Fender Deluxe Reverb II

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by SnidelyWhiplash, Jul 28, 2021.

  1. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Friend of Leo's

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    There is one for sale close to me. It was designed during the Rivera era at Fender. Not too familiar with this particular model except for YT clips. It sounds good, but a lotta knobs to figure out. ;)

    Anyone familiar with this particular model? Pros/cons?

    Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    I had a 1-12" Concert, it's brother.
    If the deal is good, I'd buy it in a second, mine was super-dependable, never had a problem with it.
    So, my summary:
    It's a channel switching amp, but I never used that option.
    The dirty channel, for me (and many others), wasn't great, although I believe there are mods out there to improve it.
    That's a pretty reasonably well-known fact out there.
    It (dirty channel) sounded OK, but most people found it lacking.
    And I pretty much never used that channel, I only ever used the clean channel.

    The clean channel was Complete Awesome Sauce and why its worth the buy, with explanations.
    It sounds different than your run of the mill standard BF or SF Fenders.
    So if you go in thinking that or expecting that, your own expectations will curve-ball you into cognitive dissonance, so don't do that.
    I think most of the criticisms of these Rivera amps came from the fact that guys went in expecting to hear a classic BF or SF amp.
    And they aren't that, exactly.
    And so when they didn't hear 'that', they criticized it, they didn't judge the amp solely on its own merits.

    Because this is a different kind of clean, a clean I really liked (and I also have several SF Fenders)
    If I had to wrap it up in a sentence, its like the thing sounds Fender...
    But someone mixed some Ampeg brew into the recipe somewhere.
    It's more of a late '70's Rock clean than '60's Surfer-Boy clean.
    The thing LOVES to be hit hard, that's when you hear 'it'.
    The Thing It Does Really Well. The thing that makes it stand out and be its own thing.
    Tighter, firmer, meaner, a little bolder than a BF/SF Fender.

    When you hit that thing hard, it doesn't yield an inch, it holds its lunch and laughs at you.
    Where the BF/SF would get saggy or woofy or lose the bottom, these don't, they hold firm, just like an Ampeg.
    If you go to play it, don't softly noodle single strings, dig in and hit the f-in' thing hard and you'll hear what I'm talking about.
    Do a Pete Townsend windmill, that's what it wants.
    That's where you hear the Ampeg, when you slam it with some hard chords.
    I put an EV SRO in mine, it loved it.

    So, forget the dirty channel, forget the channel switching.
    The Clean Channel with pedals in front is absolute GloryLand.
    That's where it shines.
    That's what I got.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  3. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’m sure you’ll get some knowledgeable replies soon enough, but I have had a Princeton Reverb II since it was less than two years old. It’s more amp than I need, and it’s all the amp I need. There were mods, but nothing complicated. I’m not sure about the Deluxe, but my input is that the quality is there, as long as you don’t pay “collectible” money for it. You probably won’t have to; mine in perfect condition would be worth less than a new tube amp that I don’t like as much, the same is probably true of the DRII. I’ll go away now and watch for what people with smarts have to say.
     
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  4. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

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    Click bait....As soon as I saw Deluxe Reverb, I needed to look. I'd never heard of a Deluxe Reverb II. However, knowing that it was a Rivera amp and probably had as much in common with a BF or SF Deluxe as the newer 2 x 12 Concert Reverb had with the original four speaker model, I'm less excited. I wonder why Fender chose to label their newer amps the same as the older "golden-age" amps that everybody loves.
     
  5. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    Like ‘em or don’t, you have to remember that the “Rivera Era” was a bit desperate for Fender. I don’t think customers realized yet that they wanted things the way they used to was, but they knew they didn’t want where Fender was going at the time. Something had to be done. My PRII is really in no way a Princeton, but it is what it is. When I first bought it, I was a bit disappointed. Then I played a couple of old Princetons, and I was more disappointed. Once I put aside the “it’s not a REAL Princeton” feelings, I realized it was a very good (and easily serviced) 22W tube amp.
     
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  6. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    I disagree with that, completely, I think that is skewed thinking on the part of the consumer.
    Especially someone who has never had to actually compete for sales in the marketplace with a widget.

    It was the time of channel switching amps, Mesas, and rack gear.
    Get your head wrapped around that and those amps make perfect sense.
    These were exactly what you would expect from Fender, trying to compete for sales in that time period, under those marketplace conditions.
    With the kind of music that was being made at the time.
    Thus, bringing in Paul Rivera, who by my standards made some of the most top-notch amps with the most top-notch components known, under his own name.
    He was a Huge name in rack gear and amps in that time.

    Once you stop comparing them to 1960's Fenders, which were basically antiquated amps in comparison...
    In that time frame...It all makes sense.

    You don't have to like them.
    But to shat on them by comparing them to an amplifier marketplace 30 years its prior...
    Designed to please a 1960's Made-For-Surfer-Boy-Or-Good-Old Country-Boy amplifier is just insane.
    That is just uninformed consumerism.
    These amps were completely relevant for their time and the competition in their marketplace.
    And their sound reflects that, and its an awesome good sound.

    Its like comparing this:
    [​IMG]

    To this:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
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  7. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    OK, not sure my point was clear, but whatever…
     
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  8. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    No hostility, just that Fender was, very simply, in competition for sales.
    And needed to bring an updated and relevant product to market for the times.
    And they did that, exactly that.

    I see the Rivera-era amps snidely dissed pretty often by the classic surfer crew.
    But the fact is, to stay profitable, they were trying to Get Away from their image of antiquated Surfer-Boy amplifiers.
    They weren't in vogue at the time, and refrigerator-size stacks of rack gear were.
    And they needed to fairly compete in that arena.

    My point was that they didn't make these amplifiers because they were desperate.
    They were simply trying to stay current and relevant for the times, all companies have to do that to survive.
    Couched in the proper frame, they're great amplifiers, I loved mine.
    But I'm far more late 70's Rock dude than '60's Surfer dude.
     
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  9. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes, I wonder.... ;)

    But besides marketing, all amp models have been constantly evolving over the years. This was before the era of reissues, and they probably just saw this as updating the old Deluxe Reverb to meet the demands and competition at the time.
     
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  10. Drak

    Drak Tele-Afflicted

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    Actually I think that's where they did make a mistake, by continually using the same model names over, and over, and over.
    When the amps themselves 'did' have 'some' commonality to their older brethren, but only so much.
    I think it did mis-represent the new product line, and drag the classic amps into an arena they had no place in.
    There should have been a clear separating line with new model names IMO.

    I think they did themselves, and consumers, a disservice by re-using the old model names.
    I think they were trying to both hold on to old marketshare and also gain new customers by doing that.
    But the amps were different enough to warrant new model names.

    And I think in the end it backfired on them by creating confusion instead of clarity.
    The Rivera channel-switching amps should have had a whole new set of model names.
    It really would have helped everyone more than it would have hurt to establish a new line in the sand there.
     
  11. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I've played through a Princeton II a few times, at an open jam. It was pretty nice and you could get a little hair on it a little quieter. There is no reason you can't get good sounds out of a Deluxe II. If it's a reasonably good deal, I would not hesitate to get one, if I needed a 1x12 combo. It's just not quite the same thing as a traditional Deluxe Reverb. the thing about a Deluxe Reverb that I love, is that as long as you're mindful of the brightness of the little tike, there really isn't a bad sound to be had.
     
  12. Lynxtrap

    Lynxtrap Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess it depends on how you look at it. When the Deluxe was completely overhauled for the Blackface era, "Reverb" was added to the name. The next time they did a serious redesign, a "II" was added. The older versions were discontinued in both instances.

    40-60 years later we think of the older models as classics, but that probably wasn't in anyone's mind at Fender in those days, other than the value of the well established brand names like Deluxe, Princeton etc.
     
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  13. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Friend of Leo's

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    Excellent amp.
    Hand wired.
    The clean side is really good, whereas the dirty side may or may not be your "thing".
    It depends.
    I'd buy one in a second if the price was good.
     
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