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Fender 1966 vs 1968 Pro Reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Paul-McShartney, Nov 3, 2020.

  1. Paul-McShartney

    Paul-McShartney TDPRI Member

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    So I played a blackface era pro reverb today at my local GC (don't know exact year) but imo, it was the sound I've been looking for in my head and think that is the next amp for me. BUT, I have found two really clean vintage examples, a 1966 blackface pro reverb (at 1500) and a Silverface drip edge pro reverb (at 1000).

    Now my intuition says get the Silverface because as far as I know, the drip edge ones are the same circuit as the blackface ones. Also, 500 dollars is a big difference, especially when the majority of that difference is spent on collectability. But since blackface amps tend to go past the 2k mark these days, do ya'll think it's a good idea to pay the extra money for it?

    Also, am I right in saying that the 68's are pretty much the same circuit? If not, what differences should I expect if I go that route.

    Again, the blackface pro that I played today blew me away so I want to find one that sounds rlly close to it (obviously every vintage amp will sound slightly different, but you know what I'm saying).
     
  2. homesick345

    homesick345 Poster Extraordinaire

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    get the one you played
     
  3. Paul-McShartney

    Paul-McShartney TDPRI Member

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    I would love to but its 2770usd :(
     
  4. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    I’d get either the BF or the drip edge. Whichever one sounds best to you. At those prices, money not a factor. At least for me.

    Btw, I once owned at the same time a 1965 PR and an early 1969 drip edge PR. The ‘69 always sounded better.
     
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  5. Paul-McShartney

    Paul-McShartney TDPRI Member

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    Damn it sounded even better? Yeah I think I might just go with the drip edge then...

    btw do you still have your 69? or have you moved on to other things since then?
     
  6. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    More data is needed for informed decision, imho. In the vintage market, condition and originality determ8ne....or should determine...the value. One would want to know the particulars for the amps....speaker codes, transformer codes, circuit originality, tube chart dates if the amp is BF....in short eveyth8ng is important. That $2700 amp may be way over-priced, the others may be bargains..or not.
    If you are not formed on the important aspects, to verify, you are at the mercy of the seller. Buyer beware. If you want to inform yourself, you could start here...
    http://www.ggjaguar.com/biblio.htm

    Read the six articles entitled “Dating Fender Amps”.

    Fwiw, that drip edge amp may well contain the BF AA165 Pro reverb circuit or it could have the BS circuit that was introduced in the summer of 1968. The later circuit is easily converted or modified. Be prepared to put some money into the amp...especially if you do not ascertain ahead of the purchase what the actual condition of the amp is.
    Re: that amp you first played that is priced at $2800 may be the amp to buy or it could be so non-original that it is worth half of that or less. Again...buyer beware.
     
  7. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    No. Long, short of it is..I sold the ‘65 shortly after acquiring the ‘69. Then I got stupid and brought the ‘69 to a tech to have it checked out before I gigged it. Somehow he talked me into changing out the stock Oxfords for a pair of Weber 12F150’s and some other components inside. I sold the Oxfords to one of his customers almost immediately. The amp lost it’s magic and I ended up selling it to fund my first Victoria, a 35210. But this was all back in 2007. The only thing that remains is I’m a bonafide tweed guy to this day. Tweed Bassmans are currently my weapon of choice.
     
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  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    The 68 is a different circuit than the BF unless it is an early amp. Check the tube chart, if it has a 5U4GB rectifier it's the later circuit likely.
    The other thing is speakers, do they have the same speakers? Which they have can make a big difference in sound. To me, part of the magic of those old amps is the original speakers. Dont get me wrong, they can sound great with modern speakers but loud and not the same.
     
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  9. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Ime, the tube chart may or may not be accurate with regard to what circuit is in the amp. One would 2ant to see the circuit especially if the tube chart reads AA165 with a GZ34 rectifier. I do agree that the Oxfords, which would have been the most likely speaker to be in a 1968, would be advantageous in these times due to the fact that they would be low efficiency speakers. I have witnessed the difference between those and a set of Emi GB 128s in a 1966 BF Pro Reverb I owned years ago. The GB128s doubled the volume. I am going to guess that those low efficiency Oxford 12s have an efficiency rating in the very low 90db range....at the most.
     
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  10. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I agree about tube charts, but chances are good if it has the later chart, it's the later circuit, just because they use those old charts up even though the circuit has changed. But using a new chart before changes took place? I guess I have to think if I've ever seen that, maybe...
     
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  11. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Schmee, that is why I said that it would be good to see the circuit ‘especially if the tube chart reads AA165’. I never have seen a newer chart in an amp with the older circuit. But...hey...what if at the very last of the production run for the BF circuits someone piled the new ‘68 dated tube charts on top of the last of the BF tube charts. It could have happened, but I have never seen it. I don’t recall the ‘Dating Fender Amps’ articles noting such an exception, either. ??? I don’t recall everything, though......
     
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  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yeah I agree. Weird thing is, you see the AA165 charts clear into the 70's sometimes IIRC.
     
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  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Right or wrong, the BF is a good amp and you are not getting hurt at that price. Nor the SF price. I sold my 68 Pro Rev maybe 3 years ago and had a hard time getting $850 out of it. Amps have gone up since. The speakers had been reconed, and sounded great too. Amp was serviced for caps also.
    The BF is always easier to sell.
    Just remember, the Pro is as big as a twin, a bit less heavy, but it's a big amp really.
    I bought a bargain BF Pro non reverb this year and that amp is just blowing me away. it's a tone machine. It's also amazing how light it is without all the reverb stuff , just 1 x 15 etc.
    Both my Blonde 6G6B Bassman clone and my BM reverb are going up for sale now!
     
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  14. Twang Deluxe

    Twang Deluxe Tele-Holic

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    I once played a 67 and a 69 pro reverb. To me they sounded pretty similar. I would get the drip edge and buy also a silverface vibro champ from the spare money. So you would have a classy amp for every situation.
     
  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    BF AA/AB763...schmee, apologies if you have seen this one. It is my very early 1963 prototype Pro.
    07FCFD98-A44D-417A-A4AE-A7F1DC511EA0.jpeg
    whoops...I deleted better pics. It is the one in the back.
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Very cool! That logo is very low on the grill cloth!
     
  17. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

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    You really have to look inside, it's stupid not to anyway buying a vintage amp.
    A drip edge might be a blackface inside, cloth wires, blue molded caps all the stuff you want. OR it could be the silverface circuit with the big resisters on the power tubes, skinny looking wire and everyone's favorite "DOG TURD" coupling caps!
    So you drop the $1,500 on the blackface and don't look inside. Well it could be some damned fool got one of them Torres "full amp rebuild kits" and put that in. Then you got 1,500 bucks into a $500 dollar amp! All the blue molded caps are gone and all the resisters and pots are too. And remember all those parts were put in by someone stupid enough to think that was a good idea in the first place.
    If the seller won't let you look inside, don't buy it! (unless it's just too cheap not to buy it and hope for the best)
    Obviously these are worst case scenarios but they can and do happen.
    Besides that you want to check transformer codes and it helps if you can tell the difference between an OEM transformer and a replacement with the end bells swapped out, to keep the codes. Solder joints normally give that away and guess what, there all inside!
    Not trying to dissuade anyone from buying a vintage amp, just saying learn about it first and know what you're doing when you do.
    And NEVER trust the guy selling, even or especially a shop, or a Fender tube chart.
    I have more faith in farts, no matter what, they're gonna stink. ;)
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Or...you could look inside and see NONE of the original resistors, caps, or pots except for the bias control in a 1965 TR and a 1964 AB763 ‘SRV’ VibroVerb!!!! From the outside all codes were proper..trannies,speakers, tube charts; and the amps were in excellent++ cosmetic condition. Outside of having bought two very well-done totally redone circuits which were great player amps, he lost about $3K thinking he had bought all-original Fenders. He swore he would never buy another vintage Fender unless I found it and vetted it. I haven’t seen him since. He probably decided he had enough guitars and amps and did not want to deal with a market about about which he had neither the time nor the inclination to gather information. He is used to dealing with horses knows what to look for in that market. buyer beware....always.
     
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  19. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    play both first. buy the one that sounds better
     
  20. TwoBear

    TwoBear Tele-Meister

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    Man you could buy both for $2,500 and you still saved a couple hondo n 50 bucks! My go to for most of my professional life was super reverbs, as was also my buddy Jim Spurgeon. A friend of his brought him a 56 maybe pro that he had got from salvation army. He was working there at the time and they offered it to him for 50 bucks, he gave them 200. He sold it to Jimmy for 800 I think. I also think that's when Jim got the pro bug, pretty soon afterwards he's been grabbing black face pros, oh yeah and vibroluxes. I've sat in on his rig many times and whether it's the vibroluxe with one of the pros, or sometimes he'll use a solid state fender just to get some of the wash from a stereo lexicon, mixed in with either the viberlux or pro but when it's been both of the tube fenders or even just one I have gotten some of my best tones-definitely the best tone sitting in, and a couple times even better than my own. Out of the three pros that he had at one time, the butchered up one sounded best.
     
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