tell me about fender pro reverb amps

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by cbnutt, Dec 5, 2008.

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  1. cbnutt

    cbnutt Tele-Afflicted

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    never played or been around one, watts , sound ? are they mabe 40, 50 watts, sound sorta like a twin ? what would be average price for a late 60,early 70,s ? thanks..........:)
     
  2. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    Fender has used that name at least a couple times that I am aware of. I have an old blackface one from the 60s, and I've seen silverfaces; there was also a very recent Fender amp called a Pro Reverb that was NOTHING like the old ones.

    The old Pros DO NOT sound like a twin. The Pro sound is sweeter, rounder, and fuller. Speakers are 2x12. Roughly 40-45 watts. They DO NOT do well beyond maybe 4-5 on the volume knob, with stock speakers -- goes to complete mush.

    The clean sound is very pretty and warm. Mine was modified (by Valley Arts, back in the day), and it has a wonderful overdrive, but again, go too loud and you get mush.

    Silverface Pros DO NOT sound like Blackfaces.

    Market price? I have no idea.
     
  3. Robin Nahum

    Robin Nahum Friend of Leo's

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    I know a bit about the silverfaces.

    The early ones (68-~74) had a similar circuit (including a GZ34 rectifier) and controls to the blackface and put out 40W. The second generation (~1974-76) had a 5U4 rectifier and a master volume/pull boost - also 40W. The third generation (~76-80) had midrange eq, master volume/pull boost and a SS rectifier and put out around 70W.

    They all had 2 x 6L6GC in the power stage.

    The tube rectifier and smaller output transformer on the earlier models meant that they had a fair bit of sag whereas the later "ultra linear" Pro with its SS rectifier was better able to deliver the power quickly to the speakers when required - like a Twin.

    My 74 Pro has a lovely big warm tone and a sound that "blooms". With my ES345, it's easy to get a nice Wes-like tone, which suits playing jazz.

    With the 2 x 12s, it can be quite loud and I find that I only use mine in a bigger room.

    Pros haven't achieved the cult status of the Deluxe Reverb or Vibrolux and tend to be a bit cheaper - especially the later ones. But I have read that in their day they were regarded as the best of the range.

    Some people put in a bigger output transformer but this does require drilling holes in the chassis.

    They weigh about 60lb.

    Mine came with non-original Fender speakers and I swapped them for Weber 12F150s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  4. stax

    stax Tele-Afflicted

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    I’ve had two silver face pro’s and according to RN’s post I had an early one and a second generation version.
    I kept the later one, which apart from the not very pleasant sounding pull boost I preferred.
    I gigged mine for twenty years with no probs but for my current band I go for something not so loud or weighty.
    Like Rob I also find a good semi acoustic and a pro a really good combination.
    Stax
     
  5. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    i have a silverface with mastervolume. my main amp. very nice. get one if you can! if i could find one, i would buy a second just to have a backup. mine is alwaay on 3-4 on the volumes and that is enough to play live. eddie
     
  6. cbnutt

    cbnutt Tele-Afflicted

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    sounds good, i use a early 70,s SFDR now, but thinking id like to have a little more power, not quite as heavy as a twin, sounds like it would work......:)
     
  7. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    I bought a SF Pro in '74 sometime, & gigged it hard for around 15 years. Still have it though it gets little use.

    Always felt it was similar in sound to a twin, but a bit lighter. Huge volume for something rated at around 40 Watts (the later master volume with mid control were rated at maybe 70). Even playing big halls I rarely had it over "5".

    Buy one if you get the chance.
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Imho, Bf and sf PRo REverbs are greaet amps. As always, I prefer the BF and early SF. AS Robin notes, there weren't as many changes to this amp as there were to the larger Fenders. RE: beep.click's 'mush' thing description. Two possibilities....weak caps and/or the original speakers...esp Oxfords from '66 on if that is what it is carrying. A BF or early SF Pro REverb in good working order with good speakers in it is a singing bird to my ear....no mush to be had.
    Robin's assessment of the small transformer and the saturation is accurate. I find that a high efficiency speaker to replace the low-efficiency models that are in some BF Pro REv. make a huge difference. I replaced soem wide-gap OXfords in a BF with some EMinence LEgend GB128's and the difference was unbelievable.
     
  9. eugenedunn

    eugenedunn Friend of Leo's

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    Aside from the obvious combo speaker configurations (4x10 vs 2x12), how do early Pro Reverbs and Super Reverbs differ?

    They're both 2 channel amps with 6L6 power sections and reverb & vibrato...... I imagine their output trannys and power trannys might be a bit different because of the different numbers of speakers.....

    What else?
     
  10. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suspect it's all about those original speakers. That's what mine has... has always had.

    Buddy of mine used to gig with an old Pro, usually with a hollowbody Gibson. He had the same issue, which he solved by going with JBLs.
     
  11. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    In 1985, knowing nothing but having some money in my pocket, I hit the best music shops in town looking for an amp. I was looking for tone, not name. After playing everything for hours I went home with a 1965 Pro Reverb.

    23 years later, it's still my go-to amp.

    * It's LOUD, but sounds good at "3", too.
    * Mush? Nope. As you turn it up farther it just breathes fire, roaring like some huge engine. Above 7 or so it kind of scares me.
    * It's warm and clean and breaks up into great OD sounds.
    * The tremolo is classic Fender.
    * The reverb is exactly what reverb should be.

    The only drawbacks are its size and weight. I rehearse now with a Blues Jr., and use it for a lot of gigs. But when I know the venue's big enough to handle the greatness which is the Pro Reverb I pull it out and grin all through set up. Then let 'er rip.

    I have no trouble saying it's the perfect amp for some bluesy telecaster playing.
     
  12. benadrian

    benadrian Tele-Meister

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    My main amp for the past 9 years has been a Blackface Pro Reverb.

    http://flickr.com/photos/benadrian/sets/72157594322783911/

    The Vibroverb, Vibrolux Reverb, and Super Reverb are basically the same as the Pro Reverb, just with different transformers and speaker configurations. All those amps have two channels, normal and reverb/vibrato. Pretty much all Fender reverb amps from that time period have the same preamp. You can think of the pro reverb as the middle ground between a Deluxe Reverb and a Twin Reverb.

    I always wanted a Blackface Fender amp, but I could never afford one. I owned a Silverface mid 70's Pro Reverb for about six months in early 1998. It just wasn't what I wanted at the time, as I was using a LOT of effects. The natural sound of the amp go lost.

    Then I saw the band Low in early 1999. The guitarist used a tele with mini-hum in the neck and a Vibroverb, plus no effects. Everything about the amp was gorgeous; the tone, the tremolo, the reverb, everything.

    The Vibroverb is a 1-15" amp. I'm more of a 2-12" guy, so I knew I needed a Blackface Pro Reverb, as it is electronically identical to a Vibroverb. Even though they weren't popular at the time, they were still more than I could afford. This is when I got bitten by the amp bug. I started buying books, dissecting schematics, and such. I figured my best bet would be to get a broken or barely working amp and then bring it back to life.

    I ended up finding a '66 for $425, and it was THRASHED. It has a baffle cut for a horn, rust everywhere, the tolex was shredded, the reverb tank was broken, it was noisy, and generally looked like it was kept in a shed by the ocean all its life. I got to work. I replaced all the tubes except the rectifier. I replaced the non-original, crappy speakers with Weber Californias. I went through the entire circuit and checked all the resistors and caps for noise, replacing what needed to be replaced. I replaced all the electrolytic caps. I put in a long dwell, three spring tank. A guy in my old hometown replaced the tolexs, baffle, and grill cloth, as well as tilt back legs.

    It stays pretty clean until about 5, then it just breaks up more and more. Like any Fender amp, it gets more bass as you turn it up. With my tele I'll run the volume at about 3.5, bass at 6, and treble for a clean sound. With my band I'll run the volume at 5, treble at 6, and bass at 6. For recording, where I was more grit, I'll crank the amp from 7-9, treble at 6 and bass at 2-5. This is why Fender amps rule. If you get a good tone with the amp cranked, the bass will probably be low. As you roll your guitar volume down, the grit will clean up, and the amp should be bright, but since most guitars get darker as the volume is rolled down, it balances the tonal shift.

    I did switch the output transformer after the original melted. I got a more robust model through Allen amps which also had the original Pro/Vibrolux hole pattern. I think it made the amp sound even better, though many believe the smaller transformer is a secret bonus of the amp.

    Here is my baby.
    [​IMG]

    Cheers!
    Ben Adrian
     
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  13. eugenedunn

    eugenedunn Friend of Leo's

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    So Ben,

    Have you compared your Pro to a Super? How do they compare tonewise? Both amps are around 40 watts with 2 6L6's.
     
  14. varakeef

    varakeef Tele-Afflicted

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    They have same circuit exept the ot and the missing middle knob in Pro. Now I'm talkin about the earliest SF edition without master volume of which I'm familiar with.

    The main difference in sound is Pro Reverb gets distorted earlier and I percieve Super to be a tad louder. At least it's louder when still clean.

    Both great amps, but Pro is not that expensive and takes less room.
     
  15. beep.click

    beep.click Poster Extraordinaire

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    Forgot to mention: my Pro Reverb has the most delicious reverb sound on the planet. I've never heard anything else like it!

    Frankly, the mush problem doesn't bother me. Gut feel, anything I might do to fix that would change the tone of the amp, which is perfect at lower volumes. If I need something louder, I just use a bigger amp.
     
  16. eugenedunn

    eugenedunn Friend of Leo's

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    Geez, that Pro is already a pretty powerful amp at around 40 watts..... but I guess it's how much a premium you put on having clean headroom at fairly loud volumes....... What's the definition of "bigger amp"?
    Maybe something like a Fender Super Six or Quad Reverb I guess. (^_^)
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The big difference is not the impedance of the OT's but the amount of iron. The Pro REverb, Vibroverb, Vibrolux REverb and Bandmaster amps have less iron compared to the Super REber and Bassman. The smaller OT's saturate earlier....less headroom, more singing sustain kind of thing.
     
  18. eugenedunn

    eugenedunn Friend of Leo's

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    Cool Wally, exactly the kind of answer I was lookin' for. Thanks for that straightforward explanation.


    Geno
     
  19. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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  20. trag-o-caster

    trag-o-caster R.I.P.

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    From my experiences, I wouldn't say that they "distort" earlier. I've ran mine right up to 10 on the volume, and it just BARELY distorts. However, even with it's volume down, and clean sounding, it has a certain kind of compression that you won't get with other models. So, it has the "singing sustain" quality that you mentioned, but it's still very clean.

    Mine is a 73 that Tim Swartz re-capped, and BF'd for me. It's loaded with Celestion G12H-80's, and both Tim and I feel that it's one of the best sounding Pro Reverbs around.

    Oh, and I keep forgetting.... it was owned by Mark Farner of Grand Funk before I got it, if that means anything.
     
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