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Fender Dual Showman

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Oren Hudson, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I know, it's not a bass amp, but I've heard of them being used for it. I just picked up a mid to late 70s Dual Showman Reverb in real good shape. These are 100 watt RMS all tube heads. I've hooked it to my Ampeg B25B cab with the 2-15 421A Altec speakers. Of course, it sounds sweet with a Strat, but almost as good with a Danelectro Longhorn bass with flats. A huge reverb that sounds really interesting with it full on with the Longhorn. :cool:
  2. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I recorded with a Showman Amp and a Fender 2x12 back in the 70's. The 12's were EV's IIRC. It was wonderful. I used a P Bass for the tracks and it was some of the best recorded bass tone I've ever had. Acoustic 'chick' rock, sort of the Heart Dog & Butterfly mold. The tone was round and deep and very present. The studio had an RE-20 as the bass cab mic. Monster old E Sentry's hanging form the ceiling of the control room. It was just freakin' wonderful.

    That old Showman Amp had less gain and more headroom than your Showman Reverb IIRC. Something about an extra preamp tube I think... The tone stack is the same though ... Set the Volume, Bass, Mid & Treble to 6 and stand back ...
  3. no_flags


    Dec 31, 2009
    My band has one we use for guitar but I've played bass through it and I really love the tone. If we had another one I'd use it for bass but for now the Hartke LH500 does a pretty good impression of it.
  4. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    I had one that was later modded into a hot rod guitar amp by Cesar Diaz.
    Has had a very good bass toe before and after the mod (of course now it has a tweed switch, pull - mid treble bass bosts, and a ton of gain for overdrive)

    50 watt Bassmans are good as well; alway thought the blackface and silver face were all very good and the 2 blond amps I tried never thrilled me; maybe the just needed service
  5. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Interesting stuff 4Mal and no_flags. I can't wait to experiment a little with it. :cool:
  6. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    In my youth, I was sonically spoiled by a Dual Showman with
    two JBL D140's. The Dual Showman can be a great bass head.
  7. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    I am still using my '75 Dual Showman Reverb. Wonderful clean, round bass tone.
    For a more grindy, overdriven tone tone, just jumper the two channels and add overdrive to taste.

    :bassist: :D
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Back in the day......the Dual Showman was the go to bass amp if for no other reason than for the most available power....They're still good sounding and often overlooked bass amps. The trick is to not crank them all the way up. Middle ground for a warm but clean but not very loud sound, a little more for some grit but still possessing good tone with the benefit of added volume. Put it on 10 and it sounds ratty like anything else. Sad thing is, the Dual Showman was completely capable of farting out the speakers that were labeled bass speakers back then, which isn't saying much for the speakers. With the stuff that's available today, these are once again viable bass amps depending on your taste for tone. There are drivers available now that can make these things gigging amps again.
  9. deepbluesuk

    deepbluesuk Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    London, ENGLAND
    I had one and regret letting it go.....
  10. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    I had the TFL5000 model in my guitar half stack days. Would LOVE to have that amp now for bass duty, but sold it as a silly kid......for $175!
  11. I had a blackface Showman with the original cab, loaded with 2 D-140s. For whatever reason, I've never been clear on the difference between "Showman" and "Dual Showman". Anyone?

    In '74, I quit the Dallas based touring band I was in and gave the gig to a friend in town who was in need of work. At the time, he had no gear, so I loaned him the cab. Never saw either of them since!

    Hung onto the head for years but never found it to have enough clean volume to do the gigs, so I sold it rather cheaply to a friend (keyboardist) who collects old gear. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina ruined all his gear. What a waste!! :bawl:
  12. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    I also used a Dual Showman w/Reverb back in the early 70's combined with D130's in JBL designed cabinets. It had a sweet undistorted mid-range and presence that has since eluded me. I switched to an Acoustic 370 for volume - but it was difficult to replace the tone. I still have a recording (of several songs) that testify to it's worth. Great score - enjoy!
  13. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    My research and memory indicates that the "Showman" and "Dual Showman" are pretty much the same head, with the only difference being that the "Dual Showman" head came with a 2-15 or "Dual" cab rather than a single speaker cab and then later "Dual" cabs, hence the "Dual Showman" designation. And those cabs were the JBL loaded ones. Very nice. :cool:

    Too bad on losing a friend and the gear. Big time sucks.:(
  14. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Starting in 1973 after running a Sunn 1200S I went to Showman's, and the tone was actually better than the Sunn, but volume was a bit lower. I used cabinets with JBL D140F's and K140F's. So it became a modular approach, smallish gigs with one Showman, bigger club gigs with two, and outdoors with three. Still some of the best tone I've ever achieved even though it violates all the rules we all know from botique gear now.

    Bigger stage gigs finally required that I go the Alembic F2B and large power amp, still sounded great, but somehow they lost the magic crunch the Showman(s) delivered

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ
  15. koobie


    Jul 11, 2007
    Portland OR
    There are many under-loved silver-face Twin Reverbs on the market, same (or very similar I'm told) circuit as a Dual Showman with reverb added. Guitarists for the most part are moving towards lower-wattage combo amps so it's a buyer's market for bassists.

    I recently bought an Ampeg VT22 for use as a bass head, they're priced lower than the identical V4 heads. But after moving it around a bit, my back cried uncle, practicality won out and I sold it. Great sounding tube amp at lower levels, really rich, though I wasn't into the overdrive like a lot of peeps here on TB.
  16. jimbilly


    Apr 19, 2006
    I've got a '66 Showman (dual) head, it's great for bass, it pushes an 8x10 cabinet very nicely. I've got a the 2x15 JBL cab as well, but I'm too careful with that cab.

    As for the difference between regular Showman and Dual Showman, the 'Dual' model uses an output transformer that is rated for 4 ohms. But not all of the 4ohm models say Dual on them, I think the 4ohm OT may have come along before they added Dual to the faceplate. It's the 125A29A OT that is rated for 4ohms (a single showman has an output transformer that is rated for 8ohms.)
  17. "In my youth, I was sonically spoiled by a Dual Showman with
    two JBL D140's."


    I now use a Sadowsky SA200 because of that experience.

  18. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    too bad they don't make them anymore.
    Here's a sound sample:
  19. dbase

    dbase Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    South Jersey, USA..
    Never had a Dual Showman.. but heard them used by bands in the 60's, Twin Jbl D140's for guitar would hurt your ears with the piercing treble and using it for Bass it would fill a small auditorium. Always wanted one but ended up with a Sunn 200. Never had a Chevy either... Oh well.
    Hartke's not too bad.
  20. I thought I had the best of both worlds in the '60s when I was using a Fender Dual Showman and a Sunn 200S cabinet with two JBL D140s. I used two of those Sunn cabinets through the '70s with an SVT.

    Listening to James Jamerson playing his PBass through the Dual Showman behind Marvin Gaye was quite a treat!



    PS I also had a '58 Ford Fairlane and a '59 Chevy Impala convertible!