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Dual showman reverb Bass rig idea: nuts?

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,145
i was rehearsing with a group I play with from time to time. I used my jazz bass>Keeley gc2>‘66 showman into a passive 12” Yamaha pa cabinet. Sounded awesome but I was right at the limit of it’s capabilities (for the mostly clean sound I want) and it wouldn’t work in a noisy bar.

So idea is to grab a dual showman reverb (preferrably one where someone already did the 2x8” baffle board) tap the speaker out with a suitable di and send that to a powered speaker. It would be fairly easy to transport (basically two 50 lb boxes) and could be awesome. Anybody done such a thing? Any comments are welcome. What speakers would be good contenders for the 8” for a “vintage clean(ish)” bass sound? Potential problems? Thanks.
 

MoPho

Pho Shizzle
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,626
Not trying to throw a wet rag, but...
Why not just get a pre and run it to the powered speaker? What is the DSR bringing to the party that a lower cost and more reliable solution can’t address?
 

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,145
Not trying to throw a wet rag, but...
Why not just get a pre and run it to the powered speaker? What is the DSR bringing to the party that a lower cost and more reliable solution can’t address?
This is actually what I normally do; tech 21 vt> active speaker.

The showman just sounded “better”. Maybe I just need a preamp that’s more to my liking.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,588
I used my jazz bass>Keeley gc2>‘66 showman into a passive 12” Yamaha pa cabinet. Sounded awesome but I was right at the limit of it’s capabilities (for the mostly clean sound I want) and it wouldn’t work in a noisy bar.
if you want more headroom out of that 100w tube head just get a better cab for it, like an actual bass guitar cab of decent size. you'll want an 8Ω cab to get the most out of that head, if you can find a fairly efficient 4x10 bass cab you should be OK for a cleanish bass sound at moderate volume.

something tall like a 2x15 might be even better to get the sound up to ear level but those tend to be 4Ω cabs.
 

Khromo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
936
The tone stack in the Showman is not optimum for electric bass. They voiced that one for guitar. You can use it, but there are other options you might prefer.

Two horizontally aligned 8" drivers in an open backed cab are not going to produce worthwhile bass much above a conversational level. 8's can work a little, fine for guitar, but not for bass in an open back cabinet. Over excursion!

It would be a lot cheaper to find a used Demeter VTBP-201 and send a fat, properly EQed DI to your powered speaker. It would probably sound more like what you are looking for due to a beautifully voiced bass-specific preamp, that began life as a Dual Showman preamp, if I'm not mistaken. The full-featured Jensen DI is already on board, and it would be a lot lighter to hump than a Showman loaded with speakers that are unsuited to your intended use.

I used to do casino gigs with no amps. I used that Demeter in a three-space rack case that also held a short pedal board. That was an unbelievable load-out!

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/demeter-vtbp-201-bass-preamp.1383142/#post-22200975
 
Last edited:

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,145
The tone stack in the Showman is not optimum for electric bass. They voiced that one for guitar. You can use it, but there are other options you might prefer.

Two horizontally aligned 8" drivers in an open backed cab are not going to produce worthwhile bass much above a conversational level. 8's can work a little, fine for guitar, but not for bass in an open back cabinet. Over excursion!

It would be a lot cheaper to find a used Demeter VTBP-201 and send a fat, properly EQed DI to your powered speaker. It would probably sound more like what you are looking for due to a beautifully voiced bass-specific preamp, that began life as a Dual Showman preamp, if I'm not mistaken. The full-featured Jensen DI is already on board, and it would be a lot lighter to hump than a Showman loaded with speakers that are unsuited to your intended use.

I used to do casino gigs with no amps. I used that Demeter in a three-space rack case that also held a short pedal board. That was an unbelievable load-out!

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/demeter-vtbp-201-bass-preamp.1383142/#post-22200975
Thanks. I hadn’t considered the open back aspect; that would probably suck. Oh well!
 

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,145
if you want more headroom out of that 100w tube head just get a better cab for it, like an actual bass guitar cab of decent size. you'll want an 8Ω cab to get the most out of that head, if you can find a fairly efficient 4x10 bass cab you should be OK for a cleanish bass sound at moderate volume.

something tall like a 2x15 might be even better to get the sound up to ear level but those tend to be 4Ω cabs.
Thanks. There’s an old Kustom bass cab with a 15” ev sro for sale near me I might check out.
 

MoPho

Pho Shizzle
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,626
This is actually what I normally do; tech 21 vt> active speaker.

The showman just sounded “better”. Maybe I just need a preamp that’s more to my liking.
Is this just for monitoring purposes and you have a DI to the board? Before I picked up my Mesa rig, I was happy running a Helix into a Yammy DXR12 but moving to a 2X15 cab pushed by a Mesa D800+ was a whole different thing.
 

Aaron Mayo

Member
Messages
2,145
Is this just for monitoring purposes and you have a DI to the board? Before I picked up my Mesa rig, I was happy running a Helix into a Yammy DXR12 but moving to a 2X15 cab pushed by a Mesa D800+ was a whole different thing.
My current rig (tech 21 into powered monitor) is my monitor and for the audience. The P.A. in this situation is not suitable, sadly.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,588
My current rig (tech 21 into powered monitor) is my monitor and for the audience. The P.A. in this situation is not suitable, sadly.
if the basic tone is working, look for a cheap power amp and an actual bass cab. the tech 21 feeding that can give you a fantastic bass tone for not much money.
 

Buck Private

Member
Messages
572
if you want more headroom out of that 100w tube head just get a better cab for it, like an actual bass guitar cab of decent size. you'll want an 8Ω cab to get the most out of that head, if you can find a fairly efficient 4x10 bass cab you should be OK for a cleanish bass sound at moderate volume.

something tall like a 2x15 might be even better to get the sound up to ear level but those tend to be 4Ω cabs.
Yeah.I doubt many powered speakers are going to sound as good as the dual showman through a good cab.A power amp and speakers can be added or FOH if more is needed.I don't recall if the DS has a pre out or not.but you already own a VT which will work.
 

AL30

Member
Messages
3,000
I run an old dual Showman sometimes through and 8x10". It's got plenty of power and headroom for loud gigs. As walterw said - get a better cab (probably not an 8x10") and you should be fine. A 4x10" is a good choice for a loud bar.
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,045
Depends on what you’re willing to spend, but you could use your Showman, a Suhr Reactive Load/Two Notes/whatever, and something like a QSC K12.

Just run the Showman into the load, use an IR to simulate a speaker cab if you want, and then the K12 can blow out the windows.

A load box should fix into a bag or rack and wouldn’t be too bad to add to what you’re talking about carrying.

I’ve marginally been thinking of doing this with a B15 because it just sounds so good but obviously is not very powerful.
 

Buck Private

Member
Messages
572
an old fender? not a chance. maybe some of the later rivera-designed ones do.
That raises a question.How did bands in live situations chain together 3 or 4 of them? A lot of shows I recall were strictly multiple amps on stage.All that FOH stuff came some time later.
 

sprag

Member
Messages
962
Alembic f2b and f1x circuit designs are inspired by the dual showman. The 2b has 2 channels. The 1x has 1 channel and a DI.

You can get a bit more grit from the 2b by running your signal through both channels but would need a separate DI. before going into a dedicated power amp. The radial JDI is small, not overly expensive, and is the industry standard for live use.

Either option would fit into a 3 space rack unit (2 For the power amp) and you could drive any speakers you like.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
37,588
That raises a question.How did bands in live situations chain together 3 or 4 of them?
by stringing together the inputs, often with significant impedance loss.

better would be to use some sort of buffered line driver in front, but i don’t know how early we would have seen those. blackmore with his aiwa tape deck maybe?
 

Buck Private

Member
Messages
572
by stringing together the inputs, often with significant impedance loss.

better would be to use some sort of buffered line driver in front, but i don’t know how early we would have seen those. blackmore with his aiwa tape deck maybe?
I'm not sure.If the inputs were daisy chained every pre amp/tone stack would be in the circuit.I don't know if that would be problematic.I wonder why Fender never anticipated the need or a pre out at a time when multiple amps on stage were the norm.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
31,866
You can make do with what you have at hand, if you need to, but building any system around a single inadequate component is nuts.
Get what you need that works for you without compromise, without hassle, without reliability problems, without hoping it will turn out well. Find the right gear from the vast resources available and be done.
If your goal is to be a gear tweaker that will lead to a different solution.:banana
 

Endr_rpm

Member
Messages
3,154
by stringing together the inputs, often with significant impedance loss.

better would be to use some sort of buffered line driver in front, but i don’t know how early we would have seen those. blackmore with his aiwa tape deck maybe?
Some thing in the back of my head recalls Hendrix using an LPB-1, not sure if it was specifcally for this applicaiton, but I am sure it would have helped drive all those amps.

Another +1 for a proper bass cab. 1x15 or 410 w/ 100 tube watts is a nice moderate volume rig, 2x15 for a moderate rock band, 810 if you REALLY need to be loud (and don't mind some natural tube grit). Doubling speaker area will (all things held equal) increase perceived volume by ~3db. 2x10s or 1x15 are about equivalent in surface area (rule of thumb here, not scientifically measured, don't shoot me!!), but I've found 215s better for me than a 410 because it gets that second speaker up where I can hear it, which means I am not just an indistinct rumble to my own ears. EQ also plays a large role, bass inherently takes a lot of power to amplify properly. But cabinet design CAN offset that somewhat.

Hence the 810- it rolls off around 100Hz (doesn't waste power amplifying low bass), has a ton fo speaker area (2x as much as a 215) and gets the top speaker sup where they are aimed at your ears. Some will quibble with the comb filetering effect of two columns of speakers interacting, but its been a standard for decades because it WORKS.
 




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