Need advice on Fender guitar amps (yeah, I know...)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthew West, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. I need some advice. My last band broke up a few months ago, and I decided I'm finally going to start a band that I play guitar in. For the past six years I've had a Marshall Valvestate 2x12, which was given to me as a xmas present. I've figured if I want to play guitar seriously, I should get a serious amp. So I plan on selling the Marshall and getting a Fender. I need some advice on what might be good for me.

    The music I've been writing is in the vein of Low, Galaxie 500, Ida, etc. Very subdued, pretty indie-pop . So I want something that has a great clean sound, with a great reverb. I want a combo that can stay clean at normal stage volume without PA support. If I want overdrive, I'll use a pedal. I'm looking for something used, so please make recommendations based on 70's models. I'm also looking to stay below $600 if possible.

    The only Fender amps I've been able to play are the new Super Reverb reissue and Twin Reverb reissue. I'm not sure how the sound of these amps compare to the older amps. I like the sound of the Super Reverb a lot better than the Twin Reverb, but I'm not sure how loud it will get before distorting, since I couldn't crank it up in the store. A little break-up is not a big deal, but I don't want overdrive. I know the Twin Reverb will work for what I want to do, but I like the reverb sound on the Super Reverb better.

    I've been doing some research, and I've considered looking into a Pro Reverb, Super Six, Tremolux, or Vibrolux. And I'm not adverse to a head/cab arrangement either. I would just use my Mesa bass combo (1x15 200 watt all tube), but it has no reverb, and weighs over 100 pounds.

    Just for reference, I will be playing a Gibson SG and a Schecter Tempest semi-hollow through it. I may also get a Thinline Telecaster in the future.

    Yeah, I know I'm committing a cardinal sin here, but someone here has to know something about old Fender amps. Besides, folks here are nicer and smarter than the guys in those guitar forums anyway. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
  2. Slater

    Slater Bye Millen! Hello?

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    It sounds like you're starting to figure out what you like. Since you intend on going used, just keep your eyes open, and when you see a good deal for one of the amps on the top of your list, jump on it.

    Also, have you nosed around on the FDP (Fender Discussion Page)? click here to go there. They have a Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) forum.

    I personally like the Fender Bassman 4x10 (no I'm not just saying that because this is TalkBass) for clean guitar (I've played guitar for 20 years), but the Bassman doesn't have reverb:( .

    (A guitar player in one of the bands that I play in uses a Fender Bassman 4x10 and just recently bought the Fender outboard reverb to use with it. It sounds great, but that isn't a very cost effective way to go, and it's also one more piece of gear to tote around).

    Good luck finding an amp...
  3. If you want clean headroom, go for somthing blackface (deluxe reverb, twin reverb ect). They generaly break up later on, unlike Tweed models, which were designed to break up earlier. As for your $600 price range, theres really only one amp in your range that has the wattage and tone. Hot Rod Devillie 2x12 or 4x10. Both are 40w all tube, and good sound, and pretty good headroom. If you want somthing like a super chorus, TRRI, DRRI, or the "evil" Twin, your pushing your way to almost a grand.

    Pop this thread up over at the Fender forum, tons of fender fanatics that could give you a prognosis of your problem in seconds. give it a try ( )
  4. rwagne2


    Aug 2, 2001
    you should check out the roland jc-120. I know its not a vintage fender, and its also solid state, but don't let that sway you too much.... It pretty much nails the low/galaxie500 clean, shimmering sound. you could get one used pretty cheap. about $400 on ebay. They have a really nice chorus, and a nice reverb too. I guess if you want to stay tube, you can go for an old ampeg, like a vt-40. good reverb on those.

    Just remember that Fender isn't the only answer - tho a blackface twin reverb is a very nice amp.
  5. I always thought the twins were a bit harsh sounding. I owned a blackface Vibrolux Reverb for many years and absolutely loved the sound. My recommendations if you love that classic Fender "Surf Guitar" sound is either the Vibro or the Deluxe Reverb. You would have to mic either of them into the PA to keep em loud and clean, but for the pure classic Fender tone they can't be beat.
  6. Steven Green

    Steven Green

    Jul 25, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Matt, it appears we have very similar tastes in music. Many, many bands you have named in these pages are my fauvorites. Anyway, I would recommend an early 70s twin reverb. Our guitarists use them and they are really sparkley if you like or nice and mellow. Damn loud too! If you get an early one like I said, it's easy to convert it to Blackface specs if you like. A cool mod for distortion is to solder a resister (forget exact value) between 2 RCA plugs. Then plug it into the reverb pedal IN and OUT. It makes the Reverb pot a gain and you get overdrive! Karate used it on their first few albums. A Japanese Boss Super Overdrive sounds great on these as well. Good luck!
  7. Thanks for the suggestions, and keep em coming. I posted the same message on the Fender Forum before I posted this, and I have not received any replies yet. In any event, those guys seem more interested in getting the perfect SRV sound than anything else, so I think any post that does not discuss early break-up gets ignored. ;) So thanks for your help.

    Slater - I like the Bassman, but like you said, no reverb, and the outboard model is $500 or so. Yikes!

    Muttluk - I'm actually looking for something silverface. I figure I should be able to find an early 70's model for under $600 or so. I've played the amps you listed, and they sound OK, but don't really nail that classic Fender sound.

    Rwagne - The JC120 is a good amp. My friend has one, but it's not quite what I want. I will look into the Ampeg though. Thanks.

    Mudbass - Most of the places around here do no offer PA support except for vocals. Otherwise, I would jump all over a Deluxe Reverb. The Vibro Verb is on my list as well.

    BasisM200 - That's probably what I'll end up with eventually. Like I said, I like the sound of the Super Reverb better, but I'm too afraid of getting overdrive at normal stage volume. And cheers - I've never heard Karate mentioned on this board before. Well, maybe I did once or twice, but you know...

    Thanks again.