Fender Bassman


Fender Bassman

The Fender Bassman was a bass amplifier made by Fender in 1952. Although it was originally designed for bass guitars, it was frequently used for normal electric guitar in rock and roll, blues, and country bands.

History

The Bassman was designed for the first mass-production electric bass, the Fender Precision Bass. It was introduced in 1952 and discontinued in 1983. In 1990 Fender began producing a reissue of the 1959 Bassman model 5F6A, known as the '59 Bassman. The newest version of this reissue is the '59 Bassman LTD. The LTD version has a lacquered tweed covering and 4x10 inch Jensen speakers instead of the Eminence speakers used in the earlier reissue '59 Bassman.

The evolution of the Bassman amplifier followed that of the Fender amplification line. The Bassman amps of the 1950s were covered in tweed and had a more raw sound than later models. The tweeds were followed by the Blonde, Blackface, and Silverface "piggyback head" (excepting the Bassman 10 and 20, which were combo amplifiers) versions of the 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s with cleaner sound and more headroom.

A unique aspect of the Tweed Bassman circuit is the use of a cathode follower, which provides a slight compression of the sound while also allowing an increase in current, and thus more signal is sent to the power amp. It also had the secondary consequence of increasing the amp's dynamic.

Despite the fact that it was originally designed for bass guitars, it was more famous for its use with normal electric guitar and thus, when Fender recently reissue the 59 (5F6A) edition, it was categorized under guitar amplification instead.

Many famous amplifier manufacturers, including Marshall and Traynor, based their first batch of amplifiers upon the 5F6A Bassman, in examples such as Marshall's JTM45 (a clone of Bassman, using British-equivalent parts), and Traynor's YBA-1 (Head form of Bassman).

Other models

*Bassman 10 (1972-1982) - Silverface combo - four 10" speakers
*Bassman 20 (1982-1983) - Blackface combo - one 15" speaker
*Bassman 50 (1972-1977) - Silverface piggyback head - two 15" speakers, 50 Watts/RMS
*Bassman 70 (1977-1983) - Silverface piggyback head - Same as the Bassman 50, with 70 Watts/RMS
*Bassman 100 (1972-1977) - Silverface piggyback head - four 12" speakers, 100 Watts/RMS, became the Bassman 135 in 1978.
*Bassman 135 (1978-1983) - Silverface piggyback head - Same as the Bassman 100, with 135 Watts/RMS.
*Super Bassman (1969-1971) - one speaker cabinet
*Super Bassman II (1969-1972) - two speaker cabinets


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