Derek Trucks’ 1965 Fender Super Reverb

Derek’s main and favorite amp was a 1965 Fender Super Reverb with Pile Driver speakers and some other mods (more on this below). He used this particular amp from around the mid-90s, up until around 2006, when it was stolen, alongside another Super Reverb, and a ton of other gear.

However, Derek’s love for the Super Reverb remained, and he continues using them as his main live amps.

It’s kind of the best amp ever made. The Super Reverb is just hard to beat, it really is incredible. It’s the tens (speakers) and it’s one of the few amps that are at two ohms, there’s almost no resistance between what you play and what you feel and hear.

I use the volume knob on my guitar, it’s kind of no pedals going into it, and when I amp the volume on the guitar, I want that compression. But the cleanness of a Super when you’re on about three of four on your guitar, but about seven-ish eight-ish on the amp is a pretty sweet sound./

Derek Trucks on the Best Amp Ever | Wong Notes Podcast

The amp was modified to some extent by Derek’s guitar tech, and the details are available in the quote below, originally posted on a website that’s now unfortunately offline.

His main amp is a ’65 Blackface Super Reverb, loaded with Pyle Driver MW-1040 speakers. (These are not “car audio” speakers as you may have read on the Net.) The speakers were made in 1980, same year Derek was born. The circuitry has a few minor tweaks – there is a ground lift switch on the tremelo circuit, which gives a bit of extra output on the Vibrato channel. Derek also runs the Normal channel with no tube installed, for another (very) slight gain increase on the Vibrato channel. The 5AR4 rectifier feeds
a 50uF input capacitor, rather than the stock 35uF value. The EXT speaker jack has been converted to a line out, using a 20 to 1 resistive voltage divider. Tube compliment is as follows, looking at the amp from the REAR and numbering the sockets from RIGHT to LEFT:

1) No tube installed (Normal channel preamp)
2) NOS Beijing-production Silver Special 12AX7 (Vibrato channel preamp)
3) NOS PHilips JAN 12AT7WC (reverb tank driver)
4) Reflektor-production Tung-Sol 12AX7 (reverb recovery/mixer)
5) Any 12AX7 that still lights up (tremelo oscillator)
6) NOS Mullard CV-4024/12At7WA (phase inverter)
7) NOS JAN Philips 7581A (power tube)
8) NOS JAN Philips 7581A (power tube)
9) NOS JAN Philips 5AR4/GZ-34 (rectifier)

Post by Lord Valve, Derek’s guitar tech (page now offline, only accessible through way back machine)


The 1965 Fender Super Reverb was stolen from Derek in Atlanta on March 11, 2006. He was at that time playing with the Derek Trucks Band, and they quickly sent out emails to people in the area, looking for replacement amps on which they could continue playing since they were in a middle of a tour.

Luckily, a lot of people came to the rescue, but Derek was obviously devastated that he lost the amp that he used for more than a decade.

We were lucky, the response was pretty amazing. Two people showed up at the Beacon with 1964 Super Reverbs (amps) as gifts. But it doesn’t sound the same, you know. I’ve had that amp for like 15 years, and I played it nonstop. It feels different. But it’s coming around. – Derek Trucks Interview

The band also published details regarding the gear stolen, and bellow is the part regarding this particular amp. So, if you happen to come across a 65 Fender Super Reverb with a serial number A06896, you know who to call.

’65 Fender blackface Super Reverb
with Pile Driver speakers; has
external bias and plate voltage
testpoints on rear next to line
cord. EXT speaker jack has been
converted to a line output.
Serial number: A06896

As already noted, from that point on Derek purchased a bunch of Super Reverbs, and those were the amps that he still continues to use to this day.

I have three or four blackface Supers, and lately I’ve been playing the one that works. Overseas touring has done a number on them. We load a chassis into one of a few different 4×10 cabinets. Sometime we use two Webers up top and two Tone Tubbys on the bottom. Sometimes we use Pyle Drivers. We use whatever combination sounds best in the room that night. It’s been changing so much because I’ve been blowing an amp a night for whatever reason.

Ball & Chain, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi’s Blues Union


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