Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fender Silverface Dual Showman Reverb 1968

Fender Silverface Dual Showman Reverb 1968
Serial No. A12705













The Dual Showman Reverb Amp is the "head amp" version of the Fender Twin Reverb. It has exactly the same chassis, circuitry and parts (for contemporary models of these 2 amp) but in a more manageable size and weight package (head amp cabinet). That said, the heft of the head unit is still quite substantial, obviously due to the substantially oversized power and output transformers.

IMO, the relatively big and heavy power and output transformers together with the solid state rectifier in these amps are the main factors that contribute to the well-known fender clean tone. The power supply can take large transient/spike load hit (power chording) without or with very little sag. The big iron core in the output transformer just couldn't get saturated that easily either. Result? Fender clean tone for days!

My particular amp says "Showman Reverb Amp TFL5000D" in the faceplate instead of "Dual Showman Reverb TFL5000D". It has the transition "cloth wire" and not the irradiated Teflon "thin wires" widely used in 1968 and 1969 model Fender amps. The D in TFL5000D, means that this amp is a US Domestic model and therefore has a 110V power transformer.

It still has all its original transformers and all original capacitors. The big power filter capactors for sure will need to be replaced for safety reasons.

A Hammond choke was used to replaced the original choke which I found to be open.



The cathode bypass electrolytics were replaced with sprague atoms.






The bias supply cap was also replaced with a sprague atom.

16 comments:

kenneth said...

Hi there. Found your blog while googling "TFL5000D". I am trying to date a Fender Dual Showman TFL5000X, serial A22667. I assume the "X" signifies an export model. (This amp is in the United Kingdom.)
Could you email me?
kwhmoon at googlemail dot com

thanks in advance and apologies for this rather public way of getting in contact

sd8450 said...

Hi Kenneth,
You are welcome!
Your amp is an Export model and could be either an early 1970 or late '69 model according to the widely accepted reference on this subject: http://www.ggjaguar.com/fendamp5.htm
This is page 5 of 5 pages and I suggest you peruse the other pages as well.
You may also further verify your amps date of manufacture by checking the transformer code numbers and the actual circuit used in your amp. This site ia another good source of info: http://www.ampwares.com/fender.asp

Hope this helps and enjoy your nice amp!

(The same message is sent to your e-mail.)

longserving said...

Hey, I've got the same amp, a 1968 Dual Showman Reverb with drip guard, "Showman Reverb Amp" w/out the "Dual", AA768 circuit, that was modded to the AB763 when I bought it. Had to replace the P/T last year when it finally cooked after 42 years of hard use. With a new Hammond it's even quieter than before. My tech told me it's getting close to time to replace the original caps in the doghouse-not leaking yet, but a couple of small blisters forming. Did you ever get around to changing yours, and if so what did you use, and how did you like'em? Thanks, O.

sd8450 said...

Hi Longserving,

You are welcome and congrats on your amp!

I did change the electrolytics caps (in the doghouse). I used Sprague Atom Electrolytic caps which are very nice, I got mine from www.tubesandmore.com.

I like them and use them in my amps.

Hope this helps.

Unknown said...

I notice that my 1968 Fender Showman Reverb TFL-5000D does not have the "Dual" on the faceplate, but is referred as a "Dual Showman Reverb TFL-5000D".

Question, why is this? What does TFL-5000D refer to in relationship to the AA768 circuitry? Are they different circuits? Does the TFL-5000D amp have the AA768 circuit installed together? I noticed that the 1968 Bandmaster Reverb has TFL-5005D on the faceplate. Does TFL-5000D refer to reverb circuitry? Can a 1968 Showman Reverb have both the AA768 and the TFL-5000D circuits together? Dating sites list the 1968 in three configurations: Showman, Dual Showman & Showman Reverb with four circuit possibilities for 1968: AA768, AA1069, AA270, TFL5005. Please help me to understand how TFL-5000D fits into all this. Thank you. Toppscore

Romy Concepcion said...

Hi Toppscore,

In their blackface amps, Fender used 'Dual' to identify Showman amps with a 4-ohms output transformer from Showman amps which have 8-ohms output transformer. The amp heads were sold with matching speaker cabinet with one speaker for the Showman (for 8 ohms) and two speakers for the Dual Showman (in parallel for 4 ohms).

All Showman Reverb head amps have 4-ohms output transformers, being the same amp as the Twin Reverb. The 'Dual' designation therefore became unnecessary. Fender though still used it for some time.

The TFL-5000D, TFL-5005D, etc. are amp model number designation Fender came up with around that time. I have no idea of the specific period this was implemented.

The part I learned about from the interwebs is that the suffix 'D' is for US domestic market and 'X' is for export amps with multi-voltage power transformer. My best guess is that it stands for Twin Fender Lead and 5000 series is for head amps. It would be interesting to know what it really stands for.

AA768, AA1069, AA270, etc. are circuit designations and the numbers stands for the month and the year the particular circuit is used in production, e.g. July 1968, October 1969, February 1970, etc.

Some TFL-5000D designated amps have the AA768 circuitry and thats about all I can tell about how they are related.

During that time, amp labels were used up rather than discarded during a circuit change, so there are amps with incorrect amp label pasted on the cabinet. It is therfore a good idea to verify your actual circuit by comparing it against a schematic.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for visiting!

Unknown said...

Hi! Toppscore, again. Thanks for your great info. My 1968 Fender Showman Reverb Amp's SN#A13971 and dated 2/1968. This makes it one of the first Showman Reverbs, EVER! I have noticed a couple of peculiar things. 1) My "1/2 sized" back panel, and 2) where the "reverb pouch" is installed & located.

The reverb pouch is located flat on the bottom inside and there are wires connecting the reverb pouch from the upper amp chassis.

My guess is that to allow for the "flat" pouch to be connected with wires, Fender could not put a full back panel on this early Showman Reverb unit. Therefore, the back panel looks like the normal "half-sized" back panels from the "non-reverb" showman units, or the Fender Bassman amp heads. The smaller, half-sized backpanel is installed on the upper-half of the backside. This make sense, as Fender had back panels from smaller/shorter "non-reverb" Showmans.

So, from my early Feb/1968 Fender Showman Reverb Amp's backside, you can clearly see the reverb pouch, electrical wires, etc, as the back side is totally exposed from the bottom upwards to the 50% mark, then the smaller back-panel takes over the top 50% backside.

Here is my deal: I thought I had a freak Showman Reverb sold to me and the original owner lost the backpanel and replaced it with a Bassman backpanel or "non-reverb" Showman backpanel. As I review later models of the 1968 Fender Showman Reverb Amp, I've noticed full/larger & complete backside panels on the Showman Reverb!

I thought I got ripped-off. But, upon further investigation, I noticed that the Showman Reverb Amps with the full/larger complete backsides, had their "reverb pouch" not flat on the bottom of the inside, but installed on it's edge upright & sideways against the inside of the front baffle/panel???

Wow! This "other way" to install the "reverb pouch" allowed for Fender to have the full/complete backside panel. Apparently, when the "reverb pouch" is installed laying down flat, there is not enough room for the full backpanel! By installing the "reverb pouch" "standing-up-sideways" against the front baffle panel, it cleared the bottom inside of the amp head and allows for full backpanel installation.

My suggestion to "Fender Showman Reverb Amp" history is that the very early Showman Reverb Amps did not have a full backside panel!

Have you known this? What do you think? Toppscore

Also, is there a way to know when you have answered your questions? T~ :)

Unknown said...

I received some information. It is believe that TFL = Teflon for the wire coating (instead of cloth) used in 1968. Alos, I received information that the first run of the first 1968 Showmans with Reverb did have the smaller back panels and the internal padded reverb unit was intalled the bottom. This is the reason the very first 1968 Reverb Showmans are the most desirable. Following is a quote from an owner of the Reverb Showman: "Hi, Full back panel is not desirable. It does not allow for heat dissipation from vacuum tubes and interferes with reverb sound waves propagation. I was told by an elderly musician that Fender changed (to the fullback panel) for cost reasons and changed venders for capacitors, resistors & other parts in assembly. The full backpanel and newer Reverb Showmans did not sound the same as the small backpanel Showmans. I am not a musician nor an expert but I was told that most people in the know prefer that era (smaller back panel configuration) because of the circuit design and the internal components used. I believe the transistor version had a solid back."

I will try to find out about what is meant by "the transistor version". Toppscore

Unknown said...

I received some information. It is believe that TFL = Teflon for the wire coating (instead of cloth) used in 1968. Alos, I received information that the first run of the first 1968 Showmans with Reverb did have the smaller back panels and the internal padded reverb unit was intalled the bottom. This is the reason the very first 1968 Reverb Showmans are the most desirable. Following is a quote from an owner of the Reverb Showman: "Hi, Full back panel is not desirable. It does not allow for heat dissipation from vacuum tubes and interferes with reverb sound waves propagation. I was told by an elderly musician that Fender changed (to the fullback panel) for cost reasons and changed venders for capacitors, resistors & other parts in assembly. The full backpanel and newer Reverb Showmans did not sound the same as the small backpanel Showmans. I am not a musician nor an expert but I was told that most people in the know prefer that era (smaller back panel configuration) because of the circuit design and the internal components used. I believe the transistor version had a solid back."

I will try to find out about what is meant by "the transistor version". Toppscore

Romy Concepcion said...

Hi Toppscore,
I am not familiar with the back cover variations of the Dual Showman Reverb so I can't provide any info/comment there.

I have my reservations though regarding the model designation TFL being due to the teflon wiring used in the amp.

The 1968 Fender amps I encountered and seen on ebay, etc. still have a mix of the old style cloth wiring and the thinner and shinier interim cloth wire (lacquered?) used for a short time in 1968 amps.

I also doubt that the Teflon wiring is so significant a change for Fender to use them as a model name designator of their top amps.

The very thin teflon coated wires are mostly seen in the 1969 model Fender amps, appearing months later than the 1968 TFL - designated fender amps.

In any case, you have indeed a very nice and desirable amp. Enjoy!

Best regards, romy

Unknown said...

Thank you for your comments about TFL on the Fender Reverb Bandmaster TFL5005D and the Fender Dual Reverb Showman TFL5000D.

TFL for Teflon made since, but if there is not Teflon, why name it.

I had heard an "inside Fender joke" that TFL meant "Too Freakin' Loud". Also, your suggestion that TFL for "Twin Fender Lead", but I had never heard that before and can that apply to the TFL Bandmaster?

OK. I love this site. Thanks for the input and answers. Toppscore

Unknown said...

Hi. I cannot find a way to start a new discussion or a new question/answer section/thread/blog within this forum. I want to discuss the handshaking and signal matching between guitar amplifiers and speakers. Please help/showm me how to start a new thread. Thank you. Toppscore

Romy Concepcion said...

Hi Toppscore,
Twin Fender Lead could very well apply to the TFL Bandmaster Reverb as well because like the Dual Showman it is also a Fender Lead type amp and Twin because it is also intended to be used with a two-speaker cabinet like the Dual Showman Reverb. Their only distinction is the power output. The Bandmaster Reverb has two 6L6 power tubes for ~40Watts output, while the Dual Showman Reverb has four 6L6s for ~85Watts output.

I don't think it is possible for you to start an independent topic here because this is a Blog and not a Forum type page.

Hope this helps! Thanks for dropping by. I am not checking in too often lately because of workload and hence the delayed reponse.

Matt Bullard said...

HELLO!

Thank you so much for your site, please could I ask for your help?

I have the Dual Showman Reverb Amp TFL 5000D. I just got it and want to make it sound as good as possible.

First of all could you advise me on which speakers to use in my cab that will compliment it?. I have a fender cab 212 with celestion speakers in however I want to put 2 x 12 jenson speakers in there (p series, low gain ala what they used in the old super reverbs). Do you know which ones I would need to order? I have no idea about matching impedence etc so don't want to damage anything!

Also I do have a couple of original RCA values (6l6's) in the amp but it looks like they have blown so I want to replace all the values with new ones, could you tell me they best pre amp and power tubes to go for. As I play blues I want to make the amp as pure and clean as possible, I dont use distortion pedals etc just straight in amp.
How do I get my hands on 5751 pre amp values (or would the 12AY7's be a better bet?, how many of these do I need in the TFL 5000D? Should I stick with the 6L6'S or 6v6's, which offer the lower gain option? Which brand should I use?
Do I need 4 x 6l6's and 6 x 12AY7's ( or 5751's)?
One of the pre amp valves is a 12AT7..can I still get these do you know, should I use these instead?
As you can tell, I really have no idea on the techy side of things and would really appreciate you help. I am happy to send you some money ( for your time and advise) if you would prefer.

Many thanks indeed

Best

Matt

Romy Concepcion said...

Hi Matt,

The Dual Showman Reverb Amp TFL 5000D is a Twin Reverb in a head cabinet so speakers used in Twin Reverbs are suitable. You should look for 12 inch speakers with 8 ohms impedance and rated for 50 watts or higher each. Here is a site with some speaker reviews: http://fenderguru.com/how-to-select-speakers Regarding tubes, those that came original with the amp are usually nice and are preferable to new production tubes if they are still working. In my case I only replace them if I am sure they are not working. It is possible most of your tubes are still in good working condition. I just got a 1964 Princeton Reverb with all original tubes and they are all still working. I suggest you download a schematic of the late 60s or early 70s twin reverb. The layout will show you the tubes; there would be 4 of 12AX7 and 2 of 12AT7 and my preference for these are the new production Tungsol. (use 12AX7s for the 7025s shown in the layout). There would be 4 of 6L6 and one 5U4GB and I use JJ brand for these bigger tubes. I do not subscribe to the idea that one needs to have matched 6L6 power tubes. It would look nice to have all 4 power tubes look the same. The schematic and layout will show you where the 2 12AT7s, the 4 12AX7s, the 4 6L6s and the 5U4GB go in the chassis (minding that the chassis is upside down). Use the transformers as a guide for correct orientation. If you have not operated the amp yet and do not know if it is working, then you will most probably need an amp technician to sort this out for you initially. You can get your tubes from tubesandmore.com or from cedist.com The 12AX7, 12AT7, 6L6GC and 5U4GB are all available new. Hope this helps.
Cheers, romy

Toppscore said...

Hi. You helped me before. Thanks. I own both a 1968 Fender Showman Reverb taller amp head and a 1968 Fender Bandmaster reverb taller amp head.

Both have two holes in the bottom panel. All other 1960s amp heads have four holes for four bolts to adjust and the sliding clip-bars.

Researching pictures, I have noticed SOME 1968 taller amp heads have two knurled thumb screws (and probably the matching bushings) in the two holes.

Since it is obvious clip-bars need four holes, what is the usage for the two holes and for the two knurled thumb screws???

Just hole fillers?

One idea that came to mind is that Fender might have produced speaker cabinets for the heavier taller 1968 amp heads with "screw holes" on top of the speaker cabinets (instead of the protruding knurled thumb screws that earlier speaker cabinets offered).

Maybe the internal amp head knurled thumb screws "screwed down" from the amp head into the top of the speaker cabinets. This is only an idea.

What do you think, feel, believe, know, have experienced, or can find out???

Thank you. Toppscore :)