High wattage Fender head closest to DR?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Sean Owen, Jun 29, 2019.

  1. Sean Owen

    Sean Owen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2017
    Location:
    san diego
    I'm looking for something that I can use with a 2x12 cab and at gigs requiring lots of volume but still playing clean - primarily country and pop. My amps sometimes break up too much at a gig, and I promise I don't enjoy playing that loud.

    What do you think tonally is the closest and best sounding amp, in head form, and at least 80 watts, to a deluxe reverb?

    Thanks!

    E: doesn't have to be Fender. Could be Music Man, boutique, Crate (!), etc
     
  2. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    270
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Location:
    CA
    Dual showman reverb?
     
    Paul in Colorado and Wally like this.
  3. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,808
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    The DR is the DR because of the 6V6s - nothing else really sounds the same.

    I'd stick a E609 Sennheiser in front put and through the PA point the amp at you for your monitor.
     
    aerhed and schmee like this.
  4. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,883
    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2016
    Location:
    Nebraska
    You are describing an interesting beast. Fender Blackface era used similar circuits just at different power levels and speaker configurations. The problem comes in that the Deluxe is 6V6 driven with a tube rectifier which is going to be difficult to find in an 80 watt head. The Dual Showman head or a custom head using the Twin chassis might come close, but again it will be solid state rectified and running 6L6 tubes....not quite apples to apples.

    I do have a Blackface Fender Bandmaster head running quad 6V6 tubes which shares the same circuit with greater headroom, but doubt it can reach anything close to 80 watts....and is still solid state rectified. I am not even sure if you can get 80+ out of 6V6 tubes in the first place regardless of configuration.
     
  5. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,808
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    You could also fit a more efficient speaker - putting an Eminence Allesandro that's 100db compared to the stock would noticeably bump headroom while keeping much of the Classic Fender vibe. Couple that with miccing through the PA you'll be heard.
     
    Hatfield92 likes this.
  6. Sean Owen

    Sean Owen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2017
    Location:
    san diego
    Thanks for the replies. Yep, I do run through the PA when needed. If you just want the Fender tone from that late 60s era, not necessarily 6V6 DR, what high wattage amp heads can get you close? Dual Showman?
     
  7. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,808
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Location:
    Godzone
    If you find a Pro Reverb/Bandmaster Reverb that will get you the reverb and trem.

    The BR is a head version of the Pro Reverb so putting a PR chassis in a repro BR cabinet will give you the same preamp with a much louder power section. The 40 and slightly later 45 watt versions are tube rectified so are probably as close as you can get in a 6L6 amp. The later 70 watter is solid-state rectified. Not terrible, not brilliant and a bigger cleaner amp with little breakup. I had a 70 watt Pro. Almost as clean and loud as a Twin.

    The Mesa Express 50 available as a head does a good modern take on tube reverb, BF Fender, has switchable distortion and a handy boost or graphic footswitchable mode for a boost.
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  8. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,415
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  9. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,967
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Italy and Switzerland
    If I may add: a Tremolux (30W) is clean all the way up the dial if you use traditional single coils. It might suit your needs. It has a tube rectifier and is generally considered to be a little bit smokier than its brother the Bandmaster. I played a little gig where my other guitarist had a Custom ’68 Deluxe Reverb. We never went past 3 and 1/2 … but at soundcheck, just for kicks, I played his and mine on 10. My T-lux had a bit more volume and was hopelessly clean while his was distorting a lot. Sound-wise, his amp was a bit more mid-forward but I remember that when A/B-ing the 65 DRRI and the 68 DR I had the same impression.

    Its stock speakers are 2x10” but 2x12” will do great if they are 4Ω.

    If there’s one around you – which is not common as they were discontinued in ’66 – I’d go check it out.
     
    powerwagonjohn and Tommy Biggs like this.
  10. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,415
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    On Reverb.com, you'll sometimes see Twin Reverbs that have been converted to heads. Here's a handsome one, though converted from the mighty 135-watt Ultralinear transformer TR of the mid-'70s, which some people disdain, others love for their huge cleans. Looks to be a thoughtful rehab, too. (Not affiliated w/ seller.)
    https://reverb.com/item/20918614-fender-twin-reverb-silverface-1975-natural-pine
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  11. Hatfield92

    Hatfield92 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    45
    Posts:
    425
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2019
    Location:
    Largo, Florida, USA
    You’ve gotten some great options.

    Ive got to wonder if you REALLY need 80 watts for clean headroom. Are you playing huge rooms? Outdoors?

    Someone above suggested trying a more efficient speaker. I have a DR with a super efficient speaker, rated at 102 dB. And I doubt I’ll ever play an indoor gig that will allow me to reach the sweet spot. My DR as-is is MUCH louder than a stock drri, whatever that speaker is.

    But if you really do need the power, go for a dual showman or bandmaster reverb head.
     
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  12. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    7,149
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    ^^^ THIS. It's the 6V6's.
    You can get close with 6L6's though. Most Fender amps from that time period are nearly the same architecture inside from the DR to the Showman... other than power tubes. For 80 watt's you are going to need a Showman in a head form. The good news is they aren't expensive. There's a BF Showman head FS over on the Gretsch Talk forum reasonable.
    http://www.gretsch-talk.com/threads/1966-fender-showman.192983/#post-1179183
    I wonder how in the world you can ever use 80 tube watts unless it's outdoors though?
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
    Tommy Biggs likes this.
  13. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,927
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    Blackface amps used identical circuitry for the preamp (plate-fed tonestacks) and reverb and trem.

    The power sections were different depending on wattage and a few other differences (speaker configuration).

    If you want your sound, but louder and cleaner, a Dual Showman or Bandmaster Reverb should cut it.

    Yes, they have a different power configuration with 6L6s, but it will still have that Fender sound.
     
    Wally and Tommy Biggs like this.
  14. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    32,919
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    Ime and imho, all of the Fender reverb amps do much the same thing UNTIL you push the gain. That is where the differences between tubes, rectification, and OTs are exposed. So, if I wanted the biggest cleans I could get in a head form, I am looking for a Dual Showman Reverb amp. The biggest and cleanest would be the 135 watt UL DSR. That would also be the least money expanded since people look sideways at the UL amps. Imho, they are bargains and very good amps...IF you want cleans. I have modded them to yield more gain and richness.
    Side not: I have a little 2 x10 Pro Sonic cab into which I put a 1964 Dual Showman chassis. 85 watts....the Vib Channel is still AB763, but the Normal channel now goes into big tweed—-and therefore Marshall——territory. With stamped frame,speakers, it will weigh in at about 50 pounds. The cab and chassis were made for each other...perfect fit.
    One advantage of the Dual ?Showman head is that there is room to install 2x8’s. Some of the heads even came from the factory with true baffleboards or even speakers. I have heard of people squeezing 2 x. 10’s into the heads.....makes for a great small stage package or for use when one doesn’t want or need a bigger cab. Eminence builds a 150 watt 8” speaker that I would try if I had such a head cab.
     
    Telecastoff1 and JohnnyCrash like this.
  15. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,388
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Location:
    Williamsville NY
    My BF Tremolux was a clean machine. 35 Watts. Most of the breakup I got was from the speakers.

    @Sean Owen , there are great suggestions in this thread, but IMO there's no 80 Watt anything that's going to sound like a DR.
     
    powerwagonjohn likes this.
  16. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,927
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Fullerton, CA
    I think Wally nailed it.

    Unless you’re pushing a blackface/silverface amp into distortion, if you want BF/SF cleans, you’ll get the same from a Deluxe or a Dual Showman — with slight differences in bass response and obviously output volume.

    When you’re pushing them, that’s where the differences in power sections become important... and the difference between BF and SF become more distinct (depending on the circuit).
     
    Wally likes this.
  17. t-luxe

    t-luxe Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,268
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Location:
    so. cal
    Fryette PS2.
    Can boost your Deluxe to 50 watts or attenuate it down to whisper volumes. Has a loop, a line out, a 50 watt all tube power amp, and an impedance matcher that allows you to run mismatched cabs.
    If you need more, a 100 watt version is in the works.
     
  18. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    70
    Posts:
    2,737
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    Woodstock
    +1. I hear the PS2 is a great unit. I have the Bad Cat Unleash V2 which functions similarly, and has been working for me wonderfully for a few years now. Either unit seems like a lot of money until you consider it enables you to be able to use your favorite amp(s) with the amp volume cranked to the sweet spot, and do that at any stage volume you need it to be. I had dreamt about being able to do that since I started in the 60's. Now it's reality.
     
    Wally likes this.
  19. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,219
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2013
    Location:
    NW USA
    A Pro Reverb with more efficient speakers would be my first thought. If you want head with clarity to use with 2x12, the Dual Showman Reverb is the ticket though I would go with a Traynor YSR-1. Some of your sonic stew should look towards speakers with higher power handling. If you want less distortion, your speaker is probably more responsible for pooping out than your amp. I use my 67 Deluxe Reverb with EV SRO speaker. That amp is so burly sounding and doesn't start breaking up until 8 on the volume pot.
     
  20. Sean Owen

    Sean Owen TDPRI Member

    Age:
    35
    Posts:
    6
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2017
    Location:
    san diego
    Thanks for the great replies all. Lots of things to meditate reflect and on...
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.