Fender Reverb Unit Effect (1964)

Fender  Reverb Unit Effect (1964)
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Item # 10926
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Fender Reverb Unit Effect (1964), made in Fullerton, California, serial # R-07020, Black Tolex finish.

This is a great example of the classic Fender Reverb unit, the indispensable link in the surf guitar signal chain. Fender's stand-alone effects unit was introduced in 1961, intended to supplement the company's non-reverb amplifiers. The circuit is somewhat different than the on-board reverb associated with later "black panel" amps (like the Twin Reverb) in that the effect is tighter (less pre-delay) and can be driven harder, producing interesting overdriven textures.

The unit features a simple layout with three controls; mix, dwell and tone. The "mix" controls the amount of the spring effect mixed with the dry signal, while the "dwell" controls the amount of signal sent to the tank. Higher dwell settings yield more effect strength, compression and, in a way, duration. Cranked, the control drives the tank and circuit into saturation and reverb overdrive can be heard, even under a clean guitar tone. The "tone" control controls the effect brightness, as expected. The unit also has a "mute" lever in the rear of the cabinet for locking down the tank, handy when transporting it.

This example is the later version with black Tolex and silver grille cloth bearing serial number 7020. Fender was at this point making around 2500 units per year, a number that rivaled even their most in demand amplifiers at the time. The tube chart is ink-stamped NH, dating assembly of the unit to August of 1964. As Beat-ly style vocal music replaced instrumental surf sounds in many teenager's minds the reverb became less of an must-have item but the Fender Reverbs still stand as the best of its type ever made and a superb sounding true analog antidote to our digitally-saturated sonic age.
Overall length is 19 in. (48.3 cm.), 10 in. (25.4 cm.) width, and 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm.) deep.

This is a generally nice example overall, not too heavily worn but showing a bit of touch-up. The black Tolex covering is in fairly good shape, with minimal signs of wear, though it shows some signs of the edges lifting from the cabinet slightly. The faceplate is in good condition with most of the stenciled lettering intact, showing some signs of what looks like small black paint touch-ups. The grille cloth is taut with no signs of fraying or tearing. The handle appears original, however the mounting hardware appears to have been sprayed over with metal paint, presumably to cover up corrosion or stripped plating underneath.

All internal components appear original, including the all-important tank. The pot codes date to mid-1964. The Schumacher-made power transformer bears the code 606-443, dating it to the 43rd week of 1964. The Accutronics-made spring reverb tank is original as well. The unit has received routine maintenance, including replacement of all electrolytic capacitors, a 3-prong grounded power cord, cleaning of all jack, sockets and pots. This is a fantastic sounding unit that takes the reverb effect significantly beyond what's found on-board most amplifiers, and in truly spectacular shape to boot! Overall Very Good + Condition.