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  1. #51

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    Based only on reading, not playing one...
    I think the custom channel on the '68 has the tweed Bassman tone stack, which is what Marshall amps were based on. So perhaps one can find some "Marshally" tones in that channel?
    Fender traditionally had no tremolo or reverb on the Normal channel. I think that was so you could have two instruments play through the same amp, but only apply the effects to one of them. Since no one really does that, it makes sense to apply the effects to both channels. Doing so does add one more tube to the signal path, which might affect the tone. If you prefer the tone of a Deluxe Reverb's Normal channel to the Reverb channel, you'd be losing something.
    Last edited by KirkP; 03-06-2015 at 01:45 PM.


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  3. #52

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    I have two and one had been converted to using 6L6 power tubes for that very reason. However, on New Years I played a small club with a load drummer and the original 22W version was just fine, no issues at all. Mind you, I have a D120F JBL in it and those speakers are quite bright, clean and loud.

    I'd recommend trying it and if you feel you need a bit more clean volume then it's a very easy and inexpensive mod to change from the stock 6V6 power tubes to 6L6 tubes and, if you don't like it, it's easily reversable.

    It may depend on the exact amp, one tech told me that some (most) of the Deluxe Reverb's have big enough transformers to do this with no other changes other than the grid resistors and tubes plus re-biasing, especially the black face ones. A knowledgeable tech should be able to take a quick look and be able to advise. There is almost no difference (according to what I have read elsewhere) between the mid 60's blackface and the early 70's silver face models for Deluxe Reverbs, I don't know if they used different-sized transformers though.

    The volume difference between 22 watts and 40 watts really isn't all that great, however it is noticeable and especially right where the natural breakup point is. 6L6's will pretty much double the power over 6V6's, they are louder and cleaner for sure.

    One trick to get a 22 watt version to sound louder but cleaner is to replace the change the preamp tube from a 12AX7 to a 12AY7 or a 12AU7. I believe that reduces the tendency to break up earlier while getting more power from the power section. I posted links to how to roll tubes in a Deluxe Reverb at the daly part of this thread, if that helps.

    Another trick is to turn the amp up fairly high while turning the pickups down low. It don't have as much meat in the tone, but it is certainly cleaner sounding if you do that.

    Maybe someone who knows if this is all technically accurate will chime in.

    Please post the results of you do try using the amp for the gig and let us know your results.

  4. #53

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    I've noticed that I always find the fourth input to sound the best. One reason is that you can use the reverb and tremolo (if desired) on the second channel whereas there are no effects on the first channel. I read somewhere that the resistance on that particular input (#4) appears to be optimized for clean tone.

    I've also noticed in photographs that a lot of players seem to prefer this particular input, so I'm guessing other players have experimented and found it to be the "best" sounding input on a DR.

    Anybody have insights on this topic to share, please?

  5. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by FiveG
    but I'm wondering whether it will stay clean long enough for jazz
    It REALLY depends on your guitar, how you set your guitar and how you play.

    Folks who roll down the volume on the guitar and then expect to regain the volume by tuning up the amp are likely to be disappointed. People who crank the bass on the amp and expect it to stay clean are likely to be disappointed. People who use humbuckers into the first input and expect headroom are likely to be disappointed. People who just brush the strings lightly are likely to be disappointed.

    OTOH, those who understand gain structure, play with a leaner bass tone, hit hard and don't mind a bit of dirt when turned up will likely find a stock 22 watt Deluxe to be all they need for practically any situation.

    This is not to say that one approach is "right", just understanding what may work better for a particular technique will require a particular kind of amplification.

    There ARE ways to make a Deluxe louder with greater headroom -- rebias to 6L6's, higher power PT, high efficiency speaker, etc. Of course, once you go through all of the various mods, you don't really have the classic Deluxe anymore, which may or may not be what you want

  6. #55

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    Also, in general ... if a Deluxe Reverb isn't loud enough then perhaps put a mic on it. If the stage volume is THAT loud then you're into different territory altogether in most cases.

    A JBL D120F is actually a stock Fender speaker, although it was an optional upgrade. That alone makes the amp cleaner at louder volume than the stock speaker and can be great for jazz, although depending on the guitar and the player it can be a bit shrill-sounding. But your amp remains essentially "stock".

    Changing the tubes to 6L6's makes the amp more like a VibroVerb power-wise, but to me it still sounds like a DR, just louder and with more clean bottom end and later breakup. The VibroVerb has better and tighter bottom end, but it didn't come with 12" speakers. Personally, I think 12" speakers are optimal for most jazz (and most other types of music), especially where you have to cover a spectrum of tones and styles.

    When I heard George Benson in the early 70's live in Toronto at The Colonial (this was before he started singing and the Masquerade album was released when he was still playing instrumental) and he had a Fender blackface of some kind with a 15" JBL and it sounded fabulous. Perhaps it was a VibroVerb, it looked sort of like a Twin Reverb but perhaps a bit taller (from where I was sitting, that's what it looked like but too dark to easily tell). But, 12"s are more versatile than 15"s and George only needed his signature sound, not a plethora of tonal palettes the way some gigs can require these days. No idea if it was his own amp or a rental since bringing gear over the border can be a hassle.

    In the end though, tone is pretty much all in the hands primarily. And avoiding serious mods to a vintage amp is always a good idea unless unavoidable. I use my DR with 6L6's for louder gigs (larger venues) and the one with 6V6's for quieter gigs (smaller venues), the tone is that similar. The 6V6 version is more fun to play since it breaks up earlier but the 6L6 version actually sounds better overall. The fatter and tighter bass makes it sound fuller and "bigger".

    Some old-school jazz players (prior the the DR and other more powerful amps being available) in the early days of electric guitar used to routinely turn their amp all the way up then dialled in the volume from their guitar they needed for each particular gig. They were generally way into "clean" sound back in the early days of electric guitar, the overdriven sound wasn't desirable because it sounded "cheap and distorted" to the ears of the day.

    One thing though, every single Fender amp, even of the same model, sounds a tad different than every single other Fender amp, especially the old tube amps. (I know this from experience because for many years I collected and bought and sold them as well as played through them.) Especially when you add reverb to the tone. I've never heard two identical sounding reverb tanks in Fender amps, they vary quite a bit too. And yet, they almost all produce the "signature Fender tone" due to the mechanical design and rest of the electronics. Sometimes swapping the reverb tank can be a great non-destructive "mod /upgrade" and it only costs $20!

  7. #56

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    I've had two DRs. The first a '67 blackface, the second one of the first reissue Deluxe Reverbs. The blackface was a beautiful and capable amp, much better with an upgrade speaker (weber 12F150). (I never liked the stock oxford.) The DRRI has some troubles early on ... reverb crapped out, power tubes biased way cold. Once I got it sorted out and with a Celestion Greenback installed, that too was a really nice amp.

    In terms of volume and size, it's an ideal amp for the majority of gigs I've played. A really sweet sound from the '67. Downsides to me were it'd get a little snappish and harsh when you really pushed it ... sometimes would be too loud ... sometimes not loud enough.

    The solution for me in the 20 watt, 1/12 amp class is a similar amp with a MV. Mine is a Gries 20. Much as I love all the old fenders - including that '67 DR - the Gries 20 is the better amp for me. Very effective master volume, better reverb too.

  8. #57

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    I recently bought a Heritage 535 and a limited edition FAWN 65" DRRI that has a G12M greenback in it.

    After playing it for some time I am really wanting a cleaner sound out of it to play jazz. I also play blues and it works well for that but it seems to lack a nice clean tone.
    The heritage has SD Seth Lovers in it which I feel are suitable for what I want so I'm thinking of upgrading the speaker. Is this the right way to go about getting the sound I want?

    Here is a link to show the kind of sound I'm looking for.

    Single note lines sound really dull in the middle and higher register and the amp isnt quite as clean as I would like.

    Any help would be much appreciated, Cheers.

  9. #58

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    So a Deluxe Reverb uses 2x6V6's and is only 22 watts. You might also try converting it to 2x6L6's if your model allows. I've seen this on older Silverface Deluxes.
    Another help would be trying better preamp tubes or variations thereof. As far as speakers here are some that I like

    WGS:ET90,Blackhawk UP
    Celestion Lead , Mesa Boogie version as well, Cream Alnico 90, BN12300 8ohm.
    DV Mark Silver Neo 150 watt.

  10. #59

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    Nice tone on the YouTube. Though you have to consider the EQ they used to make it. And the difference in how your room sounds.

    If you need more than a 22W amp, would swap the amp before swapping tubes. However, first step for me would be strings and pick. Heavier strings, maybe something like a pure nickel round wound in a .012 and a pick material that gives you a crisper sound. Acrylic picks like Gravity and VPick are pretty crispy. You could also try lowering the pickup a little. And finally, amp placement does matter. It may be something simple like getting it up off the floor.

  11. #60

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    Let's address the somewhat obvious. The OP likes the tone in the video - its a Black Face clean from a Super Reverb. Fender = scooped mids. Get rid of the Celestial spkr.. I have frequently used this remedy.
    Get a spkr. for a clean Fender/American tone. Plenty of choices, depending on how much "clean" you want. WGS, Eminence, Weber, and the JBL clones. I don't know, maybe a Jensen? But which one is always the ????
    And be sure to turn down the bass on the amp.

  12. #61

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    That is some gorgeous Grant Green tone going on there. Although Grant played though various amps, I love the tone he coaxed from his Super Reverb. In fact, the tone in this Marco Martinez video is pure 335 + Super Reverb. It'll be hard to match this. But, that said, I had a '64 deluxe Reverb that sounded almost this good with my ES-175--nice crisp notes, clean but with an edge. I was running tung-sol preamp tubes (originals) and Phillips JAN 6v6s through a Jensen C12N. If I were trying to get the Grant Green tone with your amp and 535, I'd try a nice Eminence Cannabis Rex speaker in the amp. Affordable and very smooth and balanced. My 2 cents.


  13. #62

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    My suggestion would be to try a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (40 watts).