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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Ok, what's going on here in the world of vintage amps??

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 7th, 2017 08:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

I just had my offer accepted on Reverb for a nice looking Bandmaster Reverb head with free shipping. I paid via PayPal immediately. A few hours later the guy emails to say "he dropped and damaged" the thing getting it ready to ship, and refunds my payment.
I'm thinking he found out how much it would cost to ship coast to coast and decided he wasn't going to make his profit margin, and gave me a BS story to back out of the deal.
I made a commitment to purchase despite a bit of buyers remorse. He accepted my offer fair and square. It seems like he cheesed out on his end of the commitment.

Is this how Reverb works? The buyer has to "commit to buy", but the seller can back out of his commitment? It just does feel right to me...

(This message was last edited by swampyankee at 10:43 PM, Apr 7th, 2017)

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Apr 7th, 2017 09:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I say that if he knew about Reverb.com, he knows vintage Fender amps. He probably didn't do his research on the price and just cheesed out.
Look for another amp. Lots of folks don't like Ebay but at least there is a little bit of protection.

Contributing Member


Apr 8th, 2017 06:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Or maybe he really did drop it. Accident, or flakey seller. While I haven't bought but one thing on Reverb, I've sold a lot of stuff like pedals and guitar parts. No such complications. How are this particular seller's reviews?

Guitar Fool
Contributing Member

Sunshine State

Just a pawn in someone else's game
Apr 8th, 2017 08:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

if you want to make a big stink about it with Reverb, you could ask him to prove it by showing you a picture of said accident

and yeah shipping to the other coast is killer...especially from Florida

(This message was last edited by Guitar Fool at 10:32 AM, Apr 8th, 2017)


usa metro detroit

Apr 8th, 2017 09:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've always question Reverb.. Don't know if I'd use them again.

I bought a used, modded Blues Jr (which I love.. has NO problems at all) But.... two days after the purchase, in that area of the USA, someone started using my credit card No# to make purchases'. My card company voided those charges. I called Reverb and got the run around. IMO Reverb isn't secure.

I bought a vintage 74 Pro Reverb from Guitar Center (out of state) the description said "Good Condition" Price was a little high... However, I like having a physical company to go to if anything goofy happens "monetary wise." Well... GC standards are all over the map... That Pro Reverb needed serious love (which it got...) I'd like to see what that store calls fair condition...

Exact opposite happened with a 75 Twin Reverb. Description said "good condition" price was kind of low... Well.... Damn thing was mint! Even has the manual with it!

So who knows with GC... you can always deny the sale when the amp shows up. Thing is though you can't sell an amp to GC for what it's worth... they are like Pawn shops.

Contributing Member


After 30 years, I should play better.
Apr 9th, 2017 08:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've always had pretty good luck on Reverb. I guess I'd tend to believe the "dropped/damaged" bit as it's easier (even if the damage is minimal) to start again with a downgrade in condition rather than have someone raise a fuss if an amp had damage not depicted prior to the sale.

Contributing Member

The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Apr 9th, 2017 08:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

He refunded your payment, so no rules broken. You didn't get ripped off; just ruffled feathers is all.

Sellers flake out.

Buyers flake out.

It's the reality of a free-market system.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 10th, 2017 07:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

Yeah, I guess I was just a bit dissappointed. It's the second vintage amp head that I had on the hook and lost. In hindsight, I'm not sure I'd be happy with a Bandmaster reverb, since I'm really looking for that early blackface punch, and I understand the O.T. on the BMR is a bit light.

pcalu, I've had the same experience with GC's rating system. I bought a used 2-12 cabinet that was graded "fair". When I saw it I'd say it was more like "good" to "VG". I'm also looking at vintage Bandmaster head-cabinet on GC that is rated "fair". Other than some staiing on the speaker grill, I'd say it was pretty good condition for it's age.

John Peden
Contributing Member


John Peden
Apr 10th, 2017 01:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

As someone who has a bit of a track record buying and selling vintage Fender amps I must say packing for shipment is the most tedious part of the process. I keep or have purchased all the necessary packing materials. I always double box assuming the outer box will get dropped several times or maybe destroyed so the inner box is the amps real protection and must be secure.
G C buys old Fender amps and does only whats necessary to make them "work" Our standards are higher than that right?


usa metro detroit

Apr 10th, 2017 04:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hope so... but what recourse do you have if you buy a PoS on Reverb?

comes down to a "he''said she said...."

I don't know what GC's standards are.. LOL I really don't... Overpaid (not a huge amount) for my 74 Pro Reverb.. (needed work) and way underpaid for my 75 Twin Reverb. (Mint... looked like it came right out of a box! had the manuel with it, Oxfords speaker labels were still bright blue, mint...

I think the best way is go check it out in person.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Apr 10th, 2017 04:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

The coolest thing about BMRs is that they make great donors to build a Super Reverb. Black face the amp and install the 2 ohm output tranny (or a multi tap) and your pretty much done. Mount in a SR cab with 4-10 or use as a head with whatever you wish for a cab and the multi tap OT.

Sight unseen is a difficult way to buy. Sometimes your the fly, sometimes your the windshield.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Apr 10th, 2017 06:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

The good thing about GC is that if you don't like when it shows up at the store, you can "return" it and a refund.
But I would expect any vintage amp to need some work, no matter who you're buying it from. Especially from GC.

Contributing Member

Vacaville CA

Runs with scissors !!
Jun 12th, 2017 08:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hammond I agree on the BMR's. I collected parts and put together a Vibroverb clone that was a killer amp.



Jun 13th, 2017 03:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

As someone who is an ex- Guitar Center employee, if you are ever considering buying something used, and ESPECIALLY vintage based on what you see GC's website, make sure you call the store FIRST, and ask whoever your talking to to inspect the item personally and even test it.

Whenever someone sells an item to guitar center for them to resell, its pretty much up to the discretion of whichever employee is buying it in to grade it and give it a 'condition.' One employee could give a completely different rating to another. It was always a joy for me to buy in used vintage gear, and for the most part, I knew my stuff, and if I didn't I made sure to find out by talking to the Hollywood Headquarters and talking with a vintage expert.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Jun 13th, 2017 07:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

As a followup to my vintage amp buying saga, I found 2 different Dual Showman Reverb heads, one on Reverb, the other on eBay. One was a bit tatty, but had a full description including chassis pics. The seller answered all my questions promptly.
The other looked to be in better shape but had few pics and the seller's info and replies to questions were a bit sketchy.
I chose the tAtty one. Either one would require the same checkup and tuneup in the shop, but I just had a bit more confidence about the one that offered full disclosure.
It arrived undamaged, and I'm happy with the price, condition, and tone.

(This message was last edited by swampyankee at 09:06 PM, Jun 13th, 2017)



We had the hit but Van got the money
Aug 3rd, 2017 10:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

After a horrendous shipping experience with UPS several years ago, and a total meltdown afterwards with Ebay, I'd never sell another amp with them. I ended up with a destroyed Pro Reverb on the other end, a buyer who not only got all of his money back, but all of the sellable parts of MY amp. Ebay couldn't get him to send me the damaged amp back. UPS refused to pay insurance due to "improper packaging." That is, I did it myself. Did everything right, double boxed, foam in between boxes, plywood bottom & front, tubes removed. Looked like a UPS truck had driven over it.

Since then I've had good luck selling via Facebook buy & sell pages, Paypal only, and then use the local UPS Store to pack & ship. I leave the latter entirely to the buyer and the UPS Store. I instructed them how to pack the amps and have never had another issue.

Contributing Member

Too Near Atlanta GA

Amp Tech Emeritus
Aug 3rd, 2017 11:28 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've shipped an incredible number of amps over the years and only had a few really bad incidents...and one of the worst was with a vintage Marshall Plexi in a road case that FedEx actually pitched off the back of a truck and did some serious damage to the amp after I had just done a complete restoration job on it...really broke both my and the owner's hearts...FedEx did nothing to help the situation.


Contributing Member


Jul 14th, 2018 09:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

A lot of nightmare stories. Kinda scary. Think I'll sell on craigslist or local music store consignment. May get less money, but maybe less headaches, too. How's the FDP classifieds?

(This message was last edited by socal at 11:36 PM, Jul 14th, 2018)

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Ok, what's going on here in the world of vintage amps??

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