In the family of high-end amps, the market offers a significant choice to the guitarist who is looking for an amp that inspires him musically and that is a design model with a real sound signature. And sometimes, among this family we find some rare pearls, which we will call "exceptional amps". There are very few on the market. We recognize them by the fact that they have marked, or are currently marking, the history of "guitar amplification" with outstanding specifications and sound reproduction. The Two-Rock Classic Reverb has been one of them for many, many years, establishing itself as one of the most beautiful clean channels of all time. Since its conception based on John Mayer's signature model, the Classic Reverb has earned an unshakable reputation, which for many (those who were lucky enough to lay their hands and ears on it) THE ultimate pedal platform.
In early 2017, the brand was bought by its founding fathers (Bill Krinard, Mac Skinner...) after a chaotic episode at Premier Builder Guild. The Classic Reverb has been completely revised from top to bottom and has benefited from a thorough facelift (modified circuit, new transformers, 50/100 switch, Gain Structure...). The Signature 2017 version is showing for the first time at the NAMM Show 2017, where, equipped with its new chassis, it makes a remarkable appearance. At the time of writing (March 2017) many artists such as Matt Schofield, Eric Gales and others have immediately adopted this new version and are currently touring with it.
The finish of the Classic Reverb 2017 is a model of its kind. Here, no compromise has been made, and it is especially on the inside that it shows (in addition to having a very beautiful exterior dress, it is beautiful on the inside). All components, without exception, have extremely low tolerance thresholds. They are of Military rank. Each component is selected, each head fully wired by hand, tested by ear and played by the entire team before shipment. The Classic Reverb is the flagship of the Californian brand and it shows. If you ever have the chance to turn even a button of it, you will immediately understand what it is all about. Simply exceptional.
The head tackles a quality black tolex, a +5mm thick aluminum front panel and takes up the classic aesthetics of the brand. On the front, there are people: Fet Gain (controls the amount of gain of the FET stage) Treble, Middle, Bass, Gain, Master, Send / Return (Reverb) and finally the Contour button, a great classic of the mark, which allows you to adjust the dynamics at the bottom of the spectrum and add detail at the top. There are also many mini switches that allow you to activate the FET, to boost or not each range of the EQ, to bypass the EQ by activating a volume and medium boost, to modify the gain structure (this affects dynamics and the overall spectrum of the head) etc ...
The Classic Reverb is a real sound sculpting tool. It benefits from almost limitless combinations and nuances, if you take the trouble to spend a little time on it to find ITS sound. We have rarely (ever?) seen so much flexibility and versatility on a clean channel.
The back side is also very complete. There are outputs 4, 8, 16 ohms, enough to connect the very complete footswitch and a switch to switch the head to 50W mode (which changes the overall rendering very significantly).
As mentioned above, the 2017 version has been extensively revised and it has drawn a large part of its qualities from the Signature Matt Schofield, a model which had been released in 50 copies (of which 6 had passed to us) ago a few years. The brand is therefore making an interesting turn, abandoning the "super fat" side of the John Mayer, in favor of the articulation and extreme dynamics of the Matt Schofield. Please note, this does not of course mean that the Classic Reverb no longer has a low end, quite the contrary, it retains this characteristic typical of the brand, but benefits from a slightly higher pitched voicing which will favor those who want more versatility and an amp that "perse" through the mix, where the Meyer was more in the low-mid.
Connected with a stratocaster (obviously, we are at Two-Rock), the Classic Reverb reveals a totally hallucinate dynamic. Rarely have we heard an amp with such sensitivity! Each note is perfectly articulated, soft, round, complex and benefits from a balance that could be described as "perfect". It's ultra tight, punchy, it doesn't forgive, the Classic Reverb is a pure player amp, it just beats. You will literally be glued, the underpants on your head, after playing a simple "Belief" on this head. The complexity and dynamics of each note is just mind boggling. When you think the amount of headroom available will stop at the end of "this note"... the CR surprises you and gives you a layer of it in an insolent way. Every note is a slap in the face, every open chord an uppercut... The spectrum of the Classic Reverb is incredibly wide and the foundation of each note could shake the walls. What subtlety... it's really impressive in terms of complexity and sonic richness.
By activating the FET preamp on its first half and up to 1:00 p.m., we obtain an additional "fat" hit that thickens the bottom of the spectrum while bringing a kind of additional complexity, a small halo around the sound, which allows you to add link and fluidity to your phrasing. After 1:00 p.m., the FET allows you to drive the amp in a natural and smooth way, which quickly becomes essential, especially once you have stacked a few pedals on it.
The Gain Structure and EQ switches are incredibly efficient and versatile. The GS provides the equivalent of 3 amps in one. The bottom position mimics a Blackface, the middle position is a sort of boosted Two-Rock (more level, a bit more gain and a bit more stiffness), the top position is the typical Two-Rock sound signature.
Let's talk quickly about the Reverb, this is, of course, a model of its kind. Long, rich, stable and complex. Fans of the brand will appreciate. When you allow yourself to include the word "Reverb" in the name of your amp, there's a good reason! If you are influenced by the artists mentioned above, you will be satisfied.
The Classic Reverb is therefore an extremely "pedal friendly" amp, benefiting from ultra flexibility, with clean sounds and incredible dynamics. The balance is perfect, the bass taut and enveloping without ever drowning your instrument. The response of the amp is ultra fast and "touch sensitive", whether you play with your fingers or a pick, always with this richness and complexity that is clearly only found on this model. An exceptional amp which will not be within everyone's reach, but which will allow you to know what these famous... 1, 2, 5, 10% additional quality are, which make this amp a real monster and a classic of the genre. To try once in a lifetime, or buy and keep for the rest of it! :)
- 50 Watt dual tube rectified or 100 Watt Head with 50W power switch
- 4 x 6L6 (100 Watt)
- FET, EQ BYPASS, and REVERB DEFEAT footswitch
- Width 22-3/4″, height 12″, height, depth 10-5/8″, 43 LBS
- 4 ohm outputs; 8 ohm, 16 ohm
- Black Anodize finish with Black Chicken Head buttons, or Silver Anodize with Silver Skirt buttons