Marshall VS Bassman!

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Oct 18, 2015
12,047
Germany
Only $33,000 USD
Sold this one for EUR 4.000 last year:JTM45 built in 1965, Yes, it`s true.
IMG_2788.JPG
It had a new skin and very vew new parts but a bit damaged chassis..,otherwhise dead-original.
Factoring in that I originally bought it for DM 200 in 1985(that was less than 100 USD back then) it was an incredilble deal in hindsight. What makes me happy is that I sold it to a veritable Rockstar from the Netherlands.

This was an integral part of my recorded documentary over the last 35+ years.
But to be totally clear: There are better amps around for me and I needed the money desperately.

Besides this one I used to own an incredibly rare Marshall Major, a 1987 in bright red, another 1987 that was originally owned by Rudof Schenker of the Scorpions, a 1959 Super Lead from 1970, two white Anniversary JCM 800 Double Stacks , four really old 1960 Boxes and three 1960 Boxes mostly from the JCM900 series that I still own today. All at the same point of time.
Vintage Marshall is in my DNA.
I used to be a serious collector and I sold most of them during the last years because I had no serious reason anymore to be a "curator". You cannot play those gear anymore in public without the fear of getting it stolen or damaged.
It is generally too loud to get along and too expensive to get properly maintained if you are an "originality fanatic" like me.
Are you able to pay more than 1000 EUR for original NOS tubes per year plus the same ammount for general maintainance for something that is not played every day? Me not. So I had to make a decission.

I settled for other manufacturers that are more suitable for my personal needs and wallet.
I deeply regret selling these icons but that`s what I had to do for keeping the family business running.
 
Last edited:

budglo

Electromatic
Feb 26, 2019
72
Ohio
My 59 Bassman turned my dsl 40c into a closet queen. To be fair, it’s half the price,so some of that is to be expected.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Nov 13, 2009
21,215
Monkey Island
What makes me happy is that I sold it to a veritable Rockstar from the Netherlands.

Sorry you had to sell most of the collection Frank. I can only think of one or two veritable rockstars in the Netherlands who might be interested in a JTM45. Either A.V or A.L, and I think it’s the first. Am I close?
 

Ktone

Electromatic
Oct 31, 2021
69
SE PA USA
Well I have only 2 amps, a 59 bassman RI I had around 5 years retubed and setup by a pro and a Marshall DSL40CR around 3 months, Am I totally crazy for loving the Marshall more? I mean the Bassman is nice in a way, but the Marshall is around 1/2 the price and does a lot more and sounds better to my ears! I am totally amazed by what Marshall did here. Just a rant!
I am in agreement. I have a DSL40CR which I think is one of the most versatile amps out there and has some of the best tube-overdriven tones as well as great cleans (to my ears). It is absolutely one of the best values in quality tube amps. When I play out, I've used the DSL and gotten everything I need. I also have a DSL5CR that is my go-to home studio practice amp. Not as versatile as the DSL40CR and lacking a master volume but still a great little amp.
 
Last edited:

loudnlousy

Gretschified
Oct 18, 2015
12,047
Germany
Sorry you had to sell most of the collection Frank. I can only think of one or two veritable rockstars in the Netherlands who might be interested in a JTM45. Either A.V or A.L, and I think it’s the first. Am I close?
No, Rich. (He`s D.v.d.E.)
He is originally a drummer who -besides his band- is running a completely analog vintage -recording- studio.
 

T Bone

Country Gent
Apr 14, 2013
2,489
SE Edge of the Mount of Venus
View attachment 171564 62 is in a silver face head cab.. I pulled it from the Blonde to preserve the tolex. Fake 64.. ha and 63…
Looking for correct Oxblood grill material…
Probably gona end up using steer head embossed leather…
63 should be wheat cloth, not Oxblood. Oxblood was used in 61 and 62, and on a few rare 60 specimens I think. A friend recently sold a 3/10 Bandmaster combo with Oxblood, think is was a 60, very rare and sweet, still kicking myself for not buying it.
 

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
Imo comparing Marshall to Fender tube amps is apples & oranges.
Prefence is dependent on what music styles you play.

If you primarily use clean tones for rockabilly, surf, country, funk & pop styles you'll probably prefer Fenders. Most people seem to prefer Fender cleans & reverb.

But if you're a player with more varied tastes, and a more versatile player who also wants tube driven overdrive or even......distortion ......then Fenders don't cater for that.

Fender doesn't do distortion and only very light overdrive if you crank their amps. And they generally do light overdrive poorly too imo. Fender Corp doesn't have much experience with overdrive/distortion and doesn't understand it imo.

Marshalls do fantastic overdrive and many of their recent amps do great distortion too. And they've always had excellent cleans & reverb too imo. Marshall players generally are into mainstream rock, drivin blues, hard rock, punk & metal.

So it's a choice between the classic 1 trick pony and a much more versatile amp. If you only ever use the 1 good trick and are happy to rely on pedals for dirt then you'll likely be a Fender man.

Some Fender guys like to use them as clean pedal platforms and get their dirt from pedals. That's what I did with the Fender Twin I used to own but it's a non optimal solution imo. Most Marshalls do excellent cleans, overdrive and crunch and that's why I happily sold my Twin for a JCM800 years ago.

I've found clean players don't understand, or appreciate, overdrive or distortion cos they have little to no experience with it. They generally don't listen to it either, don't understand how to EQ it and have no need for an amp that delivers it.

For me the Twin I owned, and all the other Fenders I've played over the years, were heavy 1 trick ponies that restricted/limited my options and creativity. But that's just coming from a guy with varied tastes and a versatile playing style.

Either way it's all good imo as people have different needs and desires :D
 
Last edited:

Synchro

The artist formerly known as: Synchro
Staff member
Jun 2, 2008
25,217
Tucson
I think it’s in the ear of the beholder. I’ve heard Fenders that drive pretty hard. There’s a variety of tastes, but plenty of sonic space to accommodate all tastes.
 

SLICKFASTER

Country Gent
Dec 29, 2009
1,303
USA
63 should be wheat cloth, not Oxblood. Oxblood was used in 61 and 62, and on a few rare 60 specimens I think. A friend recently sold a 3/10 Bandmaster combo with Oxblood, think is was a 60, very rare and sweet, still kicking myself for not buying it.
Hear ya.. my 63 “wheat is solid.. looking for 62’s g cloth…
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
Fender doesn't do distortion and only very light overdrive if you crank their amps. And they generally do light overdrive poorly too imo. Fender Corp doesn't have much experience with overdrive/distortion and doesn't understand it imo.
:D
Don't try to tell Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons, Ted Nugent, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and hundreds of other players that one. They'll just look at you and laugh.
Fender invented distortion when they made those amps back in the fifties. Maybe it wasn't done with diodes and multi stage preamp tubes cascaded together but never the less it was distortion and some of the best classic rock recordings were done using Fender amps.
Remember it took a Fender amp to create a Mesa Boogie...:D.
 

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
Don't try to tell Joe Walsh, Billy Gibbons, Ted Nugent, Duane Allman, Eric Clapton and hundreds of other players that one. They'll just look at you and laugh.
Fender invented distortion when they made those amps back in the fifties. Maybe it wasn't done with diodes and multi stage preamp tubes cascaded together but never the less it was distortion and some of the best classic rock recordings were done using Fender amps.
Remember it took a Fender amp to create a Mesa Boogie...:D.

Those guys won't cause all of them used pedals with Fender amps for overdrive.

I think we've got different definitions of what the terms "overdrive" and "distortion" mean - 2 very different things. Likely that what you'd call distortion I'd call light overdrive.

Eric and Duane have never done distortion to my knowledge - they were light overdrive, edge of breakup guys.
Billy has mostly used Marshall amps and pedals and rarely ventered into distortion.
Joe has used almost every amp at some time and I can't recall any recording where he used distortion.
I don't listen to Nugent myself but he's allegedly used pedals forever.

The only Fender amp that has ever attempted medium gain distortion (to my knowledge) is the new "bassbreaker". So Fender must have invented it in 2020. It runs EL34's. Haven't tested it myself but from many reports its distortion is very underwhelming..
https://www.fender.com/en-AU/guitar-amplifiers/vintage-pro-tube/bassbreaker-45-head/2266003000.html
 

Gretschtim1

Country Gent
Dec 4, 2012
3,629
Dundalk, Md
Those guys won't cause all of them used pedals with Fender amps for overdrive.

I think we've got different definitions of what the terms "overdrive" and "distortion" mean - 2 very different things. Likely that what you'd call distortion I'd call light overdrive.

Eric and Duane have never done distortion to my knowledge - they were light overdrive, edge of breakup guys.
Billy has mostly used Marshall amps and pedals and rarely ventered into distortion.
Joe has used almost every amp at some time and I can't recall any recording where he used distortion.
I don't listen to Nugent myself but he's allegedly used pedals forever.

The only Fender amp that has ever attempted medium gain distortion (to my knowledge) is the new "bassbreaker". So Fender must have invented it in 2020. It runs EL34's. Haven't tested it myself but from many reports its distortion is very underwhelming..
https://www.fender.com/en-AU/guitar-amplifiers/vintage-pro-tube/bassbreaker-45-head/2266003000.html
Rocky Mountain Way, Funk 49 are good examples of Fender amp overdrive by Joe Walsh/James Gang. In the 70s Ted Nugent used a wall of Fender amps cranked to 10 when he played live and it sounded really good. When he recorded Cat Scratch Fever he played through a Brown face Fender Deluxe cranked up no pedals. Much more punchy the the sound of modern Marshall amps with the 3 tube cascaded bumble bee over drive - over compressed, no dynamics. The older Marshall amps from the 800 series and back were the best sounding Marshall amps. The sound was big and open not compressed and fizzy sounding.
 

Waxhead

Friend of Fred
Aug 30, 2014
5,186
Australia
yeah we have a terminology issue is all :D

Your distortion is my light overdrive.
You're exclusively a clean or edge of breakup player.
I routinely use everything from squeaky clean to very high gain metal tones.

Joe's Rocky Mtn Way and Funk 49 are light overdrive for me and all I said was ...

"Fender doesn't do distortion and only very light overdrive if you crank their amps. And they generally do light overdrive poorly too imo. Fender Corp doesn't have much experience with overdrive/distortion and doesn't understand it imo."

If Joe found a Fender amp in 1973 that he could crank to max and get good light overdrive for that song great. I don't see any relevance to my comment :)
 

Pine Apple Slim

Country Gent
Dec 14, 2011
1,857
North Alabama
I have a Carr Rambler which is kinda a jack of all trades hand built Fender style amp. Kinda like a Deluxe Reverb but with 6L6s. Has a most glorious Blackface Fender sound. In Triode mode it breaks up sooner and sounds a bit more tweedy. It has as good a reverb and tremolo as I've ever heard hands down.
But I eventually want to get another 1-12" combo of similar quality/pedigree to pair with it, in stereo or wet/dry. Something with less headroom that breaks up a little sooner. I cant decide if I wanna go in a Vox, Marshall, or Fender 50s Tweed direction.
 

GVDobler

Synchromatic
May 15, 2011
937
Las Vegas
For those of us that bought new Fender amps in the early sixties I find it interesting that the Bassman endured and not the Showman. We bought a couple of the treasured '63 Bassman new along with 4 or five other Fenders. Of course we had no idea that the Bassman would be sought after years later so we traded all of them on Blackface amps as soon as they came out. At that time the Bassmans were for well,, the bass player.
 

KelvinS1965

Gretschie
Jan 11, 2019
323
Wokingham
I think all this thread shows is that we all have different tastes and even different opinions on what is distortion/overdrive. I know Waxhead loves Mesa Boogie and I really wanted to like them too (partly because 'Boogie' is part of our band name too :D), but I just couldn't get on with the ones I tried.

Obviously from my avatar I've got a Fender, but that is my special treat after waiting nearly 40 years for a black face amp after once playing my Strat through a 60s Twin: Granted it's not as big, loud and heavy as the Twin, but it gives me the clean tones my rose tinted memory holds from playing through that Twin back in the 80s. Mine is the '64 CDR, so it's not an amp I take out very often as it's my most expensive amp and as I said it was a very special treat to myself.

I do use the newer 'studio' versions of Marshall amps, in particular the JCM800 version aka SC20. I actually do like the cleans on this, though they are a bit 'dry' due to the lack of built in reverb. No problem to add a touch using a pedal though. Some really great light overdrive (by Waxhead standards) and much heavier tones too, especially if fed via a clean boost pedal. In practice our covers band means I tend to have to use it as a pedal platform though as I haven't time between songs to tweak gain and master volume.

As I've said elsewhere, I sadly didn't bond with my Gretsch, more due to feel than anything else, but it did sound good through this amp:

Gretsch 003.jpg

I have played through a few of the Fender bassbreaker series. I almost bought the 15 watt version, though it's not strictly a 2/3 channel amp IMHO, more a single channel amp with three voice options.
I also considered the 18/30 version for gigging as a pedal platform. They seem to come up quite cheaply, even ex-display rather than straight used. However the SC20 popped up on a deal as ex-display for a price I knew I'd have no bother getting back later if I wanted to.

So much choice I don't think anyone needs to play an amp they don't like these days unless you really are broke.
 


Top