silver and black

Embracing and overcoming the quirky qualities of an under-appreciated hero of tube tone.

As a guitar player, I consider guitar amps to be tools. The more varied work I do, the more tools I need. There are some amps that excel in one or two things but often disappoint outside their playing field. These amps require experience to dial in good tones and to pair with guitars and other gear.

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These before and after photos show the rough condition that our columnist's '65 Super Reverb arrived in, and the worn-but-dignified look of his restoration. Of course, a shiny red ES-335 with a Bigsby pretties things up, too.

Our columnist shares a love story about his longtime passion for the 1965 heavyweight that’s his No. 1.

Let me tell you the story of my first vintage Fender amp, which I call “No. 1"—the 1965 Super Reverb that I consider the greatest guitar amp I've ever heard and played.

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This EVM-15L focuses sound at longer distances, which is why it's known as an audience killer. But it can also provide killer tones. For the record, this 1964 Vibroverb powers a Jensen C15N speaker.

Your signature Fender sound could be just a tweak or twist away.

More personal, original-sounding guitar tones enable me to play differently or better, making my contributions to songs inspired and relevant. In my May 2020 column, titled “Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate," we talked about classic Fender amp and guitar pairings that have stood the tonal test of time. This time, I'll discuss finding more unique Fender amp sounds that can help you be inspired and stand out from the masses. Over the years, I've made some surprising tone discoveries trading and servicing vintage Fender amps.

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