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Fractal Audio AMP models: 59 Bassguy ('59 Fender Tweed Bassman, 5F6-A)

yek

Moderator
Moderator
* EDIT: Up-to-date information is available in Yek's Guide to the Fractal Audio Amplifier Models *


59 Bassguy: based on ’59 Fender Tweed Bassman (5F6-A circuit)

With the ’59 Fender Bassman we return to the Tweed era.

Tweed is the early period of Fender amplification (late '40s - early 60s'), before the Blonde, Brownface, Blackface and Silverface models. "Tweed" is based on the cloth covering used at that time, as seen in the picture above. Tweed amplifiers typically break up earlier than later "cleaner" models and are known for their warm tone. More information.​

This particular model is the holy grail narrow panel Tweed model. This refers to the panels around the speaker grill which are narrower than earlier "wide panel" models which looked like old televisions.

Tweed-era amps are very collectible. In fact, this ’59 Tweed Bassman Amp is listed #4 on Vintage Guitar's list of the 25 most valuable guitar amps, just behind the Tweed Twin.

The Fender Bassman was originally intended to amplify Fender bass guitars, but soon was adopted as a guitar amplifier. It is known for its simple, pure and raw tone. The "grandfather of rock and roll", says Carl Verheyen. The 5F6-A Bassman is the final ‘50s Tweed Bassman, a landmark of amp design. The design was copied by Marshall within their JTM-45 amplifier.

About the circuit numbers: in general the first number indicates the decennium (5 is ‘50s). The letter indicates the circuit revision, and the last number indicates the amp model (6 = Bassman).​

Many famous players use(d) a Bassman. Among them: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Setzer.

The 5F6-A circuit puts out around 50 watts through two 6L6 tubes. It has a lot of bass. It starts to distort when increasing the volume (Input Drive), and makes a great (but loud!) blues and rock amp.

The original amp has two channels: Normal and Bright. In the Fractal Audio model the Bright channel is selected when the Bright switch is turned on (source). Of the models discussed so far, this is the first one to have the Bright switch turned on by default.

The original amp controls are: Treble, Mid, Bass, Presence, Volume Bright and Volume Normal. No Master Volume either, so keep the Master control in the model dimed.

Note that the range of the controls on this amp is 1 to 12, while the model's controls range 0 to 10. Here's a translation table, created by forum member Barhrecords.​

The Bassman provides two inputs per channel: High and Low. Fractal Audio models of Fender amps are always based on the input with the highest input level. To get the equivalent of using the lower input, set Input Trim to 0.500.

The early amp models had four Jensen 10” AlNiCo speakers (P10). Use the stock UltraRes 4x10 Bassguy cab: 032. This is a great cab. Try it with any Fender model which originally came with any number of 10" speakers.

A full collection of UltraRes Bassman 4x10” IRs from this amp can be purchased in Cab Pack 10, Universal Noise Storage Vol. 2: http://shop.fractalaudio.com/Cab_Pack_10_UNS_Vol_2_p/fas-801-0010.htm.​

Drive pedals: for some vintage fun, put the Face Fuzz before the amp. Or control the low end of the amp model by engaging a Treble Booster.

Here’s a review by Legendary Tones of the re-issue model: the Fender 59 Bassman LTD.

A selection of videos on YouTube:




 
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Rocket Brother

Power User
Great series about the amps Yek, cudos

I love the Tweed Bassman !
I actually had a real '59 tweed Bassman for a number of years - LOVED it to death.
It got a bit unstable for gigging though and I follish sold it when it started to act up. I had modded a re-issue Bassman to be quite close to the real '59 and was a bit afraid that real one was either dying or would lose it's magic and value after repairs, so I cashed in.
Being a student at the time I also needed the money badly.
The real '59 sounded like SRV, Clapton, Hendrix and just about anything else I cared about at the time.
The Tweed Bassman in the Axe is really good, I don't use it at the moment but keep thinking I should make a preset with it, I'm just all about the Urban Tweed Twin right now for tweed tones.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Great series about the amps Yek, cudos

I love the Tweed Bassman !
I actually had a real '59 tweed Bassman for a number of years - LOVED it to death.
It got a bit unstable for gigging though and I follish sold it when it started to act up. I had modded a re-issue Bassman to be quite close to the real '59 and was a bit afraid that real one was either dying or would lose it's magic and value after repairs, so I cashed in.
Being a student at the time I also needed the money badly.
The real '59 sounded like SRV, Clapton, Hendrix and just about anything else I cared about at the time.
The Tweed Bassman in the Axe is really good, I don't use it at the moment but keep thinking I should make a preset with it, I'm just all about the Urban Tweed Twin right now for tweed tones.
Great story. Additional facts and personal experience add so much to these threads!
 

stm113

Experienced
I LOVE THIS THREAD! I am however looking forward to getting past the Fenders lol. I know, I know, you're going in order. Thank you for all of your hard work Yek. This is like gear porn and much more fun to read than Playboy, which I only ever read for the articles.
 

philipacamaniac

Fractal Fanatic
I skipped ahead in class and did period accurate presets for the Vibroverb, Deluxe Reverb and Twin Reverb. A bank full of Fenders!

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 11.42.00 AM.png
 
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Jan Geerts

Inspired
Love this model, I am a previous Bassman owner and our singer's the current one, so I can compare.
One thing I'd love to see in the fas model: even without jumpering the inputs, turning up the bright channel while only,plugged into the normal, you can dial in just that right amount of brightness and growl. It's different from eq'ing either channel
 

paulasbell

Inspired
I'll chime in w/ others... excellent compendium of info on the classics, Yek.

A useless fun fact, for anyone who made it thru my buddy Jim Weider's vid as far as 2:00. That '55 Tele he's playing used to be mine, until I sold it to my guitar student for the astronomical sum of (brace yourself!) $800. Since I bought it in a Chicago pawnshop for $75, I figured I was making a killing...;) Against my protestations, my student insisted I sign the back. Shortly thereafter, he lent it to Jim for the shoot.

Fortunately, I wasn't quite as short-sighted w/ my original '59 Bassman. I've still got it, though it's truly beat to hell from decades on the road.
 

WW Audio

Inspired
The Bassman provides two inputs per channel: High and Low. Fractal Audio models of Fender amps are always based on the input with the highest input level. To get the equivalent of using the lower input, set Input Trim to 0.500.
So if one wanted simulate the jumped channel examples in the videos, would a setting of 1.500 on the input trim be the way to go?
 

Robboman

Fractal Fanatic
LOVE my 5F6-A clone to death! Was my main gigging amp for about a decade prior to my Fractalization, I did several hundreds of gigs with it and became intimately familiar with every detail of the thing. To this day it's the baseline I compare all other Fender tones to, and I've always been happy and amazed how accurate the Fractal model is.

The original amp controls are: Treble, Bass, Presence, Volume Bright and Volume Normal. There’s no Middle tone control, so keep this at “5” in the model for authenticity.
There is indeed a Middle control.
 

bustedstring

Inspired
I'll chime in w/ others... excellent compendium of info on the classics, Yek.

A useless fun fact, for anyone who made it thru my buddy Jim Weider's vid as far as 2:00. That '55 Tele he's playing used to be mine, until I sold it to my guitar student for the astronomical sum of (brace yourself!) $800. Since I bought it in a Chicago pawnshop for $75, I figured I was making a killing...;) Against my protestations, my student insisted I sign the back. Shortly thereafter, he lent it to Jim for the shoot.

Fortunately, I wasn't quite as short-sighted w/ my original '59 Bassman. I've still got it, though it's truly beat to hell from decades on the road.
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw your name on the back of that Tele . . . I'm new on here and hang out on the AX8 forums, joined the waitlist 2/7/16. I didn't know you played FAS stuff . . used to see you with Big Joe and the Unknown Blues Band downtown. Seen you at Luenig's during the summer. Just stopping in to say "Hi" to a fellow VTer. :)
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Indeed. I was looking at schematics of earlier circuits. Corrected in the OP and wiki.
 
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