The main reason I'm writing this review is to save people from wasting the value of an amazing amp. I bought my Bassman a few months back when I was looking for a Marshall, after a salesman convinced me that the Bassman was even sexier sounding. But after I got it home I started realizing that the only thing I liked it for was it's clean channel (great for jazz at any level). The distortion was thin and ugly at the levels that I could get away with play at. What seduced me in the store was the sound of it cranked. Frustrated, I started looking around for Marshalls again, and just about sold my Bassman, when I had the obvious revelation:
Use a preamp! Duh.
Over the last few weeks I've been experimenting with all my Processors and effects and the Bassman sounds gorgeous.
I had no idea that there was so much depth locked up in that thing. I don't like most of my effects pedals and processors but the Bassman seems to make just about anything sing or moan or scream.
The trick is, crank the amp to about 7, and turn down your input (at the preamp/effects). Simple as that! Plus, the volume knob on your guitar will be pretty effective at manipulating your sound with this setup.
So crank it, Man!
I've only owned it for a few months, but it seems pretty rugged, and the fact that it's 37 years old and still doesn't rattle or buzz should say something.
This isn't a very expensive amp, and I think it holds it's own against Marshall, boogie, etc for sound. It's true there's a lack of controls, but that's actually convenient when you're using preamps.
It's not really a heavy metal amp, but if I were playing metal I'd probably use it in compliment to a metal amp to add warmth and character. This is a perfect amp for me because I like to play a whole spectrum of music from jazz and blues to rock of a smashing pumpkins and sonic youth type genre.