They both use Reverend pickups, but the body construction makes a difference. The USA Retro Pro body has a wider frequency range, is more resonant, and has more upper harmonics — it produces a unique tone with more lows and highs, a more transparent midrange, and more ‘chimey’ trebles. The wood construction of the Stage King bodies produce a more traditional tone with more midrange focus and a rounder, warmer treble response.
The overall thickness front to back, width at the nut and body, low-friction satin finish, and 25.5″ scale length are the same. The USA neck has a true C shape. The Stage King neck is just slightly beefier and rounder at the shoulders yielding a C/D hybrid shape, but not real flat on the back like a ‘shred metal’ neck. If you like the USA neck, you should have no problem with the Stage King neck.
Yes – Click here for more info.
No. In fact, the body and neck together total about 90% wood. The body outer rim is plastic (injection molded high impact polymer), the top and back are phenolic laminate made from wood fibers and resin, and the 6 inch wide center block is white mahogany.
Weight and tone are the same. However, brushed aluminum finishes act as a large hum shield, reducing single-coil pickup hum about 10% compared to standard finishes.
Guitars equipped with a fulcrum tremolo have slightly less midrange and sustain when the tremolo is set floating, however we feel the difference is negligible. With tremolo set against the body we feel the tone is no different.
Guitars equipped with the Bigsby tremolo sound the same as a standard fixed bridge. Note: there is no steel sustain block inside a Bigsby equipped USA Retro Pro body because the Bigsby tailpiece weighs the same as the steel sustain block, therefore it is not needed.
Our modified Ultimate Bigsby set-up stays in tune as well as any non-locking fulcrum tremolo we know of. The Bigsby produces a more subtle waver, whereas the fulcrum is better for faster, more radical wavering and radical dive-bombing. Compared to a floating fulcrum, the Bigsby holds tuning better when a string breaks, when drop-tuning, or when performing Nashville-style steel bends (bending one string while holding a note on another string).
No. Unlike many other guitars, the strings on our guitars cross over the bridge at a steep angle, producing downward pressure on the roller saddles. This substantial pressure prevents any freeplay in the rollors, creating great sustain and attack.
On the USA Retro Pro series only, we offer SIT Powerwounds in 9-42, 10-46, or 11-50. If you have another set you prefer, send two packs (in case a string breaks) and we’ll install them. Stage King series guitars come with the string gauge specified in the product description only.
Yes. We’ve strung up many guitars with 12 gauge and even higher with no problem at all.
Yes, we can build USA Retro Pro guitars this way if we still have leftover material. Call for availability.
No, we only offer what is currently listed on the website. We do not install any customer supplied components.
No, we do not perform upgrades, model conversions, or tuner/tremolo/neck conversions for several reasons: A) It is too time consuming for our crew. B) We believe instruments should retain their original features to maintain long term value.
No, we currently do not sell any separate proprietary components. We do offer small repair parts. Call for availability.
Yes, we offer full repair service for Reverend instruments only. Call for details.
No, the small alignment hole on Sperzels are in a different position. The original small screw hole would show, but could be doweled.What is an Eastpointe neck? What tuning keys has Reverend used? We used a few different neck profiles and tuning keys throughout our history. For descriptions see the bottom of the In-Stock page.
The Drivetrain II has smoother overdrive, more transparent midrange, more available clean boost, and treble and bass controls. This allows you to produce traditional Tube Screamer sounds or dial in your own tones with no bass loss or permanent mid hump. The Drivetrain II uses the JRC4558 IC chip as found in the original vintage TS 808 Tube Screamer.
No, we use what we call neutral bypass. This buffered bypass does not alter tone when the pedal is bypassed and does not pop loud like common true bypass switches. And because it is buffered it prevents signal and treble loss when using long cables or multiple pedals placed after the Drivetrain II. We feel this is superior to true bypass switching.
No, the circuit changes are too complicated.
Boss PSA-120, Ibanez AC-109, Morley, Dunlop ECB03, DOD PS200R, Danelectro DA-1, SKB pedalboard, Voodoo Labs PedalPower, and any other Regulated 9VDC adapter with a “barrel” plug and center negative polarity.
No, we do not use alnico because it would raise the cost of the speaker without offering any tonal advantages.
No, these are new designs by Joe Naylor. Reverend speakers have more clean chime, are more touch sensitive, are less midrangey, and have a tighter low end.
That’s confidential info, but we assure you these are original designs by Joe Naylor, and there are no other speakers on the market like them.
Yes, they are perfect upgrades for Deluxes, Vibroluxes, Twins, Pros, Supers and similar amps. They will keep the vintage tone intact, but with more punch and dynamics.
Yes, they work great, especially if you want to keep the smooth overdrive, but with a less boxy midrange and more transparent clean tone.
Neither is better, they are designed for different purposes. The Goblin is for lower volume studio, practice or small gig use. It can get loud, but does not have a lot of clean volume because it is designed to overdrive early, providing tube saturation at a moderate volume. If you need a louder clean tone (for example: as loud or louder than a Fender Deluxe Reverb) go with the Kingsnake.
The Kingsnake is based on the Hellhound, but with significant improvements in construction and tone. The Kingsnake improvements are: – Jensen Neo 100 speaker, instead of the All-Tone 1250. The Neo 100 is higher power, louder and lighter weight The result is more clean headroom, tighter low end and smoother overdrive at medium to high volume. – Reduced weight cabinet with larger interior. The new cabinet is 5/8″ taller, uses a battenless (no wood strips) speaker baffle mount, and no removable front speaker grill. The cabinet is not only lighter, but has a larger interior space which produces a deeper and fuller tone. – Modified pre-amp gain structure. The Kingsnake has less pre-amp gain in the low frequencies. This means the low notes distort less. This contributes to more clean headroom, tighter low end and smoother overdrive at medium to high volume. – 20-60 watt switch, instead of 40-60. The 20 watt setting produces a more noticeable volume drop, allowing power amp overdrive at lower volume. – 3-position Schizo switch, instead of 2-position. The new LO-FI position produces tones not available from the Hellhound. – Wetter reverb circuit. The new circuit produces about twice as much reverb as the Hellhound. – Low hum DC filaments on 12AX7 tubes, instead of AC. This allows the use of various brands of 12AX7, with little concern for hum potential. – Adjustable bias (internal, non-user seviceable), instead of fixed bias. – Standby switch. – Different cosmetics.
No, it is much too complicated.
The Goblin now comes stock with the Jensen Neo speaker. The Neo is louder, has smoother treble, more low end and more clean headroom than the previously used Alltone 1025 speaker. We do not offer an upgrade service, but the Neo will drop right in and is available from usspeaker.com. If you decide to install the Neo, please note: the removable wood back panel must be modified or replaced with a panel that is 1″ less in height (new dimensions: 4-7/8″ height x 12″ long), otherwise the tone will have too much midrange. Do you sell the 12″ Jensen Neo speaker and will it fit in a Hellhound? We do not sell them separately. The Neo will not fit in the Hellhound unless the baffle speaker hole diameter is enlarged by about 1mm all the way around. Also note: the Kingsnake circuit is designed to sound best with the Neo speaker. The Hellhound circuit is different and will not sound the same as the Kingsnake.
No, these are new amp designs by Dennis Kager and Joe Naylor. Reverend amps have about 20% less pre-amp gain, have a more controllable midrange, are capable of producing a more transparent Fender-like clean tone, and the overdrive tone is a bit looser and more open sounding. Also, the Reverend tone controls, power switch and Schizo switch allow a much wider range of tones.
Dennis is one of the top amplifier designer/consultants in the musical equipment industry. He worked at Ampeg from ’64 to ’68, involved in many of their “golden era” projects, working alongside such Ampeg luminaries as Everett Hull, Jess Oliver and Ken Fischer. Kager went on to start Sundown Amplifiers in the ’80’s, which featured his patented variable output wattage “RMS”switch. More recently, Dennis has consulted for Ampeg, Fender, Yamaha, Mesa Boogie, Soldano and many others. Kager currently owns Central Jersey Music Services, one of the country’s largest service centers. For more on Dennis Kager, check out the book Ampeg: The Story Behind the Sound (Hal Leonard).
No, it’s single channel.
It changes the upper midrange level in the second stage of the pre-amp.
The Hellhound switch lifts the cathode from ground, limiting the conductivity of the output tubes. It is based on a variable wattage control patented by Dennis Kager (see above). The switch on the current line of amps limits the drive signal to the output stage. This is a new circuit design also by Kager.
No, it’s class AB, loosely based on the original Fender tweed Bassman circuit. However, it does have some of the compressed chimey treble qualities made famous by the vintage class A Vox amplifiers.
We use a solid state rectifier which is more consistent and reliable than a tube rectifier. Solid state rectifiers are used in most current production tube amps, as well as many vintage American and British designs. The signal path is still all-tube.
Cathode follower circuit, post pre-amp tone controls, pre-phase inverter master volume, class AB.
Hellhound: 450v. Kingsnake: 495v. Goblin: 415v.
Some models do not have one. But the tubes and filter capacitors (over spec’d to 800 volts of filtering) can easily handle the power voltage generated when the amp is turned on. Simply turn down the amp or guitar volume when not playing.
Current models have an internal adjustable bias, see Owner’s Manual page for details. Hellhound amps do not have an adjustable bias. It’s not necessary with the Hellhound as long as you use a matched set of 6L6 power tubes that are rated in the middle range (for example: 5, 6, 7 on a scale of 1 to 10). Just install and play.
Facing the back of the amp, from right to left, straight down the line of tubes: 1st pre-amp stage 12AX7, 2nd pre-amp stage 12AX7, phase inverter 12AX7 (sometimes called the driver), two 6L6 or 6V6 power tubes. The reverb driver 12AX7 is the single tube located by itself towards the front of the amp.
Different brand 12AX7 or 12AT7 tubes can be installed in the 1st, 2nd or reverb stages to alter tone and gain (see below). Use ONLY 12AX7 type tubes in the phase inverter stage.
How can I get more clean headroom? The first stage EH12AX7 (the tube farthest to the right if facing the back of the amp) can be replace with a lower gain tube. We recommend the Sovtek 12AX7WA, JJ 12AX7 (ECC83), or Ruby Tubes Chinese Select 12AT7. In the Hellhound we recommend the Ruby Tubes Chinese Select 12AT7 for the lowest hum level. Using one of our extension cabinets with the combo will also increase clean headroom.
No, unless the circuit is modified by a professional technician. We do not advise this because the amps are designed around specific power tubes, and modification may void the warranty.
No, because 6L6 tubes draw a higher filament current which might cause damage to the power transformer.
No, because the voltages are not compatible.
Some hum is normal when the VOL or REV is over 50%. This will be noticeable in a small quiet room. However, excessive hum can be caused by electronic devices located near the amp or on the same circuit such as fridges, fluorescent lights, computers, light dimmers, aquarium pumps, etc. Hum can vary with different outlets, rooms or buildings. In the Hellhound, excessive hum can also be caused by a noisy first stage 12AX7 (the tube farthest to the right if facing the back of the amp), which can be replaced or swapped with one of the other 12AX7 tubes in the amp.
The reverb tank should NOT be mounted tight to the cabinet. A small amount of freeplay is required to prevent vibration feedback.
No, the tank is too long.
We use a tube-driven Accutronics 3-spring reverb tank that sounds very good. It is designed to offer greater clarity and less interference with the played note, therefore it is not quite as springy sounding as vintage Fender reverb.
All Hellhound Combos with serial number 00220 and above were built with the latest tubes and handle.
The extension cabinet is more efficient than the combo cabinet because there is no chassis mounted inside. Therefore the extension cabinet has a slightly wider frequency range (more bass and treble) and is slightly louder. A separate head also isolates the tubes and chassis from direct speaker vibration resulting in less noise, buzzes, rattles and the tubes last longer.
We recommend the Radio Shack Y-adapter (part # 2740892).
Accutronics model #8AB2A1B, as used in all Goblins, Kingsnakes, and later Hellhounds. This is a common tank that can be ordered from most amp parts suppliers.Please note: when replacing an early Hellhound reverb tank (these have black sides) with the Accutronics tank, the ground braid for ONE of the leads should be lifted at the PCB to minimize hum potential from ground loop. This should be performed by an experienced tech.
Custom Amp Covers. They can still make covers for all the Reverend amp models
We no longer offer amp repair service. Please contact your local repair tech, or contact Dennis Kager at Central Jersey Music Service, 732-572-1911 (NJ). Schematics are for sale at the Accessories page. A limited supply of parts are for sale at the In-Stock page
Fender, Ampeg, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, Yamaha, Soldano, Vox and Tube Screamer are registered trademarks of their respective companies.