Other Amps

‘66 Showman head for recording? (it’s a funny world)



I have a bud whose always been peripherally in the local music scene. At one point about 20 years ago, he bought up a buncha gear to try to take it to the next level. One of the things he bought was a silver-panel Bassman head. Saw it myself lo’ those many moons ago.

Fast forward 20 years later. Because of his ultra-successful plumbing/HVAC/electrical binness, still peripheral on the scene. I asked if he still had the Bassman head and if so, would he want to sell it. His reply was that it was buried in his warehouse and he’d dig it out one day soon.

That day was yesterday. Climbs down from his loft with, not the ‘70’s Bassman head, but a ‘66 Showman head. Now, I SAW the ‘70’s Bassman head with my own two eyedrums! I remember him telling me he’d had it serviced by the local (at the time) amp guru and he bitched that the guru’s flunkie had switched out his red pilot light jewel for a purple one. So the galldang Bassman did/does exist! And he only remembers ever owning 1 Fender head.

Anyway, he has no more need for the Showman than he does the now mythical Bassman. I already have a Twin so I don’t need another 85-watt arc welder but my question is:

Is there any utility for a mainly recording-type guy like me within this beast?

(BTW the chassis ser.# shows ‘66 but the inner sticker’s code is January of ‘65 and nope, not a “DUAL” Showman.)

Otherest thing is the only cab I have is a Vox 2x12 with 30-watt greenbacks so’s I’d need to score a cab with the prerequisite juice with which to run the head through.

Thoughts? Anybody? Hello?


If you want very clean tones, a showman is great for that. Great bass amp too.

Then again, volume is usually not necessary and more of a problem when recording, so a showman wouldn't be my first choice in any case.


As WB said, Showman amps are great for cleans and great for bass. Also, compared to a Twin, having the head and speakers in different cabinets is more balanced to carry. I've got a '63 brownface Showman which I love. I've got a proper tone-ring cabinet for it but usually I run it with a 2x12 Bandmaster cabinet converted to a single 15.

One more thing - because the Showman doesn't have reverb like the Twin Reverb does, both channels are in phase so you can jumper the channels for more tone control.


I echo the comments.. .great for clean players like me and good bass head. I say restore it and use it. they can be used @ lo-volume also


If I buy it, I’m gonna give him fair market, needless to say, but gotta figure out if the bench charge and servicing, if necessary, make it worth the outlay in relation to the niche it’d occupy in my stash, dontchaknow. Along with the necessity to buy and store another speaker cabinet.

Thus are the factors that comprise the conundrum.


I have a '64 Blackface Showman, used it as my bass rig for 5 years while I was touring the UK playing in a country band. I completely rewired it after it had be a) blown up in 'Nam, then b) being semi brought back to life in the 80's by Alan Pyne (Vox legend) who changed the o/p transformer for a Marshall, replaced the 6L6's for EL34's and bypassed the electric eye tremelo. I got it in '92ish and took it back to factory spec.

Anyhoo, I digress. As Walter et al have said, great clean tones and superb for bass. Maybe not the earth-moving bass that the modern audience have come to expect, but that was never my bag so I was completely happy with the Showman.

Whether there is space or need in your musical life I cannot say, but it's a great thing to own, if only long enough to get it up to snuff and flip it. Break even or make a few bucks is all you need to say it was worth the ride.


What' s the part number on the Showman output transformer (silver one)? It should end in either 29 or 30.


What' s the part number on the Showman output transformer (silver one)? It should end in either 29 or 30.

– Billy Zoom

Mr. Zoom, I’ve since given the head back to the seller.

I didn’t have occasion to check the output transformer’s code, but the chassis number pointed to 1966 and the inner sticker code is January of ‘65.


I used one in a studio a while back. Before then I was a believer that the low watt amp turned up was the way to go . However, the bell ringing tone of the bass strings with the 6120 through the showman was something else


64 Showman for recording?

Sure. Makes perfect sense.

Bring that Bassman along for the ride, too, though. Two different worlds.


He’s yet to locate the Bassman. I’m nowhere hurtin’ for amps in the meantime bit I’m hoping to add a Bassman to the sonic stash eventually.

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