Holy Grail NAD, and a bonus, the classics come back around for a reason!

andy474x

Knows the Drill
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
5,050
Location
West Michigan
Let's get right to it.

53257765216_6b2cc1f747_k.jpg


1966 black panel Super Reverb in the house!!!

Now, normally I hesitate to post a non-PRS N_D here, but since this is a great classic of vintage guitardom, and PRS doesn't have anything remotely similar in the catalog right now, I figure it's fair game. I've always considered the Super to be the pinnacle of Fender sounds, and clean tones in general, and got the itch for a vintage black panel (or drip edge) Super after picking up a reissue earlier this year. The RI is a great amp, but now that I'm getting into nice amps that I really like, long-term serviceability is a concern, and you just can't go wrong with a hand wired amp in that regard.

I've had a shot at one other vintage Super, but it was beat up, poorly maintained, and WAY overpriced. So, when I saw this '66 pop up at Elderly Instruments (about an hour away), I had to go look. I loaded my almost three year old assistant into the truck Friday after work, and off we went. It was so new to the store they had a hard time tracking it down, while they looked, Liam and I passed the time plugging an SE SS into a few other cool vintage amps in their basement room, which we had all to ourselves! We rolled through some old Fender amps - a '73 Vibrolux, '67 Pro Reverb, '61 and '64 Tremoluxes, but we both agreed, the '66 Super was it. The Vibrolux was pretty noisy, the Tremoluxes sounded great but I just had to have the reverb. The '67 Pro Reverb was actually a very close second; had it not had a pair of Jensen 12's in it, I could have been swayed, but I just wasn't quite digging the sound as much as the CTS 10's in the Super.

The Super has seen some action cosmetically, but was just serviced and it sounds killer. As far as I can tell, the transformers and speakers are original to the amp. I think the speakers may have been reconed, because the cones and surrounds look too good for an amp that age. The dust caps have separated from the cone slightly in a few areas, but it doesn't seem to affect the sound. There's the obvious tear in the grill cloth, and some bubbling on the tolex at the bottom, but, hey... it's a 57 year old amp.

I hooked it up to my reactive load (thank goodness for the Ironman II being able to change impedances), and gave it a good side by side with the reissue. Taking the speakers in the RI vs the vintage out of the equation, they sound almost identical, after adjusting for some slight differences in pot taper. Hats off to Fender for making a great sounding reissue. I think the thing that really gives the vintage amp the edge is the CTS speakers. The Jensen P10R's in the RI were never quite where I wanted them to be in the highs, playing with the treble control and bright switch got some good clean tones but it fell apart with crunch. I will say, the CTS 10's seem to be even lower sensitivity than the Jensens, they've got to be in the low 90's, because it's not that loud. I mean, yeah, it's loud, but not unusable type loud. Putting NOS RCA glass throughout the vibrato channel this morning was the cherry on top.

I wasn't the only one to walk away with some gear, either.
53257865836_ad04535132_k.jpg


We grabbed later dinner after. The cute college student serving us thought someone at our table was pretty handsome too... spoiler alert, it wasn't me!
53257993206_45b183f348_k.jpg


And, as luck would have it, Founders recently brought back one of my all time favorite beers from back in the day, their Vanilla Porter. I remember having it in the taproom in college, probably 2008-ish, but haven't seen it since. Just like the Super Reverb, it's every bit as good as I expected!
 
Thanks all!

That’s a great Friday night! Congrats on a killer amp. Gonna hang on to the RI?
That's a good question... I should probably sell it. Another part of me thinks I could take the chassis out, put a new OT in (something other than 2 ohms) and put it in a head shell, which would be cool, but when we get right down to it my Custom 50 is already sitting here!
Nothing else like it! I have a 64 SR, and it just sounds like a vintage Fender ought to sound. Congrats on getting it!
Excellent!!! Happy to be part of the club!!!
 
Let's get right to it.

53257765216_6b2cc1f747_k.jpg


1966 black panel Super Reverb in the house!!!

Now, normally I hesitate to post a non-PRS N_D here, but since this is a great classic of vintage guitardom, and PRS doesn't have anything remotely similar in the catalog right now, I figure it's fair game. I've always considered the Super to be the pinnacle of Fender sounds, and clean tones in general, and got the itch for a vintage black panel (or drip edge) Super after picking up a reissue earlier this year. The RI is a great amp, but now that I'm getting into nice amps that I really like, long-term serviceability is a concern, and you just can't go wrong with a hand wired amp in that regard.

I've had a shot at one other vintage Super, but it was beat up, poorly maintained, and WAY overpriced. So, when I saw this '66 pop up at Elderly Instruments (about an hour away), I had to go look. I loaded my almost three year old assistant into the truck Friday after work, and off we went. It was so new to the store they had a hard time tracking it down, while they looked, Liam and I passed the time plugging an SE SS into a few other cool vintage amps in their basement room, which we had all to ourselves! We rolled through some old Fender amps - a '73 Vibrolux, '67 Pro Reverb, '61 and '64 Tremoluxes, but we both agreed, the '66 Super was it. The Vibrolux was pretty noisy, the Tremoluxes sounded great but I just had to have the reverb. The '67 Pro Reverb was actually a very close second; had it not had a pair of Jensen 12's in it, I could have been swayed, but I just wasn't quite digging the sound as much as the CTS 10's in the Super.

The Super has seen some action cosmetically, but was just serviced and it sounds killer. As far as I can tell, the transformers and speakers are original to the amp. I think the speakers may have been reconed, because the cones and surrounds look too good for an amp that age. The dust caps have separated from the cone slightly in a few areas, but it doesn't seem to affect the sound. There's the obvious tear in the grill cloth, and some bubbling on the tolex at the bottom, but, hey... it's a 57 year old amp.

I hooked it up to my reactive load (thank goodness for the Ironman II being able to change impedances), and gave it a good side by side with the reissue. Taking the speakers in the RI vs the vintage out of the equation, they sound almost identical, after adjusting for some slight differences in pot taper. Hats off to Fender for making a great sounding reissue. I think the thing that really gives the vintage amp the edge is the CTS speakers. The Jensen P10R's in the RI were never quite where I wanted them to be in the highs, playing with the treble control and bright switch got some good clean tones but it fell apart with crunch. I will say, the CTS 10's seem to be even lower sensitivity than the Jensens, they've got to be in the low 90's, because it's not that loud. I mean, yeah, it's loud, but not unusable type loud. Putting NOS RCA glass throughout the vibrato channel this morning was the cherry on top.

I wasn't the only one to walk away with some gear, either.
53257865836_ad04535132_k.jpg


We grabbed later dinner after. The cute college student serving us thought someone at our table was pretty handsome too... spoiler alert, it wasn't me!
53257993206_45b183f348_k.jpg


And, as luck would have it, Founders recently brought back one of my all time favorite beers from back in the day, their Vanilla Porter. I remember having it in the taproom in college, probably 2008-ish, but haven't seen it since. Just like the Super Reverb, it's every bit as good as I expected!
Your little guy looks ready for the "end of concert" pose! Congrats on him and the vintage S.R.
 
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