Showman speaker/cabinet question

Questions at Kimock CornerCategory: GearShowman speaker/cabinet question
ModeratorModerator Staff asked 3 months ago

Hey Steve,
I’m a huge fan, i can’t believe how much i learned from you about music, guitar and stage production just by reading (and than trying, playing, listening.. of course) through some of discussions here, on Kimock’s Corner, and on the gear page.. Thank you for the art and knowledge you keep sharing so generously! In my corner of the world it’s not easy to find information, let alone cool gear to try and test. In spite of that i did manage to get my hands on some cool gear, couple of vintage guitars, lap steels and blackface amps.. Last year i bought BF Showman, sounds great especially on the normal channel. All i can play it through at the moment is some lame closed back marshall cab, that is loaded with 2 JBL D123 speakers. It feels really stiff and it kind of projects in a really straight line.. I could probably go for the rest of my life with that rig and manage to get things done.. Still i can’t help but think that, at least for the music i am playing, i would have much easier time playing it through open back cab. I am playing rock n roll, blues, country, kind of clean and sometimes with a bit of fuzz.. Just normal, middle of the road, musical application. I guess one could say that my style has some similarities to yours or Jerrys, even though it’s not something i am pursuing as such. Sorry for the novella, but i wonder can you offer any advice in regards to which cab and what new Jensen speakers (or other brand of similar type) could i get? There are not too many options in Europe, regarding cabs and speakers.. But i am thinking about getting a open back blacface style cab from Tube Amp Doctor, like this https://www.tubeampdoctor.com/en/2×12-speaker-cabinet-blackface-style?number=RSC212CC. Just for the fun of trying, experimenting and learning about gear i want to get two Jensen speakers and put them in the new cab. My reasoning for Jensens is they are not too efficient and open back 212 cab seems logical to get some nice twinlike sound. Thanks, best regards! Uros

1 Answers
SKSK Staff answered 2 months ago

Yeah, the Tube Amp Doctor stuff looked pretty right, but there are a few details to attend to.
I didn’t see any mention of “floating baffle” in their cab descriptions, only “detail changes and improvements” type language. If you can contact those guys and confirm their cabinet construction is identical to the old Fender cabs, then you’re good to go, mostly. .
Fender baffles should only attach to the sides of the cab, not top and bottom, make sure of that.
You mentioned Showman amp, which I assume means “single” Showman, and not Dual Showman. Those two amps have different output impedance, single Showman is 8 ohms, Dual Showman is 4 ohms. Twin Reverb is a 4 ohm amp, so the exact same speakers you’d expect to use in a Twin are not a good match for a single Showman. Wrong direction for a mismatch sound-wise for two speakers in my experience.
If your amp is indeed an 8 ohm Single Showman, I’d put a pair of 16 ohm Celestion’s in it. Put a pigtail on each speaker so you can plug them in individually. Using one 16 ohm speaker on the 8 ohm OT is a really nice sound, you can plug both speakers in for loud and clean 8 ohm parallel just like a Twin, or you could pull the middle two output tubes and run a single speaker matched at 16 ohms.
Ordinarily I’m a “Fender proper” guy, and would personally use the right old Jensen(s) for a Fender amp, but I can’t really vouch for the new stuff. It’s ok, I use it for backline all the time, but I wouldn’t buy one.
You can probably find a nice pair of Vintage 30’s used, cheap, locally, and that’s a good match for that amp. I used a single V30 with my Dual Showman for years, eventually my buddy blew it up. . still looking for a nice used broken-in one.
Also have those old 10-watt ten-inch Celestion’s from a ‘70’s 8×10 50 watt Marshall cab in both my tweed Bassman clone and in one of my Vibrolux Reverb’s. Very colorful speakers.
Anyway, if you don’t know which Jensen to get, just skip it and look for used 16 ohm Celestion’s. I honestly think it’s a safer bet. Meanwhile, the JBL123’s are relatively gentle speakers for JBL’s, I bet they’d sound good in a proper open back cab too.

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