Jimi Hendrix’s 1968 Fender Dual Showman Silverface

access_time First seen circa 1968

It seems that for a short period of time, around early 1968, Jimi used a few Fender Dual Showman amps for his live gigs. The amps were seen during the show at Fillmore East on February 1, 1968, on the 2nd at Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, and lastly at Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim on February 9, 1968. According to some sources, the amps were supplied by Fender for Jimi to use during the 1968 US tour.

However, during the Anaheim gig on February 2, 1968, a Marshall amp was seen on stage sitting below a Fender Dual Showman, apparently because the two Fenders broke and the band couldn’t finish the set. After the gig, Jimi struck a deal with Buck Munger of Sunn Amps and most likely got rid of the Fenders.

The amplifiers broke down during the first show, resulting in only four numbers being played during the second show. After the show Chas and Jimi were approached by Buck Munger representative for Sunn Amplification who replaced their Fender gear (provided at the start of the tour, but not powerful enough for Jimi’s tastes) with brand new Sunn equipment.

1968-02-09 Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California USA

Fender Dual Showman amp used on ‘Voodoo Chile’?

According to Eddie Kramer, Jimi used a Fender Showman amp during the recording of ‘Voodoo Chile’. Based on the fact that the song was recorded only about two months after Jimi was seen using Fender Dual Showman amps on stage, it is possible – although not likely, that he used one of those. To remind you, Jimi’s Fender Dual Showman amps broke after a gig in Anaheim on February 2, 1968, but there is a possibility that someone ended up fixing them.

Also, just to note in regard to the quote from Eddie below – the only difference between a Showman and a Dual Showman amp is the 8-ohm output transformer on former, and a 4-ohm transformer on the latter. Reason for this being – Dual Showman was shipped with a dual speaker cabinet.

Surprisingly, the amp he used on that song was not a Marshall stack. It was actually a Fender Showman top with a huge cabinet with eight 10-inch speakers in it. You can hear it rumbling around on the floor of the Record Plant when you listen to the beginning of the song.

Guitar Center interview with Eddie Kramer, webpage is now taken down

As far as the cabinet that Eddie is talking about here – a Fender Dual Showman came with a 2×15 cab that looked rather large, so maybe Eddie had mistaken it for an 8×10 cab. The only other logical option would be a Marshall 1990 8×10″ cab, which Jimi was never seen using before – but it could’ve been something owned by the studio.

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access_time 1966

Marshall Super 100 JTM45/100

Allegedly, Jimi first came across a Marshall amp, and tried one himself, while sitting in with Brian Auger’s band Trinity – most likely on September 28, 1966. According to Brian Auger, Jimi turned the amp all the way to 10 and instructed the band to follow him while he played “Hey Joe” – of course leaving everybody in the room (apparently including even Eric Clapton) completely stunned. [11-12-13 Brian Auger Talks of […]

access_time 1968

Sunn 100s

Sometime in early 1968, Hendrix signed an endorsement deal with Sunn amp. Allegedly, he was approached with this idea by Buck Munger (PR, Sunn Amps.) sometime after Monterey Pop Festival. I went backstage (Monterey Pop Festival), and by the end of the night I knew what record label he was on. Someone invited me, I think it was Chas Chandler, to a gig in Los Angeles to come and see Jimi, and talk about equipment. So […]

access_time 1966

Fender Twin Reverb

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access_time 1967

Sound City One Hundred

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access_time 1968

Sunn 2000s

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access_time 1966

Supro S6420 Thunderbolt

Allegedly used in the early days with Curtis Knight, circa 1966. It is worth noting here that although some argue that an amp resembling a Supro Thunderbolt was seen on stage behind Jimi on at least one photo, it is very questionable if this actually holds any credibility. The whole theory seemed to have originated from someone’s statement, and then people tried retrospectively finding something that would resemble a Thunderbolt amp […]

access_time 1967

Vox AC30

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access_time 1963

Silvertone Twin Twelve

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access_time 1967

Guild Thunderbass Quantum Amp

According to Dave Weyer used this amp during his early days with The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and apparently later on as a preamp [Jimi Hendrix’s Wah-wah Pedal and Amp in J. Levine’s New Year’s Day Auction ] To which extent the amp was used is unfortunately unknown, but it is likely that it didn’t play a major role in Jimi sound. The story of how the amp was discovered is […]

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