Is a Fender re-issue amp really a re-issue??

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by GVDobler, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    An excellent point!

    Here's a thread on the topic.

    One guy posted "my 1967 Bassman cost $430 back then... Or about $3150 in todays money." Posted in 2017.

    Edit - my bad, these catalogs cost money to download:

    And here are some Fender catalogs, although whether or not people actually paid MSRP is a factor.
    Henry likes this.
  2. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    So who would be willing to pay $3,593 for a replica reissue of a 63 bassman?
    Robbie, Waxhead and Scooter127 like this.
  3. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    Not me. I'm happy with my Mustang GT's
    unknown fan likes this.
  4. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    I wish I had paid the $400 or so for that, Gibson Byrdland back in the day.... :>)
    larryb likes this.
  5. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    I had a fairly accurate sounding to the few actual '65s I've played Vibrato channel on a PCB '65 DRRI, but that was pretty extensively modded by a pro who had the amp pretty well figured out. What would be missing to me was mostly in the bloom & dynamics. I wouldn't presume to make an objective declaration that that's only because it was a PCB based amp, but a heavy majority of the amps that have spectacularly delivered in those departments so far for me have been point to point wired (they've also tended to have what I take to be very nice transformers).

    This is basically my default position on it too. If I'm going to spend ~2K$+ for a point to point Deluxe Reverb I'd rather give it to a smaller builder that I trust than Fender. Most of my experience w/ "boutique" amps has easily matched or exceeded my experience w/ recent Fenders of the same price point. Then again I'm not usually hung up on vintage correctness, I just look for the amps that sound & feel great to me.

    I still like some of the cheaper PCB Fender reissues, I just don't know that I'm willing to pay them as much for a hand wired RI as I am to pay a builder/boutique/small, non-sweatshop operation for one.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    pmac11, Stefan, The Dunster and 3 others like this.
  6. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    $2k would be a great deal compared to buying a 63 bassman when they came out. I also avoid buying fender and would prefer to support a builder.

    Must admit very limited handwriting experience but I've been very, very happy with my lowly PCB Mesa and Tone King.
  7. Falcon LPB

    Falcon LPB Gretschie

    Aug 15, 2019
    Sydney, Australia
    Hey folks, I think some of this chat neglects the fact that in the main we are talking valve amplifiers. The transistor ones - well they are easily reproduced and instantly disposable.
    I have a 1960s Vox and a 'reissue' handwired AC15 example. They have very similar valves and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. It is really the valves that are the key component in my view. I get it that the capacitors are an important element but, as was mentioned earlier, you can still get the old paper and gel style capacitors if you really can tell the difference. The handwired amps are much more accessible for us oldies who like to do their own mods. It seems funny that a number of manufacturers are producing examples of pedals which are supposed to reproduce the 'valve sound' and can produce sawtooth or square waves at the flick of a button - why bother, get the real thing or a reissue.
    TV the Wired Turtle and ZackyDog like this.
  8. Robbie

    Robbie Country Gent

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    IMHO good Sound is good Sound be it reissue, original or something else.
  9. The Dunster

    The Dunster Electromatic

    Sep 24, 2019
    I don't think Fender are capable of producing a competitively priced reissue that could rival what boutique builders have available.
    They certainly can't compete when it comes to guitars - unless we count MIJ Gretsch guitars as Fenders.
  10. afire

    afire Country Gent

    The thing to keep in mind when considering the prices is that this stuff was state of the art gear made in relatively small quantities targeted at professionals or legitimately aspiring professionals. I suspect that, unlike today, the market of people buying top-of-the-line equipment just to have it or at least way out of line with their actual needs was close to non-existent. As such, economies of scale are also likely a factor.
    Henry and Stefan like this.
  11. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    If you're a purist and can dish out $2500, the maybe this "reissue" is for you?

    KelvinS1965 likes this.
  12. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    I doubt there is that much economy of scale for hand made amps, but I really dont know.

    But the question remains, is there a market for a replica 63 bassman for over $3000? That's what many boutique, hand wired amps go for.
    Waxhead likes this.
  13. Fasteddie42

    Fasteddie42 Electromatic

    Sep 18, 2018
    tip of the mitt
    it's common knowledge that PCB's are flat lifeless facsimiles that have 60% less tonez :rolleyes:
  14. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    I would beg to differ in that the Output transformer is key more so than tubes. You put a standard replacement "bassman" OT in a blonde 6G6-B and it loses ALL its charm. Goes from being a gentleman brawler to a klanging brute. The Gomez blonde amps had the wrong OT's, they were generic blackface Hammonds. Once you replaced them with the Mercury Magnetics Toneclone 6g6-B OT, the amp suddenly responded and dynamically behaved like my original 63' blonde. Still had to make some component swaps that were wrong as well including large bottle 6L6STR, down to tungsol 5881 (only put out max 25w ea) but once in range, it was golden. All to say spend your mula whether heyboer, schumacher or MM on a proper reproduction OT. The bean counters in reissues always scrimp on the $$ items so they can give the end user a price point that looks like everyone elses offerings.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  15. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    You are talking to a guy who often chooses convenience. However, we all know that slowly cooked selectively seasoned beef tastes better than McDonalds. Problem is, McDonalds is so darn FAST and tastes okay too.

    I like to play music. Gimme ALL the ways.
    loudnlousy, Henry and calebaaron666 like this.
  16. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    hehehe yeah give me all the ways I can stomach ... and MacDonald ain't one of em. I value my health, taste buds and the environment too much :)
    pmac11 and TSims1 like this.
  17. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Gretschie

    Jan 11, 2019
    That's the amp in my avatar: I always wanted a Blackface Fender amp after playing through a Twin back in the early 1980s. In the UK it's hard to find good used vintage amps for a reasonable price (to allow for the necessary service/re-capping, etc to ensure long working life), so I went for the new hand-wired option.

    It sounds fantastic; everything I hoped it would be and more (since I only got to try the '65 and '68 models in a store and this '64 was ordered online). I don't care if it's not 100% a '64 re-issue for whatever reason, but just that it is made in such a way that I will be able to have it repaired in future to keep it working unlike some more modern modeling type amps that I have had to scrap because they can't be repaired (and maybe the same for some PCB amps if the boards are multilayered).
    Waxhead and ZackyDog like this.
  18. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Congrats Kelvin :)
    If any re-issue sounds just as good as the vintage model and can be repaired ok then why should anyone care when it was made. I don't get the vintage pre-occupation at all.

    Plus the re-issues give the maker the opportunity to improve on the vintage.
    They should be able to make a lighter, more versatile version with added features and without the faults of the original.

    Some people say they can't make a re-issue that sounds as great as the vintage cos the same parts aren't available blah blah. Well I don't believe it.

    Mesa Boogie did it with the Mark V.
    The Mark V includes all the tones from Mark 1 thru to Mark IV.
    Not only did they nail it but most agree the Mark V improved the Mark 1 and Mark II tones.
    Plus it added on more tones and features plus resolved all the faults of the vintage Mark 1.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
    pmac11 and KelvinS1965 like this.
  19. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Here's a good example from Rick Beato of a modern Morgan AC20 amp cloning a vintage AC30 and beating it. I know it's a youtube video but the 2 amps sound very similar but the Morgan is much lighter and has modern features. Like Rhett in the video I'd much prefer the Morgan myself :)

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  20. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    It sounds good but I would still choose my original 65 AC 30 over it. My Vox has more grunt when pushed and a thicker chime when playing clean. I personally don't think any of the Vox reissues over the past 20 years sound anything like the original amps. I've played them, recorded them and owned one of them and they are not the same. Last thing there are great examples of classic 60s AC 30 amps out there but there are also a lot of dead sounding worn out vintage amps as well. I'd put my amp up against that Morgan any day of the week...:).
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
    Waxhead likes this.
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