2x12 cabs are awesome with old fender amps. you might also check out the Carvin Legacy cab, too.

keith richards of rolling stones does that!!! his live tone rulez!!!

I'm trying to fight my own entropy

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blankspace6's picture
Jul 2003
7 years ago

i have a 64 bandmaster head and cab and they're amazing. i am wanting to get a blackface bassman head and cab to go along with it, but for the time being i'm using a fender bantam bass in tandem. anyways, in your case, i wouldn't go for the bassman because it tends to get a bit muddy (which i like as a 2nd amp, but not as my main.) no matter what you get, if you can get a blackface instead of a silverface you'll be much better off, but it sounds like you may do well with a vintage black twin reverb. i tend to haunt 5-6 guitar stores and ebay, so i'm always on the hunt for a good deal. if you have the time (and possibly a little more than $400) you should be able to find yourself a great fender blackface with a 2 x 12 for less than $500.

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trim_2's picture
so. cal.
Feb 2003
3 days ago

I have the 50 watt '64 Fender Bassman blackface.... I love it to death... You cannot go wrong with the cleans on this amp... I had mine overhauled by Doug Roccaforte and it is the best amp I have ever played through... So simple, Volume, Treble and Bass knobs... It is rated at 4ohms and getting a 2x12 cab to go along with it is awesome and clear... do it...

I too use the BD-2 stock with it and it sounds great....

Kid_BS's picture
Raleigh NC
Apr 2003
7 years ago

I have a silverface Bassman 50 head and it sounds wonderful. I am actually going to sell it because I have way too many amps and I need to start paying off some bills. This head is in really good condition (tolex, silver face, electronics, etc...). I would be willing to sell it for $250. If anyone is interested in pics just let me know.

MayTakeAHoliday's picture
Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Mar 2003
11 years ago

hmm...does anyone know about the bassman 10 combo? 4x10 inch speakers. I think it might be 40 watts but I really don't know. silverface. also, I might be interested in your bassman 50.

fender MIM strat with JB at bridge -> TB modded vox wah -> DODjuicebox -> EHbigmuffUSA -> SansampTri-AC -> AKAIintelliphase -> ALESIS nanoverb -> EHsmallclone-> carvinSX200 100 watt 2x12 combo.

cheap fender acoustic...I really like it a whole lot.

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