The Fender Super Reverb amp is probably the most used of all the fender amps for the blues. It’s prized for it’s sweet tone and versatile sound. Good vintage ones are hard to find and when a player gets a hold of one they seldom part with it.
Now the top blues stars may be able to afford fancier amps, like Dumbles and boutique amps, but for a working, local blues guitarist, the Super Reverb offers probably the best bang-for-the-buck for the blues.
Many Super Reverb Models
Of course the Super Reverb has been around for a long time. The first “Super” was made by Fender in 1955 and was actually only 20 watts and had no reverb. But the model that I’m talking about was the blackface Super Reverb that was 40 watts and included reverb built in. That originally came out in 1963 when the entire Fender line moved to a black tolex design with the classic Fender logo on the grill cloth. This was the famous “blackface” era at Fender before the company was sold to CBS.
That amp was made for almost 20 years and was discontinued from the line in 1982. Of course by the late 60’s, when CBS bought out Fender, the quality was said to go down and the “silverface” models took over. Some of those were OK but the most highly prized Supers are the pre-CBS models form 1963-67 with 1965 being the high-water mark.
Fender recently came out with a reissue of the 1965 model. You can find it at any good musical instrument supplier. Here’s the amp available at Sam Ash. Click here to learn more
Here’s the specs on the 65 Super Reverb Reissue. It’s pretty much the same as all the popular SR models.
- 40-watts RMS
- 4×10″ Jensen P-10R Alnico speakers
- Two channels, Reverb and Vibrato
- Two-button footswitch
1965 Was A Very Good Year
Why that year was picked by Fender is not certain. But these reissues are excellent amplifiers. I had a Deluxe Reverb reissue myself which I wish I never got rid of. Boy do I wish I still had a lot of my old amps. Oh well!
It’s Loud – But Sweet
The Super Reverb is a very loud amp. For that reason you need to have the appropriate gig venue to justify the volume. Sure you can play it at 2 or 3 but it doesn’t really become the “Super Reverb” until you get up past 4 with the volume. That “sweet spot” takes some time to find for each version of the amp, but I’ve heard blues players rave about the tone they get when they do find it.
Many owners try a range of modifications to try and tame the beast within, and here’s some standard mods you can do for any Fender amp. Give them a try.
Here’s a great site that gets into the details of modifying your Fender amps or any amp really. They offer great information on Vintage Fender Amps.
Players that have played, or are playing Super Reverbs, include…
- Derek Trucks
- Tommy Castro
- BB King
- Mike Bloomfied
- Muddy Waters
- Derek Trucks
- Anson Funderburgh
- Coco Montoya
- Stevie Ray Vaughan (on occasion – usually used Vibroverbs)
- Robben Ford
- Jimmie Vaughan
- Ronnie Earl
- Tommy Castro
- Daniel Castro
- Tab Benoit
Not to mention countless lesser well-known local blues guitarists.
Check out these videos of the Super Reverb in action.