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Fender Showman TFL

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Stewie26, Aug 22, 2012.


  1. I have a friend who moved to another state and he gave me an old Fender silver face Showman TFL amp head before he left. I asked what the TFL stood for and he said it meant "Too F**king Loud." I plugged it in to a single 15 inch cab just to see if it works and it sounds pretty good. The small problem is that someone replaced the fuse with aluminum foil so I have to find a proper fuse. Does anyone play bass using this head. What is the best cab set up, 2-15's? Are these heads worth any money? I am use to solid state amps but was thinking it may be fun to play thru a tube amp. Any info would be helpful.
     
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    DO NOT OPERATE THE AMP AGAIN UNTIL THE CORRECT SIZE FUSE IS INSTALLED!!!!!

    If you look at the back of the amp near the fuse holder the correct value should be marked.
     
  3. I fully understand. When I plugged it in for the first time
    I did not realize the the fuse had been jury rigged. After checking to see if the amp worked I did a further inspection. I opened the fuse holder to make sure it had the proper size fuse and was very surprised to find the foil. BTW, my buddy was not known for taking care of his stuff. It is my intent to get this amp back to normal running condition. Also, the tolex on the case is torn in may places. I would like to fix that as well plus replace the dirty grill cloth. But before I do that, I guess what I am trying to figure out here, is this old fender amp even worth the time to fix up.
     
  4. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    Get the fuse replaced and play around with it. If it has enough power for your purposes, you might find it a gem.

    Back in the day, lots of bassists used Showmen - good, warm tube sound (not nearly as aggressive as an Ampeg SVT). The problem was that while 100w was plenty of power for a guitar, if didn't move enough air for bass in bigger venues. So, beginning with a lot of folks in San Fran, bass players used the preamp section from the Showman running through a more robust (usually solid state) preamp. The Alembic FX-2 preamp is basically the preamp section from the Showman, in a smaller rack case.
     
  5. The largest venues I am playing these days are medium clubs, 100 to 150 persons, and
    some outdoor street fairs were we have the DI option for the PA. So it looks like amp may work for me. I checked out ebay and it appears these old amps are retailing between $500 and $800. It looks like it is worth fixing up. If I decide not keep it and I can always sell to someone who wants to have that old vintage Fender stage look.
    Thanks all for your help.
     
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I sold a real nice up to date serviced one about 2 years ago for $750. James Jamerson used this head on at least one live show with Marvin Gaye. That video did the rounds here a while back. You might poke around Youtube and find it. One of the sweetest live basses you'll hear. BTW - he also used some of the tuck & roll Kustom stuff from the late 60s live. I have a friend that saw him and the Kustom rig perform. He even had the opportunity to check the amp and Pbass settings. Amp - bass full, treble off. Pbass - tone all the way to bass. :cool:
     
  7. I used a Showman for years. Depending on the year made it can have a lot of value. Liked that amp, ran through a Dual Showman 215 cab loaded with JBL D140's.

    IIRC it used a 2 1/2 amp SLO-BLO fuse (US voltage). The SLO BLO is absolutely necessary, a standard fast blo will pop about every time.
     
  8. Thanks for the Slo-Blo info. Looks like I need to make a trip to Radio Shack to see if they stock them.
     
  9. That sounds like a lot of Thump.
     
  10. I have a 65 (blackface) Showman I use primarily for guitar, but it's great for bass if you want the old school sound. As mentioned above, a 2-15 Showman cab w/JBLs is great with those. Great amp and quite versatile but considered a bit underpowered these days for certain applications.
     
  11. Yes, 2.5 amp slo-blo, just checked my amp ;)
     
  12. I remember as a kid growing up in the 60's that the really big gun amps were the Vox Super Beatle and the Fender Dual Showmans. I use to dream about owning such an amp when I visited a music store. It just goes to show how much times have changed. Here we are saying that the amp is cool but may not have enough power. Now, over 40 years later, you can go and buy a soild state 4 pound head with 500 plus watts and pack that same head in your gig bag.
     
  13. Cool that brain cell hasn't died yet! ;) :D
     
  14. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    Yep - combine that with the flats and foam mute under the bridge cover - some real Thump. :D
     

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