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  1. #1

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    Is anyone here using a Fender Deluxe Reverb as a jazz amp?

    I wanna pick your brain. Pretty general questions.

    I've only had brief interactions with the amp. All positive.


    Any Fender Deluxe Reverb users?-fender-deluxe-reverb-1967-jpg

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Same here Barry! In particular, I was able to try a 1965 out at a local guitar show with a nocaster. It sounded so good, and I've wanted one ever since. Recently I found a great tech and amp builder in my area who says he will build one for $1,000, so I'm thinking about it, and I'm starting to save. The sound of most amps that I have tried just haven't knocked me out like the Deluxe '65.

  4. #3

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    Hi Barry, I'm assuming you mean "not" re issue DR's?
    If you are including those then it should be mentioned that more than one user has commented on the very "shrill" top end prevalent in the re issue but not to be found in the original DR.
    I am one of those.
    I just took delivery of a couple of Polytones and was pleasantly surprised at not having to use any eq to remove nasty frequencies. Just plug in and bypass the pedal board.

    When playing through the re issue DR I have to enter the land of sonic sculpting and do a special dance and prayer to get to where I want.
    Removing the bright cap helped but didn't solve the ice pick problem.
    So I'm going to sell it and try a Gries 5 watt.

    The point of my post is "watch out for the ice pick" in the re issue DR's.

  5. #4

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    Thanks for chiming in, guys. When I played through one, it was with a non cut Kingpin with a single fixed p90 in the neck position. I don't recall ice pick but I tend to play fingerstyle and this one also had flats. Maybe that dulled the ice pick.

    Either way, I was curious at what point does the DR break up where it can just no longer be clean. I loved the smokey, whiskey soured cleans it seemed to have. Just wondering at what point does it become an OD mess. I tend to play in my bedroom and if I played a gig, it'd likely be solo and more intimate in terms of necessary volume.

    What I'd be looking to do, if I went this route, would be to have a special single channel build. Just have to find the right builder.

  6. #5

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    Hello Barry.

    My '65 DRRI breaks starts to break up religiously at around 4.5. Chords, especially when hit with any forcefulness, display distortion. I replaced the speaker with a Weber (BF 150 I think, its been a couple of years) and I changed the preamp tube to a cooler tube.

    Now the amps breaks up religiously at around 4.7 or so. It appeared got a little more headroom out of it.

    I don't get a chance to play it unless the wife and kids are out of town but I am hoping it is the amp of my future, as I continue to improve.

  7. #6

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    I have an original 1965 Deluxe Reverb. It's a phenominal amp and does just about any style of music with ease. Having said that, I been using solid state amps a lot recently for jazz, but for anything else I go to the DR. I recently got a Cannibis Rex speaker for it, but haven't had time to install it. The original Oxford was great, but time took its toll and the cone disintegrated sometime in the late 1980's.

    "Here's a short clip (sorry about the buzz- I've replaced the filter caps since this was recorded)



    Here's a pic of it hiding in a closet with a '66 showman head. I need to get a better pic.
    Last edited by Engine Swap; 06-01-2014 at 11:41 PM.

  8. #7

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    I have a DRRI and happy with it considering what a real DR would cost. Wish I still had by real BF PR but its gone.

    With the DRRI I use the first channel to get more headroom, the Fender reverb add another boost to pre-amp. For more head room you can change the pre-amp and reverb tubes and better power tubes can help too. So not the real thing, but clipping the cap and playing with tubes you can dial in a sound you like. If you want to go further there are transformer replacement kits for more vintage sound.

  9. #8

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    I have an original '65 DR too, but I had a lot of supped up work done on it to make it a Boogie, like they used to do with Princetons. I didn't like it at first but now I think it's an incredible amp. Still sounds like a DR. A super DR. I need to replace the speaker, so I haven't played it for a couple of years. But I need to because I love that amp for smaller, simpler gigs.

  10. #9

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    I have an original '64 Deluxe Reverb, non original speaker in it.
    Its a great amp. It don't use it for gigging (NYC), mostly for home playing.
    It can be a little bright but I think that has a lot to do with the speaker I have in it and I'm looking to do a speaker swap soon.
    it does cleans really well up until 3 on the volume. 4 and up on the volume is where the amp really starts coming to life. Really smooth natural overdrive, so musical! For a Jazz player it would probably be too much dirt, but for other situations, to me,that's where this amp shines.
    Also gotta say,...match it up with a Strat or a Tele and it's glorious.

    At the end of the day, I think it's a really cool amp. There are a lot venues around NYC that have the reissues as their back line. I've played the one at the Stone weekly with a 20 piece orchestra and it would hold up with the amount volume from all the players.

  11. #10

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    A couple of months ago I got the new 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and I love it. I got it for rock and blues with a strat or tele. I tend to play jazz through a Cube 80xl. A couple of weeks ago I played an Eastman ar371 though it and loved what came out. Very Kenny Burrell-ish tone. I found that it had plenty of head room. I was turning up to 4 1/2 or 5 to get a little bit of break up and loving it. That is too loud for most home playing. The 68 has the bright cap removed and I'm sure that that helps. Fender says that they removed the bright cap to increase picking dynamics, I say it does that nicely. I do agree that the 65RI is too shrill.
    On a further note: I played a 65RI Princeton Reverb at Guitar Center last week with a 339. I almost fell off my chair it sounded so good. If I had any money left I would not hesitate to get that amp for playing Jazz. Some will disagree, but, for me, that is the sound. Just my 2 cents.

  12. #11

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    I'm ashamed to admit that I've never played through a Princeton. I really must remedy that.

  13. #12

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    My band mate uses a DRRI loaded with a Weber speaker. He uses an Andersen Metropolitan and always sounds fantastic through it. He plugs into the reverb channel with bright cap in place no problems.

    I used to own the amp and never really bonded with it, but then, at the time when I sold it, I was using Strats and a huge distortion packed pedalboard.

    I have a PRRI which I adore, yesterday I put the original Jensen C10R speaker back in (did have a Red Fang 10), plugged in my strat and was greeted with the sound I originally bonded with. Bright, spanky, clean and it plays well with all my fuzz boxes. I was so impressed with the strat sound that I neglected to plug any of my archtops into it! Think I'll remedy that tonight.

    And on another note, I'm currently using my tweed Pro Jr as my main gigging amp, again loaded with the Jensen C10R, and after a couple of tube swaps to tame the hiss, couldn't be happier with it.

  14. #13

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    If I were to get another deluxe, I'd probably go for the Custom '68. The one I played through was really nice.

  15. #14

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    I use a reissue with various guitars.
    I don't find it particularly shrill, or it might depend on the guitar being used.
    Here is a short excerpt with a Gibson 335.

  16. #15

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    My #1 amp is a Silver Face Deluxe from the mid 70's. It's a great amp. And covers a lot of bases. My speaker has been changed out for a Weber. So, I have a lot of clean head room.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by D.G.
    I have a PRRI which I adore, yesterday I put the original Jensen C10R speaker back in (did have a Red Fang 10), plugged in my strat and was greeted with the sound I originally bonded with. Bright, spanky, clean and it plays well with all my fuzz boxes. I was so impressed with the strat sound that I neglected to plug any of my archtops into it! Think I'll remedy that tonight.
    Hmm, a lot less "zing!" with p90s and min-humbuckers. If I were going to mainly play guitars with those pups through the PRRI I'd probably opt for the Red Fang.

  18. #17

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    I'm lucky enough to own an original '64 Deluxe Reverb with the original speaker (70's recone). It's been recapped and had the reverb driver and output transformers replaced due to failure of the originals. I play a homebrew Tele with a Charlie Christian PU in the neck position ( I posted some pics in another thread if you want to see it) and a cheapy Bill Lawrence Keystone PU in the bridge. So far, I've not found anything that I care to play that this combination won't handle. They're really fine amps. I am considering, just as an experiment, replacing the original baffle with one carrying a pair of JBL MI10, 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel - the transformer will handle the 4 ohm load just fine and it ought to sound really clean with the JBL's.

  19. #18

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    I'm lucky enough to own an original '64 Deluxe Reverb with the original speaker (70's recone). It's been recapped and had the reverb driver and output transformers replaced due to failure of the originals. I play a homebrew Tele with a Charlie Christian PU in the neck position ( I posted some pics in another thread if you want to see it) and a cheapy Bill Lawrence Keystone PU in the bridge. So far, I've not found anything that I care to play that this combination won't handle. They're really fine amps. I am considering, just as an experiment, replacing the original baffle with one carrying a pair of JBL MI10, 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel - the transformer will handle the 4 ohm load just fine and it ought to sound really clean with the JBLs.

  20. #19

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    My first amp was an original 64 DR that used to belong to Merle Travis. Who at the time I only knew as "some country guy". I wanted another amp, some stupid high gain multi channel thing, but thank god all I could afford at the time was the Fender. I still have it, it's still stock, save for some filter caps that needed to be replaced and I use it every day. Love it.

  21. #20

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    If finally played a Princeton. Very nice! It was one of the SF ones they have out now. Even though I was not fond of the guitar I was playing through it, it still sounded nice. Much, much nicer to my ears than the HR models. Wish I had more time to spend on it and the SF DR next to it but I had my son's birthday party to attend. Turned 5.

  22. #21

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    The DRRI is nice. U just need time to learn the EQ. Played one for 5 gigs with a 6 piece band recently. I think it cuts well i a ensemble. I got no issues with early break up or the ice pick sound people talk about. Dont take i off the ground and sitt a few meters from it when u try it out. Thats My advice.

  23. #22

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    Since this amp is reputed to be the most-recorded guitar amplifier in the world historically, perhaps it deserves its own thread here on the JG Forums. (I searched but couldn't find one dedicated exclusively to this amp).

    Please feel free to contribute everything you know about this truly classic model, mods, tips, tweaks, preferences, etc.

    There are basically two flavours, original blackface/silverface and reissue. The main difference between them is that the original blackface/silverface models was point-to-point hand-wired and the reissues have a circuit board. Many people think that electrons don't know the difference between traces on a circuit board and a hand-soldered connection and they are right, but the way electrons behave in the older version of these amps creates a different sonic experience for the listener that is not imagined. Those players with the "ears to hear" can usually "feel" the difference between a new reissue and a vintage model, all else being equal. And it's a fact that some of the Fender circuit board material used in their amps was slightly conductive and was inadvertently a part of the circuit to a tone-affecting small degree.

    Here's one of the best articles I've ever seen about the differences between the old a new versions and importantly a great description of the many possible tweaks and upgrades you can do to get a reissue sounding more like the vintage model we've all heard on probably thousands of recordings.

    http://reitzel.com/schematics/Fender...ifications.pdf

    To mod or not to mod:

    My experiences with modding may be worth sharing, I've had some good ones and a few bad ones. My advice is that, if you have a pristine un-modded example of any vintage amp, please don't screw around and alter it very much and only perform mods that are reversible. I say this for two reasons. A.) Lots of us prefer things in their original state and they are more valuable over time both economically as well as sentimentally, and B.) You can screw up a good thing.

    Bad Experience #1: Vintage 50's Fender Tremolux repair job to lower the noise floor. The tech only changed a pot and a cap and the amp was quieter with less hiss at idle. Conclusion: All the warmth and sustain were gone and the amp now sounded clinical and with much personality missing. Kinda like Randall McMurphy at the end of "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", the tone had been lobotomized out of it.

    Bad Experience #2: Cream '63 Fender Bassman amp completely re-tubed (because it was 1977 and I naively thought "it was time" because the tubes were old, even though they still had great tone and were only mildly microphonic.) Conclusion: What the hell was I thinking and why didn't I learn from Bad Experience #1 not to fix it if it ain't broke? The amp was less microphonic and now very sterile sounding. I didn't know enough back then to ask for my old tubes back and now I imagine somebody else is buying them from eBay for $40 a pop from the guy that did my repair after he threw them is a parts box that went into storage with other old parts/junk. Lobotomized again. (Or perhaps "self-castrated", you can imagine what part of the tone went missing.)

    Bad Experience #3: In the early 80's I got the bright idea that I could have a tech rewire the amp so channel 1 could be a switchable "overdrive channel" in series ahead of channel 2 so I could go from clean to dirty easily. Not only did the mod make the entire amp sound truly tremendously horribly awful, the tech had drilled holes into the chassis to accommodate his wild wiring scheme that may have looked good on paper at a cost of $250 in 1980's dollars. Then I had to pay another tech $250 to put it all back like it was and then it sounded fine again. Conclusion: What was I thinking? I paid $275 for the amp (a pristine all-original 1966, by the way), then another $250 to have it sonically destroyed and another $250 to have it restored. I then decided my great ideas were too expensive.

    Great Experience #1: The tech that restored my baby said I could switch from 6V6 tubes to 6L6 tubes if I want because the transformer was powerful enough to support it and the mod was reversible. I did that on his recommendation and the amp sounds absolutely killer. Louder, cleaner and fat as you could ever want without getting "tubby-sounding". Conclusion: One of the best decisions I ever made, I would most likely cry like a little girl if I lost this amp.

    Great Experience #2: I bought a 1967 off eBay for $1,300 a few years ago. The USPS managed to destroy the speaker baffle so I had to make a new one, but the amp sounded very nice although I knew it could be better. So, took it to a tech and we re-tubed it with NOS and it sounded pretty much better although not as perfect as I wanted. I read the article at the site I mentioned earlier in this post and made three small changes.

    1.) Removed the V1 tube since I only ever use the second (reverb) channel.

    2.) The original reverb pan was dead-sounding so I swapped in a brand-new one which sounded much better, but was a bit too boingy and splashy even at a low reverb setting. Then I changed the original reverb return tube which is normally a 12AT7 with 12AU7, which lowers the voltage. That made a fantastic difference, far more than I would have suspected. The pan had been tamed!

    3.) I replaced the tube in V4 (I think?) with the best NOS I could find, I read somewhere that Fender always used a premium European tube in that socket rather than RCA, Sylvia or whatever else they were stuffing into the rest of the sockets. Conclusion: WOW! Changing the old reverb pan for a new one and the new tubes for VOS, this amp has all the killer sonic qualities that my '66 model has, except the reverb is still not quite as sweet on the '67. But, the '67 breaks up earlier and has great grit and edge at relatively low volume as well as being fat and full. Just not as clean at older volumes than the '66 with 6L6's. And swapping tubes cost me nothing, they were laying around gathering dust.

    Personality, yes vintage amps have loads. The '66 has a solid-state rectifier (stock, I think) and the '67 has a tube rectifier (stock, I think) and therefore has the much-sought after "SAG" factor that provides a natural compression. SAG compression sort of adds the early breakup into the overall sound in such a way that it gets edgy and responsive without being necessarily audible as a "distortion".

    All vintage amps each have their own personality for many reasons, each has a slightly unique tone. Modern gear doesn't tend to have as much variation between example of the same model, mostly the difference is due to aging capacitors and other components. In my experience, sometime tubes that are slightly microphonic found sound great and better than a similar tube from another company with zero microphonics.

    Capacitors: These (along with tubes) probably have the biggest effect in creating the personality of the amp. Be careful when replacing them for several reasons, the most important of which is that you can literally kill yourself if you don't know what you're doing. The second most important is that you can ruin the tone depending on which caps you replace. This ain't hifi, caps shouldn't be replaced "just 'cause they are old".


    Speakers

    The speaker makes a huge difference to the overall tone and you need to match your choice of speaker with your personal tonal preferences. I use JBL D120F's, but many other people find them overly-bright. I find them to be an indispensable upgrade from the original stock speakers, although these were available in many Fender amps as a factory upgrade in the '60's (and perhaps early '70's). The article linked first in this post providers a rather comprehensive summary of subjective speaker test results for the Deluxe Reverb, an interesting read.

    FWIW: I did professional audio and sound design for many years and have played in bands since the early '60's. Over this long period of time I have seen the evolution of guitar amps and sound systems almost from their very inception. We went from low-wattage amps in the 50's to higher-wattage amps in the 60's, rising from around 15-20 watts to 300 or 300 watt beasts. This happened because venues got larger and crowds got bigger, so you needed a couple of hundred watts just to be heard at the back sometimes. But, PA systems more or less followed this trend and we went from having a couple of column speakers for vocals in the mid-60's to incredible sound systems that can be 500,000 watts or more in large venue. Now that the PA sound systems have achieved such incredible development and with such improved stager monitoring , we no longer need 200 watt amps. (In case you think I may be covering rock and roll history here, please remember John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra tours where he used several Marshall stacks. And this is a guy who played with Miles Davis.) My point is that small amps such as the Fender Deluxe Reverb can be everything you might need for a lifetime in today's world where the PA system does the heavy lifting.

    Know Your Tech: Make sure you know the tech you are dealing with is very familiar with these specific amps if possible, they are just "electronics", they do have individual personalities that are expressed tonally and every change made can potentially create audible differences, not always good. Find an amp tech that understands this and is aware of these subtleties for best and most satisfying results.
    Last edited by Dirk; 03-20-2020 at 07:12 AM.

  24. #23

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    Had the reissue and it was great traded it away and wish I hadn't, but my buddy is real happy. Only mod I did was change the reverb tube to a lower gain tube. I'll probably end up with another one day.

  25. #24

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    Here's my 1965 DR (along with a 1966 Showman head). Owned both of these since the mid-80s. Got the Deluxe at a pawn shop for $20 with the warning "if you plug it in, smoke comes out". Had a shorted output tube and a burned grid resistor.

    [/url]

    It's been modded 6-ways to Sunday back before we knew these things had value. I saved all the original parts and plan on putting it back to stock next winter.

  26. #25

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    I had a blonde DRRI with a P12Q and upgraded tubes. I foolishly sold it to get into modeling (amp, not fashion) and really regret it. It was a nice sounding amp that sounded just like you would expect a 22w 6V6 Fender amp to sound. Lush cleans. Nice reverb. Sweet break-up. Didn't like the opti-tremolo but it wasn't aweful, just not as good as a bias tremolo. Farty bass at high volumes but if you want a tight bass, get a Recto. I think a lot of guys want to to be all things. It is what it is and works great in small venues and with well-mannered drummers and in a studio.

  27. #26

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    I have a reissue. It's fine for me.

  28. #27

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    I have to agree that there is something about hand wired amps vs. circuit board amps. I had a silver face Twin Reverb a few years ago. Great sound, but oh so heavy. I foolishly sold it and bought one of the smaller reissue Fender amps with a circuit board and have regretted it ever since. I couldn't wait to get rid of it.
    Now I have a 15 watt hand-wired Princeton clone with a 12 inch speaker made by Vintage Sound Amplification. This amp is to die for- only warm, smooth, lush sounds come out of this thing. It's a keeper.

  29. #28

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    "Tweed Disease" ... Although the Fender Deluxe Reverb amps were never made in "tweed", this page has some good tips on what makes old amps fizz. hiss, crackle, and pop from time to time and how to eliminate some of these unwanted problems.

    FWIW, my vintage '65 Deluxe Reverb is super quiet with pretty well zero hiss when at idle. The main reason for this is that a tech took the wiring that jumps across the tubes and moved it away from anything that could induce noise internally and added a bunch more turns to the "paired" wires to make them less susceptible to noise induction and it sure seems to have worked. That amp is literally "studio" silent! My '67 has not had that done (yet!) and even after multiple tube "rolling" sessions it still has some very low-level, but audible, hiss when at idle.
    Last edited by Dirk; 03-20-2020 at 07:13 AM.

  30. #29

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    I have a reissue Deluxe Reverb and love it. It was the amp I wanted for years and I put off spending the money for a long time. On the recommendation of a friend, I swapped the speaker for an Eminence Cannabis Rex (a dark-sounding speaker which has given me the option of turning the treble up past 1!) and have gradually replaced most of the valves with JJs (most recently, both 6V6s after one turned microphonic after a bumpy taxi ride to a gig).

  31. #30

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    If you have a reissue, here's a ton of great info about modding them to sound more like the original and then some:

    Home - Rebuilding a Fender Deluxe Reverb Tube Amplifier

    Here's a personal recommendation based on years of experience plus trial and error:

    Before doing any mods to an amp (including speaker changes) my advice is to get a really good high-quality cable and connectors between the guitar and the amp and never to tone testing or tube rolling with anything between the guitar and amp such as pedal, even if they are true bypass.

    Play the amp with the high-quality cable for at least a month then try comparing it to a cheaper cable and you should be able to hear and feel the difference.

    Sometimes a simple cable upgrade (typically in the $80 USD range) make a speaker or other component upgrade unnecessary. The tone you desire may be lurking there waiting for you but an inferior piece of wire is preventing you from hearing it. Once you upgrade, you may or may not be able to consciously hear the difference until you compare to an inferior cable. This is why I recommend using it for a month or so ... you should be able to "feel" the difference once you've got some perspective for comparison.

    Best $80 I ever spent for tone and dynamic response improvements other than changing tubes ... and when I switch back to an el-cheapo cable I can instantly tell some isn't "quite right". I made my own using silver solder and the best connectors I could find. Yes, the type of solder has a discernible effect on the tone as well as the connectors and wire used.

    To really "hear" the amp, always plug the guitar straight in to the amp with no pedals whatsoever in the path.

    A brief anecdote on the importance of having good amplifier tone:

    I went to a music store sometime back in the 80's with a friend and was checking out guitars to kill time while I waited for my friend to do his business with the owner. There was an amplifier on the sales floor with a cable ready for testing guitars was just sitting there waiting, so of course I plugged the various guitars in to try them. When my friend was done, I asked the owner "How much for the amp?" since there was no price tag and he replied that it was simply not for sale and didn't give a reason.

    After thinking about this for a few minutes, and hey ... it was a vintage Fender tube amp that sounded killer, I went back to the owner and asked: "Just out of personal curiosity, why won't you sell me the amp since it is out on the sales floor with the rest of your amps which are all for sale?"

    His reply was "That amp sells more guitars than anything in else the store because every guitar you plug into it sounds great, so there's no way I'm selling it. We need it to sell as many guitars as we do, so I can't sell it to you."

    There's a lesson there somewhere.

  32. #31

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    A good quality cable is important. I prefer George L's myself because I prefer the least signal attenuation I can reasonably get.

    A trick if you find your signal too bright or too boomy -- try a cheap cable, like a coil cable, or an extra long cable (50' or so.) It might just knock back the right amount of bass and treble for you! Sometimes a bit of capacitance is a good thing

  33. #32

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    A trick if you find your signal too bright or too boomy -- try a cheap cable, like a coil cable, or an extra long cable (50' or so.) It might just knock back the right amount of bass and treble for you! Sometimes a bit of capacitance is a good thing.
    That is an excellent point! I remember back in the 60's using a cream Bassman head using Fender 2 X 12 closed-back boxes with Oxfords and a wah-wah I could get very passable Hendrix tone if I used a particular cheap guitar black coil (like an old telephone handset) kind of cable with a silver right-angle plug on it. I think they were made in Japan. Next to impossible to solder the wires in that thing, too. Very cheap cable, but was all I could afford at the time.

    Years later I read that Hendrix always (whenever possible) used the exact really cheap and poor quality cable as part of his live rig. I think this certainly validates your point, D.G.!

    So, absolutely it's part of the sound. (Which is why I recommend using a really good one in analyzing amp tone so the listener won't be confused about what they are actually hearing and why.)

    (Yes, this a jazz site and here I'm mentioning Hendrix ... if you haven't heard them already, perhaps it's worth hearing some of the later Hendrix albums that are not very well known where he uses horn sections and things get pretty jazzy. Neo-fusion, perhaps? I think he also jammed with Miles Davis.)

  34. #33

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    In addition, I used to get a little frustrated when my guitar/amp would sound great one day, and not so the next day, same guitar, cord and amp. The tone and feel would change subtly, but enough to notice, and enough to cause scratching of the ol' head. Often, the dials were not even touched, when playing at home.

    Turns out that, by reversing the direction of the cord, you change the response. Good cords or bad, it is pretty universal.

    Try it, see what you think.

  35. #34

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    I'm 60 years old and still play with three different style bands. At one time or another I've owned every old Fender amp model made and over the decades I bet I've had, oh, maybe 10 Deluxe Reverbs. I can't speak about anything built after the 70's other than the Acoustic Image I use for the jazz quintet thing I do.

    My opinion is firm in that I've had both good and bad Fender amps, both blackface and silverface. Based on decades of playing, I just don't get those who say "blackfaces are better." Heck, sin of sins, I'm using a silverface Super Reverb with a master volume in a jump swing band. I put its predecessor, a blackface, back in storage because the "newer" SR just sounds so darn good. In your face tone.

    Anyway, Deluxe Reverbs. Killer. Super versatile with 1-12". I do several vintage guitar shows throughout the year as a hobby and I could sell those all day long along with its little brother, the Princeton Reverb. The latter is easily the hottest selling amp. I took a super beat-up (but all original) one a couple of weeks ago to a show where I was in the pit orchestra. The music ranged from straight comping to out-front-dirt-box solo stuff. The PR just burned it up. It sounded amazing. Deluxe Reverbs are right there, too.

    I always say that every guitarist should have in their stable an older Princeton Reverb or Deluxe Reverb, at least. Desert island amp. High cost? I dunno, somewhere through the years one shows up to each of us at a reasonable price. You know, you walk into a shop and there it is. Or your cousin calls and tells you he's selling "this amp he owns that belonged to his uncle." Whatever it takes you get it because it'll be gone tomorrow.

  36. #35

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    I believe the first ten years or so of silver face DR production the circuit was actually changed very little or not at all from the original. If one does their homework, a number of silver face Fender amps did not have altered circuitry or had changes that were very minor. Hence, some of the silver face DR's are one of the best bargains available today.

    Also, one thing most people either don't know or forget to consider is that back in the 50's and 60's when these amps were designed and built, standard wall socket voltage was around 110 volts (on a good day in certain areas) in North America and that's what they were designed for. If you lived close to an industrial area or in a rural area brownouts were very common. When I used to tour I would measure wall socket voltage and have seen it as low as 90 volts. Once upon a time back int eh day, a beautiful old MacIntosh stereo amplifier I had was actually killed dead on a gig due to low voltage power, cost me $300 to repair.

    Now we have 120 volts as the standard, so all of our vintage amps are getting a bit more juice that they expected to when they were built. This may account for a lot of premature tube deaths, I don't know but maybe someone else that knows more about tube electronics that I do can share what they know about the subject here?

    Makes sense to me that we should be hitting saturation and distortion levels at lower volume settings at 120 volts, but I can't confirm this. I've heard that Eddie Van Halen used a voltage controller on his Marshals specifically to emulate the "brownout" effect to get his signature tone, I think he would drop the power supplied to his stack down to 95-100 volts or something like that.

    Hey Eddie, I presume you're probably into jazz big time by now (if you play guitar of any style long enough I think you arrive at "jazz") , so if you are reading this please tell us what you did and the reasoning behind it. Maybe all of the rest of us can use this knowledge to nail some of the classic tones of the past that we cherish so much!

  37. #36

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    Turns out that, by reversing the direction of the cord, you change the response.
    Wow, who'd a thunk it? Can this be confirmed, is this accurate? I can only imagine it would be a result of the manufacturing process, some sort of odd artifact.

    This is fascinating, I've never heard of this or experienced it before ...

  38. #37

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    Audiophile hifi enthusiasts have been aware of the audio cable directionality factor for decades.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Audiophile hifi enthusiasts have been aware of the audio cable directionality factor for decades.
    Snake oil, but if makes you happy, it sure don't cost nothin' to flip your cable around!

  40. #39

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    Well DG you can call it anything you like. If I can hear it, and I do, I know others can. Many. Maybe there's no diff with cheapo cords, but most of my cords are of better quality, I like my Evidence cable best.

    Maybe it depends on a player's setup, or maybe you roll off the treble to the point where there is no diff. anyway.

    I always say: "if you can't hear the diff, maybe you just don't care enough to check it out, or, for some reason, as stated above, you can't hear a diff."

  41. #40

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    I think Jimmy Mack AND D.G have valid points ... a lot of audiophile cable marketing hoopla is just that: hoopla

    However, I was a sound designer, FOH and studio engineer/mixer for decades and was blessed with "golden ears". One thing that's for sure is that a person needs to learn how to "hear" audio the same as learning to "hear" music and there are major differences between the two.

    For example, the audience at an outdoor concert is being constantly treated to undesirable "phase shift" in the sound due to the wind and air movement factor and the audio person (FOH mixer) needs to have the ability to discern in the sound mix what is being added by the physics and literally the acoustic atmosphere in the venue from the music itself. Even humidity has a pronounced effect on the overall sound.

    The musicians on stage will generally not hear nearly as much of that sort of thing (if they hear it at all), they hear the stage sound which can be very different in nature, especially if the stage is covered and has sidewalls.

    If you can't hear the differences between cables then I recommend comparing enough different types until you actually can hear the difference and if you still can't, I respectfully recommend getting your hearing checked.

    Here's a lovely story that I think validates this point. A new mixing console had been delivered to George Martin's studio (the guy that produced all of the Beatle albums and let's remember that Wes liked the Beatles and Frank Sinatra commented that "Something In The Way She Moves" is the best love song ever written) and Geoff Emerick, (the engineer on pretty well all of the Beatle recordings) said it had problems and couldn't use it.

    The tech staff checked it out and said it was perfectly fine. Long story short: It was eventually proven that several channels indeed have frequency peculiarities at around 50K, which is 30K over the accepted hearing range of humans. They changed the strips, Geoff was happy and work commenced.

    It has been also proven that humans in fact do respond to frequencies well over 20K (the generally accepted limit of human hearing) and in fact possibly up to 120K! (If anyone really wants the info I can post links to this stuff).

    Hearing generally declines with age, so folks over 50 years old will generally have hearing deficiencies in the higher frequency or sometime mid band ranges. Women generally hear more high frequencies than men. Physics, age and general "awareness" are all factors. My career as a sound designer and FOH mixer have now passed because I'm in my 60's and my much younger wife can hear some things at extremely high frequenciesI can no longer hear ... and OUCH it hurts to admit that to myself. However, I can still hear and discern WAY more stuff in an audio mix or even ambient nature than my wife (who has excellent hearing and I suspect perfect pitch) can.

    My point is that, just because one person can't hear something (or know how to properly analyze and truly discern what they are hearing) doesn't mean the audio artifacts don't exist and aren't affecting us in ways that we may not be aware of. Lots of us hear the differences in some types of cables even if they are extremely subtle. They do in fact exist and can often be measured as capacitance differences, etc. ...

    This is why I recommend that if you can't hear a cable difference that someone else (not a hi-fi salesperson!) says they can, then use the new cable for a month then go back to your old one. Odds are that, even if you can't hear a difference you can define to another person, you may very well feel the difference in various extremely subtle (but real) ways such as pick attack, high end, dynamic quality and so on.

    Hope this is useful!
    Last edited by Uncle Micky; 03-04-2015 at 12:00 PM.

  42. #41

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    Cable flipping ... it was driving me nuts trying to figure it out it this is real or not, but here's the theory, please feel free to comment (and I am not an electrical engineer!).

    A cheap cable has higher capacitance, so it will actually retain a small electrical charge after being used and this capacitance effectively reduces higher frequencies. Reversing the direction of the cable would cause it to discharge the capacitance, so the high end would return until the capacitance builds up again in the cable, so it would lose high end over time until it's reversed once again.

    More expensive cables usually have lower capacitance than the cheap cables, isn't that the reason for the higher price? (Beyond sales hype, that is.) Don't low-capacitance cables use different and better types of insulation to prevent the cable from being influenced by internal capacitance as well as static electricity from the outside, etc.?

    What influence do the connectors have?

    Does floating the input ground help? I've heard this is a useful mod to Fender old amps but haven't tried it in case it involves drilling holes in the chassis to make them larger.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Micky
    A cheap cable has higher capacitance, so it will actually retain a small electrical charge after being used and this capacitance effectively reduces higher frequencies. Reversing the direction of the cable would cause it to discharge the capacitance, so the high end would return until the capacitance builds up again in the cable, so it would lose high end over time until it's reversed once again.
    Sorry, that's incorrect. The impedance of a capacitor doesn't change when it's charged. And while it's possible for a cable to acquire a static charge, running an audio signal through it in the opposite direction won't cause it to discharge.
    Last edited by KirkP; 03-04-2015 at 07:10 PM.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Micky
    It has been also proven that humans in fact do respond to frequencies well over 20K (the generally accepted limit of human hearing) and in fact possibly up to 120K! (If anyone really wants the info I can post links to this stuff).
    Please do post links proving hearing sensitivity up to 120KHz. Since that's off-topic, it should probably be a new thread. Thanks!
    Last edited by KirkP; 03-04-2015 at 06:58 PM.

  45. #44

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    I'm on my second DRRI. One came up used locally and I luckly purchased it for $300 a couple years ago. I'm trying to justify purchasing a class D amp to lighten my rig but having a hard time with the thought of compromising tone for weight. The DRRI is not the be all and end all of amps but it's hard to beat the response and harmonic content of a tube amp, even if it's a RI. It certainly has most of the qualities one looks for in a jazz guitar amp, decent clean headroom, warmth, reverb, saturation when driven. The last amp I had before this one was a 69 Bassman head. Certainly PTP wiring has a mojo that I don't find in printed circuit boards. I haven't tried every SS amp out there but so far none have caught my attention.

  46. #45

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    This is an interesting thread, especially that I am looking for an amp that i will used for:

    1- Jazz with my Eastman non-cut AR810 + handmade Kent armstrong single coil and and bronze strings
    2- Classic rock and pop with my Strat

    Could someone explain the difference in tone and electronics between the '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and the '65 Deluxe Reverb? Which one would yopu prefer and why?

  47. #46

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    The '65 would be the classic blackface circuit, but with a printed circuit board rather than hand wired point-to-point.

    From reading Fender literature it appears that the '68 Custom is modified as follows:
    Less negative feedback (which should be a trivial mod to any deluxe if you want less clean headroom)
    The tone stack on the left channel is changed to Bassman specs. The right channel is unchanged
    Both channels now have vibrato and tremolo.
    Different speaker Celestion G12V-70 instead of Jensen C-12K.
    Silverface cosmetics.

    If you want the option of a Bassman tone stack and prefer the Celestion speaker, consider the '68 custom.
    Last edited by KirkP; 03-05-2015 at 01:00 AM.

  48. #47

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    Originally Posted by Uncle Micky
    A cheap cable has higher capacitance, so it will actually retain a small electrical charge after being used and this capacitance effectively reduces higher frequencies. Reversing the direction of the cable would cause it to discharge the capacitance, so the high end would return until the capacitance builds up again in the cable, so it would lose high end over time until it's reversed once again.



    KirkP replied:

    Sorry, that's incorrect. The impedance of a capacitor doesn't change when it's charged. And while it's possible for a cable to acquire a static charge, running an audio signal through it in the opposite direction won't cause it to discharge.
    Thank you, as I said, I was posing a theory in the hope someone when knew this stuff could provide good answers. Thank you!

    So basically reversing a cable doesn't do a darn thing? I've never noticed any audible change from reversing one, but I was following up on a previous comment in this thread.

    Maybe cables should be a new topic?
    Last edited by Uncle Micky; 03-05-2015 at 10:50 AM.

  49. #48

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    Originally Posted by Uncle Micky
    It has been also proven that humans in fact do respond to frequencies well over 20K (the generally accepted limit of human hearing) and in fact possibly up to 120K! (If anyone really wants the info I can post links to this stuff).



    KirkP replied:

    Please do post links proving hearing sensitivity up to 120KHz. Since that's off-topic, it should probably be a new thread. Thanks!
    I don't know where to put a new thread on this rather esoteric topic but it's invaluable, so KirkP if you start the thread I will respond there as well so this thread can get back to Fender Deluxe Reverbs exclusively.

    In the meantime, I will have to find the article I read recently that describes inhabitants of pristine South America (including humans) that could sense and somehow "feel" vibrations up to 120K. We don't have basilar membrane in our ears that goes above 20K, but tests have been made on humans that show we respond to sound at least as high as 27K while spelling by measuring REM fluctuations resulting from the stimuli.

    If you want to really blow you mind, we can start the proposed new thread with this very interesting information:

    Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect | Journal of Neurophysiology

    ... which scientifically demonstrates the fact that CD range audio is very much incapable of delivery the human brainwave activity we need to experience recorded music most effectively and with as higher degree of emotional fulfillment. We respond with much more of our brains being used if the content (program material) goes up to at least 50K. For those who get discouraged from reading a lot of text just scroll down to the graphics to get the idea. And in my mind demonstrates why vinyl sounds superior to CD on an audiophile system despite the hiss, and odd snap, crackle and pop.

    To DanTheMan: This info is only in this thread because we strayed from topic. I don't have scientific equipment to measure stuff, I just have my ears and they were the ones that told me Fender Deluxe Reverbs are the best all-purpose amp in existence, especially the vintage ones. I've heard new RI's with no mods or upgrades that sound great, though! If you can, perhaps take both of your guitars to a local music store that has one in stock then take a test drive. A really good way to evaluate an amp is to talk to the folks at the store with the amp you're thinking about buying and make a deal to rent it for a month ... and if you buy it then the rent is applied to the purchase price. That way nobody loses and you can really get familiar with it. Music stores usually aren't great places to meticulously hear things, oddly enough. Much better to try one in the living room, bedroom, studio, gig, etc.




  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Micky
    If you want to really blow you mind, we can start the proposed new thread with this very interesting information: Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect | Journal of Neurophysiology ... which scientifically demonstrates the fact that CD range audio is very much incapable of delivery the human brainwave activity we need to experience recorded music most effectively and with as higher degree of emotional fulfillment.
    Thanks for that link. Here's a paper that respectfully counters it:
    http://www.hificritic.com/uploads/2/..._bandwidth.pdf
    I'm ready to move on. My apologies to the OP.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIRKP
    The '65 would be the classic blackface circuit, but with a printed circuit board rather than hand wired point-to-point.

    From reading Fender literature it appears that the '68 Custom is modified as follows:
    Less negative feedback (which should be a trivial mod to any deluxe if you want less clean headroom)
    The tone stack on the left channel is changed to Bassman specs. The right channel is unchanged
    Both channels now have vibrato and tremolo.
    Different speaker Celestion G12V-70 instead of Jensen C-12K.
    Silverface cosmetics.

    If you want the option of a Bassman tone stack and prefer the Celestion speaker, consider the '68 custom.
    What is the difference in the tone of the '68 deluxe with the bassman tone stack compared to the '65 Deluxe (both reissues)?

    Also do you lose something by having the trem and vibrato (should I read trem and reverb?) on both channels? If you do not loose anything why Fender reisssued the '65 with the trem on only one channel?

    Thank you

    Daniel