My first ever Guitar Amplifier

Squire Strat and the Fender Showman Guitar Amplifier was one of the best Christmas presents I received when I was a kid.

The amp was designed in 1983 during the ‘Paul Rivera’ Era in an attempt to create a transistor amp to be tube-like in sound and dynamics. He succeeded!

There were variations of this amp released at the same time: The Concert, Montreux, London Reverb and, of course, the Showman. The major difference between them was the wattage–ranging from 60 up to 100 watts.

From the Fender 1983 Amplifier Catalog:

“Showman Series – The pinnacle of the amplifier designer’s craft, with every conceivable control and feature backed up by a sizzling 200-watt power stage. The lead channel’s “active” tone circuitry includes Bass and Treble plus two separate Mid controls. Combined with Volume, Gain, and Master controls, plus the programmable 5-band graphic EQ, this setup gives a range of sounds that you could spend years exploring. Even the normal channel has Bright and Mid Boost switches for extra flexibility. Add the effects loop, and you’ve got the ultimate performer’s amp…


Fender Showman

This ‘bad boy’ pumps out 200 watts of tone through Fenders renowned 12″ ‘Blue label’ speaker! tasty!

The only downside with this amp is that it weighs 63 pounds, so if it landed on you, prepare to be flat!

This amp is almost 40 years old and is still a great studio work-horse. It can provide silky smooth clean reverb tones, as well as tones for heavy rock, and as it’s ‘transistor’ based, there is no issue with tones at any volume.

Pedals are handled really well with this amp–from the Tubescreamer all the way up to a Boss HM3.

I learnt to play guitar using this amp and I’ve recorded most of my songs with it. Just stick a 57 in front and off you go.

I don’t think many of these were made, and they seem to be very rare–I’m fortunate to own one.

About the author

Mike Benbow – Producer & Mix Engineer

Hi, I’m Mike Benbow –  Mixing Engineer, Producer and Songwriter, and owner of Fantastic Rain Studio.

I love to work with all kinds of artists, helping them to create their vision and produce something to be proud of.
I’m also a guitarist and songwriter in a band (Chasing Demons).

I’d love to learn more about you – please leave a comment below 🙂