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Opinions? Marshall Bluesbreaker RI vs Super Reverb RI?

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,543
Recently had a chance to play both of these. My opportunities to play them if purchased will typically be below break up volumes, but certainly would look forward to break-up volume opportunities!

What are your opinions on one over the other? A new Super Reverb RI can be had for $1,400 or so from what I've seen. Recently tried a great condition used Bluesbreaker that was listed at about $1,500. Both only played at relatively low volumes - enjoyed both, but must admit Bluesbreaker had a warmer more complex tone to my ear - but no reverb - which I love.

Playing classic rock from 60's/70's (ZZ Top, Gary Moore, Cream, Zepp, Alllmans, Free, Bad Co, Gov't Mule, etc.) and modern blues (Michael Burks).
 

amphog

Member
Messages
4,311
You can find player grade BF Supers for 1400, the big amps are out of favor. I have both amps and they are very different vibes. Neither is a good choice for low volume.
 

Comanche5

Member
Messages
1,858
Apples and oranges. These amps are very different from one another. Both are reissues of classic guitar amps. The only thing I will say is that the Fender will give up the goods at a more reasonable volume than the Marshall. Only you can decide which is right for you.
 

Leftyman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,651
I consider both of those amps to be completely different so it really comes down to what you are after. Being that you said you play classic rock and almost every band you listed to uses or used Marshalls, I would get the Bluesbreaker. You can always buy a reverb pedal.
 

illini

Member
Messages
2,381
I own the head version of the Bluesbreaker. Even at before breakup volume with an overdrive pedal I can get that old school classic vibe. Quite surprised by how much I enjoy the amp actually. I received it on a trade and planned on selling it, but have kept it around.
 

sixstring531

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,221
I've owned both and preferred the Bluesbreaker RI. If you're after the 60s/70s rock tones you mentioned, this would get there quicker than the SR RI. I had the earlier thin cab version and replaced the speakers with a blue and silver alnico speaker combo, removed the trem circuit, replaced the cap cans with original values and rebiased it with Goldlion KT66s (which do fit to all you thincab haters that say they won't :) ) It was an amazing amp. I often miss it.
 

Memphistokid

Member
Messages
837
The Marshall reissue Bluesbreaker is a great amp! I ended buying a clone of what many consider its little brother, the 18 watter. Having a vintage super reverb myself, I prefer the Marshall clone. I'm a clean amp guy myself, but the Marshall gritty edge of breakup sound is absolutely wonderful. To me very musical and much more expressive.
 

DeaconBlues

Member
Messages
2,975
I have the JTM 45 RI (head version of the Bluesbreaker). From past experiences with Super Reverbs, I'd say the Bluesbreaker will break up at a lower volume than the Super, and in a more pleasing way. I've always favored Fender amps, but a JTM 45/Bluesbreaker is a very nice sounding amp for lower volume playing...IMHO. The cleans are every bit as interesting as the over driven tones.
 

illini

Member
Messages
2,381
I have the JTM 45 RI (head version of the Bluesbreaker). From past experiences with Super Reverbs, I'd say the Bluesbreaker will break up at a lower volume than the Super, and in a more pleasing way. I've always favored Fender amps, but a JTM 45/Bluesbreaker is a very nice sounding amp for lower volume playing...IMHO. The cleans are every bit as interesting as the over driven tones.
Agree, and it is only 30 watts.
 

jimmyj

Member
Messages
5,555
If you're using humbuckers you'll love the Marshall. If you're using P-90s or Fender guitars, it might be a toss up. Depends on your preference for Marshall or Fender tones. I agree that a reverb pedal would cover your needs.
I still sometimes miss the BBri that I had for several years. With humbucking pickups and just a Boss Blues Driver I had one of the best tones I ever had with that amp. It sounded good enough that I never got around to doing the mods to make it more authentic like sixstring mentioned. I didn't have a reverb pedal with it but sometimes used a little delay for a similar effect and it sounded good with that amp. It was a little more amp size and power-wise than I wanted to haul around but the SR is probably even a little bigger and heavier and certainly no quieter.
 

AndreasG

Member
Messages
2,035
Like others stated, the BB breaks up earlier, and is, or feels, much less loud than a SR. I strongly believe a BB in a 1x12 configuration might be a perfect amp in these days for classic rock/blues stuff. Go for the BB and get a Reverb pedal if you must have Reverb
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,785
Like others stated, the BB breaks up earlier, and is, or feels, much less loud than a SR. I strongly believe a BB in a 1x12 configuration might be a perfect amp in these days for classic rock/blues stuff. Go for the BB and get a Reverb pedal if you must have Reverb
Excellent suggestion, especially going 1x12. I find even lower-sensitivity speakers are too much in 2x12's in small clubs these days.

And a TC Hall of Fame would be a good reverb pedal choice if you want reverb.
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,785
Do what I did I have a 70's lead n bass and a 66 Super.
Actually, I had a 72 50 watt Super Lead and a 66 Super Reverb for both overdrive tones, along with a 70 and 65 Twin Reverb for ultra clean. I had a buffered amp switcher made by then Eric Johnson Equipment Manager, Fred Bonte 'cause you couldn't buy these things off the shelf back then.

Incredible pain in the ass to haul around, setup and tear-down.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,751
You can find player grade BF Supers for 1400, the big amps are out of favor. I have both amps and they are very different vibes. Neither is a good choice for low volume.
This by a mile!
No Jtm45 hater here, these are two different amps.
But the Super can do almost anything the Jtm45 can do plus a million other types of music.
Then there's the fact you can by a genuine vintage Blackface SR for the same amount.
 

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,543
Interesting idea to go with 1x12 but I'm not one qualified to operate on a perfectly good 2x12 cab just to get to the amp!
 

illini

Member
Messages
2,381
This by a mile!
No Jtm45 hater here, these are two different amps.
But the Super can do almost anything the Jtm45 can do plus a million other types of music.
Then there's the fact you can by a genuine vintage Blackface SR for the same amount.

But the JTM 45 is only 30 watts.
 

Jimi1983

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,543
Great insights - I can't find an old BF or SF in good shape around here to save my life so I can make a comparison!
 

Guitar Dave T

Member
Messages
10,785
This by a mile!
No Jtm45 hater here, these are two different amps.
But the Super can do almost anything the Jtm45 can do plus a million other types of music.
Then there's the fact you can by a genuine vintage Blackface SR for the same amount.
Apples and oranges. I've owned 5 blackface Super Reverbs including one for each year of production. My first one, a '64, was purchased in '76 for $200.

I played these amps under steady loud gigging circumstances, using both OD/distortion pedals and the amps' natural cranked overdrive.

I cut my teeth on vintage Super Reverbs, and feel they are one of the best amps ever made (and an incredible match for my '74 335!).

But a JTM 45 is MUCH more touch sensitive when it comes to natural overdrive! It may not have all the ultra-swirly-clean tones, and IMHO, NOTHING sounds better with a Tube Screamer than a Super Reverb, but for natural amp distortion, the JTM 45 KILLS the Super, no contest. Its overdrive is LIGHT YEARS more interactive.

There was a time when I was playing a lot of private parties in large hotel ballrooms (small to mid sized clubs before and after that), and I carried a '66 Super Reverb, a '72 Marshall 50 watt head-and-4x12 cab, and a '65 Twin Reverb (for ultra clean). Having both the old-school-American blues/R&B tones of the Super Reverb and the incredibly interactive overdrive tones of the Marshall was a real perfect-world scenario - and that Marshall was a close, large-room equivalent of its 30-watt, JTM-45 little brother in terms of feel.
 






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