Fender Showman Reverb amp?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Bikerider20, Apr 11, 2021.

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  1. Bikerider20

    Bikerider20 TDPRI Member

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    What are your thoughts on the fender showman? Does it deliver really really good cleans? To you does it sound bright or dark? I’m thinking of getting an early 70s with a 2x12 cab if possible.
     
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  2. suave eddie

    suave eddie Friend of Leo's

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    My understanding is the Showman Reverb is basically a Twin in head form.
    I would jump on it if the price is right.
     
  3. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah if you like Fender cleans, a Showman Reverb should deliver. Can be bright or dark depending how you twist the knobs.

    I doubt you'll get breakup at any reasonable volume.
     
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  4. standup

    standup TDPRI Member

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    I’ve had this amp for over 30 years. It was cheap when nobody wanted old tube amps. Originally a head, I used it as a bass amp in clubs when I was young.

    now it’s a combo. I didn’t need 85 watts, so pulled 2 tubes and put in Yellowjacket adapters, so now it’s a 20 watt combo with el84s.

    sounds great with a Weber 15”, the highs are shimmery. And because it’s 20 watts now I can get some overdrive at gig levels.

    this Showman is reverb-free, so I added a spring reverb on top. I gig infrequently, and not at all in the last year, but reverb is a pedal if I have to take it somewhere.
     

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  5. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    The Showman Reverb schematic is very similar to the Twin AB763 and AC568 schematics.
    The main difference between the darker sound of the Showman Rev is the speaker selection and cabinet.

    I have a '64 Showman. I built an open back cab with a a single eminence V128. It sounds very much like the original JBL 15 tone ring cab. Dick Dale surf sound. More lows than a twin.

    I built a 2x10 open back cab to try to get less bottom and less volume. It sounds more like a typical Fender amp. Very familiar sound. The cab has low efficiency Jensen Mod 10-35 speakers wired for 16 Ohms. I pull two of the power tubes to match the 16 Ohms. I am not sold on the Jensen 10-35 for this head. I think the right speakers would put the amp in the same camp as the AB763 and AC568 twins. So yes, Fender cleans. It is hard to get tube distortion at reasonable volumes.
     
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  6. surf_jimi

    surf_jimi Tele-Meister

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    I had the 1968 version.
    I blackfaced it and it was the best Fender clean tone I ever heard. I play surf music and I’m sorry I sold it.
     
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  7. Butch Snyder

    Butch Snyder Tele-Afflicted

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    Back in the 80's when I was all "Prog" and effects, I had a friend, kind of a guitar mentor. I was 17 and he was in his 30's. He had a black face Dual Showman. He played a 335 through it; just the guitar, cable, and amp. Some of the most unreal tones I have ever heard (and I've heard a lot). It was a huge sound; smooth, creamy, warm, and punchy. Of course, a lot of that was his hands. He let me play through it and I couldn't get near what he was getting out of that rig. I didn't have my effects, so I sucked.

    Bottom line - killer amp in the right hands.
     
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  8. Bob M

    Bob M Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I had a black face Showman in the late 60s that I used for bass. In the early 70s I bought a new Dual Showman Reverb with 15” JBL D140s. What a beautiful beast. I think it was $1300 or $1400 in 1973 dollars. I struggled with moving it back then and moved on but any of the 4 6l6 Fender amps give endless cleans.
     
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  9. randym

    randym Tele-Meister

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    Wouldn't pulling two tubes make an 8 ohm load? That's what I've read (no real world experience, so asking).
     
  10. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Afflicted

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    Like others have said, it's basically a twin reverb amp in head form so you can match it to larger cabinets. A lot of fire power there!
     
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  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    lowerleftcoast says he has a Showman, which has an 8 ohm OT. The Dual Showman has a 4 ohm OT. The only way to tell the Showman from them DualShowman with the BF amps is by looking at the OT model number, ime. All of the Dual showman Reverbs
    have the 4 ohm OT. Great amps, all.
    Some of the DSR amps have the cutouts for speakers in the head cab.....handy grab and go amp that way.
     
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  12. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Like Wally said the earlier Showman had the 8 Ohm OT. It powered a single JBL 130 in the tone ring cab.
     
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  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I built up a really nice little ‘64 Dual Showman that came to me in a homebuilt 2x10 cab. I happened to have had an empty Pro Sonic cab into which that DS fit perfectly. Two EVI Force 10s made the unit into a great amp. I did a few mods to give a hotter Normal channel and an overall more versatile amp.
     
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I have owned one DSR....a ?69 unit complete with the 2 x 15 cab. It had a mix of JBL D130 and D140 speakers. I pulled those and installed some Emi Big Bens, iirc. Big and rich. I was offered a chance to buy it back....but he has not shown up with the physical amp to make a deal. These are hard amps to sell...and hard amps to match if you want a big, clean sound. Iirc, Hendrix olayed DSRs at his concert at Esalen. Sounded like Hendrix...
     
  15. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    I am surprised bass players are not snatching them up. Sure they are heavier compared to a modern ss bass amp, but as a head they are portable. It is not like hauling around a twin reverb. They have enough power to provide bass for a gig with a drummer. Nice round tube bass tone for sure. With a small tweak it can sound like a ss bass amp. It is win win in my book. I still haven't built the bass cab for mine but I will. The Showman can cover all the bases as far as I am concerned. Big clean guitar amp. Pedal friendly guitar amp. Tube Bass amp. As Wally mused it could even have speaker(s) put in the head to have a grab and go practice amp.:D

    The Showman is the Swiss army knife of amplifiers ime.

    :cool::cool::cool:
     
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  16. randym

    randym Tele-Meister

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    I should have paid attention that it was a 64 Showman (not a Dual Showman).
     
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  17. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    The silverface DSR is a silverface Twin Reverb in a head cab built on the same day. I understand the early DSR had a couple of minor changes from the same day TRs. But the later ones all used the same schematics. So did the Super Six, Quad Reverb and Vibrosonic. The later had an 8 ohm output transformer. All DSRs used 4 ohm OTs from what I can gather.
    Get into the older non reverb heads and you'll want to check transformer codes, something you want to do anyway with a vintage Fender.

    What's all that mean? Well if you want a TR in a Head the DSR is a good choice, if you find one reasonable. You'll likely trip over some good deals on silverface Twins looking for a DSR though. Pretty easy to build a head cab or buy one from one of the cab makers out there.
    Built several cabinets myself, I can tell you one thing, the guys building and selling them ain't getting rich!
     
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