Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by aleiberman, Feb 16, 2015.
Just received in the mail a 69 Fender Pro Reverb. Anyone have any suggestions for tubes?
I'll send more pictures and information shortly.
I put a 5U4GB rectifier tube in my '66 Pro Reverb. It reduces the output to about 35 watts so there's less headroom and it's not as insanely loud when it hits the sweet spot. If you're looking for clean headroom you wouldn't do this.
I'd also suggest replacing the speakers. I didn't do this and ended up blowing the original Utahs. I'd rather have the originals off to the side in good working condition and put some high quality modern repros in it that I can use and abuse. I'm putting inefficient 96db speakers in mine to further reduce the volume and headroom and to get more crunch.
I don't think they need much more than new speakers and a tube swap or two.
Nice amp ! I'll give you the same old speech nobody listens to here anyway. Has the amp been serviced with new electrolytics? If not or you don't know find out and get it done before spending time and money on tubes and speakers to fix problems that may be caused by the amp being 45 years old.
I've done old amps where the guy says "it needs new tubes" and it left with all the old tubes working fine after a service. If I was smart I'd stick new tubes in and keep the good old USA tubes for myself.
That said KCA has a nice selection of tubes. If you can swing it go with NOS tubes otherwise they are making some pretty good tubes today as well.
Nice amp ! Have fun !
glad it made it safe and sound! i think this one has WGS speakers as replacements in it already, and it was blackfaced so it probably had a recent cap job. thus, only the tubes need a look-see.
I'm a little concerned with this amp. Can someone help me understand if the transformer was replaced? If so, how does that impact the tone and overall value of the amp? Kind of bummed out right now. Should I be overly concerned. The amp sounds good. The only issue so far is the reverb is kind of noisy.
Pre tubes: if not noisy leave them... they last forever.
Ditto for others actually.
If it aint wrong don't fix it. (filters excepted!)
The pro Utahs are very good if that's what it has. I had one in a DR years ago.
The Pro I picked up last year (looked like yours) Had the Oxfords and they got ratty after a couple gigs. I took them out (didn't look like they'd ever been out and were filled with dust at the bottom) Turned out the perimeter of the cones had cracked and came apart!
I had Orange County recone them (very accurate to spec... those guys) Those Oxfords sounded wonderful when done... hard to believe how big the bottom end was! Years ago I jumped on the "Oxfart" bandwagon as expounded on the internet... but frankly I think it's BS nowdays.
PT looks like it has plastic washers under the screws? Seems like something an original wouldn't have. (I'm too lazy t go look at one now)
If you bought it right and it sounds good no biggy.
The black power tranny should have a date code on it like the small reverb tranny shows. The photos of the power tranny are too dark to see any numbers. Pull the chassis and flip it over. Drain the stored power in the caps. Then take lots of gut shots and better tranny shots. Then we can tell you what it ate for breakfast 20 years go.
If you are not aware of the details that the stored power can cause (death) ignore what I said, plug in the amp and just enjoy it.
Just an update, I had it fully serviced and it sounds great. New tubes, and it did need new caps, so I'm glad I took everyone's advice. Regarding the transformers, the tech said it was fine and just leave it alone. Again, I am really pleased with this amp. I have v1 tubes pulled and it sounds a little sweeter. The volume is def usable, so it don't feel it still works fine for the home. But i'm curious what i can continue to do to decrease the volume even more and get to a sweet spot a bit faster. I'm really just looking for edge of breakup.
The Pro Reverb is one of Fender's finest all-around combo amps. I've tweaked mine a bit to get the kind of tones that I need from it. I pulled V1 out and replaced the speakers with some seasoned Celestion G12-65s for a softer response and smoother OD when pushed. For lower headroom you could try a pair of 25w Greenbacks.
You could try lower efficiency speakers (like 96 db), though I think most speakers from the 60's tended to be inefficient except for Celestion Blues and maybe heavy magnet Greenbacks so you might have inefficient ones already in there.
You could swap rectifier tubes like I mentioned above, which will lower the horsepower by about 5 watts down to 35 watts. (I leave the V1 in)
I also use this attenuator: https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/M-PPLITE
Now I run the amp (a '66 Pro Reverb) with the volume on "8" and get my full range of tones, from absolute clean to absolute nasty, just using my guitar volume.
Lower speaker efficiency will help a little. Older vintage speakers had low efficiency. You could look into Weber Vintage style speakers. However in my opinion, the difference will not be huge.
If you want earlier break up, you can do a few things. Less efficient speakers, hotter pick ups in the guitar might help too. Set the Bias on the hotter-ish side. Make sure you are running 12AX7 tubes in the preamp circuit. I am not a big fan of attenuators but if you do get one don't get a 50W version. You need 2X the amount of the amp power. Minimum 80W attenuator.
Those are great amps! I used one for about twenty five years. A 1970. No need to mess with it much. If you want quieter, hey, that's a loud amp. Other than an attenuator, best way to tamp it down a bit is use inefficient speakers. The stock ones were such. Mine had Oxfords, which I later re coned. Had some others in there at times too. You said yours has WGS ones. Great speakers but probably more efficient. From what you say you want, look for some with low to mid 90s ratings of a type that works for you. I love alnico speakers but like ceramic better in these amps, but that's just me. 5u4gb was stock rectifier tube in these, unless yours was made in the first month or so of 1969. But you can use a 5ar4. Mine had one in it when I got it and for about 5 years after. Raises the plate voltage and gives it a quicker attack, less sag. Enjoy. Great amp. Miss mine sometimes but I'm good gigging with a 20-30 watt 1x12 combo these days. Got my SF Deluxe Reverb and a Crate V30 (don't laugh, it's a killer amp). Again, enjoy, you got a great one there.