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Giant Fender bass amp


El Glom-o

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On Saturday, I was at the Ham Radio and Computer show at the Maryland State Fairgrounds (which my girlfriend refers to as the nerd fest). A guy there had for sale the biggest Fender amp I've ever seen. I think the model was C-400. It had six 6550 power tubes and a huge transformer. The guy was asking $1000 for it.

 

 

Anybody know anything about this monster amp?

 

 

The guy also had a nice Traynor Bass Master amp for $450.

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OK. But what kind of speakers would be in those cabinets? I'm referring to whatever cabinets Fender sold in combination with the CS400 amp.

 

 

The cabs were a folded horn 18" - not many made as acoustic kind of had that market wrapped up at the time.

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It's a CS400 - Faelach has one. You've gotta use 3 cabs to get the full power out of it, though.

 

 

Doesn't sound difficult; 2 4x10 or 4x12s and a 1x18 sub. Sounds like a serious metalhead rig to me.

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http://www.classicamplifiers.com/1971_Fender400PS.htm

 

These are pics of my amp before I got it.

 

http://www.timeelect.com/400-PS-IDX.htm

 

There is a lot of information here. Rich Koerner is the guru on these amps, but he is opinionated, outspoken, and his people skills are not the best. There is also a Yahoo group. Rich will tell you that you need to have the amp set up properly (a 30 step procedure, he says, that he and few if any others can do) and loaded with GE6550A tubes to have it working properly. Others dispute this. I can't say for sure either way, but Rich has more history with this amp than anyone alive and seems to know his stuff. Mine was not setup by him, and it does not have GE6550A tubes in it; I could afford neither. I had my tech (who in his day job is an EE) set it up with JJ KT88s, working from the schematic and tube data sheets. It's possible my 400PS is not what Rich would consider "running correctly." I can't say he's wrong, he's the expert and I'm just a schmuck.

 

However, I can say as-is it's deadly. It wants 3 4 Ohm loads, though using only 2 will still get you in the ballpark of 300 watts, nothing to sneeze at. I've used huge cabs, subs, you name it. While 3 huge cabs sure is cool, and insane, it's impossible to move. Eventually I settled on 2 Bag End D12E subs (2X12 each) following the example of someone on Talkbass that actually seems to know what he's talking about when it comes to old tube amps. I couldn't find a 3rd affordably, so I tried a Carvin 10.2 NEO that I got for chicken feed, and the 3 work well together. I use a 5 string tuned to A (what can I say, Yes' Big Generator came out during an impressionable time in my life) and it took some time to find cabs that could reproduce that low string, and also fit in a car. This cab setup doesn't have a lot of midrange, so I'm still tweaking the EQ for my 4 string needs. I imagine 3 vintage 8X10s would do the trick there...argh. I think I'll just play with the EQ some more. The reverb is nice, the tremolo isn't very strong but it's noticeable.

 

It's a great amp. Versatile for something so old, the bass channel is old school and the "instrument" channel is surprisingly modern. It's a clean amp, distortion is just not it's bag. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone, it does take some homework and buying one could set off a year long cab search like it did for me. It helps if you have a great tech who knows his way around a schematic, and is smart enough to know when he's over his head. The power section is truly unique and messing with it can kill not only the amp but the tech, or so I've heard. It's like having 3 145 watt amps; the idea was to power lots of efficient, low wattage speakers. I have used it with 800 watt cabs and there was no apparent problem, they seemed quite loud and powerful.

 

Here's a crappy clip, made with a $20 kick drum mic. My crappy recording software added the pops and clicks. This is the "Instrument" channel, treble up slightly, mids cut slightly, bass around 5 IIRC.

 

http://hc.bloodyvelvet.com/files/92/5String.mp3

 

I made my own "Gramma" pad from a board and dense foam packing material, the head sits on that atop the cabs.

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HOLY {censored}!!! They had one there?!? I literally live 5 minutes away from the Maryland State Fairgrounds!!!
:mad:
:mad:
:mad::cry:

 

 

Every year, late March/early April. Really good place to pick up tubes, and electronics tools and hardware.

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