68 Custom deluxe amp

Grandfunkfan

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Gassing for a new amp just because. Love my Peavey Delta blues and don't expect the the deluxe to be better just different. Can't find one to demo where I live. Anybody have an opinion?
 

Wrighty

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Had one for a few years. Absolutely loved it, range of tones available was vast and it took pedals really well. I only traded it because of the weight. With two hernia ops and a back which isn't as strong as it was I could feel the damage I was doing schlepping the thing in and out of the car. OK on the flat, I fitted genuine Fender wheels. I also fitted tilt back legs which were a big advantage.

Traded it for a Tone Master Twin and, six months in, I'm still learning but really liking it, especially when it's all over and I don't need help loading up!

Still, if you have no problem with the weight, the '68 Custom is a great amp.
 

SoK66

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Can of worms alert! Lol! Most owners like the amps, "BUT." In the best of cases they have a high idle noise floor due to Fender's design compromises, reduced negative feedback and the way they combined reverb and tremolo on both channels. In that regard the noise floor on mine was unacceptable. I did a writeup on how I cured it, which involved removing the power section grounds from the main PCB and grounding at the power transformer, getting the heater circuit off the main PCB and directly onto the power tubes, and reverting the negative feeback resistor value to that of the '65 DRRI/vintage AB763 amps. Amp is very quiet now and sounds great.

That said, be sure to try one at a retailer before you buy. Had that been possible for me I woud have rejected the one I got, which was stright out of the shipping box, replete with a bad Custom channel input jack.
 

Grandfunkfan

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Thanks for the info. I've heard sometimes they don't get noisy until it's too late to return em too. Guess I'll hold off.
 

Grandfunkfan

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I've bought some fender gear with q.c. issues and every time I tell my self no more Fender gear but , unfortunately they do have some neat stuff and I get sucked in again. It is a pisser they don't do a better job, especially with the high end stuff.
 

AxemanVR

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I've bought some fender gear with q.c. issues and every time I tell my self no more Fender gear but , unfortunately they do have some neat stuff and I get sucked in again. It is a pisser they don't do a better job, especially with the high end stuff.
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While I can’t vouch for any of the other “high end” Fender amps, my 2019 Fender ‘57 Custom Deluxe is excellent in every possible way.

Of course it also has hand-wired, point to point construction that mostly follows the original design and it's almost a $1000 more than the '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb, which is probably more than what most would want to spend on such a thing. I got my '57 Custom Deluxe 'used' for the smoking hot price of $1400 though, but even at $1800-$1900 (used) it would have been totally worth it to me.

The only noise issue mine has isn’t something I would consider to be anything unusual - a little noisy when first turned on but acceptably quiet after warming up (which I’ve determined to be normal for this model after doing a little research).

Obviously PCB circuits are far more difficult to modify than comparable point to point designs, which makes SoK66's mods pretty much out of the question for most people. And even though I could do them, I’m really not interested in going through all that effort myself.

Anyway, in regards to the Fender '57 Custom Deluxe, I can at least attest to one exceptional Fender amp model that's currently available new..


2019 Fender 57 Custom Deluxe.jpeg



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zhyla

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Most owners like the amps, "BUT." In the best of cases they have a high idle noise floor
Yeah, that's been my experience with mine. It's not terrible, but it's just a little noisy.

I'm pretty happy with mine. I'm not sure the "custom" channel adds much. I swap channels out of boredom sometimes but the "vintage" channel is all you really need.

I was actually looking for a plain 65DRRI or 65PRRI but found the 68CDR on Craigslist for a reasonable price.

One thing I don't like, and this is common with the DRRI as well, is the tremolo. It's choppier than I would like. I didn't really understand the differences in tremolo circuits before I bought it, loved a PRRI that I played, and assumed the bigger brother's tremolos would be just as good. For my taste it's not.

Otherwise, the reverb is solid (thought a tiny bit noisy), the speaker seems fine, and the EQ is very effective. I've heard these break up at lower volumes than the 65DRRI but I'll never find out, I've never gotten it past 3 for more than a split second.

Gotta say... if you're GASing for this and don't need as much headroom, the Princeton options are pretty killer.
 

SoK66

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I'm tempted to remove the reverb on the Custom channel. It's not difficult, you just remove the jumper they put between the channels and install a .047 or .022 cap in the empty slot. That should get rid of the reverb noise to the degree you might be able to record using the amp's reverb. Like you the Custom channel is diversion, I generally just use the Vintage (Vibrato) channel as I would on a normal Delux Reverb.
 

'64 Tele

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I've had one for about 5 years. Like you, I'd heard about the hiss at idle.
I found one in local mom and pop store, A/B'd against the 65 DRRI and came home with
the 68 Custom. Mine is very quiet at idle.
The two distinct channels (that are in phase, so can be jumped), reverb/trem on both channels sold me on it.
The V Type Celestion speaker is very "even" sounding speaker.
I've previously owned a 1964 (with first a JBL, replaced with a Mesa Boogie Black Shadow) and a 1966 (first with an Altec Lansing, then the JBL from the 1964) vintage Blackface DR's.
The 68 Custom DR sounds like I wanted my vintage DR's to sound like.
It takes pedals very well and with an A/B/Y pedal, you have a channel switching/combining amp.
I'm using it with channels jumped with output from last pedal on my board.
 




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