6 from 1965

toomuchfun

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Posts
1,494
Location
PA, US
Over the past 45 years I have come across a number of amps, learned how to work on them and currently have a stack of around 25 from '54 to recent. With fall coming I can put some away in closets and not worry about humidity. I found I have 6 tube amps made in 1965. Three being Fender they have similar sounds but the size makes a difference. Only one has reverb, but all but one have tremolo. I invested in a good spring reverb pedal so they all have it available.

Left to right, bottom row – Fender Deluxe and Fender Champ
Back row bottom – Fender Super Reverb and Supro Thunderbolt
Back row top – Gretsch 6156 “Playboy” and Alamo Montclair.

6_from_1965.jpg


Fender Deluxe – Yes, I wish it was a DR, but it ain’t. But, since it isn’t I can jumper the channels and get some great tones and break up. Just a great solid amp to play at moderate volumes. I use it to jam with bass, drums and others, it’s loud enough for me. Still has the original Oxford speaker, I’m sure an upgrade would help but I’m good as is.

Fender Champ – The little beast with a tone stack. I have five variations and they are great fun to jam using electrics without drums. Always sound better with a larger speaker. At 20 lbs. I never doubt it’s a small quality amp every time I pick it up.

Fender Super Reverb – This amp has had the snot played out of it from the get go and still sounds so fine. It and a ’67 were main staples in a country rock band and used hard. All the major components on the chassis are original but the speakers (and grill) have been swapped many times. I currently have Jensen ceramic magnet speakers of various years. I use this for any outdoor jams or gigs, a little too much for a basement jam.

Supro Thunderbolt – I was offered this amp in the late ‘90’s for $50 (before the reissues came out). What sealed the deal was looking at the chassis and seeing two RCA blackplate 6L6 tubes. Brought it home, put the tubes in my SR and they have been there ever since. This amp is all original, but that includes a worn out Jensen P15S. This model has a solid state rectifier. As is it’s the quietest 6L6 amp I ever played. I probably need to replace the cap can. I know I can jumper the preamp tube and get more power. It is actually a bass amp and used it at a small jam with the bass and drums.

Gretsch 6156 “Playboy” – This is the sleeper in the group. A Valco product, it has the same circuit as the Supro 1624T amp Page used on some Zeppelin classics. This one came with the original Jensen C12R and it still sounds good. It has two RCA 6973 power tubes that give it a unique sound. I think it’s listed at 17 watts, a great amp to wail at a jam and still keep your hearing. A lot of the Valco amps I’ve tried had a fine sound but were usually housed in a cheap chassis and cabinet. This one is very well built.

Alamo Montclair Another Valco-like if not built. I call it my poorboy deluxe. Has 2 6V6 power tubes and a bright sound. It also sports a cheap 12 inch speaker, probably would have better bass with a better speaker. It’s loud enough to jam with and a light carry.

They are all fun to play, and at 57 are looking better than I did at that age.
 

dannyh

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jul 1, 2005
Posts
2,378
Age
56
Location
North Texas
I’ve got a non-verb Deluxe too, from 64. They really are different amps from the DR, not necessarily lesser, but a totally different thing to my ears. If you find a good one, it’s a keeper imo.

I almost bought a Montclair like that one. Very cool amps. Alamo was it’s own company out of San Antonio, I don’t think they had anything to do with Valco. They can be sleeper amps for sure.

Nice collection.
 

Wildeman

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Posts
1,498
Age
51
Location
Norcal
I’ve got a non-verb Deluxe too, from 64. They really are different amps from the DR, not necessarily lesser, but a totally different thing to my ears. If you find a good one, it’s a keeper imo.

I almost bought a Montclair like that one. Very cool amps. Alamo was it’s own company out of San Antonio, I don’t think they had anything to do with Valco. They can be sleeper amps for sure.

Nice collection.
Yeah, I had a killer Alamo once, it was a head/ Cab thing in grey tolex, 2x5881s, tube rectifier,with a P15n, it was like a tweed Pro, I messed up letting go of it.
 

Wildeman

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Aug 17, 2020
Posts
1,498
Age
51
Location
Norcal
I don't have any BF amps anymore, I had a nice set at one time and most were '65s, had a Vibro Champ, PR, DR and VR all at the same time (ahh, the good old days) also had a blue check Ampeg set at the same time, who knew that in 10 or 15 years that stuff would be unattainable anymore. I ain't whining though, still have some fine amps, here's my '65.....
Screenshot_20221118-070657~2.png
Screenshot_20221118-070713~2.png
 

slider313

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jan 6, 2011
Posts
1,725
Location
NC
My two '65's. One is an R12R-M and the other a R12R-T. The R12R-M was the only Reverberocket produced with a nine pin miniature preamp, using three 12ax7's and one 12au7, and was in production for about three months; November & December of 1964 through mid January of 1965. This model was built using either 7591A or 7868 power tubes. The R12R-T followed being produced from mid January 1965 to about May or June of that year. That ended the top loaded series of the model, giving way to the GS12R Reverberocket 2.


1668785272172.jpeg

1668785800195.jpeg
 

fernieite

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 24, 2003
Posts
501
Location
Toronto. Age: late 50s
Very nice!
I used to own a '65 Thunderbolt. Thatcwas a cool amp. A friend of mine has a '64 Deluxe, like yours. I love that amp!
The only 1965 amp I have now is a very early Traynor YBA-1. Enjoy!
 

kuch

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 30, 2011
Posts
2,213
Location
Great Northwest
Nice collection.
I've had my share of vintage fenders. My 1st amp was a 63 Blonde Tremolux back in the late 60's... and many more since then....

You asked about a reverb pedal. I always wanted a Fender Reverb Unit since they were popular in the surf music days. I finally got the idea here on this site that maybe a reverb pedal might do the trick. I started a thread and from what people said, I got a Catalinbread Topanga Burnside pedal. A lot of people also recommended using a delay pedal. So I also picked up a Keeley 30ms double tracker. they both sound good to my ears.

Good luck in finding one that works for you

Catalinbread Topanga Burnside.jpg
keeley 30ms double tracker.jpg
 

naneek

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Posts
807
Location
PNW
Gretsch 6156 “Playboy” – This is the sleeper in the group. A Valco product, it has the same circuit as the Supro 1624T amp Page used on some Zeppelin classics. This one came with the original Jensen C12R and it still sounds good. It has two RCA 6973 power tubes that give it a unique sound. I think it’s listed at 17 watts, a great amp to wail at a jam and still keep your hearing. A lot of the Valco amps I’ve tried had a fine sound but were usually housed in a cheap chassis and cabinet. This one is very well built.
Great looking gretsch amp, they really do sound amazing. I have something similar. It may in fact be the same circuit with a different speaker and input configuration.

I have a 1965 Gretsch Dual Twin. 2x10" jensens, and a 5" rola tweeter. Also has the 6973 power tubes, and I think also rated at 17 watts although it is crazy loud. The speakers are very efficient and move a lot of air. It has 4 inputs and 2 channels. Regular and tremolo channel, each with an input for guitar and an input for bass.

Nothing but clean headroom, according to a gretsch catalog it was apparently intended for a 4 piece band to play instruments through it at small venue concert volume and still sound distinct and clean.

Great for finger picking. With a traditional telecaster it does everything from country to clean blues tones, to the early san francisco psychedelic sound. and a whole lot more depending on what guitar you use.

Sounds great with effects. Running digital effects into this amp is like magic, it somehow adds detail and warmth that gets lost in old digital delays and reverbs and turns it into something lively and magical sounding. Analog delays that sound warm and low detail really come alive. I guess it's the perfect "clean pedal platform" as people say these days.

I sometimes used to "underdrive" it with a variac set to 60% power, it got a nice bluesy throaty breakup that cleaned up well with the volume knob on the guitar. At %30 it was saturated distortion with a throaty howl, and still a decent amount of volume on tap. Now I'm told that wasn't the smartest thing to do with a valuable vintage amp, but it sounded amazing and kept the volume under control.

Still in all original condition (aside from some 1980's chinese 12ax7's that the original owner unfortunately replaced the working rca's, thinking it would give him distortion). I'm going to get it serviced soon.
 
Last edited:

Jasonpatrick

Tele-Meister
Joined
May 29, 2022
Posts
422
Age
44
Location
Portland Oregon
My one and only 65. I used to have a 1965 pro but I traded it for my 61 Super.
 

Attachments

  • 76AA90BE-0B59-4AF0-8109-65BE47107905.jpeg
    76AA90BE-0B59-4AF0-8109-65BE47107905.jpeg
    249.7 KB · Views: 8

AxemanVR

Friend of Leo's
Ad Free Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2011
Posts
2,165
Location
Minnesota USA
.
I had a 1965 Ampeg SB-12 Portaflex, but after the original Jensen speaker blew it never sounded nearly as good (after a recone). Besides, originally designed to be a bass amp, it didn’t have enough gain to really let the harmonics shine for guitar, so I lost interest.

Now the only “vintage” amp I own is this (don’t laugh) solid state 1973 Alamo Capri:


3474CD66-4040-49E4-8612-000A57B74A7E.jpeg



The funny thing is Alamo also made a tube version that looked exactly the same.

Anyway, it sounds predictably horrible, but I keep it because it’s very similar to the first amp I got way back when I first started playing and every once in awhile I plug in just to remind me of how good I got it now - since my main “vintage reissues” are a Fender ‘57 Custom Deluxe and a Fender ‘68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb…


73970735-8245-4584-A03E-206EF1EBA100.jpeg

.
 
Last edited:




Top