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fender 65 deluxe reverb vs 68 deluxe reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by slinger, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    The '68 moniker on the "68 Custom", and the SF cosmetics, is all pure marketing. There's nothing 1968, or silverface, about it.

    The vintage BF, SF, and the PCB 65 reissues all fall into the same tonal camp. The '68 Custom is something entirely different, meant to leverage the perception and the market success of the 65 reissue line, IMO.

    While I generally agree a lot with what Silverface says above ^, I'll add that I like the tone of the reissues just fine, usually. The builds are not similar to the BF/SF at all, though. So, if you want modern sounds, get a Custom. If you want vintage sounds, get one of the others. If you want something easy to maintain that will outlive your grandchildren, get a real BF or SF.
     

  2. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2010
    Fullerton CA
    The '68 is tweaked to have more more midrange and early breakup, with a "honky" Celestion to boot. Both treble and bass are lessened in the process.
    How this could possibly translate to "more open" is mystifying.
    YMMV.
     
    moosie likes this.

  3. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2008
    Texas
    Have used both at louder gigs, preferred the '65 DRRI, mainly because it does get hairy when you crank it, but it cleans up very well when you want clean. The custom 68 had one good distorted tone I liked, but couldn't find a Fendery clean that sounded good on a loud bandstand. Tried it at lower levels, and the cleans were still uninspiring, not "Fender clean" at all, IMO.

    If a guy needed a thick, distorted tone with no pedals at less than dimed levels, the 68 would work for that.
     
    slinger likes this.

  4. slinger

    slinger Friend of Leo's

    Mar 7, 2013
    wild west
    thanks guys...for all the good info...going with the '65
     

  5. rainman59

    rainman59 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    59
    5
    May 1, 2017
    60544
    I have tried both. I have also experimented with other Fenders, Suhr, Supro, Marshall, Vox, Peavey, Laney, Magnatone, Tone King, Victoria, Louis Electric, Swart, Friedman, PRS, Morgan and probably others I forgot to mention.

    There are lots of people who are happy with their amps of different makes and models. I own a Fender Pro Tube Series 100 Watt Twin Amp, and it still sounds great eleven years later. We should own what sounds best to us, but it's a matter of what I call "sound economics". I want a second as backup to my main amp, and something more portable. I don't have roadies and I operate within a budget. That said, I was seriously considering amps in the $1k to $3k range, and that covers a lot of ground.

    After playing on many, there wasn't one that was better than my Twin. And so, I went back to trying Fenders and thought I came close with the Deluxe Reverb.

    I took home the '65 but returned it next day. It did not sound clear or "chimey" as people describe, but instead sounded darker, even muffled compared to what I want. Perhaps, I got a bad example but the '68 sounded way better. The Silverface also has more versatility and can even be jumpered and in effect, that setup can be used as an effects loop.

    I read where some folks liked the '65 and modified them but I have no interest in modding a new amp. I can see it if you buy a used amp at a great price and want to do that or have a tech do the modifications. Otherwise, I disagree with that approach but to each his own.

    I think Bonomassa had it right in his article on the 5 most underrated amps when he mentioned the '68 Deluxe Reverb as one of the best Fender has produced in a long time.
     
    t guitar floyd likes this.

  6. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I'm baffled by claims that the '65 and '68 are vastly different amps. They are almost identical amps. The '68 has a few tweaks. They are mostly different because they have different speakers.

    But then, I also don't agree with claims that a '65 reissue is vastly or even significantly different in sound and response than a vintage one.
     

  7. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Go reference the schematics, especially the preamp section. Different values all over the place between the 68 and 65. The 65 DRRI uses the same values as the 70s schematics so it comes very close to vintage in sound. Now it's PCB vs PTP but tonally it is very close.
     
    jwp2 likes this.

  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    @robrob has posted the schematics. The Vintage channel is close to the Vibrato channel. The Custom channel isn't that far off either. I'll stand by them being mostly the same amp (some differences, but not dramatic) with a different speaker.
     

  9. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    Agree, the vintage channel on the 68 has all the same values and design as a normal Vibrato channel on the 65 except for R119, a 10k resistor going into pin 2 preamp tube. The custom channel has an extra resistor hanging off the bass pot and different values to ground. There is one alternate value around the Power tubes as well. I didn't see any other significant differences but did not do a component quality comparison. That could provide a difference as well.
     

  10. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I have both. Sigh. But that's another story.

    After reading a bunch of reviews and online commentary, I was convinced that the '68 would have no headroom and way too much bass. I was pleasantly surprised to find the headroom, EQ and dynamics to be very close to my '65. Taught me a valuable lesson.
     

  11. rainman59

    rainman59 TDPRI Member

    Age:
    59
    5
    May 1, 2017
    60544
    All anyone has to do is play through them to hear they are different. The rest of the discussion about schematics, resistors, and opinions about what ought to be, is moot.

    I suspect there is variance between one example of a '65 and the next one off the line, and same for the '68, so generalizations should be taken for just that. The guys who own them and play them know best. You can believe it or not. But when I spend time, effort and money on equipment, reading reviews is only valuable as a reference point. After reading and research, you just need to try stuff out.

    The two amps are very different sounding and that is my experience. None of this is surprising. I can think of plenty of times where I expected something different than it turned out. That goes for amps, guitars or other equipment... and by the way, life in general.
     
    t guitar floyd and robrob like this.

  12. robrob

    robrob Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    United States

  13. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    At one time I read a lot of threads and watched a lot of YouTubes comparing the Princeton equivalents, the 65 PRRI and 68 CPR.

    FWIW, the DRRI seems to get more love than the PRRI. Just bigger? Better speaker?

    The point is, the PR comparisons end up sounding much the same as these. If you want more scoop and chime, go 65. If you want more bass and breakup, go 68. In both series, both amps have their strong advocates.

    Finally, in my PR experience, neither the PRRI or CPR (duh) sound all that much like a vintage PR. Does the DRRI get closer to vintage? That'd be a fun shootout.
     
    brbadg likes this.

  14. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    A while back I got to shootout a BF 65, Silverface 77 and my 2006 DRRI which I hauled into a local GC. I was looking to get a vintage Deluxe and was curious about the outcome. I discovered that the sweet breakup sought after by the Blackface crowd also existed in the Silverface. The only difference was that the headroom was a bit lower in the 77 than the 65. There weren't many changes done by CBS in the Deluxe line so I wrote it off to aged components and likely road use being the difference, speakers as well. They sounded really close however sonically. Then I plugged in my DRRI. I was surprised, actually shocked at the similarities in clean tone, very close. The main difference was the break up point of the amp (where on the volume dial it occurred) and the grain of the distortion. The smoothest grain was in the older two amps. The 06 had a very similar tone just a slight more roughness to the breakup. The breakup occurred at the following points on the dials - 65 volume 6, 77 volume 4, 06 volume 7.5.

    So the newer components having less age gave the 06 more clean headroom but louder volume at the breakup point. Overall the amps sounded very much the same with slight variations. After looking at the prices they wanted for the older models, I decided to keep the 06, push the speakers a bit to break them in better and wait for those components to age a bit.

    After all the things I've read about the DRRI not holding a candle to the old models my test demonstrated this is not the case at all. Trust what you read but verify. Last comment, I've played the occasional DRRI that had no mojo, just hard and cold sounding. That may be an issue with cold bias because my amp is not in that category but I've played a few that did not sound all that great. Here in LA there are over 10 GCs so you can get around and check out various models. So to answer the question, yes the DRRI is in the ballpark but there are variations among amps.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2017
    t guitar floyd and King Fan like this.

  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I've played and owned more '65 PRRI's, SFPRs, '65 DRRI's and SFPRs than I care to admit. I don't understand the conclusion that the reissues sound nothing like the original. I've actually gone so far as to swap the speakers between reissues and vintage. Guess what, at that point they sounded indistinguishable to me.

    Again, I think the '65 DRRI and '68 CDR are more similar than different. Speaker being the biggest factor. Now, I actually really like the speaker in the '68. I think it's really good, actually.

    I don't own a '68 CPR. But I will say, I do not like the '68 CPR. But I suspect it is because of that dreadful (IMO) stock speaker. I've had that speaker in other combos and always hated it. (Jim Campilongo purportedly loves it, go figure). I don't know how different the '68 CPR circuit is from the '65 PRRI. It sounds and responds to me like there are more differences between those than between their DR counterparts. But I suspect that is, again, a speaker issue.
     

  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    @Middleman - thanks for the report. Did you try running the '65 though the speaker in the BF and the SF? Our posts crossed, but to repeat myself (why not, I always agree with myself) I suspect even the slight differences you observed would have reduced or disappeared. But I certainly agree with your overall gist that they are all close, regardless.
     

  17. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    No I did not. There were kids running all over the GC store and it got a little crazy at one point. Just plugged them in and played. Speakers could very much have been a factor as well but did not test that variable.
     
    MilwMark likes this.

  18. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2010
    Evergreen, CO
    I had both the '68 CPR and the '65 PRRI at the same time. I compared them pretty extensively here: http://www.tdpri.com/threads/a-tale-of-two-princes-or-how-i-spent-my-snow-day.728903/.

    I am truly baffled by people who claim they're worlds apart and that the '68 CPR sounds nothing like a classic Fender. However, the '68 does have more congested mids. I ended up keeping the '65 and installed a Celestion Gold in it. I compared various variations of amps and speakers and liked that combo the best.

    In summary, they're SO similar but I would rather have the '65 PRRI with the stock Celestion Ten Thirty from the '68 CPR than I would the '68 CPR with an upgraded speaker. IME, the mildly congested sound of the '68 lies in the componentry, not the cheap speaker.
     

  19. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    59
    Mar 11, 2008
    Timonium,Maryland

    All I know is I can't make up my mind in the you tube vids.
    Some are better than others.It's just gonna have to be decided at the store.Ugh.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2017

  20. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2010
    Evergreen, CO
    My observation is regarding the Princeton and not the Deluxe, but it can likely apply to either. Basically, I could be happy with either one. Only when playing them through an A/B setup in my home could I scrutinize enough to make a choice. They're more similar than they are different, but there are differences.
     

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