Inherited a Super Reverb. Now what?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by sgygi777, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. sgygi777

    sgygi777 NEW MEMBER!

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    Greetings. I just inherited a 1964 Fender Super Reverb (blackface) from my aunt and need some advice on what to do next. The normal input works fine and sounds great. The tremolo input however...the vibrato doesn't work, the reverb doesn't work, almost no volume and no top end. Sounds bassy and you can turn it up to 10 and still barely hear it. At this point I should say that my aunt is the original owner and the amp mostly just sat unplayed for years and years so the thing has its ORIGINAL set of tubes (RCA power tubes and the rest are Raytheon branded). No joke. So my question is this: So baring in mind that the normal input is fine and the trem input is not, is there something obvious that sounds like the problem here (like new tubes?), OR is my best bet to find a tech and have them go through it? The only thing I've done is replace the cables to the reverb tank because they were broken. ANY help would be appreciated!!! THANK YOU!
     
  2. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    You'll definitely need to get the electrolytic capacitors replaced. They're decades past due. Take it to a good tech if you don't know what you are doing. Playing such a great amp with bad caps could cause serious problems.
     
  3. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, to echo what was said above, take it to a tech and ask for new filter caps at least, or just all the electrolytic caps. Someone here might be able to suggest a tech in your area.

    As said, the caps are way past due, but are especially at risk of bursting if the amp has not been played over the years. I tried out a 67 Bassman that hadn't been played and blew up a filter cap. I was lucky not to harm any major components but it made for a lot more work and $$$. So my suggestion is to not turn the amp on anymore until you see a tech.
     
  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Send it to me... I know what to do next.
     
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    No, send it to me, before it rears on it's haunches and bites your head off.....

    Seriously, the non functional second input is likely nothing serious, but the lack of volume could indicate a serious issue.

    Don't turn it on again until it's had professional attention, it might have blown a big caps/or the bias cap. You risk melting an original transformer which will devalue it a lot.
     
  6. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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  7. mateo2006

    mateo2006 TDPRI Member

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    I think it is unless you are very knowledgable about repairing amps.

    You want to end with an amp that is a player. This amp also is a piece of history.

    IMO the best way to preserve that history is by getting it running optimally, spending the money to get it checked out and replacing anything that impairs its functionality.

    You will be happy you spent the money later.
     
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  8. El Marin

    El Marin Tele-Afflicted

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    So, if the normal channel is OK must be a silly thing... Check V2 preamp valve, sorry, you call it tubes

    Don't be so scared, you are not going to burn the amp by playing it... fuses are there for a reason. Play normal channel check the pedal, or use another, I used a Marshall two switches pedal during years with my Twin Reverb just because it had a longer cable. Clean pots with spray...

    I have played and fixed many old unused amps like yours and most of the issues are just bad corrupted cables and DIRT. Check that before changing anything or follow the mantra "change electrolitics". Many times the mojo is in the old not perfect ones it still have

    Nevertheless, if you don't feel comfortable with checking the guts send it to a tech, but I would look at it it first
     
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  9. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Find a tech known for restoration and good customer service if you go that way. A lot of mediocre and some bad techs out there...

    The amp sounds great btw!
     
  10. Burning Fingers

    Burning Fingers TDPRI Member

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    I read your post as saying that the normal channel volume is fine and only the tremolo channel has the volume problem...in that case :
    Try removing tubes 2 , 3 , 4 and 5 ( tube 2 is second from the right ) and spraying some contact cleaner into the tube sockets then refit the tubes.
    V2 12ax7 is the vibrato channel preamp
    V3 12at7 is the reverb send
    V4 12ax7 is the reverb recovery and gain stage for vibrato channel ** if this tube fails then you lose both vibrato channel and reverb
    V5 12ax7 is the vibrato tube

    If you have a 12ax7 laying around then try that tube in all the V2 to V5 spots ..if you don't have one then pinch the tube from V1 ( V1 is the normal channel preamp ) and try that in the other tube locations I mentioned.

    If that doesn't pinpoint the problem then it's tech time.
    If the normal channel volume is way low as well then forget all above...it is tech time

    Keep us updated.. I love a puzzle

    Super reverb.jpg
     
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  11. johnny k

    johnny k Friend of Leo's

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  12. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    No!

    The big power supply capacitors go bad with age. When one goes out, it can take out other expensive stuff, like the transformers. The amp's fuses do not protect against that risk. Get a pro to check it out!
     
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  13. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    Switch the V1 and V2 tubes and try the vibrato channel again.
     
  14. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Find the best tech in your area ...

    Be prepared to spend money ...
     
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  15. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Meister

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    The tremolo needs to have a foot switch for activation.

    The fact that the amp works on the normal channel is very good news. All the other problem should be reletively minor.

    This is definitely one of those times where you want a good tech. New filter caps are a must.

    The small signal tubes should be fine and if the amp has seen little use and the power tubes are likely good.

    Insist that any tubes that are replaced be returned to you. Some techs have been known to "dispose of them properly".


    This amp is well worth an investment to get it right.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2020
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  16. SoK66

    SoK66 Tele-Afflicted

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    1) You were just given a dream amp
    2) DO NOT OPERATE IT AGAIN WITHOUT REPLACING THE ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS!!!!!
    3) DO NOT OPERATE IT AGAIN WITHOUT REPLACING THE ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS!!!!!
    4) DO NOT OPERATE IT AGAIN WITHOUT REPLACING THE ELECTROLYTIC CAPACITORS!!!!!
    5) Replace the power cord with a modern three-prong unit
    6) Do not complain about the weight of the amp, it is embarassing. Boomers condidered those "small" amps and lugged them all over the world
     
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  17. BigDaddy23

    BigDaddy23 Tele-Holic

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    @SoK66 is spot on. Don't risk damaging those transformers by operating it before a thorough service of the power supply. Earlier this year, I serviced the SF Super Reverb my FIL gave me that he used to gig in the late 60's early 70's. It already had a 3 prong cord and voltage selector. I gave all the controls, jack sockets, tube sockets and the footswitch connections a good clean and lube.

    The filter caps were buggered as was the bias cap and a couple of the preamp bypass caps. I changed them, the power supply dropping resistors which had drifted++, power tube screen resistors and made some changes to the bias circuit. It is as quiet as a mouse and is a fab sounding amp. You'll love yours once it has had a good once over.
     
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  18. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    So, you got a free amp. Worst case scenario for getting a full service is ~$300. Worst case scenario for running an amp with bad filter caps, bias cap, output coupling caps, etc. is much higher.

    So options: Properly functioning 1964 Super Reverb for <$300; or, not-so-great sounding, unreliable lump resembling a 1964 Super Reverb in appearance only; or, a burned out hulk you can use as an endtable.
     
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  19. hepular

    hepular Tele-Meister

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  20. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

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    You are going to be very happy. Deferred gratification, is the order of the day. If you don't know a great tech, it's time to do your research and locate the very best person, within driving distance of your home. Take his/her advice, pay the bill. Report back- with pictures.

    Welcome to TDPRI. You came to the right place. :)
     
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