« -Touring Rig (It's LOUD!) »

For well over 10 years this has been my personal WMD!  It has it's share of battle scars, stains from sweating cocktail glasses and dust from 48 U.S. states and 4 Canadian provinces...

That right there is 300 all-tube watts being pushed through two 15" pa speakers (I blew up the original drivers long ago and replaced them with the burliest replacements I could find - see tech talk below).  It's as loud and mean as it looks!  I do a tune-up (biasing, clean out the coarse debris) about once a year in my garage.  I usually knock a lot of stuff off the shelves- I may have taken a few serviceable years off of the water heater in the garage as well!

I'll be honest, Fender wasn't my first choice for bass amplification.  Even after securing an endorsement deal from them around '98, I didn't even think of asking for an amp.  That all changed after playing a big street festival in Memphis in 1999.  Fender was sponsoring the event & supplied all of the backline amplification.  Around that time, Fender had just acquired the SUNN brand & all of it's designs.  They had one of these set-ups on stage & I fell in love instantly!!! Originally branded 'SUNN', Fender soon re-badged them as the Fender Bassman Pro series.

This Fender 300pro and 2x15 cabinet isn't just loud, it also has tone for days!  Despite it's insanely intricate preamp design (usually not a good thing), it really has a phenomenally 'classic' fundamental tone.  Broad, warm and unusually immediate for an all-tube amp.  The 300pro's clean channel is actually, well,... CLEAN!  Many bassists used to SVT's distorting at high volume are usually surprised at the headroom that the Fender has.  

Then there's the blendable 2nd 'dirty' channel.  It's aggressive, folks!  At higher gain settings, it actually get's fuzzy (in a good way).  Coupled with the 300pro's ability to blend in an infinitely variable mix of the clean channel- you've got magic.  I can go from a stout, warm clean sound to a nice lightly-overdriven purr and then all the way to all-out crunchy sag!  It's great, it works and it's footswitch controllable.

The eq is very powerful, but I rarely use it.  The flat settings just sound great as is.  Sometimes in a boomy room I might roll off some lows, but usually it just sits right flat.  I use the 300pro's dual-band compressor section to limit the highs a bit.  The di output works great & sounds clean, but I prefer using an independent di (see future post on my custom DHA di).

This remains my primary touring & mid-to-large stage setup.  Unfortunately, the Fender 300pro isn't as ubiquitous as it should be - so when I fly I usually rent a classic SVT stack.  I'm always psyched when the backline rental provider has my 300pro though!  It's a killer bass amp!


Tech Talk

Fender Bassman 300pro check it out at Fender 

Fender 215pro cabinet (loaded with Eminence KappaPro drivers) newer version available now!