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NAD: A Frickin' Bassbreaker 45

Discussion in 'Other Amps' started by Maggot Brain, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    How about posting some links of these parroted posts along with your analysis.
     
  2. Mitchell Pearrow

    Mitchell Pearrow Well-Known Member VIP Member

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    HNAD, and getting to meet up with Jon
    Priceless
     
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  3. solarburnDSL50

    solarburnDSL50 Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    HNAD man! Just found this thread.

    Rawk that Bish!:eddie:
     
  4. KraftyBob

    KraftyBob Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    HNAD Maggot Brain! A friend of mine is looking for a new amp and this is one of the suggestions I gave him. He eventually passed as he needs an effects loop, but was torn because he really liked the tones that it's capable of. I did a little research on the Bassbreaker for him and didn't see anything that stuck out regarding reliability that was different from any other amp. Heck, you'd think the DSL line was crap based on some of the threads out there, yet a bunch of us love them.

    I will say the one thing that caught my attention was the chassis design as it's folded over into a square tube shape which can make it harder to repair "if needed" - but not impossible. I have a Fender Hot Rod DeVille and the they (and the Deluxe) are notorious for the 5W power resistors causing problems because they are mounted directly to the board (I replaced mine with new resistors mounted above the board). I've read thread after thread on how these amps are junk, they use crappy caps, etc., yet the Hot Rod is probably the best selling amp globally. I love my DeVille and find myself playing that more often than my DSL these days.

    To each his own. Enjoy your Bassbreaker and I'm looking forward to some sound samples!
     
  5. Kim Lucky Day

    Kim Lucky Day Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I wanna hear some sound clips...

    Just because something has a design flaw, making something very difficult to repair if it breaks down, doesn't necessarily mean it's going to break down. If you're using it every day, diming it and otherwise abusing it, sure it could break.

    Biggest knock I could find on the 45 (other than lack of a loop) is the sheer weight of it. Whoopie. If it has the sound, that trumps everything.
     
  6. What?

    What? Well-Known Member

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    What I have heard of this amp, it does sound good. But when it comes time for service, good luck. It seems like it was designed to be used and thrown away when something breaks. I would like to see something from Fender on how anyone is supposed to get the chassis apart for service. Because it seems that they might be the only one's who know how to get the folded chassis apart for service. Your only option for service will likely be shipping it off to Fender, waiting for a repair, waiting for it to ship back.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  7. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    I've been lazy about getting some clips but really want to show it off as to how Marshally it can be. It really reminds me of vintage JTM45s I've had hands on playing but abit more to a 45/100 due to the SS rectumfryer soo probably closer to a JTM50 black flag. It's clean and at the edge of break up is just beautiful and heavenly, I would LOVE to have some KT66s in her as I think that would just sound so perfect with what this amp is doing and how it's voiced. This amp is perfect for my Hendrix obsession and paired with the Fuzz Face just does the Hendrix thing so well.

    I've been addicted to my Dirty Shirley pedal thru it as well and the high gain is just too fun, I've been on a kick playing some Randy and Eddie songs/riffs and the pedal really captures that hot rodded Marshall sound perfectly when paired with this amp. I'd say taking pedals is one of the amp's strongest attributes as the DS doesn't sound quite as natural with my Origin20 as it does with the Bassbreaker and to be fair I tried the pedal thru both amps running thru my 1960A.

    I will agree with @What? that the folded PCB designe is extremely flawed and there are other "cheap" attributes to it. I couldn't help but throw my RCA 12AT7 in the PI and discovered there isn't even a shield for V1 but a foam rubber dampener that fits over V1 and V2. I know not entirely necessary for a shield but seemed like a way to save pennies in production. I imagine time will tell but I hope not, I really love everything about this amp. I'm sure Fender cheaped out on other various components as I have read of Fender's penny pinching on all their amp lines which is dishearting even tho I know it's universal these days. I will give What? some due credit and believe he truly believes in what he is expressing and isn't just out for Bassbreakers or Fenders. Fender will not release or share a schematic which is expected so I also agree with What? a tech will have his work cut out for him with the folded PCB.

    I won't lie I wish Marshall had a similar amp with similar features. I think the Origin is pretty close in a way but the Bassbreaker45 sounds way better imho. If Marshall had a JTM or "Bluesbreaker" voiced amp with powerscaling I'd be all over it but I guess you could just get a JTM and an anntenuator...
     
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  8. GregM

    GregM Well-Known Member

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    In a few years ( hopefully) by the time it has an issue techs will be wondering why they hated it ( hopefully)
    Probably just need special tools they have made for themselves to make it easier.
    Until then, who cares, rock that thing!
     
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  9. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    I've wanted to come back to this thread now that I've had more time with the amp and the "honeymoon" period has passed. I've had time to cycle between my amp stable and have played the Bassbreaker quite a bit now since initial purchase. There is always some flak surrounding these Bassbreakers from Fender and I would like to touch on the amp once again.

    I will start with the most positive aspects and go into my criticism I have found.

    First of all the tone is just fantastic, it's my best sounding amp and I would say one of the best sounding and "feeling" amps I've personally played. I would rate the tone a 9 out of 10 in all honesty. I feel Fender captured the perfect blend between the Bassman and JTM45 and everything in between. I find the amp has the best qualities of both makes and with the versatility of the EQ you can touch on everything in between. With an extremely full, deep and 3D tone the amp is very lively and an absolute joy to play no matter what guitar is plugged in. It takes any and every pedal I have, it loves pedals and they all sound fantastic infront of this amp.

    The power scaling is my favorite feature of any amp I've ever owned. It is such a usable and practical feature that allows the amp's headroom to be dialed up or down. Being a NMV amp it allows the amp to retain that sound and "feel" of a NMV but with the control of a MV amp.

    I love the asthetics, the black and grey tweed with the black panel really give it a unique and modern look while retaining some old-school vibes of tweed Fenders from yesteryear.

    The 2x12 combo cab is sturdy and feels well built, not too heavy but not too light. It feels it would have no problem surviving being lugged around gigging but that's only half of the battle and leads me to my next point.

    I've pulled the chassis and the PCB layout is a complete cluster fck. It is very obvious it was designed for ease of manufacturing at the cost of any serviceability... This is one of the amps biggest downfalls and truly prevents it from ever being a "great" amp. Fender is obviously making nothing but consumer products that have no intentions on being repaired or serviced. While I have no doubt the amp could be worked on if absolutely necessary, it is not designed with any regards to being serviced and has really tainted my view on Fender. To be honest I doubt I'll ever buy another modern Fender amp but can't say I'm not too surprised either.

    Now the amp has developed an intermittent issue with the power switch and or the power scaling. The amp will sometimes turn on but the power scaling seems to malfunction and the amp has very low volume with a very distorted sound. I can resolve it by switching the power on and off rapidly a few times... not good and another disappointment.

    I am still hesitant to completely write off Fender as I've had lemons from Marshall and other brands. This amp is frustrating as it sounds SO good to my ears and feels so good to play but has obvious short comings. I'll enjoy it for it's marvelous tone and run it as long as I can but it's too bad Fender didn't design the amp to be a real contender... A simple cash grab consumer product.

    Would I buy one again? If it was REALLY cheap, I don't feel it's tone alone justified the price. While it's tone is damn near EXACTLY what I want in an amp it's build quality and questionable longevity really detracts from the whole experience.
     
  10. Kinkless Tetrode

    Kinkless Tetrode Well-Known Member

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    Do these use the V Type speakers?
     
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  11. Beltalowda

    Beltalowda Active Member

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    Sorry to hear it, @Maggot Brain !

    For a hot minute they were on my radar, but I think I read too many reviews that were similar to yours.

    Hope you are able to sort your power scaling issue out!
     
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  12. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Not to be a smartass but why? Sad as it is, $1000 doesn’t buy what it used to. Anywhere. That’s disposable tech, why risk cracking it open at all?
     
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  13. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Curiosity, I didn't disassemble anything just simply pulled it out to inspect.
    Thanks man, it's just another lesson in life. I don't feel too bad as the amp still functions besides the intermittent glitch. It's just too bad it wasn't made to a higher quality because I think it is an amazing sounding amp. Had it been designed a little more robust I feel it would have been a serious masterpiece! My favorite Fender amp was my '59 Bassman reissue, that thing just sounded soo amazing clean and with a little hair... Amazing blues and rock amp... My favorite Marshall is the JTM45 so this offering really struck a chord with me pun intended and I truly feel they nailed it tone wise. It indeed sounds like a Bassman JTM45 love child and I love that so much... Fender really should have taken pride in this offering and just put it in a higher price bracket. New they were what? $1,000? Not cheap but not bad considering and thankfully I didn't pay anywhere near that.

    I still enjoy it and I still recommend anyone that loves Bassmans or JTM45s to check one out if you stumble across one.
     
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  14. Maggot Brain

    Maggot Brain Well-Known Member

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    Yes and they sound absolutely fantastic in this combo. Very well balanced with a hint of greenback character. Full without being muddy and clear without being piercing, they have a percussive quality I couldn't achieve plugging it into a 1960A with the T75s.
     
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