Fender has just announced that its new Silverface amps – the ’68 Custom Pro Reverb and ’68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb – are now making their way to dealers worldwide. With several feature updates for 2021, the new amps first saw the light of day earlier in the year during Winter NAMM. Could these modern day recreations, save you a lot of money?
Fender Silverface ’68 Custom Series gets an update
First up is the 68 Custom Pro Reverb, based on the original model from 1968. Changes include a slightly smaller cabinet size and reduced weight. The 40-Watt amp is a single-channel affair (the original ’68s had two channels), with a single 12″ speaker instead of the pair in the original combo. Fender’s amp deisgners have also added a Middle tone control. With three 12AX7s and a pair of 12AT7s in the preamp, plus two 6L6s in the power amp section, this combo should have enough power for most situations.
Fender ‘68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb
The ‘68 Custom Vibro Champ Reverb is also a single-channel amp with controls for Volume, Treble and Bass, Speed and Intensity knobs for the tremolo, and a Reverb knob. This one also has that vintage Silverface look, but uses a modern DSP reverb instead of the spring reverbs used in the ’60s. This little amp is powered by a pair of 12AX7 preamp tubes and a a single 6V6 in the power section for 5 Watts of power, which is perfect for recording studios and at home.
Modern construction, Better price?
Both amp models certainly look the part, and the sound in the demo videos is absolutely up to par. But with modern production standards, these amps should be a lot easier to care for and far less labour intensive to manufacture. That’s going mean a lower price, of course, than an original vintage amp. Old amps, while desirable, need a lot of care and can be temperamental, requiring regular maintenance and preiodic overhauls, which all adds to the cost. So good-sounding reissues of classic amps makes a lot sense. These two new Fender amps could be an enticing option for players looking for those tones, just with less hassle and cost.
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