Vintage or Reissue? Need Advice

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Abram4235, Aug 14, 2019 at 4:40 PM.

  1. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

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    Amp is a blackface Super Reverb

    Reissues are around a grand used. Vintage is around 1500-2000

    I'm leaning towards the reissue because mainly I dont know what questions to ask about a vintage amp and I dont want someone else's headache. And it's a decent price difference.

    But...

    Is the vintage tone worth the price of admission or is the reissue just as good/ better?

    Also, what should I look for in vintage amps if I decide to go that route? I won't be able to play it first.

    3 prong cord, original transformer + speakers, I know that. What else?

    Edit to add: Mainly home use with gigs here and there. I'm also considering a power station.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019 at 5:24 PM
  2. LikeAMotherF

    LikeAMotherF Supporting Member

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    Gigging? Studio? Home? Church?

    It may depend on your needs.
     
  3. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

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    Ah good call. Forgot to include that. Mainly home use with gigs here and there. I'm also considering a power station.
     
  4. gulliver

    gulliver Supporting Member

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    Check out the Redplate site for the Blackloop, Blackline, Blackverb. A good starting point for what's available today. You can get to the sweet spot at all volumes and cover a few different model amps, no need for attenuator or pedals.
     
  5. Red House

    Red House Silver Supporting Member

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    For you, it would be less of a headache just going with the RI.

    There's a lot to look for in a vintage amp, and by yourself you don't have the chops.

    Buy the reissue, and afterwards, ramp-up and learn about vintage Fenders, and then go vintage-shopping later with confidence. There will still be plenty of vintage amps available then.
     
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  6. Mr. Crow

    Mr. Crow Member

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    Have you looked at Guitar Center 's used section? There are several 1970's Super Reverbs for between $700 and $900. You could pick one of those up, get it gone over and get it running perfectly, and come out not too far over $1000.
     
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  7. harvey j

    harvey j Member

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    Go with the reissue, the vintage may sound different because all of the components are out of tolerance, may need replacement.
     
  8. woof*

    woof* Member

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    This.
    The only important thing to find out are the transformers original. Buy a beater vintage as cheap as you can and plan on 300$ for service.
    I’ve own several and my main one is a 66 that’s been serviced twice for me in 25-30 years. Total workhorse, never really let me down.
    Nothing sounds as good as a vintage Super
     
  9. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

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    My understanding is that silver face SRs are undervalued at the moment but dont they sound different than the blackface models?
     
  10. woof*

    woof* Member

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    I had a 68/69 silverface that was great, maybe a tiny bit brighter but still awesome.
    Play thru a couple of them. The blackface are in general a little warmer/darker, but this is subjective from amp to amp.
     
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  11. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

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    Cool man, thanks for the info!
     
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  12. 68dripedge

    68dripedge Member

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    This is what I look for. I’ve owned a dozen vintage Super Reverb’s at least.

    If a seller wants top dollar, then I want to see everything as original as possible, I can usually let speakers slide if they’ve been replaced. I don’t like any of those stock speakers in vintage Supers and they’re old anyways. I usually replace the speakers with new higher wattage speakers.

    Other than that, I want to see tranny codes and a gut shot of the amp. Lots of people rip the prized blue molded caps out of the circuit. Not a deal breaker for a player amp, but I’m not paying top dollar for a Orange Drop (common) recap.

    Ask sellers questions. Ask if the reverb tank is original, were any pots replaced, circuit been modded? When were the filter caps replaced? That should be done roughly every 15 years.

    If you want a BF cheaper, look for “Black line” SR’s, they were the earliest SF’s (late ‘67-early ‘68) - the aluminum face plate has black lines on it. MOST times these are stock factory BF circuit but a tech or someone here on TGP could tell you for sure if you post a gut shot of a Super you wanted to buy.

    Another hint that it’s BF is to look at the rectifier tube. If it’s a 5AR4, I would be pretty confident to say it’s a BF, because the SF circuit Fender switched over to a 5U4GB recto tube.

    Around May ‘68 they switched to the less desirable “SF circuit”, AC568. You can’t go by the tube chart, because they used up the “AB763” labels till they were gone, even when the circuit was AC568, so don’t let some bozo tell you his later 68-69 has a factory BF circuit. People are misleading.

    Most of these should be able to be modded back to BF AB763, but I have read of instances where the mod wasn’t successful. I think AC568 was changed again in 1970 maybe? Don’t remember, but I don’t fool with any Supers past 68/69 anyways. I gotta have that drip edge! Lol.

    I’m sorry if I’m forgetting anything at the moment, but there are just so many good deals out there right now on old Supers, that if you be a little patient, you can score a hell of a deal. A reissue will be long dead and buried in a landfill while your vintage SR will most likely still be kicking ass and taking names (with regular maintenance). As long as you feel confident in the purchase, a good tech will make sure everything is running tip top for you. Good luck brother!
     
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  13. charley

    charley Supporting Member

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    Super Reverb Reissues won’t hold their value.

    The vintage ones are hand wired and easy enough for any skilled tech to work on. They’ll last forever. Vintage is cooler, and not THAT much more money. And they sound better.

    The main criteria that I find to be necessary, in my opinion, if I am considering purchase of a vintage amp are all original transformers.

    I also would highly recommend getting one that has been grounded and converted to a 3 prong plug. If it doesn’t have this, I have read it can be potentially hazardous.

    I would take it to an amp tech and have him/her go through it fully, and replace components as needed. Same with tubes. I’m sure there is a “Fender Amp Guy” in your area.

    Some people will only buy a vintage amp with original speakers. Not me. I want the amp itself to be original, with only practical or safety upgrades. I think there are many choices today of absolutely top notch speakers for any amp.

    After years of boutique and mainstream amps, I bought 2 vintages Fenders this year:

    1966 Pro Reverb with Jensen Concert speakers.
    1965 Deluxe Non Reverb in a new Mather cab loaded with a Weber 12F150.

    I gig them regularly. They sound great and are reliable.
     
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  14. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

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    Thanks so much for this info! There's great stuff here!
     
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  15. 68dripedge

    68dripedge Member

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    Awesome! Glad I could help. I don’t currently own one, but I’ve owned SR’s more than any other amp and I know another will be in my future.
    They are such beautiful amps. You can’t go wrong with a healthy, vintage ‘68-‘69.
     
  16. 68dripedge

    68dripedge Member

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    That’s what I forgot to mention. For safety purposes you want to make sure the power cord has been updated to a modern grounded 3 prong and the “death cap” has been removed.

    If the amp has the vintage 2 prong cord, it needs to be updated IMMEDIATELY. I rarely come across old Fender amps that still have the original cord, but it happens. A tech can do this cheap. Pretty much every Fender I’ve bought, somebody had this done already.

    And those filter caps underneath the doghouse. I mentioned they are generally replaced every 15 years. If they are original, they need to be replaced PRONTO. I’ve seen this fairly often! A good tech will make sure your caps are good, will check for out of spec resistors, retension and clean your tube sockets if necessary, etc.

    Whenever I buy a vintage Fender amp, I basically factor in an extra $150-$200 on top of the purchase price to take it to a good tech, regardless of what the seller tells me has been done to it.

    Example. I bought a 68 SR a few years ago from a guy who was an amp tech and did work on the actual amp. I knew most of the important questions to ask him and everything seemed to check out. I buy it, take it to MY tech and he said the tube sockets needed cleaning, there were a few cold solder joints he had to fix and a few out of spec resistors that needed replacement.

    So I was glad I put a little more money into it and knew that the amp was 100% solid. If you look around, I guarantee there is a good “Fender guy” in your neck of the woods. Someone that knows these amps inside and out and is affordable.
     
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  17. easyed

    easyed Supporting Member

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    VINTAGE! Too bad we're at opposite ends of the country.

    I'm selling my '69 SR. I just had it recapped and serviced so I could sell an amp that I knew was working right and wouldn't need service for quite a while. Mine has the original (coveted) CTS alnico speakers and old stock tubes in the preamp section.

    When I got the work breakdown from the tech, I was amazed that he only charged 1.5 hours labor. I wrote and asked him how he could accomplish that so quickly.

    He wrote back, "I have repaired HUNDREDS of super reverbs. Number of vintage FENDER amps in general number in the THOUSANDS. SO EASY. I love it!"

    The vintage Fender amps are much easier to work on than the reissues, so easier to keep in top running condition.

    Even if you have to figure adding $250 - $300 to the purchase price for caps and a general service for a vintage amp. You will be better off in the long run.
     
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  18. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    Really?
     
  19. bryan83

    bryan83 Member

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    Definitely vintage. Easily serviceable, will last forever, mojo, history, etc.
     
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  20. Red House

    Red House Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree with this 100%.

    However, the OP doesn't know what to look for and can easily overpay on an overpriced vintage SR which has been modified.

    He can buy a used RI for less than $1000, and can resell it for the same money if need be.

    On the other hand, if he buys an overpriced, modded SR, he will never be able to recover his money and lose big time.
     
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