Classic Fender Amplifiers Albany OR
Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Recording Equipment, Print Music
Band & Orchestral
Band & Orchestral, Sound Reinforcement, Guitars & Fretted Instruments
Acoustic Piano, Digital Piano, Electronic Keyboard, Band & Orchestral, Drums & Percussion, Sound Reinforcement, Recording Equipment, Guitars & Fretted Instruments, Print Music
Classic Fender Amplifiers
Introduced in late 1963, the Super Reverb used a pair of 6L6 output tubes and a 5U4 rectifier to pump 45 watts into a quartet of Jensen 10" alnico-magnet speakers. The Super Reverb’s link to the famous 4x10 Bassman of 1959 is obvious (more so than to the 2x10 Super of 1947), however, with its reverb and tremolo (or “vibrato” as Fender called it), dual channels with independent controls, and tilt-back legs, the Super Reverb was a far more advanced design that would sit just below the flagship Twin Reverb in Fender’s mid-’60s combo lineup. The Super Reverb incorporated a photoresistor-based tremolo circuit (as opposed to more complex tube-oscillator trem circuit used on some of the earlier “brownface” amps), and its spring reverb used both sides of a 12AT7 dual triode for drive and recovery.
Following the transition to a silver front panel and blue-sparkle grille around 1968, the cabinet was slightly enlarged—the top and bottom speaker pairs were also shifted respectively to the left and right—and, in an attempt to clean up the sound, the bias circuit was reworked and a hum-balance control was fitted to the rear panel. Fender saw fit to undo some of these circuit changes a year later, and, in 1970, the cabinet was downsized a bit, and a 3-position ground switch was added. The mid ’70s saw the addition of a master volume and a pull-boost boost function. In 1981 the amp was given blackface cosmetics , a line-out jack, and a Middle control for the Normal channel. The Super Reverb was phased out in 1982, essentially replaced by the II series 4x10 Concert. The early Super Reverbs remained popular among blues players, however, and Stevie Ray Vaughan certainly gets the lion’s share of the credit for the Super’s ascension into realm of super-collectable blackface Fenders.
In response to the popularity of this classic combo, Fender introduced the 65 Super Reverb ($1,699 retail/$1,189 street) to its Vintage Reissue series in 2004. The new amp looks much like an original 1965 model, though it does differ in having modern PC board circuitry and components (as opposed to the original amp’s handwired circuit and vintage-spec carbon-comp resistors and electrolytic filter caps), a plywood cabinet (instead of the solid pine of the original), no AC convenience outlet, and no ground switch. In most other regards, however, the 65 Super Reverb is functionally identical the original model.
So why are people willing to spend more money and go to more trouble to buy a vintage Super Reverb? Undoubtedly, owning a piece of early Fender history is a large part of it. Just knowing that these amps were built in the original Fullerton factory and that their circuits and cabinets were hand assembled by people who watched black & white TVs and drove to work in Ford Falcons and Chevy Novas is enough to summon the urge to splurge. Then there’s the larger question of tone, as it’s almost universally accepted that older means better. But is that really the case? To find out ...