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Fender Showman/Dual Showman

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Virus, Jul 8, 2005.


  1. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    I'm just wondering what the differences are between the Showman and the Dual Showman amp..

    I think I'm going to want to grab one of these soon, it looks like my band is going to start playing small bars within a few months. How hard is it to find one of these and is there any problems with using these for bass? I've seen quite a few people use them for bass. And what should I expect to pay for just the head? Given that it is in perfect working order, cosmetic damage is of no big concern to me. What about with the matching 2x12" cab?
     
  2. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    If you're looking for that old 60's bass sound either would work great. Those old cabs don't hold up to bass that well. As for prices try Ebay :D
     
  3. My experience is with the blackface models only. If memory serves correctly the only difference for that era was the cabinet. The Showman was available with either two 12"s, a single 15" or with a larger dual 15 cabinet (hence the name "Dual" Showman on the head) that had either D130F for guitar or D140F for bass. I still have mine and it sure doesn't have a lot of power, but it's awfully sweet mic'ed up in the studio.

    I hope that helps.
     
  4. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    So would the Showman with a 2x12" handle the bass or is that cab not for bass?

    They are both 100 watts correct?
     
  5. The old blackface Showman (and Dual Showman) is 85 watts. The 2x12 cabinet is really best for guitar and doesn't sound that great for bass. You would be better off with one of the 2x15 bass cabinets, and especially a model loaded with JBL D140F speakers, if you're looking for an "original" setup. Quite a few of these cabinets that are floating around are loaded with D130F, but again that is primarily a guitar speaker.
     
  6. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    Are they still making JBL D140F's? or would I have to find some of those too? Are the silver faced 85 watts aswell?

    85 watts should be enough for a garage to be loud right? And if miced it could do small bars I hope.
     
  7. JBL 140's have been out of production for a long time now, but I imagine there are still recone kits available should you find some in rough shape. 85 watts woun't take you very far and you'll most likey have to mic it for gigs. Whether or not it's loud enough for practice depends on how loud you practice obviously. 85 watts would never cut it for me at practice.
     
  8. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    I don't quite understand what 85 watts is not enough power today but it was in the 60s and 70s wasn't it?

    I would have no problem micing the cab for a gig. But I can't see it not being enough for practice. Didn't they use this stuff for shows in the days when it was new?
     
  9. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Because back then overdrive was cool on bass. For some reason nowadays clean headroom is in, but it's my mission in life to make overdrive popular again. :bassist:
     
  10. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    Ahhh yes makes sense.

    So an 85 watt Showman amp IS enough, but not if I want a clean sound. ;)

    Well that sounds soothing to me, if I recall correctly Billy Talbot plays a Showman does he not? We play a lot of Young/Crazyhorse so that would be the sound I'm after. Plus I love tubes.

    So this is the right choice for me to make. It is enough but not for a clean sound.
     
  11. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Who cares? Clean sounds are boring anyways. I use a 60 watt Sunn sceptre that gets loud as hell overdriven. Enough to keep up with a pretty loud drummer and guitarist. Don't worry about it.
     
  12. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    In my case I use a bassman 135 (100watts) with a bassman 70 2x15, and it's loud enough for practice, but not for shows. In fact I just got back from doing the Warped Tour with the band I'm in, and the bassman wasn't loud enough at all for those out door shows even for stage volume. But I think it more has to due with the cab and speaker design (or lack there of) then anything else. So I'm having a custom cab made to run with my bassman 135.
     
  13. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I used to have a Bassman 135. It's a loud amp, but it needs efficient speakers. I'd really suggest you try some schroeders with it. It's also very hard on tubes, and fried a set of Groove Tubes in under a year. JJs would probably hold up much better, just make sure you have quality tubes in there.
     
  14. DaveMcLain

    DaveMcLain

    Jun 19, 2005
    Cuba MO
    The bassman 135 IS a more powerful amp than the Showman, it's got a different output transformer with ultralinear taps for the screen grids, that's what makes it different than the Bassman 100 it sounds different too.

    The Showman and Dual Showman are different, the feedback loop is slightly different because one amp is used with a single speaker, the other with a dual cabinet, look at the schematic, it's not a big change.

    I think it would sound excellent, have enough power for big gigs, no. BUT, you could always play the amp into a Marshall Power brake, THD Hotplate or similar speaker emulator/load and then use THAT signal to run a much larger power amp, that way you would get the sound of the old Fender but you could make it as loud as needed, drive whatever cabinets you would like depending on the size of the gig, this could work really good.
     
  15. chadds

    chadds

    Mar 18, 2000
    A few years later every amp was louder. It's so quiet it will be as if you weren't playing and that depends on your band mates. The Ampeg V4b though it doesn't sound exactly like a Fender has much more balls. A misunderstanding about then and now is that actually the speakers/cabs were often more efficient and required less watts. That said the amp companies didn't get with the program for a while. Remember bassists were playing in big bands with no amplification for years. So don't expect huge volume. Tone yes though I think that Fender amps never had the bottom of Ampegs (vintage). Fenders had better highs and mids. A Sunn 2000s or 200s also kicks more bass booty then the Fender Showman. Though this is my humble opinion I actually gigged with this equipment when it was new. We were very happy to move up to higher wattage amps to get better tone and volume when they became available. We wouldn't have thought about using an Ampeg B-15, Bassman, Showman, if a V4B, SVT or Sunn or Marshall or Hiwatt was available. And for bass amplification, Fender was late to fiqure it out and never chose to catch up or innovate effectively.
     
  16. I managed to find the difference that you are referencing on SchematicHeaven. Thanks for the tip on the 47ohm vs. 100ohm difference on the feedback loop.
     
  17. No, it's what was available. If it was enough the SVT, Acoustic 360 and the Sunn Coleseum never would have been necessary.
     
  18. Joe Beets

    Joe Beets Guest

    Nov 21, 2004
    I knew a guy that used Showman heads for bass....four of them. That was just for his stage volume. He still had to run through the PA. If you look at old concert photos you may see a Fender head or a V4B behind the bass player. But if you look real close you will see a Shure SM57 hanging down in front of the bass cabinet. ;)
     
  19. Virus

    Virus

    Apr 16, 2004
    Ontario
    This thread seems to be doing faily well. We're getting lots of different opinions. Unfortunately for me they are complete opposites.

    Looks like I'll just have to find one and try it out myself.

    I don't want to have too much watts because I actually want to drive the amp into sounding better. But I don't want too few that even full isn't enough for practice. Micing the cab for a gig is no biggie to me.

    Ahh! I don't know what to do.

    Lets keep the discussion going I'm enjoying this. :p
     
  20. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    Just one thing: when you're driving the amp into overdrive, go easy on the bass knob. I find that when amps start having natural power tube overdrive, if the bass is too high, you'll start flapping the speakers. But if you keep the bass down low, there will naturally be more bass in the tone.