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Bandmaster or Deluxe Reverb

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by AlbertaGriff, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    I'm mulling selling my 1966 Bandmaster and purchasing a 1970 Deluxe Reverb, both in excellent condition. The DR would be a bit more money, but not too much more so that's not really an issue for me. Right now I use the Bandmaster pretty sparingly. I was using it with a '67 Bassman in stereo, which sounds great, but we have a little one in the house now, and I really don't do this very often any more. Mostly now I am playing a Princeton Reverb. The PR gets a bit ratty when pushed, so I was thinking a DR might suit me for when I want just a bit more out of the PR, for example if I were to start playing with a band again. Also, anyone ever tried a DR and a PR in stereo? Would that work as a quieter substitute for me Bandmaster/Bassman stereo rig?

    Anyone want to convince me one way or another??

    It would be PR/Bandmaster/Bassman in the stable or PR/DR/Bassman.

  2. Airguitar

    Airguitar Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2010
    Benoni, South Africa
    I have owned a few amps but never a bandmaster. It's almost double the power of the Deluxe Reverb. I find that the Deluxe Reverb fits all my needs. I'd be comfortable taking it to any type of gig as it's very versatile. It takes well to pedals too.
    Most of all I can still carry it myself!
    AlbertaGriff likes this.

  3. Tele295

    Tele295 Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Ventura CA
    Rebias the DR to run 6L6 tubes, and you'll have more headroom like the Bandmaster. Heckuva lot easier to move around, too
    dan1952 and AlbertaGriff like this.

  4. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    The thing is, I am not particularly attached to the Bandmasters sound or headroom. In fact, right now I would say I prefer the PR.

  5. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    Yes the DR will do what the PR doesn't.... been at that crossroads a few times in the last 15 years. I use a DR for all my gigs but outdoors. PR's were problematic for me and get too nasty except some small gigs or particular rooms. But I always want the ability to play clean or overdriven with pedals. Pedals jack up the PR too much on the front end and they go BLAAAT!
    I use more wattage outdoors to keep things clean enough. A BMR or Bassman usually.

  6. adjason

    adjason Friend of Leo's

    Jan 9, 2010
    I would go the deluxe reverb route if I was you...I've got some nice blackface amps but I would not part with my 1979 deluxe reverb
    viccortes285 and AlbertaGriff like this.

  7. LudwigvonBirk

    LudwigvonBirk Tele-Holic

    Aug 26, 2017
    Pop an Allen TO20 Output Transformer in the PR, you'll love it. Easy to swap in (or reverse out), costs about $80.
    This fixed my BLAAT problem entirely.
    twotone60 and jondanger like this.

  8. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Poster Extraordinaire

    Oct 22, 2006
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    If that gear was mine...

    I'd keep the Bassman head and both of those cool little Fender 2x12 cabs. Or the Bandmaster head if you prefer. That was my rig in the late 70s, good sound at low home volume or cranked on a gig with a seven piece soul top 40 band.
    AlbertaGriff and dan1952 like this.

  9. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    1968 DR rebiased for 6L6's, with a Mesa Black Shadow (celestion 80 watt) was my main amp for years. Great headroom, still lightweight, used for big outdoor shows with an SM57. The best I ever used!
    AlbertaGriff likes this.

  10. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

    Aug 8, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    The Bandmaster and the Deluxe Reverbs have pretty different sounds, if I remember correctly. I had a BF Bandmaster piggyback and matching cabinet in high school, but my ideal amp was always the Deluxe Reverb. Now I have one, and I would never think of getting a Bandmaster instead of the Deluxe.

    I would absolutely buy the Deluxe. I think pre-1973 is before MDF cabs and baffles. It's basically the same amp as the BF Deluxe. A few minor differences here and there, but great-sounding amps that will only appreciate in value and give you that sound.

    As for running the Deluxe Reverb with 6L6's and only a re-bias: some can survive it, and some can't. It's not something I would do. Much too risky. If you want 6L6's, change out the power transformer or just by a 6L6 amp.
    AlbertaGriff likes this.

  11. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah, I wouldn't say I'm a collector, but I wouldn't change the transformer or which type of power tubes was used. Not really my style at this stage of the game.
    Dirtsquirrel likes this.

  12. Airguitar

    Airguitar Tele-Meister

    Dec 21, 2010
    Benoni, South Africa
    I have a SM57 and a drum mic clip that grabs a side of the cabinet on the DLXR. It positions the mic perfectly. Into the PA, and any gig is possible.
    sonicsmitty likes this.

  13. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    Are you able to push the PR to breakup at home? That's incredibly loud, baby or no.

    As a few noted, despite the overall "BF" family, the Bandmaster and the DR are quite different sounds. How different they are in volume is more a function of cab, speaker complement and speaker efficiency. Though to me, for a "big" amp, the Bandmaster sounds quite "undersized" to me. Strident and ratty even when mostly clean. The DR does not.

    The DR also sounds different pushed to me than a PR. A PR does get quite ratty when pushed. Some love that sound. The DR is more nuanced and "smoother" (than a PR) pushed.

    Why worry about a stereo rig for playing out if you are not playing out right now? As @schmee notes, my experience is, almost no clubs will allow me to push even a DR to breakup. TOO LOUD they say. Their club, they should know. But then, I can't imagine getting much out of a DR at home, TBH. I'd just be using it as a pretty sterile clean platform at that point. But if you were pushing a PR to full out breakup at home, maybe you have a different situation. Hope you're wearing earplugs though.
    nojazzhere and AlbertaGriff like this.

  14. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    The stereo playing is more just for myself, goofing around with stereo delays, trem and reverb.

    And compared to what I was doing before, the PR set at 5 is relatively quiet.

    I guess the main question is will I miss the Bandmaster at all if I replace it with a DR? I am thinking not.

  15. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    If I were seriously into stereo effects, I would want two identical amps. Sell the Bandmaster and buy a SF Prin Rev, have both Prin Reverbs fully serviced and set up identically. Install some high efficiency speakers...the Emi Legend GB128 is a great speaker for the money.
    Or...sell the both B-master and the Prin Rev and buy two SFDR’s.....same thing....service them and set them up identically...same speakers, tubes, biasing, etc.

  16. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    To answer your question....YES, I have used a '64 BF Princeton (non-reverb) in tandem with a '63 BF Deluxe (also non-reverb) and they sounded amazing...not identical, but that was what I was looking for. Kinda like using different brand speakers in a two speaker cab. I also once owned a "Fender Electric Instruments" Bandmaster, all original, that I liked VERY much, but I just wanted to downsize carrying gear on gigs. Of all the regrets I have over selling stuff, it's tied between that Deluxe and a '67 BF Deluxe Reverb.
    AlbertaGriff, schmee and viccortes285 like this.

  17. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    My BFD is my go to amp now, occasionally I still use the BFDR , but the plain Deluxe is just a killer fat tone. Sometimes I just turn around after taking a lead and give it a look thinking "jaysus that thing sounds good!"

  18. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Meister

    Mar 2, 2016
    Alberta, Canada
    Yeah I am not that serious about it. The Bandmaster and Bassman were "close enough" for me. Hope the DR/PR is too.
    Wally likes this.

  19. David Barnett

    David Barnett Poster Extraordinaire

  20. Bob M

    Bob M Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    May 11, 2011
    North of Boston
    I have a '65 Tremolux and I had a open back cab built. Very light weight easy to move and a big sound with the Eminence Alessandro 10s. I have a Sole-mate spring reverb and I would take that rig against a DR. I like the headroom. You could do the same thing with a Bandmaster.

    viccortes285 and nojazzhere like this.

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