Best modern single speaker all tube amp with reverb for surf.

mmannaxx

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Jun 17, 2008
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I hope tubes are easier to find in OZ than they are in the US nowadays. If you do find them they tend to be a bit pricier than before.
 

Stratman2252

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Cheers, I had not considered the Tonemaster, or any digital amps for a long time, though it sounds like the technology might have improved. The neodymium speaker is appealing for its weight as I have one of these in my DV Mark Jazz amp and the whole combo weighs only 10KG! New these are a bit over my budget here but I will give this some thought.
You might want to look at Mesa Boogie F-30. Very Flexible. The manual that is included (hopefully) gives you several suggested settings to try out to help you FIND YOUR SOUND. This worked well for me. This is a two channel amp with full double controls and choice of Gain setting. with one toggle switch. Pedal included to switch Channel reverb on or off, And a Contour setting you can switch on. Subtle. MY other guitarist likes to play through this at practice rather than big his Vintage Marshall Combo and he is digging the gain settings and variety of tones. He plays only Gibsons Les Pauls and gets screaming and stunning pinch harmonics effortlessly. Its a killer amp. I own 3 of them and always happy when I gig with one. Downside... Heavier than the Ampeg Jet 12's my regular go to amp. But not crazy heavy. Lighter than a Vintage Deluxe reverb Blackface.
 

DBDM

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Really hard to top a Princeton Reverb. There are others and other really great amps. It is not your only option. But I do not believe there are many that I would call in the "affordable" category better than the Princeton Reverb. Good news is that Fender has made many of them and they are usually available both new and used. They are typically available in the US for well under $1000 USD. I have no idea of the availability of used Princeton Reverbs in Austraila. At the current conversion rates as I type this, 1000 Austrailian dollars is 700 (ish) USD and my brain immediately goes to "you can buy one for that"--but I also know it is far more complicated when you add the crazy tax and duties that Austrailians pay. I often think, "you could just fly to the US and get one and take it back for far less than those prices!"
 

mikehihz

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Sep 21, 2012
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San Francisco
I am looking for a 'new' amp, something contemporary. i.e. affordable, that I can find on the used market to work up a surf repertoire with my Jazzmaster.
It must have good Fenderish cleans, a good spring reverb, and be manageable enough to practice indoors and to gig in small venues.
I had a 70s Twin Reverb but grew weary of dragging it around.
I prefer Fender but am open to other suggestions.
I have a Fender Twin Tonemaster and it's pretty amazing. The standard rehearsal room amp in NYC was typically a beat up Twin so I got pretty good at getting tones out of them, but even in my 20s and 30s when I was gigging, they were heavy and fragile for constant van/stage/van/stage work. But this Tone Master Twin has the sound and a built in attenuator to get "that sound" even at living room levels. Honestly, I haven't had the chance to crank it to fully power, and I think I may never have to, but this amp has the sound and feel of a tube Twin and a weight, that in my mid 50s, won't cause me injury when I'm lugging around. I'll probably never use my tube Princeton again because this gives me more than a tube amp without needing to baby it from taking a hard shock. Try one out and just play with one without any notion that it's a digital amp. Good luck!
 

Mnc1

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No. Calif.
I am looking for a 'new' amp, something contemporary. i.e. affordable, that I can find on the used market to work up a surf repertoire with my Jazzmaster.
It must have good Fenderish cleans, a good spring reverb, and be manageable enough to practice indoors and to gig in small venues.
I had a 70s Twin Reverb but grew weary of dragging it around.
I prefer Fender but am open to other suggestions.
Fender Super Sonic 22. Will likely check all the boxes and a great amp.
 

68goldtop

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Jan 11, 2007
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germany
Hi guys!

I´m not into "surf-territory" per se (living MILES away from the nearest sea-shore...) - but (to me) Surf-Sound is loud, clean and "in your face", so I wonder why people would recommend a Blues Junior or Princeton Reverb?
These amps are sweet (and I own both of them), but they fall apart as soon as you hit the E-string anywhere near LIVE-volume - or don´t they? ;)

cheers - 68.
 

Ben Bishop

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I am keeping my old Laney LC15R. Made in England, 2xEL84 for 15 watts and excellent reverb, from a hint of space to deep in the swamp. It has Hi and Lo inputs and with the gain control and bright switch I find it's easy to find max headroom or saturation with single-coils or 'buckers. Effects loop, external cabinet out, but just one channel. They're getting old but many have never been gigged out judging by the pictures in the ads. If your choice doesn't work out keep an eye out for one of these.
 

11 Gauge

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Near BWI Int'l
Hi guys!

I´m not into "surf-territory" per se (living MILES away from the nearest sea-shore...) - but (to me) Surf-Sound is loud, clean and "in your face", so I wonder why people would recommend a Blues Junior or Princeton Reverb?
These amps are sweet (and I own both of them), but they fall apart as soon as you hit the E-string anywhere near LIVE-volume - or don´t they? ;)

cheers - 68.

There are different types of surf sounds, but IMO probably the one that many folks refer to as being 'the' surf sound typically involves a mid- or high-powered BF/SF Fender, with spring reverb, and typically trem, too. You need more power to keep things clean and tight, otherwise IMO the reverb makes everything sound like garbage when added to it.

I also personally tend to dislike the sound of alternate picking (as found in surf tunes) with lower-powered amps, or at least anything with less power than a DR, which I don't tend to personally prefer, either.

Anyway, I'm in agreement with you in that I personally would never use a BJ or PR for playing surf stuff.
 

Buffalo0993

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Texas
Tonemaster Deluxe Reverb checks the boxes for contemporary and (relative to the tube models) affordable, preference for Fender brand, and with the power scaling, perfect for use as a stage and rehearsal amp at various size venues.

Get the blonde one and it'll look the part, too.

Reverb is not great on the tonemasters though. Doesnt really compare to true tube driven fender spring reverb. Yes, even after the update.

Love the tonemasters. But if i was using one for surf i would use a reverb pedal
 

Brettlowden

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Apr 14, 2022
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Rochester ny
I am looking for a 'new' amp, something contemporary. i.e. affordable, that I can find on the used market to work up a surf repertoire with my Jazzmaster.
It must have good Fenderish cleans, a good spring reverb, and be manageable enough to practice indoors and to gig in small venues.
I had a 70s Twin Reverb but grew weary of dragging it around.
I prefer Fender but am open to other suggestions.
deluxe reverb blackface pre cbs
 

DBDM

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Jul 1, 2020
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Nashville Tennessee United States
Hi guys!

I´m not into "surf-territory" per se (living MILES away from the nearest sea-shore...) - but (to me) Surf-Sound is loud, clean and "in your face", so I wonder why people would recommend a Blues Junior or Princeton Reverb?
These amps are sweet (and I own both of them), but they fall apart as soon as you hit the E-string anywhere near LIVE-volume - or don´t they? ;)

cheers - 68.
Because he specified in his description "good spring Reverb"
 

sudogeek

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Sep 9, 2016
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590
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Palm Beach FL
Did not read all the replies but did play in a surf band for years. I think that a 6G15 tube reverb is essential. I used a Super Reverb or a Band Master head during my performance days with the above - I would consider those classic.

Currently, I follow my tube reverb unit with a Quilter 101 or (highly) modified Champ head for practice or home use. If I was to play out (and my neighbor and I are discussing this now), I would use an AC15 or a Twin - the AC15 because, well, Hank Marvins, the Twin because it gives good clean American sound from room to stadium volume (plus my neighbor already has one so the price is right). I did recently get loaned an AC15HW for a couple of days and it is great. I’m not sure a tube amp is essential. I use a 6G15 -> Tech21 American Sound -> Quilter and this is very good. Any clean SS amp would probably work ok.

tldr: Use a 6G15; the rest is less important.
 

BlueTele

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Nov 16, 2008
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California
I am looking for a 'new' amp, something contemporary. i.e. affordable, that I can find on the used market to work up a surf repertoire with my Jazzmaster.
It must have good Fenderish cleans, a good spring reverb, and be manageable enough to practice indoors and to gig in small venues.
I had a 70s Twin Reverb but grew weary of dragging it around.
I prefer Fender but am open to other suggestions.
You have just described the venerable Fender Deluxe Reverb. 22 watts...small enough to use at home and loud enough to play small to moderate gigs. Reverb to die for, and Speed and Intensity if you really want to go surfin'. If you have issues with "Fender", I can strongly recommend:
- Louis Electric Deltone - a rock-solid Deluxe Reverb made to withstand the next apocalypse. And, if you can find one...
- Magic Amps Vibro Deluxe which is a superbly made Deluxe Reverb with the finest components, build quality, and tones to die for. They rarely come up on the usual sites...once you have one, you never part with it. When they show up, they are quite affordable.
Both the Louis Electric and the Magic Amps can be had for $2,595 - $2,795 in Excellent to MINT condition. Either will likely be the last amp you ever "need" to buy. Super-highest quality amps. And...
If you want slightly less wattage, both brands make a Princeton clone with 12-15 watts. The Louis Electric Columbia (originally the "Princetone" - get one if you can) has a 12" speaker, and the Road Runner has the 10" speaker. Both have the Princeton circuit. Magic Amps calls his the Vibro Prince. It is available as a 1 x 10", 1 x 12", or 2x10"...again, all hard to come buy...people keep them forever. If you see one for sale on line, don't wait...it will sell in 1-2 days...literally. Good luck!
 

BlueGillGreg

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Jul 30, 2013
Posts
313
Location
New England
I am looking for a 'new' amp, something contemporary. i.e. affordable, that I can find on the used market to work up a surf repertoire with my Jazzmaster.
It must have good Fenderish cleans, a good spring reverb, and be manageable enough to practice indoors and to gig in small venues.
I had a 70s Twin Reverb but grew weary of dragging it around.
I prefer Fender but am open to other suggestions.
Fender Frontman. Bought one for our middle school players and it's great. Who said, "There's no clean like Fender clean?" These amps are just Fender clean with a Fender spring reverb tank. That's it, that's all. Sound great, cheap, indestructible. Surf's up!
 

jumpbluesdude

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Jul 15, 2012
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eau claire, wi
I was going to suggest a Traynor YGM-3. Don’t know the availability in Aus, but fits the bill, it’s vintage, and they are under valued. Also a great sounding amp priced around your budget… at least in the states. Good luck with the Supersonic.
 

myfenderissues

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Joined
Jul 21, 2012
Posts
62
Location
houston
I am looking for a 'new' amp, something contemporary. i.e. affordable, that I can find on the used market to work up a surf repertoire with my Jazzmaster.
It must have good Fenderish cleans, a good spring reverb, and be manageable enough to practice indoors and to gig in small venues.
I had a 70s Twin Reverb but grew weary of dragging it around.
I prefer Fender but am open to other suggestions.
deluxe reverb. it's not inexpensive, even the reissue with a pb board will run almost as much as a fender twin reissue with a pc board. there's nothing that's going to sound more like the real thing than the real thing. for surf music it's about as good as you can get unless you go to a dual showman or post 61 bassman head. of course those need a speaker cabinet too, so you're no better off than using the combo twin reverb you had. solid state and hybrid amps with modeling don't sound good enough to the discriminating ear. many people feel the reissue fender amps with pc board don't sound as good as the old style point to point layout board in your old 70's twin. i leave that open to discussion and debate but get a 70's fender with the old style wiring if you can find a good deal. anything that comes into a shop will fetch a premium price, so see who is selling on on their own. check with reverb, but people now don't sell stuff cheap anymore.
 

Jimmyhundred

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Joined
Dec 19, 2021
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57
Location
Massachusetts
Hi - I haven’t read the entire string so apologies if this was put out there before, but the Ampeg reverberocket is an amp to consider if you can find one. Great spring reverb, good cleans. I have one and sounds far better than my blues jr.
 




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