Amps » Amp Reviews » Supro 1605R / 64 Reverb Review: Vintage Tone in a Modern Package

Supro 1605R / 64 Reverb Review: Vintage Tone in a Modern Package

I bought the Supro 1605R a few years ago and have been meaning to do a review of it. Back then it was known as the Supro 1605R, but a year or two later it was rebranded and relaunched as the 64 Reverb.

The differences? As far as I can tell the only change is the 1605R has an Eminence-designed SS8 speaker, the 64 Reverb has a Jensen C8R speaker. Aside from that they are identical amps though, just in case you’re confused.

Supro 1605r 64 reverb review

Mine was a total impulse purchase. I’d been looking for a small tube amp for practice. The Supro had been on my list but I’d decided against it because of the price. One day it popped up on eBay for half the retail price and I couldn’t resist.

So, after a few years I’m well placed to do a review. I’m going to keep this short and sweet though as I tend to waffle.



  • Looks great
  • Fantastic vintage tone
  • Top build quality
  • Packed with features
  • Sounds great at low volume


  • Costs a lot for what it is
  • Not very versatile


Let’s start with how it looks. Firstly – it’s tiny. Really small and looks great.

The ‘blue rhino hide’ is fantastic looking. Next to my bright Orange Rocker 15 one looks ridiculous and the other classy. You can probably guess which..

In terms of size it’s very small. When I was doing my research the only smaller combo tube amp I could find was a Fender Champ. There may be a few I missed that are smaller but the Supro is definitely amongst the smallest you’ll find.

It measures 40cm x 19cm x 30cm (W x D xH). The Champ in comparison is 43cm x 18cm x 37cm.

So it’ll comfortably fit in any room. And because it’s a good looking amp it won’t look out of place.

front view of the supro 1605r amp

Build Quality

It’s surprisingly heavy.I weighed it at just over 25lbs. For such a small amp I was expecting it to be really lightweight but it was a shock when I picked it up. It’s nothing like trying to move an AC30 or something like that but for an amp as small as it is the weight is a surprise.

While I would have preferred it to be lighter it does have one advantage – it feels properly sturdy. A lot of solid state practice amps feel cheap and plasticy.

The 1605R / 64 Reverb doesn’t have that problem. It’s solid, strong and clearly well built. I haven’t knocked or damaged mine but I can imagine it’ll withstand a lot, simply from how tough it feels.

supro 1605r front


It’s not nearly as loud as I was expecting either. Don’t get me wrong, it’s 5 watts and can still get plenty loud when playing at home. But I’ve known 1 watt amps that could comfortably make the windows rattle and get neighbors complaining.

So for 5 watts it feels less powerful than it could have been. Which for me is a positive. Because with its features and size it is designed squarely for home/practise or studio use.

Could you gig with it? Probably, but only small gigs. At only 5 watt it’ll need to be mic’d.

But chances are you’re buying the 1605R for playing at home or in the studio because of its sizes and low wattage.

above view of the supro 1605r amp


One of the main reasons the little Supro appealed so much was the features it had. 2 band EQ (treble and bass), master volume, reverb, reverb out, dry out, line out, line in. There’s a lot going on!

At the time I bought mine there was basically nothing else available that had that set of features. It’s probably why Supro could charge so much for it.

You can get some great sounds at lower volume. It sounds wonderful opened up a bit but it works perfectly for home use.

I’m pleased to say the master volume is good too. Not one of these stupid ones that goes from whisper quiet to ear drum busting loud when you nudge it.

I haven’t taken advantage of everything it can do either. For recording I know it’ll be amazing – use the wet and dry out into a stereo interface.

above view of the supro 1605r amp


My first thought was it sounded like a darker Fender. The cleans are lovely, but there’s definitely a hint of darkness that you don’t get with a Fender equivalent. It’s not that crystal clean you’d have with a Princeton, for example.

Turn up the gain and it unleashes a whole new character. It’s got a decent amount of grit and bite.

That growl, which is reminiscent of vintage blues amps, adds a layer of warmth to the overall sound. It’s surprising that for such a small amp it maintains clarity even when driven.

It’s definitely not a modern sounding amp though. Old school blues, rock n roll and classic rock are what it does best. A bit of jazz too.

Metal? Hard rock? Nah. Well, you could put a pedal in front of it but I doubt it’s going to sound very good.

And frankly why would you. If you wanted a smaller tube amp for modern high gain stuff there are many better options.

But if you like vintage styles it’s great.

back view of the supro 1605r amp


The price. For what you get it’s overpriced. Back when I was first looking at getting one they were $1200 / £999. Which was crazy.

I got mine 2nd hand for just over half that and it still felt like quite a lot. They’ve come down to $999 / £750 which is better.

But considering they’re made/assembled in China, use PCB’s and aren’t hand-wired it’s hard to see why they cost as much as they do. Update: the 1605R models from before 2020 were made in the USA. The versions after were made in China, as are the 64 Reverb. Although Supro say they are “assembled in the USA”, which means all the parts are made in China then shipped to the USA where they’re put together.

Yes, the features are great and there’s very little else out there to match them. But it’s not enough to justify the price as far as I’m concerned.

supro 1605r back plate

Who is it for?

If you want a vintage sounding small amp for recording or playing at home it’s perfect. Like classic rock and blues from the 60’s and 70’s? You will love the Supro 1605R / 64 Reverb.

It can be more smooth and refined, well suited for jazz or something more ambient, and then crank the gain an it’s gets raw and edgy, ideal for blues or classic rock.

As mentioned though it’s not a modern sounding amp. If you want to play modern rock or metal you will want to look elsewhere.

Would it be Good for Beginners?

Yes and no. Yes because it’s really straightforward to use. Simple controls mean it’s super easy to get started.

But the price is going to put off most beginners. And for good reason. If you’re new to playing then you’re far better off saving your money and getting something cheaper.

You’ll get more from a cheaper more beginner friendly amp. And you can always get something like the Supro once you’re absolutely sure you’re going to stick with guitar.

How it Compares to the Competition

There are a lot of small, combo tube amps. The Fender Champ seems the most obvious competitor though – they’re both tiny, easy to use, 8″ speakers etc.

The Supro definitely has more features. The Champ, both the 57 Custom, the original Champs and Vibro Champs and the more recent 68 Custom Vibro Champs all have less options (the 68 Custom Vibro Champ also has a 10″ speaker). The 57′ is simply a one knob amp.

The Vibro gives you tremolo which the Supro doesn’t have. But the reverb and line out options on the Supro you won’t find on any of the Champs.

In terms of tone if you wanted the classic Fender sound then the Champs will do that. The 1605R is similar and gets really nice cleans but as I mentioned earlier it’s definitely darker.

The master volume on the 1605R is a big plus too. It means it’s far better for playing at home and lower volume. To get any overdrive out of the Champ(s) you’ll have to turn them up pretty loud. Probably too loud for using comfortably at home.

That would be the same for something like a Fender Pro Junior as well.

It’s also worth considering the 57 Champ is much more expensive. The 68 Vibro Champ is roughly the same price though.

Final Verdict

Apart from the price there’s very little I don’t like about the Supro 1605R / 64 Reverb. In my case it was a bit of a luxury purchase – I didn’t need it. But I really like having it around!

Just busting out something like Johnny B. Goode through it makes me grin.

There are some amps you can recommend to virtually everyone. The sorts that will do anything and every style or genre of music.

This Supro isn’t one of those. It’s not a one trick pony but it’s very much suited to a certain style. And if you don’t like that then it obviously isn’t the amp for you.

But if you do it’s absolutely fantastic.

About Andy Fraser

I'm Andy and I've been crazy about music, and specifically the guitar, for longer than I can remember. As a former guitar teacher I've been immersed in the world of music for years. It's this passion and enthusiasm about all things guitar that drove me to start this website. A place where I could talk about the gear, techniques and general awesomeness that is the best instrument. I began playing somewhat late compared to a lot of people. I was 15 years old as it had taken me a while to find the confidence to believe in myself and take that step to learn to play an instrument. It started my lifelong love of music and playing in general. Since then like so many before me I've become an addict and gone through more guitars, amps and gear than I care to remember. I taught guitar for some time but unfortunately was forced to stop due to ill health. This lead to me starting this website so I could still share my love for and what I've learnt about the guitar. Guitar Inside Out is my way of sharing that love and passion with the music community and hopefully inspiring and helping others to enjoy it as much as I do. Learn more about Andy

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