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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Basket case or treasure? All original '67 Showman SF



Feb 19th, 2016 10:34 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hi everyone.
I just recently pulled an amp out of storage that I haven’t played with in over 25 years due to a blown out power transformer. Back when the transformer blew I remember it making a huge mess. Filled the jam room with smoke and coated the chassis and components with a brown goopy sludge that eventually hardened and appears really difficult to clean off now.
Now that I have this amp in front of me I’m wondering what I should do with it. The main power transformer obviously needs to be replaced and I think the smaller T2 transformer let a little smoke out too. Other than that this thing is 100% original and un tampered with including original filter caps, tubes, two-pronged plug and “death cap”.

I’d like to start playing out of this amp again, I just don’t know if it’s worth the repairs or not. Can anyone tell me what it is I have in front of me? Is it rare? Collectors piece? Basket case? Good project amp?

Here’s what I know:
Serial # and transformer code put it at either ’67 or ‘68
Showman Silverface with drip edge
AB763 circuit
All original components including filter caps and two pronged plug
Original JBL D140F speaker in cabinet.

Can anyone please chime in and identify anything else I may have overlooked? And again, is it worth salvaging?

Here's a link to a bunch of photos I put on Dropbox.

looking forward to thumping again

Dropbox photos

(This message was last edited by 211 at 12:35 PM, Feb 19th, 2016)

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Feb 19th, 2016 12:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

These are awesome amps. I own one, a '67, I bought it as a non-working chassis only. Mine resides in JD Newell head cab and I had a 2-15 speaker cab built for it filled with Weber Neo 15s. Blonde Tolex with Oxblood grills. Yours is certainly worth fixing.

If it were on my bench I'd completely strip the chassis and clean it. Due to the amount of crud on the board it may be necessary to do the same thing to it.

It will need all new electrolytic caps, filter, bias and most likely bypass. All the resistors on the power tube sockets would get replaced and pots cleaned etc. Both Hammond and Heyboer make the power tranny for your amp so it should be outrageously priced. My best guess would be under $275 for all the parts to complete the resto plus tubes.

Your amp is a piece of history and should be restored. There aren't that many drip edge Showmans around.

There are pics in my profile of a '53 Fender Pro that had a catastrophic failure that I restored. These projects are quite fun and rewarding.


Alexandria, Virginia

Pass a bigger hammer
Feb 19th, 2016 01:53 PM   Edit   Profile  

A drip edge Single Showman horizontal cabinet... does it have/had tilt back legs also?... I don't think I've ever seen one. Showman cabs were discontinued in '68. That is a RARE cabinet! Probably more than those oddball first vertical/tall bassman cabs that were 26" wide.

That SF black line Showman head isn't something you see often either.

"is it worth salvaging?" IMO, a definite yes. Cool amp!

Guitar Fool
Contributing Member

Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Feb 19th, 2016 01:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

holy crap...you can smell the moejo!!!



Feb 19th, 2016 02:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

yeah its got the tilt back legs on the cabinet.
The only thing missing are the lugs that screw into the top of the cab so you can lock the head down and tilt it back without it sliding off.
Other than that, its all there.

Someone was telling me the speaker that's in it currently (JBL D140F) is a bass-specific speaker. Were these showman cabs ever fitted for a bass speaker or is this an oddball or perhaps retrofit?

Oh, also what is "Blackline"? I've heard it thrown around on some of these early models. Is that referring to the "tail" under the older-style Fender badges?

(This message was last edited by 211 at 04:31 PM, Feb 19th, 2016)


Alexandria, Virginia

Pass a bigger hammer
Feb 19th, 2016 03:06 PM   Edit   Profile  

Blackline... the vertical black lines on the power head faceplate. Story is they were layout placement lines for the SF faceplate print that accidentally got printed onto the faceplates. It's said they weren't intentional, but Fender not wasting anything used them. By mid 68 they were pretty much gone from the amps as that batch of faceplates were used up. True or not ??? ... that's the story passed around over the years. Also, usually the blackline models still have the AB763 (BF) circuits. With these old Fenders, there's always some exceptions.

The JBL D140F was a bass designated speaker. In '68 a Single Showman cabinet listed for $350 w/ JBL D130F, $365 w/ JBL D140F. The Showman cabinets (single and dual) were offered loaded in both configurations.



Fender power to the people!
Feb 19th, 2016 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Blackline faceplate = rare.
Single, rather than Dual Showman = rare.
D140F = rare.

Yep, it's worth fixing.
Someone, back 'in tha day', special ordered that,
probably to play bass through.

Kinda underpowered for a bass rig by today's standards, but at the time it was 'it'.

That changed shortly, with the Sunns, SVTs and Acoustic 361s, but compared to 50 watt Bassmen, 35 watt B15s and random other bass amps of the day, it was king.

It would be a bit dull sounding for guitar, with the 140.



Feb 19th, 2016 05:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

This is a pristine condition 67 Showman Amp and it has the Bkacklines on the faceplate.

67 SF Blackline Showman Amp

Contributing Member

American Patriot

I'm on guard these days.
Feb 20th, 2016 09:13 AM   Edit   Profile  

You have a good one here!



you want me to play where?
Feb 20th, 2016 01:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Cap it, fix it, play it. Mike.



and meanwhile, I'm still thinkin' . . .
Feb 20th, 2016 03:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Transformer wire is coated in varnish. When they blow the get hot an the varnish melts. Try some varnish remover on that chassis.

Contributing Member


Hoarder of instruments
Feb 20th, 2016 06:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

That would be a great amp to fix up

I had a '68 with a tone ring cabinet with a JBL D130. For guitar I liked it a lot better than the blackline Twin Reverb it replaced.

Didn't do well as a bass amp, though. I blew up the D130 and replaced it with a D140. I traded the head for a more powerful bass amp and swapped my speaker cabinet with a bandmate for a 2X15. 42 years later and he still has that cabinet


usa, nj

"You guys are great Here's 50 bucks!"
Feb 21st, 2016 05:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

That look like a keeper to me

SS2 can you please expound on this quote "Probably more than those oddball first vertical/tall bassman cabs that were 26" wide."

I have one I've never been able to find a pix of one the net. It is ported an inch across the bottom.



Mar 1st, 2016 12:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Alright guys. So I'm trying to get a feel for how much I should invest in this amp to get it back into playable condition again.

I realize that's a pretty subjective question and a factor of so many things, many of which are personal/sentimental reasons. But lets just say, sentiment aside, you picked this thing up for *free* in as-is condition. You know right off the bat it needs a new power tranformer, choke, filter caps, 3-pronged plug and probably a rebuilt bias circuit. And that's just to get it powered up to see what else needs replacing. This does not include somehow cleaning the chassis of the varnish smoke that covered the board from when the PT fried itself (most likely a total tear-down).

So where do you think I should put the ceiling on this budget? I highly doubt I would sell it once complete, but you never know, 10-15 years from now. Basically, I want to avoid putting $800 into something that's only worth $500.

I just need a budget gauge so I don't spend some ridiculous amount of money on this thing.
Ultimately, if this amp is worth it and I can find a "guru" to take the project on I may just hand it off. If for instance, you guys say, "I wouldn't spend more than $200 to get it working" but a tech wants to charge me $500 then I'll look into doing it myself. I know I have the technical know-how, its just a matter of time. I have very little of it and too many other projects. I'd prefer if this didn't get set up in my work area for months and years till I loose enthusiasm over it.

Just to paraphrase the specs:
All markings/stamps put it at a '67
Showman SF, blackline, drip edge
AB763 circuit according to the tube chart.
Every single piece and component is original (missing foot switch)
Single JBL D140F in cabinet

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Mar 2nd, 2016 09:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

My best guess based on what you have provided is somewhere just under $300 for parts. Labor is a huge question. If it were on my bench I'd say 6-7 hours to take it completely down to clean and restore. That's another $300+. We have not purchased a tube yet.

I don't see how it could be done for less without someone donating the Labor.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Basket case or treasure? All original '67 Showman SF

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