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Dual Showman vs Dual Showman Reverb

Toons545

Member
Messages
61
Has anyone had a chance to compare these two amps? I understand that the Reverb adds an additional gain stage which makes it more desirable. I'm specifically looking at a non-reverb silver face '68 and having my guy return it to blackface condition.

I was researching this and came across this old thread about a princeton vs Princeton reverb. People were saying that the non reverb version is not very desirable because it lacks that gain stage, but that there is a common phase inverter mod which helps it break up earlier:

https://www.thegearpage.net/board/archive/index.php/t-361998.html

Could you do a similar mod to a Dual Showman without reverb?

Thanks,
Johnny
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,606
Do people use Showman or Showman Reverb amps for their breakup sounds? I thought it was for their clean sounds.......
 

gtrnstuff

Member
Messages
2,523
Princeton has an older style (cathodyne?) PI, so no, the mod won't work on a long-tailed pair like the Showman.

And as riffmeister said, if you're planning on using a Showman for overdrive, better use ear plugs. Seriously.
 

aflynt

Member
Messages
1,742
The Dual Showman Reverb is quite literally a Twin Reverb of the same era in head form. I actually prefer the non-reverb for a few different reasons:

1. They're a heck of a lot smaller and lighter.
2. To my ears they're fuller sounding.
3. You can jumper the channels and get them to sound fatter and more responsive. The two channels on the DSR are out of phase and IMHO don't sound very good jumpered.

-Aaron
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,379
You can not jumper the two channels of a Dual Showman reverb. Back in about 1969 or 1970 I saw BB King here in town. It appears he was provided a Silverface Twin reverb. At that time he was using his 355 with a stereo cord. He had one half of his stereo cord plugged into each channel. As soon as he went to take a solo it sounded terrible! Cancellation was making these huge non-musical meow sounds. Soon BB was down on one knee twirling the knobs on the amp while the band vamped. It was no good. In a minute a guy brought out an older blackface Twin and BB sounded normal and great again. I guess it was a difference in circuits between the black and silver faced amps.
 

mark norwine

Member
Messages
17,159
The Dual Showman Reverb is quite literally a Twin Reverb of the same era in head form. I actually prefer the non-reverb for a few different reasons:

1. They're a heck of a lot smaller and lighter.
2. To my ears they're fuller sounding.
3. You can jumper the channels and get them to sound fatter and more responsive. The two channels on the DSR are out of phase and IMHO don't sound very good jumpered.

-Aaron
I agree 100% on all points.
 

gregsguitars

Member
Messages
879
I personally love my dual showman reverb silverface . I took the chassis and slid it into an older twin cab with alnico Jensons , it just has the best bottom end tone of all the amps I have tried.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,389
There is a fairly straight forward mod in the book by Jeffrey Falla and Aurora Johnson, that brings the reverb to both channels of a fender reverb amp and brings them into phase as well.
 

riffmeister

Member
Messages
16,606
I guess it was a difference in circuits between the black and silver faced amps.
No, on the reverb model amps, BF or SF, the two channels are out of phase because the reverb adds one more gain stage. There are simple mods to bring the two channels in phase. And there are simple pedals you can use out front which will do the same thing and make for a great "jumpered' sound.
 

Toons545

Member
Messages
61
Interesting, I thought people were going to like the reverb better across the board but looks like there are some varrying opinions here.

Do people use Showman or Showman Reverb amps for their breakup sounds? I thought it was for their clean sounds.......
You are right, it is a clean sound i'm after but even my twin has some grit when you really turn it up 4 and above, not a lot but it's there and I like the color. If I really want breakup though I use pedals or one of my higher gain amps.

Any ideas about the phase inverter?
 

aflynt

Member
Messages
1,742
Any ideas about the phase inverter?
I've got a '68 Showman and a blackfaced '73 Quad / Twin conversion, and to be honest, one doesn't really break up any earlier than the other. I think their propensity to overdrive varies more with the specific amp, they way it's set up and component tolerances than between the two models. The both tend to stay clean loud. Personally I find that just jumpering the channels on the Showman gives you a nice amount of color and sustain.

-Aaron
 

Toons545

Member
Messages
61
I've got a '68 Showman and a blackfaced '73 Quad / Twin conversion, and to be honest, one doesn't really break up any earlier than the other. I think their propensity to overdrive varies more with the specific amp, they way it's set up and component tolerances than between the two models. The both tend to stay clean loud. Personally I find that just jumpering the channels on the Showman gives you a nice amount of color and sustain.

-Aaron

Aaron, I think you may have sold me on the non reverb showman. I am looking at it for a clean amp. My tech told me the main difference between the twin (which I have a reissue that I really love) and the showman wihtout reverb is the extra gain stage that the reverb circuit adds. He recommended comparing the normal channel on my twin to the vibrato channel to compare. To my ears and with all the knobs matched on both channels (with verb and vibrato at 0 of course) there was the slightest drop in thickness of sound (i'm talking very very slight). Any thoughts on this? I'm just afraid of getting a Dual showman w/o verb and having it not sound as full or thick as my twin.

thanks - Johnny
 

Mattbedrock

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,752
I tend to prefer my Fenders sans reverb. My only reverb Fenders are my BF Pro and SF Super and I tend to run those with little or no reverb. My favorites, brown Deluxe and Super, BF Bandmaster, Tremolux, Bassman and Dual Showman are all reverbless. I prefer to use an analog delay pedal instead.

Now tremolo is a different story.
 

aflynt

Member
Messages
1,742
Aaron, I think you may have sold me on the non reverb showman. I am looking at it for a clean amp. My tech told me the main difference between the twin (which I have a reissue that I really love) and the showman wihtout reverb is the extra gain stage that the reverb circuit adds. He recommended comparing the normal channel on my twin to the vibrato channel to compare. To my ears and with all the knobs matched on both channels (with verb and vibrato at 0 of course) there was the slightest drop in thickness of sound (i'm talking very very slight). Any thoughts on this? I'm just afraid of getting a Dual showman w/o verb and having it not sound as full or thick as my twin.

thanks - Johnny
No guarantees, but my Showman definitely sounds thicker than my Twin. These amps vary a lot from one to the next due to wide component tolerances, though so who knows. On my Showman, the normal channel is actually the fuller sounding one. Swapping around tubes in V1 and V2 also makes a HUGE difference.

-Aaron
 

Galapogos17

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
247
I play through a silverface dual showman reverb and I would never describe the sound as thin. It has some of my favorite clean tones and takes overdrive pedals very well. Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong with either model. Just find a good local deal so you can test the amp first.

I would also play through it unmodded for a bit. So many people want to mod an amp to "blackface specs" without even listening if it needs it. I think both will ba a good modding platform, once you decide which mods will meet your needs. I happen to like reveb, so for me having the lush onboard reverb is fantastic. The reverb in my dual showman is great. You can dial it back to a subtle sound or totally drench your sound in reverb.
 

Toons545

Member
Messages
61
No guarantees, but my Showman definitely sounds thicker than my Twin. These amps vary a lot from one to the next due to wide component tolerances, though so who knows. On my Showman, the normal channel is actually the fuller sounding one. Swapping around tubes in V1 and V2 also makes a HUGE difference.

-Aaron

What are V1 and V2? are those pre amp tubes? What is the sound difference?
 

aflynt

Member
Messages
1,742
What are V1 and V2? are those pre amp tubes? What is the sound difference?
When facing the back of the amp they are the two preamp tubes furthest to the right. V1 is all the way over and is the preamp tube for the normal channel. V2 is second one in from the right and is the preamp tube for the vibrato channel. Different brands and even just different individual tubes can have a dramatic effect on the tone of the amp. If you aren't totally happy with the sound trying different tubes in these positions can sometimes fix that.

-Aaron
 

crunkaholic

Member
Messages
10
I have a 1968 non reverb Dual showman. With a single coils in my strat it really wont approach break-up; even when dimed. It needs the extra umph of a boost or some other gain. You can jumper these with nice results. I also was under the impression that it came blackface specs, unmodded. This is at least this is what my tech told me.
 
Last edited:

aflynt

Member
Messages
1,742
'68s are a crapshoot circuit-wise. Mine came stock with a cathode bias configuration on the power tubes.

-Aaron
 




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