Other Amps

Ampeg guitar amps insight needed


Anyone play their vintage Gretsch's through Ampeg guitar amps like the reverbrocket, Maybe a later one with 7591 output tubes.

Any insight on what the cleans on these amps sound like. Anything comparable? How are they compared to Fenders?


I have an early R12R with 6v6. Wonderful trem n verb but a lil woofy with a hollow body. I think the later ones may be cleaner . The one I have has octal tubes and is cathode bias, my fd says it sounds a lil like a 5c3.


Just to add - my amp tech wanted to modify the phase inverter for more head room... but the break up is great with a plank


The ones with the tweed style cabinet,top mounted knobs and a single tone control are pretty dirty, both the 6V6 and the 7591 versions.

The ones with the chrome faceplate and treble/bass controls (Reverberocket II, Geminii) are a lot cleaner, and have their own thing going on.


I have a 1966 Gemini 2. Great clean and echo and tremolo as well. I would say cleaner then Fenders. Ampeg’s founder is alleged to have been appalled that people wanted distorted sounds out of amps. Coincidentally, I played my Tennessean through the Ampeg last night and am pleased with the sound.

The only Fenders I own are a Champion 100 and a Super Champ SD modified with a 12 inch Celestion speaker inside a mahogany box. Not exactly a fair comparison to the Gemini 2. I do recall playing out of a Fender Super Reverb and recalling that my Monkees with Supertrons and the amp’s owner with Gretsches, but I don’t recall his models, sounding fantastic.

A guy who used to be a sound man told me that recording studios in NYC used Ampeg in the 1950s and early 60s fwiw.


True, Fender came out of late 40s West coast country, Ampeg was late 40s NYC area jazz. I am originally from NJ and in my young life Ampeg was prevalent, even dominant and ruled in the studio scene. Of course founder Everett Hull hated rock and roll and some part of the instructions were about to keep volume under half or unpleasant distorted sounds might happen.... I don't know the tweaky specs of 7591s but they were used in tube hi fi amps. But the reverb in Reverbrocket was nearly a match for Fender , and I say the trem was even better.


I own a few and I fell in love with the cleans and reverb that these amps produce. I have a Gemini 1 and 2, I bought the gemini 1 first for a song and swapped the speaker out and it was good to go. It's not like my Fender combo amps, I find the ampegs to warmer and bit more soft tone wise. They are plenty loud for any type of playing or jamming. They don't produce a harsh sound and I really like them. The trem is a lot different then a fender, I find, but very useful and pleasing to my ear. I have an older reverb rocket that has some weird tubes in it and it's brighter and has more bite then the gemini's. With dyna's that thing rocks, but I crank it to 10, band members don't care for the volume but it sounds really good. Lastly I have GU-12, which is a hidden gem in the vintage ampeg world and vintage amp world to boot. It has the 7591 power tubes and the baxendal(I think that's how you spell it) Eq. Great amp and I would take it to gigs but they have a goofy way of mounting the chassis in the cabinet and it slides out pretty easily. Something I have to fix, but a perfect amp for any situation. I've had it at the roundups and people seem to like the amp and it always performs well. That amp is like a deluxe reverb for me, if that makes sense. Not the same tone but still cuts through a mix well and plenty of volume. I think there are a few fans of the GU-12 on this site.


Gemini II, Super Echo, and the SB-12 fliptop are my 3 favorites.

All heavy, all clean...SB-12 has no effects just a straight up Amp.


A have a 1966 Gemini VI (16-inch speaker) great clean, best tremolo and reverb I have heard.


Serial vintage Ampeg endorser here. I'm on my second Reverberocket (the first one just got LOST when I moved years ago), and this one is a lifer. Possibly the LAST amp I'd ever let go. It LOVES Gretschs, particularly Dynasonics. Reverb is as good as ("better than" is an aesthetic judgement) Fender's best. Slightly different reverb voice, don't ask me in what way, lush and complex and "interesting."

The Reverberocket has a character all its own; if there's any deficiency, it's that it's short on low end. No problem live, of course, where low end is often in the way. And in the studio, there's always EQ. I normally play it clean, but before I got this amp a rocker used it on an entire album cranked full-on - where, I would agree, there's something a little DeluxeReverby about its breakup. But with a different, maybe throatier voice.

My other Ampeg is a Portaflex 2-12 (depicted above), the guitar version, with the head nesting inside the amp cab when not in use. It's a hoss - the largest amp I'm keeping in a round of downsizing that's claimed my Matchless Lightning Reverb, Gretsch Variety, and Fender Concert - but its voice is worth its size. At any volume, it's just HUUUGE. Plenty of low end from the fully closed cabinet (making up for the lack in the Reverberocket), gorgeous cleans. Same incredible reverb. AND a lucite panel with the Ampeg logo carved out of it glows with backlighting when the amp is on. My favorite nightlight. I don't know how it breaks up, because you can't turn it up that loud.

Great amps. 8000% wonderful. For clean, if you already have blackface Fender tone (or, like most of us, blackface Fender over and over), then you need an Ampeg. Gorgeous, rich tone. If I had them both hooked up and A-B'ed them, I could come up with tone words. I don't at the moment, and don't have time for the exercise, so I can't dredge up from memory how they differ. More mids in the Ampeg, maybe. But its own voice for sure - and very different from Vox. (Or from Standell or Magnatone, if we're going back to great clean amp varieties.)

Never walk away from a fair price on a good 60s Ampeg.


The 2-12 is an enigma. Great sounding monster of an amp.

I had a line on a nice one while in NYC. It was in Jersey City.

Just a bit much for the apartment, plus it would have been tricky bringing back over on the PATH!


Yessir, monster. I had it at the Nashville Roundup this past September, though it wasn't getting much use. After a long and LOUD jam with a whole band, a couple guys wanted to hear it. Plugged in a guitar with Dynasonics, set it at about 3, and it filled the room and sounded as full and fat as the whole band. Crazy.


I recently got a ’64 Ampeg reverberocket with the 7591 tubes. I had it serviced by Michiel and got it back two weeks ago.
I absolutely love this amp although I haven’t played it live yet or really loud for that matter. But it sounds great at home.
I find it hard to compare it to my 1960 Tweed Deluxe because the speakers are completely different. My Deluxe has a modern Celestion Blue and the Ampeg has an old Utah speaker that isn’t very efficient and sounds very warm. And my 65 BF Deluxe is a completely different amp obviously.

But if I would compare than I would say that the Ampeg has more low mids and less strong highs than the Tweed Deluxe has. They both have lots of mids but the Deluxe’s are in a higher register.
Overdriven they come a bit closer but they still are very different amps.
I use them with my vintage Gretsches and I think they are a perfect match. And it also sounds amazing with my 60 Tele. Now that is a match made in heaven!
I will be comparing them soon by switching the speakers around. Perhaps I’ll find some time to do that tomorrow.


Insight on Ampegs? If you find one, buy it.


I have to agree, the Ampeg has it's own thing going and does it well. I have a 1966 Gemini II and along with my 1962 Fender Pro these would be the last amps I would part with. A speaker change to a JBL D130F really woke up the Gemini but I think the problem was really a poorly reconed Jensen Concert speaker. thanks john


Cool, Thanks for all the information.

I'm looking at an Ampeg super echo twin ET-2 but It's not close enough to actually try out. It's been re tolexed in standard fender black(no diamond pattern) and has Marsland speakers in it However it is supposed to be in fine working condition

What do you folks think would be a good price for one of these? Later model SS rectified, 7591 tubes.


I have three: a 1960 Mercury M-12, a 1962 Reverberocket R12R, and a 1967 Reverberocket 2. I love the M-12 for quiet jazz gigs; very dark and warm. I'm on the fence with the R12R. Its nice, similar to the M12 but with reverb. The reverb colors the sound quite a bit. They are both low output amps, maybe on par with a Princeton or Blues Jr. The Reverberocket 2 is on par with a Deluxe Reverb in terms of output. These old Ampegs are foils to Fenders with lots of mids whereas the Fenders are scooped out. In my opinion, these are among the best cathode biased amps of their era, equally as good or better than the now expensive Gibsons and some of the Fender tweeds.

I used the Reverberock 2 with a full band and it cut through without any problem; a clean amp until you turn the volume up past 6. Then it starts to growl and at the top of the dial it sings with a great overdriven sound and response. I wouldn't advise this with the original speaker as they are low wattage. The reverb and trem (vibrato) are fantastic and give the amp a very retro sound and vibe; more grind and grunge than twang. The R12R will also break up, but not as much, even though mine has the first circuit with 6V6 power tubes. The M-12 stays clean all the way up.


Cool, Thanks for all the information.

I'm looking at an Ampeg super echo twin ET-2 but It's not close enough to actually try out. It's been re tolexed in standard fender black(no diamond pattern) and has Marsland speakers in it However it is supposed to be in fine working condition

What do you folks think would be a good price for one of these? Later model SS rectified, 7591 tubes.

– Toxophilite

BTW Bernie, that is going to be a heavy one. Depending on how much volume you need, I would be inclined to wait for a Reverberocket 2. The prices are still reasonable and they are a totally practical amp with all the Ampeg coolness. With all these older Ampegs, count on replacing the electrolitic caps and probably a few of the smaller coupling caps. Tubes are all easily available now; a concern several years back, and the speakers that Ampeg used are generally low wattage, like the CTS alnico that was in my Reverberocket 2.

My Deluxe Reverb and the BF Tremolux are still my go to amps for full band gigs, but these Ampegs are very different and just really darn cool. This is going to sound silly and very immature I know, but when I take these to a gig, I kinda feel like I'm giving the finger to all the amp modelling and IC based cr.....ahhh amps, out there and the corporate things that are pushing them; feels kinda good. Not that I'm a tube purist; I do use solid state reverb and pedals, which work well with these old Ampegs; another reason to own them.


Story goes that Peter Buck used the Gemini at Mitch Easter’s studio for Chronic Town as his Fender was in the shop at the time. If you play a Dyna equipped model, you could expect to get some damn fine jangle out of an Ampeg if that’s your thing.


I used a Reverberocket II for years in a bar band. Great sound with an ES-335 - full bodied clean, and raunchy when cranked. A few years ago, I got a Gemini I, loaded in a 15" speaker and it's got everything the RR had with more headroom.

Echo Twins and B-12XTs are also amazing, with great headroom, but heavy. If portability is more important than headroom, I'd suggest either a Reverberocket II or a Gemini I.


The Ampeg specs in the brochure have the weight listed at 48 lbs which doesn't seem to crazy. Certainly lighter than my super which ways 75 lbs.! I'd be wanting to use it stereo though. Somebody else might've gobbled it up though Most people have more disposable income than me!!


Oops I just pulled the proverbial trigger on this amp. Probably my 4th or 5th lifetime production amplifier purchase. I still have my first and some amps I built myself. Luckily I have some spare 6SL7 and 7591s. Happily the seller is also a tech so that might bode well.

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