Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

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foal30
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Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by foal30 » Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:08 pm

I picked up this New Zealand made amplifier this week. As far as an introduction to the world of Tube Amps I thought for the money it was a safe bet.So home it went too raised eyebrows.

OK, net info is scare at best on this brand but I have got confirmation that this model was made in 1972. The front is like way cool, treble, bass, volume, then 2 inputs for your bass cable!
the following is then repeated for the normal channel although it must be said I'm not sure what they mean by normal.
if you put a patch cable across you increase your eq/pre options.

in the back is 6 tubes
2 big buggers, then 2 small, then 2 smaller again. There is a lot of wild speculation and entrenched opinion on what valves are best. The cost of trialling I would suggest is prohibitive but there are a number of people in NZ you know their stuff in this regard. Me, I'm a schmuck and won't touch anything here, valve amps are potentially very dangerous to those with limited electrical knowledge and fatally so to those who may think they know what they are doing.Also DO NOT put any drinks on this type of amp(not that we would anyway).

there is a switch for what ohms, very cool.
options are 4 , 8, 16.
flathead screwdriver or coin to adjust the gain input, yes this is on the back too.
2 speaker inputs, normal type.

Sound wise I have tried this amp with some different speaker combinations and also tried quick A/B comparisons with different amps.

I like my flat wound strung '76 P Bass into the amp, then into an Ashdown 15/10. No need for any illusions of hi-fi nonsense it's just all good 8th note chugalug depth. It's warm and old and vaguely familiar sound, almost comforting. I should have got a valve amp years ago actually. With active basses it's not really speaking or responding so well. This don't mean its *BANNED* just I thought it represented old sounds better. In fact flatwounds are the goods for this amp, the fretless J is nice too with this amp/cab setting, but the roundwound strung J seemed to be a little lacking in "response".

Now of course the STEINBERGER sounded great, but as you know that always does.

Also it says 50 but it is way louder. There is some cool stuff on line about why valve amps are "louder" than SS. I'd offer a link but I'm too lazy and also I don't really understand what there talking about. I hardly used the treble control either, this is a bass amp in all sense of the word. About 15% treble was enough for me, and the amp is very responsive to touch and playing position on the bass guitar which is the way all amps should be.

Look I see these pop up from time to time on ye olde TM and for potentially SFA you get underway into the world of valves.
I think it's hardly a one size fits all amp or if I'd ever even gig it, but for some session work this amp will be getting a right thrashing, with the P it's soul goodness.

for tech help
Auckland = Clarry
Wellington = Weta
Christchurch = Steve Bartlett.
these 3 seem to be "the general consensus" on go to people for valve related malarkey.

also NZSimon should be able to lay a heap of knowledge on anyone interested.

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by beagle » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:12 am

Cheers for the review foal!
Wow that ohm switching is a brilliant feature.. that can't be a very common.
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by model.citizen » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:16 am

actually all vintage ampeg heads were ohm-switchable too...plus they have the bonus of being able to self-bias so you can run any power tube in them safely, even only 1 power tube if you really want. nice and flexible.

jansen bassman models were effectively "copies" of another famous similarly-named amp. i like 'em, they all sound different from each other, but sound good, plus the fact that they're a part of NZ history and history that was executed well. i've owned a number of jansen amps thru the years, still got 3 that sound majick (bassman 6/35, bassman 50, 7a15 combo).

good on ya BBG!
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by foal30 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 10:29 am

what tubes do you have in your 50 mCitizen?

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by timi » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:09 pm

Hey Foal, only just saw your PM.

Good work on picking up a Jansen Bassman 50. They make a nice bass amp, and in my opinion they are the coolest guitar amp ever!

The weird impedence plug seemed a hassle to me, so I got Weta to change it to a 3 way rotary switch to change betwee, 4, 8 or 16 easily with no need to carry the plugs or a soldering iron. Highly recommend this mod if you plan on using it with different cabs.

I haven't touched the rear gain pot in a long time, I think I just got my hottest output instrument and set the gain so there was no clipping when I played hard at low volume in order to maximize clean headroom. If I was only using it for guitar I might rethink this but it sounds perfect for guitar with a RAT so I'm happy.

The two channels are cool. The "normal" channel has a much more scoopy sound if you want it to be, and the bass channel has a lot more mids to it when you crank the treble. For guitar I always use the bass channel because of that sexy midrange, with bass I normally patch the two together using the normal channel to get more low end.

I have gigged with mine in loud rock bands and it was always loud enough (with an 8x10 that is...). It replaced a GK 700RB that kept breaking, the Jansen seemed almost as loud but had so much more warmth and "felt" nicer to play. It really gave me the tube bass amp bug, got an Ampeg V4BH which I then replaced with my Orange AD200B. Somehow along the line I picked up another GK, the more oldschool 800RB which somehow feels quite tubey and doesn't sound sterile like the newer GK did.

Unsure what year mine is, but came with non-original knobs and I covered it red.

Image

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by definite » Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:44 pm

Our guitarist uses 1 as his main head (into a 2x12 marshall cab) and its awesome!

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by foal30 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:06 pm

awesome guys.

that red upholstery is the *BANNED* and the knobs are cool too.
good idea with the impedance variable, I'd def recommend the same if it is going to be mixed and matched with different spec cabs.

just to clarify Timi, you patch the two when you are playing bass to get more bottom end?
also can you list what valves please, I was thinking that maybe those who have this model could post a sound clip and this may (or may not) help in a general sound test/comparison.

Brent, did Mike use this for the recording?

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by definite » Wed Oct 08, 2008 2:55 pm

^ yes he sure did =)

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by timi » Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:29 pm

foal30 wrote:just to clarify Timi, you patch the two when you are playing bass to get more bottom end?
also can you list what valves please
Usually plug into the high input (right one on mine) of the bass channel, patch out of the low input into the high input of the normal channel. I use the bass channel to get my tone, and blend in the normal channel with the bass cranked and treble fairly low to beef up the sound.

My output tubes are 6L6's, from memory all the preamp tubes are 12ax7's apart from the one closest to the power tubes (must be the phase inverter) which is a lower output 12au7.

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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by model.citizen » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:51 am

foal30 wrote:what tubes do you have in your 50 mCitizen?
JJ 6l6 power tubes, and a motley assortment of old vintage preamp tubes (rca, philips, tesa, etc). JJ's give more low-end than other tubes i've run in the past (mesa/boogie, sovtek) and more clean headroom.

i mess around with the preamp tubes sometimes, mainly stealing one from a bassman and using it in my markbass head (replacing the JJ 12ax7 - which again is very full-sounding) to get more ragged preamp drive.

as for the impedence control, i've only ever run my amps set at 4ohms, regardless of what cabinet i was using...tho i normally play 4ohm cabinets. is there a real danger of messing something up running a 4ohm amp into an 8ohm cabinet?
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by beagle » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:07 am

model.citizen wrote:actually all vintage ampeg heads were ohm-switchable too...plus they have the bonus of being able to self-bias so you can run any power tube in them safely, even only 1 power tube if you really want. nice and flexible.
Wow that's great.. possibly something that valve amps can do which sold states can't?
model.citizen wrote: as for the impedence control, i've only ever run my amps set at 4ohms, regardless of what cabinet i was using...tho i normally play 4ohm cabinets. is there a real danger of messing something up running a 4ohm amp into an 8ohm cabinet?
8ohm cabinet from a 4ohm amp would be fine.... as long as you're not powering 2x 4 ohm cabinets (as that equals 2 ohms). Everything I've heard / read says that you can run a higher or same ohm rated cabinet as an amp's ohms but never run a lower ohm cabinet than the amp.
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by model.citizen » Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:50 pm

tube amps have different taps into the output transformer, giving different output loads (2, 4, 8, 16 - depending on the amp). but some tube amps only run an output transformer with one or two taps.

the switches on the back of Ampegs along with the "patch panel" on the back of Jansens simply routes that particular transformer tap to the speaker out. other amps simply have separate speaker outputs for each load - each wired up to a different tap on the transformer.

dunno how s/state amps achieve the same thing, could be exactly the same deal.
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by nzsimon » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:08 pm

model.citizen wrote: jansen bassman models were effectively "copies" of another famous similarly-named amp.
I couldn't count the number of times I have read that and it simply is an urban myth the circuitry is completely different as are the transformer specs

They look similar as do most amps inside is a different story
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by Crazykiwi » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:00 pm

Awww happy memories :), my first bass amp experience was a Jansen Bass 50 at high school. It needed revalving but did the job so long as it wasn't too loud. Wouldn't have minded trying it with new valves before I left.
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Re: Jansen 50 Bassman Amplifier

Post by foal30 » Fri Oct 10, 2008 6:37 pm

what school? if your from Christchurch you know how important this question is old boy!

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