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Fender Pro Reverb – Ultimate Vintage Club-Gig Amp?

by vaughn skow May 31, 2016 2 min read

Blackface Fender Pro Reverb Amp

I’m a Fender guy through and through, my first amp was a Brown Deluxe, and my first workhorse gigging amp was a silver-face Twin Reverb; with the JBL D130F speakers, the thing actually weighed more than I did at age 15!  Since then I have played a plethora of vintage tweed, brown, blackface, and silverface fenders.  For the last decade or so, a ’67 Super Reverb has been my gigging amp of choice.  But several months back a ’67 blackface Pro Reverb followed me home from a used music store … and she’s giving the Super a real run for the money!

The Pro is an amp that has all the right stuff to be a fantastic club amp.  She’s tube rectified, for nice early sponginess, and she does not quite have the huge trannies of say the blackface Bassman or the Super Reverb, so again, she gets juicy a little earlier, but she DOES have enough clean headroom on tap for a loud club date, unlike say a Deluxe Reverb.  She IS about the same size as a Twin Reverb, but with half the power section and WAY smaller transformers, she’s a LOT lighter!  And then there’s the TONE…

Tone-wise, the Pro Reverb has its own beautiful niche.  It’s way bigger and bolder than a Deluxe, or even Vibrolux Reverb, but not quite the all-out force of a Super … and a LONG way from the hard-hitting Twin.  She really sits in that sweet spot of having enough of everything without having too much of anything … which makes her VERY rewarding to play at medium-loud stage volume.  And, the sound is uber juicy Fender tone at its best.  And maybe it’s just the one I have … but of all the Fenders that have rode through my stable, this one has the best reverb of ANY of them!  Oh, and the tremolo sounds super sweet, too.

I just happen to have an old Twin-Reverb road case that the Pro fits in perfectly, so I’m definitely seeing this Pro Reverb under the buss on my upcoming shows!

Blackface Pro Reverb Amp Original Speakers

One SPEAKER related side-note:  My Pro came with fully healthy stock Fender/Oxford speakers, and she sounded sweet … but she just started to loose bottom-end solidity and “fart-out” as she was pushed.  I took my own advice (given on the Q&A forum many times) and installed a pair of ET-65s and man … it went from sweet to sweeeeeeet … and no more farting out.  Probably a good idea to keep those original speakers safely boxed and stored anyway.

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