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Fender Bassman 10: REVIEW & Full Guide [Spec, Pros, & Cons]

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It is hard to talk about guitars and amps without mentioning Fender. Since the founding of the company in the year 1946, Fender has played quite an important role in not just the evolution of music technology but also guitar technology. 

From the most contemporary models to more vintage ones, Fender amps are like the holy grail of guitar accessories for most guitar players. Laying hands on any Fender amp (vintage or modern) could be one of the best things to happen to any guitar player.

The Fender Bassman line of amps has a long history in both the guitar and bass worlds. Known for its unique tonal character and responsiveness, the Fender Bassman can be the best tour, practice or studio companion for the guitar and bass player, depending on how it is being used. 

The Fender Bassman 10 is often regarded as “a stage-ready Silverface combo amp” with four 10-inches speakers and 50 watts of undiluted, classic tone. Although this amp is big and a bit heavy to carry, its super-amazing tone, however, compensates for this bulkiness. 

Being a very versatile amp, the Fender amp can work awesomely well in diverse playing situations. It doesn’t matter if you are touring or strictly recording in the studio, the Bassman 10 cares less about that and will often shine and outperform your expectations.

Just like other Fender Bassman amps, the Bassman 10 tends to work a little better with guitar players because of their pleasing breakup. However, it is also a perfect vintage amp for some bass players who would care less about its unique and “woolly” tonal characteristics.

Fender Bassman 10 – Features/Specs

  • A faithful reissue of Fender’s classic bass-turned-guitar amplifier
  • 45 watts of power through four 10-inch Jensen P10R speakers
  • Bright/Normal channels and 3-band EQ for versatile tone shaping
  • Presence control for added control over the sound
  • Finger-joined solid pine cabinet for enhanced resonance
  • Classic lacquer-coated tweed covering for a vintage look
  • Made in the USA, just like the originals
  • Offers clean headroom and can handle both clean and dirty tones.
  • Legendary mid-heavy tweed tube tones for that classic vintage sound.

Review of Fender Bassman 10

The Fender Bassman 10 is known for its clean and articulate tone. It offers a wide range of sonic possibilities with its versatile EQ controls. The amp has a warm and smooth low end, characteristic of the Bassman series. 

It has a Deep switch, Volume switch, and 3-band EQ for bass front channel input; Bright, Volume, and 3-band EQ for normal front channel input; and Master Volum Control. 

Its rear panel has an AC Accessory outlet, ground switch, fuse, on/off switch, standby switch, hum balance, output tubes matching, output line, speaker jack, and extension speaker jack. In addition, its vinyl covering gives a distinct touch to its tone. 

The Bright and Normal channels provide different tonal characteristics, allowing players to find their preferred sound. With the right settings, it can produce a punchy bass response, crisp highs, and a midrange that cuts through the mix.

Next, The Bassman 10 excels in various playing situations. Its clean and clear sound makes it well-suited for studio recordings. It particularly shines when paired with passive bass guitars like the Fender Precision or Jazz, delivering that iconic Motown sound. 

The amp is also suitable for small group performances at low volume levels, especially when supported by a PA system. However, it may be better for high-volume gigs where more power is required to compete with other instruments.

Versatile EQ controls for tonal shaping.Limited overdrive capabilities, as it was designed to stay clean.
Different jacks and controls for bass and guitarsMay need to provide more power for high-volume live performances.
Comes with additional fuzz/wah/volume pedal, amp covers, and universal standThe stock speakers may require replacement for optimal sound quality.
Well-suited for studio recordings and low-volume performancesSome players find it too bassy and desire a more high-end presence.
Iconic Fender aesthetics and build quality.
Appreciated by bassists looking for a vintage sound.

Overall, the Fender Bassman 10 is a vintage amp with a classic Fender sound and versatile tonal options. It is well-suited for studio work, low-volume performances, and bassists seeking a vintage tone. 

However, there may be better choices for players needing high-volume capabilities or extensive overdrive options.

Fender Bassman 10 – What Makes it So Special?

The Fender Bassman 10 is a highly regarded amplifier known for its distinctive sound and notable features. 

Initially designed to amplify bass guitars, the Bassman quickly became popular among musicians who used it to amplify other instruments, such as electric guitars, harmonicas, and pedal steel guitars. 

It also served as the foundation for high-gain tube amplifiers that Marshall and other companies built. Here are some reasons why the Fender Bassman is special:

  • Classic Tone
    Delivering a pure, classic tone that musicians love, the Fender Bassman 10 has become a favourite choice. With its no-frills design and 45/50-watt output, this stage-ready amplifier offers a pleasing breakup, making it a preferred option for guitar players.
  • Iconic Status
    Regarded as one of Fender’s best-sounding guitar amps ever made, the tweed Fender 4×10 Bassman combo has earned a reputation for its exceptional sound quality and boasts a dedicated fan base.
  • Versatility
    While initially designed to amplify bass guitars, the Fender Bassman has been widely used to amplify various instruments, including electric guitars, harmonicas, and pedal steel guitars.
    Its versatility and ability to handle different instruments make it a sought-after amplifier.
  • Historical Significance
    The Bassman series played a crucial role in developing high-gain tube amplifiers. Its design was the foundation for amplifiers built by other companies, including Marshall. The Bassman’s influence and importance in amplifiers cannot be overstated.
  • Unique Speaker Configuration
    With its 4×10″ speaker configuration, the Fender Bassman 10 showcases a distinctive sound and power. The four 10″ speakers work harmoniously to produce a rich, full-bodied tone.
  • Heritage and Legacy
    The Bassman series has a long and illustrious history, dating back to its introduction in 1952. Over the years, it has undergone various iterations and improvements, solidifying its status as an iconic amplifier.
    Its legacy continues to inspire musicians and shape the sound of popular music.

Where are Fender Bassman Amps made?

Fender Bassman amps are primarily hand-crafted and compiled in Corona, California, United States. The company started in Fullerton, California in 1946. The Bassman series of amplifiers was introduced by Fender in 1952 and has since become a popular and influential amplifier.

While the historical information about the Bassman doesn’t explicitly state the manufacturing location, it is well-known that Fender guitar amps, including the Bassman series, have been produced in various locations over the years. 

Currently, Fender guitar amps are manufactured in different places, including the United States, Mexico, and China. The United States production, specifically in Corona, California, has a long-standing tradition of making musical instruments and is known for producing high-quality amps.

Famous Players Who Use Fender Bassman 10 Amps

Several famous players have used the Fender Bassman 10 amp throughout history. Here are some notable musicians who have utilized this amplifier:

  • Buddy Guy: Known for his exceptional blues guitar playing, Buddy Guy has been associated with using the Fender Bassman amp for its distinctive live sound.
  • Jimmie Vaughan: Jimmie Vaughan, renowned blues guitarist and brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, has been spotted using a Bassman amp in his performances.
  • Dick Dale: The “King of Surf Guitar,” Dick Dale created his iconic surf guitar sound using a Fender Showman amp similar to the Bassman.
  • Jimi Hendrix: Although not confirmed, Hendrix was rumoured to have used a Bassman amp in the studio for recording purposes.
  • Kurt Cobain: While recording Nirvana’s album “Nevermind,” Kurt Cobain reportedly ran his guitars through a Bassman amp, contributing to the band’s distinctive sound.
  • Josh Homme: Josh Homme, known for his work with Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, has incorporated a Bassman amp into his backline setup.

What Should You Look For in An Amp?

When looking for an amplifier, several factors must be considered to ensure you make the right choice. Here are some important aspects to look for:

  • Power output: Power output determines how loud the amplifier can play music. Consider the size of your speakers and room when deciding on your needed power output. Generally, 10W is loud enough for average listening, and 100W is sufficient for most parties.
  • Sound quality: The most crucial aspect of an amplifier is its ability to produce good sound. While specifications can provide some insights, it’s recommended to listen extensively before making a decision. Focus on finding an amplifier that delivers clear, undistorted sound.
  • Amplifier type: There are different types of amplifiers available, such as integrated amplifiers, pre/power amplifiers, stereo amplifiers, and guitar amplifiers. Understanding the specific type that suits your needs is essential.
  • Features and connectivity: Consider the features and connectivity options the amplifier provides. Look for inputs and outputs that match your audio sources and devices. Ensure the amplifier has the connections for your speakers, audio sources, and other equipment.
  • Compatibility: Check the compatibility of the amplifier with your existing audio system or equipment. Ensure that it can work seamlessly with your speakers, sources, and other components.
  • Build quality and durability: Consider the build quality of the amplifier and its overall durability. Look for reputable brands known for their reliability and quality craftsmanship.
  • Price and budget: Set a budget for your amplifier purchase and consider the value for money. Compare different amplifiers’ features, specifications, and performance within your price range.

When it comes to the Fender Bassman, it is a versatile and renowned amplifier known for its excellent sound quality, especially for guitars. It offers various power outputs, with vintage models typically ranging from 20 to 50 watts. 

It has multiple input channels, tone controls, and compatibility with guitars and standard speaker cabinets. Fender is a reputable brand known for its quality craftsmanship and meets most of the abovementioned qualities. 

Fender Bassman 10 Serial Numbers

The Fender Bassman 10  has its own unique serial number system. Dating early Fender amplifiers by serial number is challenging. Fender amps made before 1994 do not have reliable serial number records. 

Fender amplifiers manufactured before the end of the blackface era (1967) typically had a tube chart with a two-letter date code stamped on it. The first letter indicated the year, and the second letter indicated the month of manufacture. 

This date code can help determine the approximate manufacturing date of the amplifier. Then, there are terms like “Silverface,” “Blackface,” and “Brownface” used to identify Fender amplifiers based on the colour of the control panel. 

These terms are often misconstrued to refer to the colour of the grille cloth. Next, Fender amplifiers built between 1950 and 1970 often have stickers inside the cabinets indicating the type of tubes used and their location on the chassis. 

These stickers may also contain a stamped or handwritten two-letter date code. For Fender amps manufactured from 1990 onwards, a date code is printed on the chassis’ quality assurance (QA) sticker on the rear. 

It includes signatures or initials of employees and a two-letter date code. To conclude, Fender amplifier serial numbers are not necessarily sequential and may not provide reliable dating information. 

Hence, looking for tube chart codes, transformer date codes, and speaker date codes to date Fender amps is suggested.


In conclusion, the Fender Bassman 10 is a highly regarded vintage amplifier with classic Fender sound and versatile tonal options. Its clean and articulate tone provides a wide range of tonal possibilities through its versatile EQ controls. 

The amp excels in studio recordings and low-volume performances, making it well-suited for bassists seeking a vintage tone. However, there may be better choices for high-volume live performances or players needing extensive overdrive options. 

The Bassman series holds historical significance in amplifiers and has been used by famous musicians such as Buddy Guy, Jimmie Vaughan, and Kurt Cobain. 

Next, regarding serial numbers, while dating Fender Bassman 10 serial numbers can be challenging, examining tube chart codes, transformer date codes, and speaker date codes can provide some insights into their manufacturing dates. 

The Fender Bassman 10 remains a highly respected amplifier known for its iconic sound and lasting legacy in the music industry.