I had searched for many years to find the classic fender sound, in its most pristine. This thing oozes vintage tubeness.
I would run into my house while it was on fire to save this amp. I am not kidding.
A Standard 1966 Bassman Blackface Head. I play this head through my Showman 2x15 cabinet.
Bass, Treble, Mid adjustments. Bright switch. individual and master volume. Tubes!
This is a bre bones amplifier. No bells, no whistles. The compelling feature is the use of tubes.
I use this head with a 1965 Showman 2x15 cabinet. With this cabinet, I get absolutely massive sound. Pure tonal bliss. I've searched high and low for the ultimate Fender amplifier, and I am satisfied to end my search with this one. It doesn't have any bells or whistles at all, but that's not the point. Anyone reading this review while looking for an amp is looking for the Fender real deal. I've had many amps in my 18 years of playing, and several of them were of very good lineage and vintage. For me, this is it baby, this is it!!
I mostly play my 68 reissue strat through this, and a 90's strat plus deluxe.
I play mostly blues, and some blues-rock. This amp is a perfect dream for these styles. It has wonderfuly warm and sparkly clean sounds, and like all good tube amps should, it begins to overdrive when you crank it up.
For when I need heavier distortions, I use a Tubeworks Realtube. These work really well together, and I appreciate that the Realtube doesn't color my tone at all. I get anything from the lightest fuzz, to the screaming strat from hell with this combination, and it sounds wonderful.
This unit has no reverb! For verbs, I recently picked up a TC Electronic M300. What a great purchase. The M300 does not color or shape my tone in any way, just beautiful verbs. Couple this unit the with the bassman, and a good strat, and you have Fender bliss. THIS is how Fender setups are supposed to sound!
This amp has a lot of punch, and can easily push my 2x15 cabinet to near window shattering volumes. I have played large venues with thousands of people (even outdoors) and I have NEVER needed to have my amp miked, or play through a board or PA. I have also never really needed to crank the volume above 4 or 5. Yes, the sound is that big.
This amp, playing live with a strat plugged into it, makes me want to cry.
I cannot recommend this amp highly enough. It is not for everyone. You will need to supply your own "everything". reverb, distortions, effects, everything except the raw amplifier.
I have closely matches Sovtek tubes (ordered from Russia). It sounds wonderful Mesa tubes also sound great in this amp.