Fender Vintage Reissue '59 Bassman LTD
Fender Vintage Reissue '59 Bassman LTD

Vintage Reissue '59 Bassman LTD, Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Fender in the Bassman series.

King Loudness 12/12/2011

Fender Vintage Reissue '59 Bassman LTD : King Loudness's user review

« One man's trash is another's treasure »

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The Fender Bassman '59 LTD is the company's reissue of the amp the was originally designed in 1952 to suit their very new Precision Bass guitar. Eventually bass players found that the amp was not really suited to their application as it would distort and break up too early. However, the blues and country guitarists of the day really loved that factor and started to incorporate their broken up tones into rock music. Eventually a fella named Jim Marshall over in England heard the Bassman and the rest, as we know it, is history. The '59 Bassman is a tweed style with 4 10" Jensens. It puts out 45 watts of power (6V6s) and has two channels (normal and bright) each with their own volume control. They share a standard EQ of bass, middle, treble and presence. No reverb or effects on this one... just pure tone.


Getting a good sound out of this amp is pretty simple. It's unlike the blackface reissues in that it's designed to get a little more of an overdriven break up early on, and the overall tone is darker, thicker and fuzzier. It still has a bit of classic chime there, but not near the amounts of the Fender blackface amps. That being said, the EQ works as you would expect and it's definitely a simple amp to dial in. The addition of a presence control to the circuit is nice to get a bit of high end that the treble control may not give you. Definitely cool.


The Fender '59 LTD Bassman is definitely a slightly different beast. It's more suited to the slightly raunchier blues and rock n' roll styles where perhaps hotter pickups like P90s and humbuckers are being used to push the amp a bit harder. The tones are excellent for those styles, and if you hit with some sort of overdrive you can get some great classic and even early hard rock tones if you're skilled at tone tweaking. It's a nice departure from the cleaner than clean blackface Fenders that we all know and love. That being said, despite the amp's darker and thicker tonal nature, it's still quite clear and defined even at higher volumes which is excellent.


All in all I think the Fender Bassman reissue is a great buy for anyone who likes Fender amps and wants something with a little bit more grit fresh out of the box. It's definitely got its own sound and its easy to see why Marshall took inspiration from this original amp for their first designs. This reissue runs about $1,450 new which is a good deal considering the quality and tone of Fender amps overall. Definitely worth checking out for sure!