Fender Deluxe Reverb killers

BoomTexan

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So, in my opinion, the Fender Deluxe Reverb is both one of the greatest amps of all time and the most overrated. If I had a dime for every time someone asks which is the best amp for blues/rock/country/jazz/pop/punk/indie/surf and someone responds with '65 DRRI, I'd have enough money to buy out Fender. It is a good amp, and probably as much amp as you'll ever need for gigging, but for what they are, they're expensive, and there are definitely better options out there.

Here's my personal favorite DR killer:
ampegr12r.jpg

Gorgeous, isn't she? This is a 1964 Ampeg R12R-B Reverberocket. These routinely sell for 800, and the reissues are around 300. It outputs about 30 watts of power, with reverb and tremolo. I'm not comparing this to an original Deluxe Reverb, because there's around a $3k difference in prices. I'll go over a list of pros and cons:

Pros for R12R:
Cheaper and will hold value substantially better
May come with a vintage Jensen speaker worth ~$200
Louder and cleaner
When it breaks up, it sounds better than a DRRI
Tubes last longer
More solidly built
Needs less maintenance and is cheaper+easier to repair
It's a cool collection piece
Pros for DRRI:
Come with individual tone controls
Easier and faster to sell
Easier to find info on it if you want to repair it yourself
You can fit in with the sheeple who hate everything that isn't a DRRI
Cons for R12R:
May need maintenance immediately after buying
You may not want to gig with it, as it might be hard to replace
Tubes are more expensive and harder to find
Harder to find a super clean example if that's your thing
Cons for DRRI:
Made with substantially more inferior parts, and will need semi-immediate servicing if bought new (within 3-5 years of purchase)
More susceptible to damage due to non-rigid cabinet design.
It being a PCB amp will make it more expensive for a tech to work on


If you have any other DRRI killers (same price range but in your opinion, better amps), I'd love to hear about them.
 

schmee

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northwest
hmmm...... 🤔 nope.... can't think of anything......... :lol: But I'm thinking of the BFDR, only had a RI long enough to handwire it and sell it....

I will admit, it's been decades since I tried the Ampeg, always sounded too 'hi fi' for me in a band mix, although in the music room was a very cool tone.
 

Cali Dude

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I've had both an original '65 Fender deluxe reverb, and the reissue that I have now. I definitely prefer the original. But, for maybe 1/3 of the cost, the reissue is a pretty cool amp. I bet that Ampeg is sweet too. I had a reissue ampeg back in the '90s. It was noisy and unreliable. I have had no problems with my reissue since 2008.
 

PARCO

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VA
Had a Reverb Rocket reissue for a few years. Great amp, especially with Tele's.
 

bottlenecker

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Hey man, some people like to walk into a big chain store and buy something brand new, and don't even want to know about 60 year old amps that sell for half of a pcb "reissue".
And why wouldn't we want to keep it that way?
I try not to bring up affordable vintage amps on the tdpri. At least, not the ones that are easy to get a good sound from.

Hey, anyone tried a good modeling amp lately?
 

richiek65

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A Reverberocket popped up close by for cheap years ago, i was sitting on the fence about whether to have a look, then by the time i decided to get serious, it was, of course, gone..
 

muscmp

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Jul 1, 2008
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california
as usual, it is subjective. i personally like my 66 deluxe reverb that i've had for years. only thing that comes close is my 67 super reverb.
play music!
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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Colorado
That's a different category of amp. I can't get anything I want from a master volume amp unless I want a sterile clean.

Expand on that. I don't understand what you meant by "I can't get anything I want from a master volume amp unless I want a sterile clean."

My Boogies and Blues Juniors have great cleans but because of the master volume I can get whatever gain they can provide as well, but at the volume I need for the occasion.
 
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slider313

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NC
I have a '64 R12R-M and a '65 R12R-T. These are the last of the top loaded series, with the "T" being my personal favorite. Reverberockets are all about midrange and not nearly as scooped as a Deluxe Reverb. They excel with a larger magnet driver like a Celestion G12-65, Jensen Jet Falcon, Weber Silver Bell or 12F150S, etc. Push it with a clean boost and solo's will have more sustain than some of the best amps out there. Yes, I'm an Ampeg fan!

RR65&63.jpg
 

Lone_Poor_Boy

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I have a '64 R12R-M and a '65 R12R-T. These are the last of the top loaded series, with the "T" being my personal favorite. Reverberockets are all about midrange and not nearly as scooped as a Deluxe Reverb. They excel with a larger magnet driver like a Celestion G12-65, Jensen Jet Falcon, Weber Silver Bell or 12F150S, etc. Push it with a clean boost and solo's will have more sustain than some of the best amps out there. Yes, I'm an Ampeg fan!

View attachment 1018912
Please tell me you use them together.....

Whether stereo or with just different tone dialed in on each.
 




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