To most, the Fender Bassman is in the top ranks of legendary amps. The history of this amp is too long for me to go over but the names that have trusted this amp to be the driving force behind their sound speak for themselves. This sim is specifically modeled from a 60s Blonde Bassman model (#6G6-B).
Brian Setzer, Buddy Guy, Tom Petty, Mike McCready, ZZ Top, Rory Gallagher, The Beatles, SRV, Jack White, Kurt Cobain, Billie Joe Armstrong, Brody Dalle, John Mayer, Robben Ford, Chris Shiflett, Eric Clapton and a huge wealth of other talented artists from the the past 50+ years have used various Bassman models, including their own uniquely modded versions. Not a bad resume.
Being that it was originally designed as such, it’s also a pretty good quality bass amp sim if you are looking for more of a vintage bass tone. It was the industry standard for bass amps in its day but has always been more popular for guitar. Several notable bass players have used the Bassman exclusively for years.
The Bassdude plugin features the amp, a cabinet section and a few toys in the post-FX section to help refine and shape your tone.
Brainworx always put a lot of time into their GUIs which for me is appreciated more for easy navigation than wow-factor. It was designed to look like it has some miles on it which is a cool move with amp sims modeled from vintage amps because let’s be honest, when do you ever see a mint condition amp from that era? The layout is the standard Brainworx layout that includes a face plate panel and a panel for all the interior features included like the cab loader, onboard HP/LP filters and more.
The presets give you a good look at the plugin’s capabilities fairly quickly. While the Bassdude doesn’t have a 100 knobs and switches, the few controls and tone shaping options it does have all have high values across the board so you can get a pretty wide variety of really good tones. The plugin does lack a master output but that’s really only the downside
The first tone I go for is a solid rock tone with some grit. I am aiming for a Foo Fighters type tone with a mid gain, punch and cut to it. I was also looking for a nice thick punk rock tone like you’d hear on Green Day or The Suicide Machines albums. The Bassman is widely thought of a one of the holy grail amps of punk tone though I am more of a Mesa or Marshall guy in that way of thinking. The Bassdude captures that classic rock or old school punk wall of sound easily. It’s one of the few amps that can be an army of one in a single guitarist band. I was able to get that kind of depth in my tone with a nice Orange 412 impulse.
The blues, southern rock, country and classic rock tones that are available in the Bassdude regularly blow me away. They’re warm, smooth, realistic and just beautiful overall. I would highly recommend this plugin as a must-own for any guitarist playing any of those styles and the genres that surround them.
The Bassdude is not a hi-gain amp sim nor is it meant for such applications but you can add a distortion pedal plugin or tube screamer plugin to give the Bassdude some more grit. If you opt to do this, watch the amount of gain you have going on or things will get a bit fizzy and harsh. It’s taking the sim out of its comfort zone so just watch how far you push it. If you like the sound of a Bassman with the gain dimed, it will give you a pretty realistic result but it’s not really my thing.
The impulses included with the Bassdude are all really well chosen but. You get a really solid selection of pretty much every size of cabinet you will need. I bypassed the cab onboard to use my own loader and impulses. When I did so, the plugin did sound better and a bit more crisp. I had a lot of luck with open and closed back 412, 410, 112 and 212 impulse packs.
I used the Bassdude to create some really fantastic bass tones ranging from vintage to modern tones. Hit the bass impulse selection for some 410, 810 and 115 options plus a little drive or compression to create a monster wall of bass. Not many single-amp plugins deliver solid quality guitar and bass tones.
UPS / DOWNS:
The Brainworx plugins are some of the highest quality plugins ever made for guitar and bass folks and you should all join the Plugin Alliance mailing list because they have deals constantly that usually involve one or more guitar products being sold for a very low price.
The Bassdude is an incredible breath of fresh air in a market so full of modern hi-gain products. It’s a warm, realistic and well done amp sim that goes on our list of the best vintage amp sims. It’s versatile, easy to dial in and generally a pleasure to use.
See more – Official Plugin Alliance Bassdude demo