discontinued FAQ


Do the Stage King guitars sound like the USA Retro Pro guitars?

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.

Is the Stage King neck the same as the USA Retro Pro?

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.

Do you make left-handed guitars?

Yes – Click here for more info.

Are the USA Retro Pro instruments plastic?

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.

Brushed aluminum finish vs. standard finish?

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.

Fulcrum tremolo vs. standard bridge?

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.

Bigsby tremolo vs. standard bridge?

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.

Bigsby tremolo vs. Fulcrum tremolo?

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).

Does the roller bridge used with the Bigsby degrade sustain and tone?

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.

Can Reverend install my string gauge?

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.

Can a Reverend guitar body handle heavy gauge strings?

Yes. We’ve strung up many guitars with 12 gauge and even higher with no problem at all.

Can Reverend build a guitar with an older discontinued color?

Yes, we can build USA Retro Pro guitars this way if we still have leftover material. Call for availability.

Can Reverend build a guitar with discontinued or custom features such as: modifications, pickups, pickguards, phase switches, studio switches, piezos, d-tuners, strap-locks, hardware, etc.?

No, we only offer what is currently listed on the website. We do not install any customer supplied components.

Can I have my older Reverend upgraded or converted?

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.

Can I purchase a separate pickguard, pickups, pickguard assembly, or neck?

No, we currently do not sell any separate proprietary components. We do offer small repair parts. Call for availability.

Can I have my Reverend repaired at the factory?

Yes, we offer full repair service for Reverend instruments only. Call for details.

Are Sperzel tuners a drop-in replacement for the Grover or old-style tuners?

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.


Does the Drivetrain II sound like a Tube Screamer?

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.

Does the Drivetrain II have true bypass?

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.

Can my older Drivetrain be upgraded to Drivetrain II specs?

No, the circuit changes are too complicated.

What kind of wall adapter should I use?

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.

Where can I buy Drivetrain parts or have repair service done?

Visual Sound has parts and does service. Email service@visualsound.net or call 931-487-9001 (TN).

Speakers (Discontinued) Are they alnico?

No, we do not use alnico because it would raise the cost of the speaker without offering any tonal advantages.

Are they the same as Naylor speakers?

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.

Who makes your speakers?

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.

Will they sound good in my Fender amp?

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.

Will they sound good in my Marshall amp?

Yes, they work great, especially if you want to keep the smooth overdrive, but with a less boxy midrange and more transparent clean tone.

Do you make 16 ohm speakers?

Not currently.


Should I buy the Goblin or the Kingsnake? Which is better?

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.

What is the difference between the Hellhound and 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.

Can Reverend update a Hellhound to Kingsnake specs/features?

No, it is much too complicated.

Does Reverend sell the 10″ Jensen Neo speaker and can you install it in a Goblin?

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.

Are Reverend amps the same as Naylor amps?

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.

Who is Dennis Kager?

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).

Does it have channel switching?

No, it’s single channel.

How does the Schizo switch work?

It changes the upper midrange level in the second stage of the pre-amp.

Can Reverend make the Schizo footswitchable?


How does the switchable wattage switch work?

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.

Is it a class A amp?

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.

What kind of rectifier is used?

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.

What kind of circuit is it?

Cathode follower circuit, post pre-amp tone controls, pre-phase inverter master volume, class AB.

What is the plate voltage?

Hellhound: 450v. Kingsnake: 495v. Goblin: 415v.

Is there a standby switch? 

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.

Is there a bias adjustment pot for the power tubes?

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.

What are the tube positions?

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.

Can I install different pre-amp tubes?

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.

Can I install EL34 power tubes?

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.

Can I install 6L6 power tubes in the Goblin?

No, because 6L6 tubes draw a higher filament current which might cause damage to the power transformer.

Can I install 6V6 power tubes in the Hellhound or Kingsnake?

No, because the voltages are not compatible.

Is some hum normal when the volume control is turned up?

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.

Should the reverb tank be loose?

The reverb tank should NOT be mounted tight to the cabinet. A small amount of freeplay is required to prevent vibration feedback.

Will a long Fender reverb tank fit in the combo?

No, the tank is too long.

Does the reverb sound like a Fender?

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.

Does my Hellhound Combo have the latest tubes and handle?

All Hellhound Combos with serial number 00220 and above were built with the latest tubes and handle.

What are the differences between a head with the extension cabinet and a combo?

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.

Where can I purchase a Y-adapter to run an extension cabinet?

We recommend the Radio Shack Y-adapter (part # 2740892).

What model reverb tank should be used as a replacement in Reverend amps?

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.

Who made the covers for the Reverend amps?

Custom Amp Covers. They can still make covers for all the Reverend amp models

Does Reverend offer amp repair, parts or schematics?

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). For Schematics & further information, please contact Cusack Music.

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