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Buying a Super Reverb(Old vs.New)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by goodtone, May 17, 2006.

  1. goodtone

    goodtone Member

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    I'm looking to get a great sounding Super Reverb. The point is I want to get it right the first time. My thoughts are to get an original vintage pre 1967 model. Do the 65 reissues come close ? Has anyone ever heard of a boutique buider called Uncle Spot who makes a Super Reverb clone for around $1600 ? Please help.
     
  2. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    Uncle Spot makes the real deal if you tell him to. The Fender RI Super is a PCB POS and not worth considering.
     
  3. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    I know a couple guys with tremendous sounding silver-faced SRs. I imagine with amps that old, you can't generalize from one to the next. You probably have to hear them next to eachother.

    All that being said...I did play a '65 Reissue last weekend. I thought it was a tremendous sounding amp and think there's a darn good chance I'll buy one :).
     
  4. karmadave

    karmadave Member

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    If you don't use vibrato you might consider an Allen Old Flame. They are great amps! A vintage BFSR would be cool, but IMHO vintage amps can be expensive to maintain. I'd stay away from a SRRI...

    -KD
     
  5. cheesey

    cheesey Member

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    68 to 74 silverface with bf mod is the ****!
     
  6. JustAHack

    JustAHack Member

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    Good SF Supers are a (relative) bargain these days, with the "hip" trend and money leaning towards smaller combo amps. Even BF Supers are cheaper than they used to be. BF Deluxe Reverbs, Princetons, Vibrolux Reverbs, Pro Reverbs, and Vibroverbs are all through the roof in price. And I don't think any of them have the mojo and versatility of the mighty Super Reverb. :AOK

    I have a late '67/early '68 SF Super Reverb with drip rail and BF guts, all original. I bought it retail for about $1100-1200 a little over two years ago. Every guitar I have loves it, a true "reference amp".

    I haven't played a reissue Super, so I really can't compare. They might be great. But with SF Supers being so close in price to the reissues new, I'd go with the SF. Anything before the late '70s push-pull master volume and 70 watts mistakes (76? 77?) sound really good, right out of the box. If you must, it can be converted to BF for $100 by a competent tech. I prefer Alnico speakers, for whatever reason.
     
  7. Benny

    Benny Gold Supporting Member

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    I think it depends what you're wanting the SR to do. If you want loud, good clean, then a early silverface or a used reissue would be good options at pretty decent (well under $1K) price points. The trick is just to find a good one. SF SR's in my experience can vary widely in tone from divine to duds, and some just aren't healthy anymore. I've noticed some significant variation in the reissues as well, some are great, some are below average, some are in between.

    On the other hand, if you're like me and want that special super reverb overdrive, then, I feel the field narrows. As much as I'd like to retire my '65 BFSR, it's just exactly right for me, and I haven't found an amp that sounds/feels/responds in quite the same way. That said, my back-up is a 69 or 70 SFSR, that I had converted to match my 65 as closely as possible. It sounds almost exactly the same, and feels just a little bit different. Apart from the different cosmetics, I'm positive that the audience can't tell the amps apart.

    I've only played the Allen Old Flame briefly, but there are some fantastic tones to be had in that amp, and a number of features (preamp voltage switch, raw control, master volume) that might help you get the desired balance of sustain, compression, and breakup at a variety of volume levels.

    I've never played an Uncle Spot, but he has a strong reputation for building excellent amps.
     
  8. 65bfdr

    65bfdr Member

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    The '65 SRRI is a great sounding and reliable amp no matter what some choose to say. If you buy vintage, you really won't know what to expect and they usually need some tlc before they're road ready anyway so you'll end up spending a lot more than you'd have to.
    Many local music stores have SRRIs and even vintage SRs. At least get out and try the SRRI. So far I haven't heard of any reliability issues with that amp.
     
  9. mountain blues

    mountain blues Member

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    Here's some straight info on the Uncle Spot Custom Super Reverb:

    To the best of my knowledge, there are only three in existence. Coco Montoya has #1, Daniel Castro has #2, and I have #3. I got mine in 2002.

    I haven't been in contact with Ron Veil — Uncle Spot — for a while, but I do know that one guy here on the Gear Page had Ron start making his Custom Super for him fairly recently, but due to a long wait, the contract was terminated, and the amp wasn't finished. They are very time-consuming amps for Ron to build, and he runs a speaker reconing business as well as being an amp tech.

    Ron is superb amp tech and a perfectionist who LOVES Super Reverbs, and poured his entire love of amps into making the Super Reverb that "should have been" had the Super Reverb evolved. My Uncle Spot Super is a phenomenal amp that I could never part with. When I went to Ron's shop to pick it up, we played it against his '64 and '65 Supers, and Ron succeeded in building an amp that improves on one of the greatest amps ever.


    To my mind, this is the ultimate Super Reverb. If you are prepared to wait — and if Ron is still building them — I can't recommend this amp highly enough.

    As an alternative, I highly recommend Ben Fargen's 6L6 version of his Blackbird. I play one side by side with my Uncle Spot, and they are in the same league, for sure. I think you could get a 4x10 custom model, because Ben's brother Jeff Earl runs J Design Cabs, and they collaborate on custom projects.
     
  10. goodtone

    goodtone Member

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    thanks everyone. Mountain Blues I appreciate your input ecpecially on the the Uncle Spot Info.
    Thanks Again
     
  11. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    My fav year is actually 1968 - first year silver face with the chrome trim ring around the speaker grill. Bear in mind that Super Reverbs came in a couple flavors (for whatever reason) - absolute king of clean types: wonderful Fender clean tone (rhythm guitar machines), and gnarly SCREAMERS. Think SRV tone. What are you looking for out of your amp?

    peace,

    jb
     
  12. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    That 6L6 Blackbird in a custom 4x10 configuration would be KILLER. That is a great idea. And for the record, there were more than one contract terminated for the Uncle Spot 4x10 SR clone. If he is making them and completing them, it's bargain to be sure!
     
  13. bscepter

    bscepter Member

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    I'm interested, too -- but I don't know that much about them. I'm looking for that super-clean sound (think Big Star's first two records), so how do I know what to look for to get that sound if I can't play one in person? Are the circuits different? Are there visual clues?

    Thanks!
     
  14. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Leon is dead on the money according to my highly trained, extremely accurate, virgin ears. :AOK I played WAY to many vintage blackface Super reverbs before I ended up at a GC that had 3 in stock at the same time, as well as several SRRIs. I must have been there for 3-4 hours going back and forth between all of them, with several other players stopping over and joining in to see what all of that noise was about. :D Bottom line, the RIs sound EVERY BIT as good as the BEST vintage ones. Now all of that being said, I ended up buying the best sounding of the vintage ones I could find, only to regret it constantly later on. Yep, I still fell into the "Vintage is better" thing even after hearing with my own ears they were not. Of course I ended up selling it after my Cowtipper 45 blew its doors off every single day. Bottom line..... buy a new one with a guarantee, OR, buy a used SRRI so you will never lose any money when you sell it after you play a Bruno and have to have one. :dude You can search every where, play a million vintage ones, and the best will only sound as good as a new SRRI. SMOKING amp!
     
  15. artpop

    artpop Member

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    Vintage amps do vary quite a bit - I had an early 70's Silverface Super Reverb several years back that I loved, but always wondered if the Blackfaces sounded "better", as I'd always heard. Had the good fortune to see a '65 all original SR on consignment at a local music shop and the owner let me take it home for a day to compare it side by side to mine - and my Silverface blew it away - reissue Jensen C10Q speakers and all! Stupidly sold it a couple of years ago, and still miss it!
     
  16. tonemandan

    tonemandan Member

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    Blackface Super reverbs are undervalued right now. If you can buy an original at anywhere near the same price as a reissue or boutique copy this should be an easy choice. The original will become worth more and more whereas all the other amps will instantly be worth less. From an investment standpoint this is a no brainer. As far as the tone goes it's true that vintage Fenders vary a lot in tone. Frankly most of the ones I've auditioned sounded like crap because they have not been serviced properly. It's no mystery how to get them to sound right: they need to be recapped and retubed/biased. In some cases the speakers should be replaced and the originals put in a box for possible resale.

    George Alessandro has gone through all my old Fenders. The difference before and after is MAJOR.

    Buy the original, fix it up, and don't look back.

    Good luck!

    Dan
     
  17. CocoTone

    CocoTone Senior Member

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    Man, you guys are so wrong about the RI`s. With a re-bias, and good tubes they are as toneful as the oldies. Put it this way. Buy a used SRRI, and play it til it blows up, then put in a PTP board kit. Presto!! Reliable, and fresh and the looks to boot.

    CT.
     
  18. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Hey Dan,
    The problem is this, I agree the value of the old ones go up, but even after you change all of the old caps, and do whatever is needed to get it perfect, then it sounds just like a SRRI! lol! After all that, THEN it loses value for ANY changes you made trying to get it to sound like a new one.:jo
     
  19. JDW3

    JDW3 Member

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    I remember hearing a blackfaced '74 Super compared to a '66 SR, the '74 blew it away. I really wanted it. Should have too, for $600.00.
     
  20. spikeRI

    spikeRI Supporting Member

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    what more of a endorcement does one need?........I guess

    but, more than likely......SRRI- not bad, good SF or BF- much better (3D) and anything done from Uncle Spot gets a huge +1!!!!!
     

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