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Big Clean Machine - Fender Showman or Ampeg V4, and speakers?

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,352
I'm thinking about picking up a high-powered amp with big cleans for my soul jazz / dance-able funk gigs. I've got the mid-powered Fender thing covered with my super reverbs and pro reverbs, and it seems like you can still get a good deal on unabused Single/Dual Showman Amps and Ampeg V4's. I'm using a 335 and/or a 175, both with humbuckers, and minimal effects.

What's the current thinking on these amps? Also, if anyone has good speaker recommendations, particularly with regard to the Ampeg, I'd love to hear them.

Thanks.
 

mlj_gear

Member
Messages
3,193
Both would work. First-era V4s rock, and you get reverb, a particularly flexible EQ section, and the ability to use 8-ohm cabs. Usually cheaper than a blackface Dual Showman without reverb. I've never tried a silverface Dual Showman, but based on the circuit changes and my experience with other blackface and silverface heads, i'd take the V4 over a SF Showman Reverb for sure.

Just keep in mind that while they will be very loud before they do so, both of these amps will break up more than, say, a typical contemporary 100-watt MV head with a clean channel (Mesa, etc).
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
29,207
The V4 is amongst the loudest amps I've owned. It will do clean at volumes you won't be able to use, although with earplugs and an audience that doesn't care about hearing or the death of small animals you can crank it to glorious crunch. It's also amongst the heaviest head's I've owned. It will bury the Fender for clean volume, and does have a different sound. The optional speakers on that amp were JBLs, a pair of 15s or a pair of 12s would work very nicely. Modern speakers, I'd be tempted to use Fanes, since they're clean, loud and a bit smoother than Celestions.

The Showman is the quintessential distillation of Fender clean, still very loud. To my ears it sounds like a steel fist in a velvet glove-smooth and sweet but very hard hitting. It's much lighter than the V4, not quite as loud. Again, I'd look at JBLs...
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,573
V-4s are insanely loud, and if not careful, can be bright enough to peel the paint off the walls. Amongst the heaviest of amp heads there is, that can get real old, real quick.
Every other aspect of the amp is a plus, solid construction, great tone sculpting, reverbs nice, takes pedals great, clean headroom for days.
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,312
Altec's were the ugrade speakers for Ampeg. When I needed a big rhythm sound I used a pair of JBL K-130's,with my V-4, much like a Dual Showman. As said, the V-4 is a much more versital amp than a Showman, you can put it in the Fender camp, or the M camp using the mid controls, and you can get a outboard master volume for it.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,784
If you like your Pro and Super but want the same glassy hifi but with more headroom..Showman by a mile.
V4 is a solid rock amp but nothing like a Fender.
 

WhoJamFan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,573
If you like your Pro and Super but want the same glassy hifi but with more headroom..Showman by a mile.
V4 is a solid rock amp but nothing like a Fender.
I tend to agree in respect to Fenders super spanky possibilties, but the V4 is a fatter, louder monster with it's own thing going in IME.
 

Lance

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,871
If you have the coinage, I recommend the Two Rock - Custom Clean. Or, maybe hunt down a Super Twin Reverb that has 6 x 6L6's @ 150W.
 

Rockerduck

Member
Messages
3,254
I had the V4 for yrs. when I was strong enough too carry it to gigs. It does break up though. I got a Twin and it is louder clean than the V4.
 






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