'69 Pro Reverb Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 12/23/2009 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: '69 Pro Reverb
This amp is a rare and under-rated treasure, the middle child of the popular Fender Twin and deluxe reverbs.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
review (1) 11 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
'69 Pro Reverb Reviewed by: JayLacelle, on december 23, 2009
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Used

Features: This amp is a rare and under-rated treasure, the middle child of the popular Fender Twin and deluxe reverbs. It is essentially a Twin Reverb rated at 40 watts instead of 85 which allows for full creamy tones at a more moderate volume level. Mine was made in 1969, is all-original and hand-wired. My amp has the silver-face cosmetics yet retains the famous black-face circuit. This amp is a combo that drives two 12 inch speakers. It uses 6 preamp tubes, 2 power tubes and 1 rectifier tube. Features are pretty standard for a Vintage feneder amp; two channels with seperate volume, treble, bass and bright Switch controls. Channel 2 includes tube-driven spring reverb and tremolo (incorrectly labeled as vibrato). The only feature I wish it had was a mid control, but thats nothing a basic EQ pedal can't make up for. // 9

Sound: This amp gives you one tone, but it is the best sound your ears will ever hear. Glistening highs, slightly scooped mids and a loose bass sums it up pretty well. The tone is almost identical to that of a Twin Reverb, the only difference I can tell is that the pro has a slightly better bass response. I have 2 electric guitars, an american standard stratocaster (upgraded with Fender custom shop '69 pickups) and an Epiphone Dot. The amp really brings out the character of each guitar. My strat sounds crystal clear thanks to the clarity of the pickups, and even when I use an OD pedal you can hear each note perfectly. The dot sounds a bit darker because of the humbuckers and breaks up much earlier than the strat which is perfect for more aggressive playing styles. Although the pro has less headroom than the Twin you can still keep up with a band and stay fairly clean. I used to own a Twin but it was far too loud for home practice so the transition was a nice change. I play everything from 40s jazz to 60s rock to 80s metal to modern pop music so I need a very versatile rig. I use an Ibanez ts-9 for my lead tones, it gives me a nice punchy bluesy tone. I use a Marshall JH-1 OD for a more rock sound which really makes power chords come alive. This amp takes all pedals well which is great for versatile players like myself. I don't use the tremolo often, but I must say the reverb is the best I have ever heard. It sounds much warmer than modern digital reverbs yet still sounds just as clear and high-resolution. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This amp is no doubt a collectors item that will appreciate in the years to come. It has already made it through 40 years of use and abuse so I have no worries about it breaking down. Even if it eventually does, being a hand-wired amp it makes repairs much easier than printed circuit boards. As long as I check up on the tubes every so often I will feel confident gigging without a backup. The amp recently starting making odd noises when cranking the reverb but I'm sure this is because the AT7s (the preamp tubes that Drive the reverb) haven't been changed in ages. I'm planning on changing them this week. // 10

Overall Impression: If you are searching for the perfect clean tone and aren't playing stadium gigs, this is the amp for you. If it was lost or stolen it would be almost impossible to find another without spending a fortune on ebay. I really hope this amp lives longer than I do because it would take forever to find an amp this good. A mid control and this would be my dream amp. Fender did a good job capturing the sound of their '60s amps with the reissue series but they still don't quite have the tone of the originals. If you are looking for this sound on a budget I would suggest the deluxe or princeton reverb RI. Otherwise go for the real deal because you won't regret it. // 9

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