Page 1 of 3

'59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:08 pm
by jbone1
i posted this same thing in the equipment section, hope that's ok-

i just got a '59 bassman replica, courtesy steve clark at sligo amps. this thing is awesome to put it mildly! nice mix of speakers for good low and high end breakup and all point to point wired, truly a thing of beauty and function! i stuck a 12au7 in the third slot to cut the gain some and this works well on smaller amps i've used. i wonder though if any of you harp guys who use a bassman can shed any light on getting some more gain cut? there are of course 3 12a-type sockets and the amp cam with 3 12ax7's. is there a combination of lesser value tubes- 12at7 and 12au7- that will give me less gain and still wondrous volume? is there a particular rectifier tube that will improve this amp's performance for harp? i've heard a 5y3 is a good one but since i have no idea, i'd rather get y'all's counsel before swapping stuff around too much. i also wonder about using a volume pedal in line to keep volumes right during quiet times and then bumping up for solo times.

any words of wisdom deeply appreciated!!


Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:13 pm
by eline
I just got a Blues Deluxe Reissue and I swapped two of the preamp tubes. You could try adding in another 12AU7 or 12Ay7 in the two slot as well and have a listen. Congrats on the new purchase. I would have liked the 4x10 myself but I got a great deal on the Blues Deluxe.

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:07 pm
by jbone1
i'll try that- thanks!

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:17 pm
by Fishfeathersmacteeth
Here's a page with some good discussion of different preamp tube arrangements in 59 Bassman type amps...

Code: Select all

..I'm using the 12AU7, 12AX7, 12AU7 myself now in my '91 59 Bassman RI...

..I like it...but not everyone will....

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:44 pm
by angerboy
For a while, I ran a 12AU7, 12AU7 and a 12AX7 in a Bassman LTD for a while. It sounded pretty good. I tried a 12DW7 in V3. It did nothing for feedback rejection or fattening up the tone. After screwing around with tubes for a couple of days, I settled on a 12AY7 in V1, 12AX7 in V2 and 12AX7 in V3. It fed back earlier, but it was the lineup that sounded the best to me. It was too loud for my needs.

One of my buddies has a Bassman LTD which sounds really nice runs this combination: 12AU7 in V1, a 12AY7 in V2
and a 12AT7 in V3.

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:02 am
by jbone1
i tried 12au, 12ax, and 12au in the three slots last evening and nearly tripled volume before feedback. i may put a 12ay in to see what effect it will have.
tonight i think i'm headed for a jam to see how it does live. more later!

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:05 am
by Fishfeathersmacteeth
...let us know how it goes JBone...!!! 8)

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:39 pm
by bottleneck
yeah,hello? how'd it go at the jam?

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:25 am
by jbone1
well we headed for the jam- and the joint was closed! this week though, we found another one. here's a bit of review of both the jam and the amp:

well we broke down and lugged the new amp out to a jam last night, figuring i'd get to blow harp on the usual 3 songs and then have to clear out. to my surprise when we got to the joint, it was a slightly different band hosting the jam. not long after we walked in i got the call to come up and play. at which point i plugged in the bassman and got my mic and harps out. backed a local diva on 2 or 3, and it was all i could do to keep my foot out of it- if you ever owned a muscle car back in the day, this is very similar to getting that back 2 barrels open on the ol' v8 and burning up some road! singers switched out at that point. after a couple more songs where i did backup and was given some nice double turnaround solo spaces- which really let this amp off the leash- i got to sing a couple. i think in all i played on at least 8 and maybe 10 songs. rare for a jam!
the guys i was jamming with are first rate locals who have always made me feel welcome at open mics and even had me sub in last year on a gig with them. my issue has always been that i could barely hear that sweet toned silvertone i have used for the past 6 or 7 years.
i called off a medium shuffle in G and grabbed a low F harp. cranked the bassman to just under feedback, started playing the intro, and actually had to cut the volume! and these guys are not shy about guitar volume either! that song went real well, the guys liked what i did. everyone gets to stretch out when i front the band, and we all did double turnaround solos. i switched between the low F (third position) and a C (second position) harps, and just tore some stuff up. whew, that felt so good! the amp was giving off some of that great horn-like tone i've been looking for. it nearly distracted me from the task at hand! so that one was in the bag, everyone in the joint liked it! went on to do a slow burner in D and grabbed my low C chromatic. and if that amp had been a z28 camaro, i would have blown the doors off all comers. it was pure unadulterated blues heaven!
a big issue i've had with amps and playing style over the yeas, esp with chromatic harp, is that i maybe could hear what i was doing- sometimes barely- but the crowd would be missing out even if my small amp was miced to the p.a. and there was a loss of tone also, and not knowing how i was sounding could kind of inhibit my playing. but with the bassman, there was no doubt that i, and the band, and the crowd, could hear every note and nuance i was laying down on chromatic harp. it was total beauty.

this was the first time i got the amp out of the house. it's not something i can jam with Jolene on, it's just too big for the duo thing. i had swapped some pre amp tubes around to cut the gain and drop feedback down, and we just happened to decide to hit this jam to see what the amp would do. and it did plenty! knowing your gear is supporting you in the way you need and want it to has a real interesting effect. at least on me it did- i relaxed and got in the groove and just had a great time, and it sounded wonderful!
i called up the house harp guy, a real gentleman and a good friend to boot, and asked him to play some through the bassman/crystal mic setup i had there. he usually uses a epi vlve jr with a 2x10 cabinet and mics to the p.a., which works fine. but once he got a taste of the bassman, i fear i may have ruined him! he was real impressed with the sound.

i may have mentioned previously, but steve clark, at sligo amps, put this one together for me, hand picked and assembled all the components, and selected some great speakers for harp application. when i got it i swapped 2 pre amp tubes thanks to some pro suggestions. i don't know if this amp would blow away a sonny jr, but it certainly has shown its worth so far! it really does give that hornlike quality i have been wishing for.

thanks to that economic stimulus deal i got this amp. but absoLUTEly thanks to my wife for insisting that we get it for me!! Jolene got my back for true. and she was real impressed too, so it's a good thing!

check out and listen to some of the sound samples and look at the photos of steve's work. he's easy to talk to and imho a great craftsman on his amps.
well worth the price and then some!

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 12:02 pm
by Fishfeathersmacteeth
...I think you're in for a long and loving relationship with this amp.... :wink:

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:32 pm
by jeffl
JBONE, that sounds like a great experience and a wonderful evening. I hope that amp serves you well for years. It sounds like you're havin' a great time with your music, 'n' that's what it's all about. (That low F third position choice isn't something I would've readily thought of... using a different position to get to a harp in a different register. Thanks for that little tip.)

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:14 pm
by watertore
I am happy for you jbone! Nothing beats gear that inspires one to play. Walter

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:26 pm
by DeFord Harp Slider
Great thread with lots of info. My old favorite Ampeg is needing to go to the shop, it's back to my 59 Bassman. I am using a 5U4G rectifier tube and NOS GE tubes that have some weird numbers that is going to have me looking for the boxes in my drawer full of tubes and stuff. I have tried every combo of tubes and never have come up with anything that is quite right on this amp. A guy that is now with Kendrick consulted with Gerald Webber in some modifications so I guess I'm off to Round Rock to find the elusive killer tone. I might borrow from the tube arrangements discussed here. I want a magic amp too. If things work out I will post again.

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:51 am
by jbone1
i think on this particular amp i have, the 2 flat cone and 2 other separate different speakers that are in it make a big difference in tone at both high and low volumes. i honestly don't know if different power tubes or vintage 12a's can improve on its tone. it's already so much better than any amp i've ever owned! another harp guy i discussed this with, who plays a sligo also, recommended the reverb model but that would have put it out of my budget for sure. and i've never been big on reverb. i've considered a tremolo pedal of some sort but i'm still in the honeymoon phase and not really willing to mess with it as yet, just play through it!

with a crystal mic, third position chromatic is serious magic through this amp. no straining to hear myself, it's right there. this has allowed me to relax and focus on technique rather than wondering if the audience can hear me- they can!

with the economy in the tank, i think now more than ever it's time to do all we ca to support homegrown businesses. i'm hoping for my bday in a few months to get a nice custom job done on a harp mic, by someone like greg heumann.

but just as it sits, i would put this amp on stage and play with ANYbody- within reason!

Re: '59 bassman by sligo amps- WOOOO!!

PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:20 am
by bottleneck
jbone,greg's mics are tempting,aren't they?

do all three pre-amp tubes go to both channels? (The opening song is a GB through a RI bassman)