The Bassman’s tone is one for the encyclopaedia of classic guitar sounds. It is known for having a tight low end, with a raw and weighty character. It is every bit a Fender amp, showcasing the excellent clean sounds that the company is known for, though the real personality of the amp comes out when turned up loud to produce its signature breakup sound.

The Fender Bassman is an instrument amplifier, introduced in 1952 to be paired with the company’s Precision Bass. Despite the intent for use with basses, it was promptly adopted by guitar players as well and is now generally regarded more as a guitar amp than a bass amp, with even Fender themselves reclassifying it within their product lineup. In addition to its legacy as the amp of choice for many players, the Bassman also served as the platform upon which Jim Marshall based his early designs for Marshall Amplification, in particular, the JTM45, which is based closely on the Bassman’s circuit design.

The Bassman exists in a plethora of different versions. The original Bassman came as an all valve, 26w 1x15 combo. This was soon revised, with the second generation using and updated circuit design and sporting a 4x10 speaker configuration and increasing the output to 40w. In the 1960s, the Bassman was redesigned into a head (amplifier separate from speaker cabinet) format for use with external speaker cabinets. With varying revisions, the Bassman was consistently in production throughout the 70s up until the 90s, when Fender reissued the 1959 Bassman. Alongside the ’59, Fender now offers reissues of several Bassmans from different eras for both guitar and bass.

The Bassman’s tone features heavily throughout the history of guitar-orientated music. It takes the well-known and loved Fender guitar sound and delivers it with an authority and attitude that has come to be the voice of guitarists everywhere. 

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