Fender Pro Reverb - To trade or not to trade?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Kelleycaster, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. Kelleycaster

    Kelleycaster TDPRI Member

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    So, I’ve been looking for a good tube amp that can be loud enough for small-medium gigs, but can also achieve a good tone at room level for recording.
    I found someone with a late 70s Silverface Fender Pro Reverb who is willing to trade it for a Breedlove acoustic I have which is worth about $650.
    I’m not an expert on amps, so I’d love to hear any and all of y’all’s thoughts on it. It looks to be in good cosmetic shape, and everything works except the reverb. Back plate is missing, but I can make a new one of those. Being a late 70s model, it doesn’t have a tube rectifier, but it does have a master volume.
    So here are some of my questions...
    Does the master volume make it possible to achieve the beloved “edge of breakup” sounds at a tolerable room level?
    Any idea how much it would cost to fix or replace the reverb? Can I likely fix the reverb myself with basic soldering skills?
    How do you like the tone of these amps compared to other Fender amps?
    Is it worth trading a $650 guitar for?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!
    Chris
     
  2. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    Set up to break earlier on Normal, trem side left stock. Weber f150. Super clean or nasty. More an M player but this one gives me the great cleans & we set other channel up to be aggressive. The speakers can keep it pristine or can crunch & do help with the mids. My studio guy has been trying to buy it off me. records well//right level for a band & tilts. Really like the amp. Great all around amp. You asked about early break up. We set Normal channel to break right when & where i like. Like to goose it with Klon or Rat. I like how its twin clean & jtm45 ish...i fit well with my 2 Super Reverbs & gets used. It one of my amps that i just in front of it & strum chords & work out songs...it gives you what you put in right back. I think with tech fee's--speakers about 750 in it. I don;t use the Reverb or Trem...so Reverb in an amp is not needed. It does fine sitting right in front of it, has usable tone anywhere on the Vol dial. Key was setting Normal up to taste. No MV on it. We removed the master out of circuit on my 74 super..it was useless. 3Fenders (2).jpg 73pro2 (2).jpg
     
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  3. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Howdy and welcome.
    It sounds like a good trade, IMO.
     
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  4. jimbo735

    jimbo735 Tele-Afflicted

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    Hell to to your YEAH!
     
  5. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Pro Reverbs are a good amp and could do everything that you seek. More than likely the reverb tank is toast and not many are repairable, so plan on replacing the whole tank in your budget. The good part is that you don't need a pro to install one so you avoid that cost...just the cost of the new tank. Of course, there are possible reasons for the reverb to not be working, but they are cheaper so just set the budget for a new tank going into the deal.

    It isn't a bad trade, but not a steal either due to that reverb issue. I have seen Pro verbs out there in full working order for $750 so you are at the grey area for that trade. That said, if you are not playing that instrument, it makes it even a better trade and would certainly do it if I was you.

    I would also do a little searching to see if you can find a Lindy Frailin VVT amplifier which can be had for about $900 used. It is essentially a Pro Verb with added features and is an amazing amplifier, I consider mine a low-powered Twin Reverb that I use outside the home. Same great tone without all the weight of the Twin. After you replace that reverb tank and have the amp serviced, you will have about the same amount of money in that Silverface amp.

    (Did I just make you more undecided?)
     
  6. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    How much do you like the guitar ???
    Will you need to replace it ??? Many factors here besides cash values ....
     
  7. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

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    40 watters are more sought after and earlier than the 70 watt late 70s model...might cost a couple hundred in amp maintenance fees once you get it- you want that reverb to work
     
  8. Kelleycaster

    Kelleycaster TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys for all the replies!

    Very helpful advice! How much would it cost to buy a replacement reverb tank?

    From what I’m hearing so far, I think it’s a pretty good trade. The Breedlove is a pretty nice guitar, but I haven’t really played it since purchasing a Taylor 815ce. :)

    Thanks again for the input everyone!
     
  9. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    I bought a '77 Pro Reverb for$450 a couple of years ago in good working order and love it. It has a tube rectifier, so it is a little different from the one you are looking at. Built a head cabinet and a 2x12 for it cause it is a heavy sucker. But the Silverface Pro Reverb is a great amp.

    IMG_20181129_162747530_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg
     
  10. Stax1

    Stax1 TDPRI Member

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    Yes. I own exactly one of these. I play it at home a lot as the MV allows me to get great tones at apartment levels, and push it up for gigs. I have a sweet spot with the MV at about 4, the trem channel volume at about 3, B/M/T to taste but generally I run them all higher than noon. Add an OD pedal if you want extra grit. You'll get some extra punch if you turn up the channel volume, or if you pull out the MV switch - this seems to be a mid boost more than anything.

    I can't advise here as I'm in Australia where everything is super exxy compared to the US.. But I will say that before you write off the tank, change the reverb driver tube with a known good one and make sure the tube socket is clean. Also, make sure the wiring between the tank and the amp is good (often the connection to the tank itself gets bent/broken/corroded), and lastly check that the footswitch is connected and working - reverb/trem won't work at all if its not switched on. Try a shorting jack if you have one.

    I love the tone out of these. Its very sweet and lush but can get quite gnarly in a Fender way. Many folks dislike the ultralinear amps and SS rectifiers, but I think they actually sound great and get some of the best clean tones I've ever had. All just personal taste. I will say that the reverb is what makes it with Fender amps for me though, and the tremolo is always nice. I just love the lush, washy cleans, and that it gets into that edge-of-breakup tone nicely.
    I also own a '64 Bandmaster, which sounds a little more 'woody' in comparison, has an equally sweet tremolo, but no reverb circuit, and no master volume.

    I'd vote yes, unless you're really attached to the Breedlove. Just expect to fork out a few bucks for a service, tubes, caps (circa couple hundred combined), and the reverb fix. Ask the owner when it was last serviced and retubed.
     
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  11. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    The master volume on silverface Fenders was nigh on useless.

    Other than that it's a great amp full of Fenderly goodness.
     
  12. 39martind18

    39martind18 Tele-Meister

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    Yours will have 70 watts, because it is one of the ultralinear amps of the late 70s, which are not as popular as the earlier 40 watt versions. They do the Fender cleans extremely well, but breakup, not so much. With the reverb problems, you should be getting about $100 difference in the trade, IMHO.
     
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  13. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nope, it's gonna be too loud.
    Even a Vibrolux can be hard enough to control. If that's an UL then even worse. NO way.
    I had a Vibrolux with Weber 10F150's years ago. Tone like heaven. BUT, playing a large ex roller rink the sound man told me "I turned your amp mic off" you are too loud without it. Amp was on 3 on the volume.
     
  14. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Fralin VVT in tweed on reverb right now....make him an $850 offer and see what happens. That would give you more of the vintage Pro-Reverb sound for about the same cost as that SF Pro-Verb after repairs. Sell off the acoustic for cash.

    I can't help it, those Fralin VVT's are just a great all-around amplifier and this is coming from a guy with a room full of vintage Fender amps. I don't like to remove the vintage from the house, so that Fralin goes everywhere I go. I think you would enjoy that Fender SF and the deal sounds like an okay one since you have already replaced that acoustic with your Taylor. I just am not sure that is the right reason to make the trade.

    A trade makes sense to me for either of 2 reasons. One, you really want that particular amp already or Two, it is a bargain that you could flip later for a profit. I don't see either of those conditions in your situation.....at least not unless you have played the amp and was inspired by it. Might be better off selling that guitar and then shop around rather than making this trade. Again, it isn't a bad trade exactly, but if you came to me and asked if I wanted to buy a late SF Pro-Reverb for $850 (likely the end investment after repair and servicing) I would decline. I think I would top out at $700.
     
  15. Kelleycaster

    Kelleycaster TDPRI Member

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    Can you dial in an “edge of breakup” tone at room level with the Fralin?
    Looks like a nice amp, but no master volume.

    Thanks again for all the replies!
     
  16. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    When you run it with 6v6 tubes you sure can....no re-bias needed.
     
  17. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's

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    Trade, a pretty decent trade. I’d probably do it if the amp was in nice condition and it it sounds good.
    Do plan on putting at least $200 in the amp to have it properly serviced.
     
  18. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    3 things go wrong with Pro Reverb reverbs, one expensive (tank is shot), and two that aren't (loose wire or bad tube). Like Gridlock said, plan on having it serviced and that's when you find out what's wrong.
     
  19. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    Sounds like a good trade to me so long as your not in love with what you are trading. Since we can't see a picture of the amp itself, we can assume that it is in at least decent visual condition, By your description, it sounds like it may have been around the block a bit. Like others have previously mentioned, you can pick up one in good working condition for probably a little more money, but they may not accept any trades. It is a crap shoot at best. Good luck!
     
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  20. Kelleycaster

    Kelleycaster TDPRI Member

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    Thanks guys!

    So how much would it cost me to purchase a new reverb tank if that’s what it comes down to? I have basic wiring skills, and my dad used to be an electrical engineer, so I think we could do the installation ourselves.

    Here are the only pics I have. Seems to be in good players condition from what I can tell.
     

    Attached Files:

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