Other Amps

Evil Twins (Sort of NAD) Bassman ‘59 LTD

1

Been thinking of getting a smaller amp than my 65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue. My other two amps - a Victoria Execulux (Gretsch Executive) and Blues Deluxe Reissue are a bit bigger yet. I use any of the three at gigs, but some places we play are a bit cramped.

Yet every time I played a smaller amp, I just didn’t like the sound and figured it was the speaker size and cabinet size. At the same time, I kept thinking about a Bassman 4x10. I briefly played someone’s Bassman at the last Roundup. I think it was Josh’s (which means it was probably pretty well souped up). Boy did I like it. And don’t get me wrong, I love my Victoria and Deluxe Reverb.

So I read whatever I could find on the web and decided to order up ‘59 Bassman LTD. I figured that if I liked it, I’ll unload the Blues Deluxe Reissue and a TC Electronic bass amp that I have, as long as the Bassman works for the bass playing I do in addition to the guitar. I know the Bassman LTD is not PTP wiring, but neither is my Deluxe Reverb and I’m happy with that. The tube sockets are chassis mounted and not PCB mounted, so that is good.

Bassman arrived today. I spent quite a while playing it and A/B ing it with the Victoria using my Tennessee Rose. I am very impressed so far. The Bassman’s noise floor is dead quiet. The clarity and string separation are at least as good as the Victoria. String dynamics are excellent It has a lot more bass response than the Victoria. Not better, just different. The speakers aren’t broken in yet. I only imagine it will get better. I’ve got 30 days to give it a good test run.

I have no plans on playing the amp loud enough to get natural tube breakup, but nor do I play the other amps that loud either . I use effects for that. Oh sure I turn it up a bit for fun once and a while, but I like my hearing. There’s just something about the feeling of having 450 horsepower underneath you, even if you’re driving the speed limit. You can just feel it. You can feel and hear it in the amp as well. Maybe I’ll try the bass tomorrow.

So much for smaller...

2

Looks like a winner to me. Congrats!

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"There’s just something about the feeling of having 450 horsepower underneath you, even if you’re driving the speed limit."

I know that feeling. Lol

Sweet set up there. Something special about those big tweeds.

Congrats and enjoy.

4

Well, I love this amp. Can't stop thinking about it and so looking forward to playing it every day. The fidelity, clarity and string separation are phenomenal. Trying the Strymon Flint in front of it and it is pure heaven with a little reverb. Takes my other pedals and Line 6 Helix very well. I don't think I've ever been this excited over an amp.

5

I'm a Bassman fan. After a couple years of having BOTH of these (I know...I know...), I just got around to doing an A/B. Unfortunately, I only had about 20 minutes to get it done. It sure was a fun 20 min, though!! I still think a 4x10 is the best way to go for club gigs...no beam and they fill the room with big, fat sound, and, best of all, if your amp isn't mic'ed and you're standing 8-10 feet in front of it, the sound is dispersed enough that you can actually hear what you sound like. BTW...I've just started gigging a plexi shield so I can crank it up a little more.

It's not a perfect solution to the need to twist it up, but it works well enough for me.

6

I used a Bassman RI for years to gig with. Never got it loud enough at gigs for "natural breakup' but then I didn't really like it that much when I did turn it up that far anyway! There are better amps for that sound - I never understood why the Bassman is the one with that reputation.

But as a mostly clean platform it is a great amp for gigging. It can sometimes get a bit flubby in the low end but it has a beautiful, full, characterful tone which suits a Gretsch well. And as you have found it sure fills a stage. Not too heavy to lug to gigs but treat it gently as the PCB versions aren't quite as bullet-proof as the tagboard ones.

Enjoy it! I totally get the "having enough juice" thing - a lot of smaller amps just don't cut it for me. A 4x10 Bassman is a good level of grunt to compete with a drummer and still hold everything together.

7

Greg, the one I had at the Roundup was a bone stock ‘56 Bassman. Less wattage and less efficient than what you have now, but the same basic theme. You made a great choice! I’m glad you like it.


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