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The Fender Bassman is one of the most iconic amplifiers in the world. Both guitarists and bassists have found uses for this amp in their rigs and now they are bringing this classic tone back with modern power. Rated at 800w this combines an all valve preamp section that uses a set of 12AX7 tubes with a class D solid state power amp that packs a massive amount of power and keeps the weight low.
The Benefits Of Hybrid
While having an all valve bass rig is great, the pain it causes not only on your wallet but on your back as well is really not worth it a lot of the time. For most players a hybrid or all solid state rig makes a lot more sense as you get very similar tones but without having to deal with insanely weighty rigs that require a 3 man crew.
The tube preamp still means that you are getting a lot of that classic Fender Bassman tone. No overly chirpy or clinical sounding tones here as the pair of 12AX7 tubes really add to the warmth. Meanwhile the solid state power amp provides an amazing amount of power in a tiny format, not colouring the tone just letting you push that all valve preamp section hard.
While there are some solid state amplifiers that are lighter than this not many valve or hybrid amps can claim to be this portable. Weighing in at just 17lbs this amp is incredibly lightweight considering it still has an all tube preamp inside! Combine this up with a nice and light Neodymium speaker loaded cab and you have a portable rig that still has the sound of a classic Bassman.
Two Channel Design
This amp really has two completely different voices. The Vintage mode features a really cool passive 3 band EQ that means it is never boosting frequencies, just cutting for the same response you would have gotten from a classic amp. Switch over to the overdriven mode and you activate a really powerful active 3 band EQ circuit that gives you a lot more modern sounds that you might not associate with Fender amps.
Here's what Fender say about the Bassman 800 Bass Amp Head
Combining the best of authentic Fender bass sound with modern power, the Bassman 800 Head is an easily portable powerhouse with flexible, thunderous tone. Designed for the ultimate bass playing experience, it offers two versatile channels, classic good looks, and ultra musical Fender tube tones-all in a lightweight chassis (only 17 lbs.) that mates perfectly with Bassman Pro Neo speaker cabinets to create a tonal monster.
The foundation of the Bassman 800's tone is the two-channel tube preamp. Powered by a pair of premium 12AX7 tubes, this flexible preamp offers Vintage and Overdrive voicing, making it perfect for any style of music. The Vintage channel provides classic Fender bass tone thanks to its highly interactive passive tone circuit that cuts frequencies instead of boosting them, giving each note a distinctive thickness with no high end Fizz. The Overdrive channel cranks out genuine tube-driven overdrive, while its active 3-band tone circuit with variable mid frequency and blend control makes it easy to unleash a variety of sonic flavours, ranging from polite to aggressive This highly musical preamp is matched to a cool-running solid-state Class D power amp that delivers an arena filling 800 watts of power.
Equally at home on stage or in the studio, the Bassman 800's rear panel sports a tuner output and effects loop, as well as a flexible pro level XLR line output with level control, pre/post EQ switch, ground lift to eliminate hum and Silent Recording capability. The combination output jacks support both speakON (2- and 4-pole) and 1/4" connections, making it easy to connect almost any speaker cabinet. The included footswitch lets you effortlessly switch between the preamp channels on stage, adding even more flexibility to the amplifier. Packed with powerful highly malleable, authentic Fender bass tone, the Bassman 800 is an inspiring amplifier that punches well above its weight class.
- Controls: Vintage - VOL, BASS (pull DEEP), MID, TREBLE (pull BRIGHT); Overdrive - GAIN, BLEND, VOL, BASS (pull DEEP), MID FREQ, MID LVL, TREBLE (pull BRIGHT); MASTER (pull MUTE)
- Effects Loop: 1/4" - (Preamp Out, Power Amp In)
- Inputs: Two - (1/4", Input 2 is at -6dB)
- Line Out: One - (XLR with Ground Lift, Level Control, and Pre/Post EQ Switch)
- Channels: Two - (Vintage and Overdrive)
- Rectifier: Solid State
- Wattage: 800 Watts RMS output at 4 ohms
- Cabinet Material: 7-Ply 5/8" Meranti Plywood
- Handle: Molded Rubber "Dog Bone" Style
- Front Panel: Black
- Effects: Tube Overdrive
- Control knobs:Black Plastic and Knurled Chrome
- Dimensions: 21.9cm x 56.81cm x 26.7cm
- Weight: 7.7 Kg
- Pre Amp Tubes:2 x 12AX7
- Power Tubes: NA
- Foot Switch: 1-Button (Channel Select)