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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink School me on 61-63 Showman heads.

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So, very oddly, I find myself in the position of saying: I have both a 60 and a 62 Showman.

First off… 2 Showman amps!!! HOW LUCKY CAN ONE GUY BE?? Big Grin

Last year I picked up what was advertised as a 62 Showman, but it had a super early serial number and Astron resistors. Garrett from The Ghastly Ones took a look at the inside and spotted that the circuit a little different from the 6G14a schematic he was looking at. It wasn’t exactly the same. I don’t know if it was a 6G14, but I guess it’s possible. Anyways, Garrett was kind enough to work on it a bit and fixed a noise it was making and fixed some of the cab hardware (Thanks again Garrett!!) but recommended that I take it to Bob Dixon at Amphole in Burbank. So I took it to Bob and he serviced it. He told me that all of the pots were dated 1960, and he said he would definitely consider it a 60 and not a 62 based on all of the evidence. The cab was blond with oxblood, but its a repro cab. I have no idea what the original color was. Another unusual aspect is that this amp has an output transformer that people believe is 16ohm but nobody seems to know for sure. I can have the OT removed and send it to a place like Mercury Magnetics to have them test it, but then the original solder gets broken and then one of the key aspects of the amp is now suspect of being not original. So I'll just keep it as is.

That amp sounds amazing. Has a super deep and full sound even at low volume. There is a little issue with the vibrato in that it only works when the intensity knob is at 10. Bob couldn't figure out why even after changing the pot. I didn't want him to alter the circuit to correct it (I want to keep it as original as possible as long as possible). And to be honest, the intensity is perfect at 10, I just can’t adjust it. Sounds incredible though. Maybe one day I'll have him take another crack at it.

Anyways, just a couple days ago I picked up a 62 blond oxblood Showman and matching tonering cab. I haven't had it serviced yet, and one of the power tubes or sockets is a little wonky because I'm not getting the volume of my other one. Sometimes it'll start making some noises that go away with a quick hit to the top of the amp (I love fixing technology with a hit, lol). I will be taking it in any day now, but I have spent a little time with it and it sounds absolutely wonderful. It has the blue resistors inside and not the Astrons, and the OT is 8ohm. It's not quite as deep sounding as the other one, but I wont make any judgements until after it is serviced.

I will update here when the 62 is serviced and I can make a stronger 60 versus 62 sound check with my ears Big Grin

In the meantime, I will be selling a 65 Bandmaster head. Anyone interested? Big Razz

Last edited: Apr 02, 2021 12:53:17

This is a very informative thread. I am strongly considering having a 6G14 or 6G14-A head built for me. I am still trying to figure out the differences in the two circuits. I just wanted to say thank you to SG101 for being a fountain of knowledge!

Guitar player for The Driptones surf band.
https://www.driptones.com/

SixStringSurfer wrote:

This is a very informative thread. I am strongly considering having a 6G14 or 6G14-A head built for me. I am still trying to figure out the differences in the two circuits. I just wanted to say thank you to SG101 for being a fountain of knowledge!

From what I could tell, the 6G14A is a step towards the Blackface circuit while the 6G14 is more in keeping with the classic Brownface sound that many in the Surf Guitar community crave.

One of the first questions I asked, upon joining Surf Guitar 101, was based upon my mistaken notion that the Brownface Showman and the Blackface Twin sounded nearly identical. Boy, did I get an education; but it was a good education and served me well. The classic Brownface Showman lacked scooped midrange of the Blackface circuit and had a strong midrange. The example cited was a clip of Freddie Green playing Hideaway on The Beat, a TV show from the ‘60s. That was 13 years ago, and I’m still mind-blown by having that pointed out.

If it was me, I’d go for the 6G14.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Amazing... Thank you, synchro. I will go with the 6G14 circuit. I'll give more info about the build in the thread I started earlier if anyone is interested.

Guitar player for The Driptones surf band.
https://www.driptones.com/

SixStringSurfer wrote:

Amazing... Thank you, synchro. I will go with the 6G14 circuit. I'll give more info about the build in the thread I started earlier if anyone is interested.

That would be my preference, of the two circuits.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

SixStringSurfer wrote:

Amazing... Thank you, synchro. I will go with the 6G14 circuit. I'll give more info about the build in the thread I started earlier if anyone is interested.

You’ll love it. Phantom Surfers all the way.

Daniel Deathtide

So crazy I made this topic many years ago then as fate would have it I ended up with a 6G14, a 6G14-A and a Gomez head all over a short period of time. Here's an older post I made discussing all 3 of these amp heads:

_I had a real 6G14 Showman for a spell. Then I got a 6G14-A Showman, AND had the Gomez. They were truly all different in their own regards. Despite the Gomez being a clone of the 6G14 they were different tonally. Lot of variables and factors at play. I did put all brand new matching tubes in them too at the same time. Still sounded different, and the controls, bass, treble, etc, parameters altered the sounds differently, and not exactly equally.

The treble on the Gomez was much more responsive, but the bass was lacking compared to the real 6G14. That thing got BASSY. Played through the same tone ring cab. I felt the 6G14-A was the best blend of both of them.... And it dripped better than both of them which was huge to me Big Grin . I could make the 6G14-A emulate both 6G14 and Gomez in tone, to an extent... but neither could emulate drip.

I like to play bass and bass vi through the 6G14-A + tone ring, and it did it better than both those amps.
I'm not as much a vintage gear nut either, I sold my first year reverb unit because the surfy bear is better (and drippier!). But I can't get rid of the 6G14-A. Don't knock it, till you try it.

Also, for those wanting to build a Showman clone... I say this all the time... Look into Fender Studio Bass Amps. I got one for stupid cheap. Took the guts, dropped it into a blonde+ox blood Mojotone head, use it with my backup tonering ... And that thing SMOKES, baby. Massive headroom, on-board EQ with a foot switch; sounds pointless... But you can dial in the EQ for either chords/lead/drip, and then stomp the EQ and touch nothing else and you're in a whole other territory for a song/passage. These are cheap amps and I sometimes use it OVER the Showman. Killer killer amps that no one knows about.

May the force be with you._

Last edited: Sep 04, 2021 10:45:08

I have both a 6G14 clone and 6G14-A clone (Frugal and Gomez). The main differences I noticed are the volume pot (6G14 starts spitting its guts much earlier, probably because the volume pot is linear vs audio on the 6G14-A), and the 6G14 seems to have significantly more bass at the same settings. The volume pot is a little problematic because it goes from pretty silent to HOLY SHIT within about a mm.

https://soundcloud.com/elzeb

I think it's the case that the tapped pots you can get these days are tapered differently than the tapped pots used in the originals so the controls of the modern takes won't act quite the same as the Fenders. Although theoretically, they should be capable of the same sounds.

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