Vintage Amp Scene: 1978 Bassman Ten

I bought this amp in Austin, TX in 2010 for $250. For real. And it was advertised at $300. 2 minutes after the ad was posted online, I called the guy and told him I was coming up to Austin from Lockhart specifically to look at that amp and I wanted first dibs even though it would take me 30-40 minuted to get to his house. He agreed. 35 minutes later I roll up out in front of his building in downtown Austin, and he’s not there. It was August, which is hell-hotness-humidity month in Texas, and I’m standing on the sunny side of the street waiting for this dude to either pick up his phone or arrive at his house. 15 minutes later he walks up. We go up to look at the amp, I plug in play two licks and say, “I’ll take it”. He says, “great”. I says, “I have $300 right here, but I’m only going to give you $250 because you made me wait in the sun for your ass for 15 minutes and it’s too hot for that shit” He swallows and says, “Uh, OK”. I hand over the cash, pick up the amp, and RUN LIKE HELL BEFORE HE CHANGES HIS MIND!!

It’s been my number one amp for all Stateside touring and recording ever since. I still have the original close-backed 4×10″ speaker cabinet for it, but it is a notoriously top heavy setup and very very easy to knock over. I haven’t toppled it yet, but I’ve caught it twice. So with that in mind, and with space at a premium in my 15 year old Nissan Xterra, I had a custom 2×10″ cabinet made for it so I could in effect “chop it in half”. Now it looks sharp, doesn’t fall over, has two alnico Jensen Jet Blackbird 10 speakers mounted, and sounds amazing.

Bassman Ten front

Bassman Ten rear

About C R Humphrey 4 Articles
CR Humphrey is the driving force of Hill Country Blues duo Old Gray Mule, a starving pilot, and inventor of The Sarcasmotron.

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