The last of the Blackface era amps to be introduced, 1965 was the first year of production for the Pro Reverb. Blackface Fender Pro Reverbs have skyrocketed in popularity over the years, though it took a while to get there. Initially considered “too weak” for the 1960s-70s market, today they’re revered for their signature sound and breakup at much more manageable volumes than a Twin Reverb or the piggyback amps.
Delivering 40 watts through two 12″ speakers, the Pro Reverb is essentially a dialled-back Twin — smaller transformers, half the power tubes and a tube rectifier produce a saggier sound that drives much earlier. This fantastic stage amp has seen a renaissance over the last couple decades and has become a very popular stage amp for bands playing mid-sized clubs.
This is a vintage 1965 Blackface Pro Reverb in great condition and perfect working order. It comes complete with its original pair of Jensen C12N speakers, stock transformers and a bunch of vintage USA tubes. The faceplate reads “Fender Electric Instruments” which was the wording seen only briefly on the very first Pro Reverbs. It pertained to the pre CBS era of Fender production, and was subsequently changed to “Fender Musical Instruments”.
The Pro Reverb might have arrived after CBS had taken the reins, but its AA165 circuit was lifted directly from resolutely pre-CBS blackface amps like the Vibrolux Reverb and Deluxe Reverb.
The perfect middle ground between the Vibrolux and the Twin, the Pro Reverb has the ideal amount of clean headroom before cascading into smooth, lightly compressed tube overdrive at around volume 5. This amp has the sparkle, clarity, and extremely pedal friendly clean tone that has made blackface Fender a mainstay on stages & in studios worldwide, and the reverb and tremolo are extremely lush.
The AA165 circuit is very original, with stock output & power transformers supplied by Shumacher, who were Fender’s primary supplier in that period. They have matching date codes from 13th week 1965, and the reverb transformer & choke are original as well. The tube chart is also present and stamped “OI” = Sept 1965. This amp is 117 volts, so a stepdown transformer will be required in Australia.
The amp retains the majority of the original blue moulded Ajax capacitors which are a hallmark of the blackface tone, with new bypass and bias caps to keep everything operating within original factory spec. The main filter caps are new Ruby caps to ensure years of future trouble free use.
The original cloth wiring is intact with mostly original solder joints and a complete set of stock CTS pots with visible date codes from 15th week 1965. The tubes consist of a matched pair of USA made 6L6GCs and an assortment of newer and vintage pre-amp tubes.
The original smooth black tolex and grill cloth are intact and show modest wear from honest use over the past half century. The bottom back panel is original, and the newer top back panel came from Mojotone.
The original hardware is intact as well, including original tilt back legs, chassis straps, corners, handle, face plate, and full compliment of witch hat knobs. The original two button footswitch is included.
Fender’s Blackface amps made from late 1963 through ’67 have earned enduring “classic amp” status. Simultaneously collectible, they’re desired for their rich vintage tones and renowned as everyday workhorses that cover several sonic bases better than many bells-and-whistles amps manufactured today.
This classic Blackface Fender Pro Reverb amp has been recently serviced and is ready to rock for another decade or two.