Other Amps

Fender Bassman 410

26

Well that didn’t go the way I’d envisioned. I went to the Victoria seller’s house and plugged into his 45410. The bright channel sounded OK at low volume, but when I turned it up, the low end farted out and everything distorted in an unhappy way. So I switched to the Normal channel. It popped, crackled, and then fizzled out altogether. Like they say on “Law and Order,” “We’re done here.”

So I swung by TrueTone to see what they had to offer. Played through a new Vibro King, 2 different ‘67 Super Reverbs, an ‘82 Princeton Reverb, a hand wired Tweed Twin reissue, a ‘65 Pro Reverb, a ‘68 Princeton Reverb reissue, and a Chris Stapleton signature Princeton. And I liked the Vibro King and the ‘65 Pro Reverb best (they had 2 ‘70s Master Volume Twin Reverbs, but there’s a whole thread about those so I didn’t try them). But none of them really grabbed me in a good way. And most of the amps I tried were priced about the same. So my conclusion was to go home and play what I have and think about it some more.

27

You’re a wise man.

28

The Victoria seller appeared sincerely surprised and embarrassed at what happened, and no hard feelings, he said he'd get it fixed and let me know. I told him if someone else beats me to it, that's OK.

So last night I tried the MicroPro Mach II head into the 4x10 and darned if it didn't sound nice. I'm betting it's a sound I'm used to and after an afternoon of frustration, my brain liked that. I've got an outdoor gig this weekend wherein I should be able to get good and loud, so I think I'll try that configuration and see how it goes.

30

Frank, should you try a tweed bassman again - don't turn the bass control up past 3. You'll still have plenty of bass that way, and no low end fartiness. that's just a quirk of a lot of Fender amps, especially those of the 10" speaker variety.

Sounds like there might have been a bad preamp tube in that Victoria.

31

Does the 410 deliver a more complex, textured and dimensional tone with the Quilter than you get from your accustomed cab?

My 410 fantasy has foundered on the apparent fact that - per yesterday’s rabbit hole excursion - the only 10” neos anyone makes are specifically for sound reinforcement or clean bass repro, not guitar. I’m less interested in a full-weight 410.

I had the 310 Vic-built 45-watt Gretsch Variety, which was too big and too loud for any use I could foresee, and thus sold it. And geez, I also sold the 210 Matchless Lightning. So why am I thinking there’s a practical, light, convenient way to multiple 10ness? I think I fell victim to my own magical/wishful thinking for awhile.

Which doesn’t mean I’m NOT still thinking about Ethan’s empty pine 410. Old desires die hard.

32

My 410 fantasy has foundered on the apparent fact that the only 10” neos anyone makes are specifically for sound reinforcement or clean bass repro, not guitar. I’m less interested in a full-weight 410.

You seem to have missed the Jensen Tornado speaker in your search. Very lightweight, high powered 10" speaker that sounds great, and is versatile, good clean sounds, sounds good with different amounts and shades of breakup too.
That said, possibly a little too high powered and efficient for a 4X10 cab if you don't need very loud. If you want a little more oomph/headroom/low end from a 1X10 like a Princeton or a Pro Junior, a Jensen Tornado works great too and weighs a lot less than speakers that do similar things.

For my ears and hands, the better sounding 4X10 cabs have lower powered speakers (15 to 30 watts) that are not crazy efficient. Eminence and Jensen Alnico 10's work great, and WGS's Veteran 10 or Eminence's Alessandro 10's are awful nice lower powered ceramic magnet speakers that are more on the Fender side of things. If you want a darker, bassier, fatter sounding low power 10" speaker that sounds great in multiple 10" setups, try a Celestion Greenback 10.

The speakers I'm mentioning don't have heavy frames or magnets, and won't weigh more than any 10" neo speaker you can find. And they sound great for almost anything except really loud pristine clean, or very chunky heavy metal with crazy tight low end.

33

There’s literally no amp, with any size speaker, that wouldn’t get loud enough for my shrunken purposes. The bleed of an unamplified thin hollowbody electric through three interior doors, from three rooms away, is now too loud for my circumstances.

So yeah, low-power speakers are fine. And I guess easy transportability is also irrelevant, as with no gigs requiring even the hint of big iron, it’s just stationary furniture anyway.

Guess I should look up the actual weights of the tens, neo or not. I went through the Eminence site with a fine-tooth comb, and read a shootout/review of the new neo offerings from several makers. A search for “neo 10 guitar speakers” didn’t obviously turn up 10s. I’ll look deeper.

35

Does the 410 deliver a more complex, textured and dimensional tone with the Quilter than you get from your accustomed cab?

My accustomed cab is a closed-back 15" Eminence Big Ben. By comparison, I would say it was more complex and textured, maybe even more dimensional, but I didn't have a lot of time to evaluate it too deeply. I just liked it better than anything else I'd played yesterday, and it made me think I should have just closed my eyes, clicked my heels 3 times and said "There's no place like home."

Frank, should you try a tweed bassman again

Thanks for the encouragement, Walter, I believe I will. The Hollywood GC has one that's as old as I am for $4,899.99, so it probably won't be that one. There's an LTD for sale not far from me for $900, which is $300 less than the disappointing Victoria. It will be a few days before I have time for that, and the only thing that could get in the way besides my wife's finding out about it is that I started pondering a new pedalboard contraption (it won't be a toolbox this time, though Harbor Freight has these massive rolling ones available in 4 different colors, so the temptation is there, but common sense ought to prevail this time), so assuming I don't spend the money on that, it could happen.

36

Okay, I’ll weigh in here after having been a 4x10 LTD Bassman owner for a whole week now. You should try the LTD. The LTD I received was flawless in terms of workmanship. I can’t get enough time with this amp. This 4x10 has the fidelity, clarity and what I describe as “glow” that I’ve been chasing for quite a while. I am pleased with my Deluxe Reverb and I love my Victoria, which is a 1x12 with basically a Deluxe Reverb circuit, but this amp has something else. The clarity and glow I can best describe by referring to the last few measures of the Brian Setzer Orchestra version of Sleepwalk where it is just Brian and the guitar. This amp has it.

Now I’m not necessarily looking to play any amp loud enough to get natural tube crunch. I’m looking for pristine clean sound. I’ll get the crunch with pedals.

I did a good amount of homework before purchase. The amp does use a PCB, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. The tube sockets are chassis mounted. My only PTP amp is my Victoria, which is the most finicky of my amps as far as electrical interference, and is not as quiet as anything I’ve bought from Fender.

Maybe the guy will get the Victoria fixed. Your ears will be the judge regardless.

37

OK, I guess I'll get one.

38

OK, I guess I'll get one.

– Proteus

Ha!

39

Well, if Tim's gonna get one, I'd better jump on the bandwagon. I reached out to the guy who's selling one for $900. There's another guy selling one for $1300, but that's more than the Victoria was priced at, so I'm gonna pass on that one.

40

Beat ya. The Victoria seller felt so bad about having me come over for nothing that he drove the amp over to my house after he got it repaired (a broken solder joint), and now it sounds all clear and sparkly-like. It even came with a Peavey cover, which I guess will be a good theft deterrent.

41

Well pffft. Congrats to you.

42

Very funny (Peavey) Frank!

I would like clarification on which of the "7 French pffft's" Proto might be implying?

I worked with French counter-parts for years...loved every "pffft" they expelled!

43

I think Frank knows which pffft I meant.

45

At our age, you have to be careful not only which “Pffft,” but also where it’s been expelled from.

47

Very cool amp Frank.

48

Excellent! Congratulations Frank, and for my taste, it being an older one, you got the one with the cool speakers. Those Eminence/Mojotone Alnicos are the best repro alnico speakers you can get for these, especially after they've been beaten up for a while. Good deal!

49

I had a Mme LaCoq as a French teacher in college, who was young and pretty and easily embarrassed. The joqs in the class took full advantage and somehow kept her (ever-so fetchingly) red-faced and flustered. She must have been pretty severely culture-shocked to plop down in a small town in Ohio to teach Murrikins.

She did her best with me, but despite "proficiencying" en Français for an English degree (go figger), I never made the least progress in parlezvousing. Supposedly knowing something of the language did me next to no good during my short visit to Paree. For one thing, man them French fellers talk fast!

I couldn't use the public phones. I had to point at bread and cheese at streetside shops, I guess because my pain sounded painful and I paid no recognizable homage to fromage. It was raining chats and chiens when I tried to load the family on the GREEN tourist bus (and no other), whose color I couldn't see (because of the rain), and I asked the driver "vert" in every way I could possibly pronounce it. Still, shrugs of impatient incomprehension while I stood half on the step, holding up the bus (and traffic). I'd tried good ol' English "green bus?" first, to an even blanker stare...is there really any possibility l'homme whose job was ferrying tourists around on the green bus - a good portion of which had to be Anglais - DIDN'T know the English words "green bus?"

Or trying to buy a bottle of L Lysine for cold sores at a pharmacie. I said that word in every pronunciation and mis-pronunciation and accent I could conjure up, including el leejunay, all to no avail. Writing it on a pad of paper worked.

(Not that I was much better with written French. Despite trying to carefully read signs and streetside menus in trying to find a French restaurant we could afford, we ended up at a place specializing in Portugese food. Who knew there WAS such a thing? I still don't know what we ate, but it bore little relationship to food.)

After reading Twang's links to handy guides to French conversational idioms, I now realize I didn't say "Bonjour" to street merchants, bus driver, or pharmacist when in Paris, and that may be why they froze me out.

I was frustrated and aggravated, and wanted to blame the French. But hearing similar mispronunciation and associated butchery of English words - by Merkins as well as furriners - has taught me how fragile language is. As an exercise (or odd behavioral tic), I sometimes purposely mispronounce English words to myself, with wrong vowel sounds, wrong accents, pronunciation rules from other languages - and realize how incomprehensible they become.

I mean, I live in Dubois County, Indiana, but only "Dooboyze" is understood. We have a Versaille in Indiana, and if you pronounce anything other than "Versales," you get run out of town for being fruity.

So, yeah, language. I have inexpressible respect for those who are truly fluent - and culturally cognizant - in more than one language. Maybe I could've learned as a kid, when my brain was more adaptable, but I think that bus has left the stop for most Americans, who don't even get around to thinking about another language till high school. (Unless they're immersed in another language from the git go.)

My wife nannied for a young Indonesian couple (both PhDs at Indiana University), caring for their infant daughter (whose birth she had attended as a doula). By the time the girl was three, she spoke fluent - even elegant - English, Chinese, and French. She was also taking ballet and violin. Meanwhile, too many Americans are obliviously busy raising another generation of self-entitled Murkins who won't be able to compete.

ANYway, Pffft is universal.

And the blonde in this video from Twang's links is hilarious. I literally elled oh ell, and I pretty much don't do that, quoi?

50

Oh yeah. I like your new amp, Frank! You done good!

Didn't mean to derail into Francophiliophobia.


Register Sign in to join the conversation