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I've never owned a Deluxe Reverb. Am I missing out?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by noname_dragon, Sep 18, 2020.

  1. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2020
    They are a cool and versatile amplifier. I gigged with one for over 10 years.
    DADGAD likes this.
  2. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    Every DR I've played and heard has been different. Some wow me; others do nothing. I owned a '67 BFDR for years. Never really hit that sweet spot. Owned one of the first DRRIs. Not bad, actually quite useful with an upgrade speaker.

    Traded into a rather beat '68 DR last year. Came to me with an original Alltone 1265 speaker. It sounded so good, what I always wanted that '67 to be. Several changes were made, with the tone getting even better at each step:
    • Tested every NOS, used old preamp tube I had, found the ones that sounded best.
    • Same drill with power tubes. Ended up with an old pair of Brimar 6v6s.
    • The original cab was pretty beat, so I got Peter Mather to build me a 1x15 DR combo cab. Tested several 15" speakers. Then tried several 12" speaker using a converter ring.

    With the Alltone 1265 in the bigger cab, the sound was indeed bigger. More low end presence for sure, sound filled the room in a different way.

    Final stop: Got a Weber 12A150 speaker, the one designed for the lo power tweed twin. And here is this perfect DR sound. Rich. Not all that scooped. Not at allharsh or sterile. Beautiful edge as you turn it up, into smooth, warm overdrive. A big sound ... that Mather cab is really remarkable. Never heard a DR better than this. It's the only DR I've tried where you can turn the bass up. Every other one, keep the bass at no more than 3 or so, especially when you turn up. This one, 4.5 or 5, depending on the guitar.

    Whether you're missing out on a DR depends on which one you're thinking about.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  3. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 19, 2011
    South Florida
    Here’s my worthless take,

    It’s been a long while since I played an original blackface DR. Actually it was so long ago that at that time they were nowhere as desirable as they are now, mainly due to their lack of headroom. Back then Twins and Super Reverbs ruled the world. I did play a 1964 Princeton in original condition recently which I thought sounded really nice and surprisingly loud for such a small amp.

    Several years ago I bought a used DRRI. The amp was severely damaged in shipping and I was given a full refund with the seller telling me to just keep the amp. This after FedEx came to my house to inspect the damage for the insurance claim. I eventually had it fixed. However it had a slight hum, possibly from hairline cracks in the PCB. But even with the noise issue I was able to get some decent tone out of it with an OCD slightly pushing it. Then I discovered the magic of the tweed Bassman and it’s glorious midrange and grind. It was all but over for the DR.

    Like mentioned several times in this thread, if you can get along with the BF scooped tone and limited T/B tone controls (I had to run a pedal to be heard in the mix) a DR is a nice grab and go Fender.
    noname_dragon and Cali Dude like this.
  4. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 31, 2013
    Central Florida
    Ditto for me, only for my Silverface Pro Reverb. I've been playing through my 5e3 (with an efficient speaker and some other tweaks to get clean headroom) for years, and that sucker just cuts through the mix with my band. I got the Pro, and the first gig I played with it, I just kept turning it up and up and up, and I still couldn't hear myself. The next day I was just about deaf in my right ear from the volume, but the scooped tone was so hard to use for me. I still have the Pro, but the Tweed tone is just so thick and rich that it's 12 watts swamps the 45 watts of the pro. I will probably build one of Robrob's Blackvibes with 6v6s, but I fear that it just won't have the presence of my Tweeds.
  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Conversation I had between songs with the front man at a pickup gig where I brought my '73 DR.
    I dragged it out after reading so much about it on the internet ;)
    Him: Holy $%#&, that amp sounds amazing.
    Me: Doesn't it? It's been collecting dust for years. Back when I got it, I just considered it kind of a ham-and-cheese amp.
    Him: Well, it's NOT!
    noname_dragon, mad dog and Cali Dude like this.
  6. Injam

    Injam Tele-Meister

    Jul 3, 2020
    You Can't Miss Something That You Never Had

    (Willie Hutch)
    noname_dragon and mad dog like this.
  7. saleake

    saleake Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Oct 17, 2017
    I’ve still got a ‘68 Deluxe that I bought in 1972 when I was in the Air Force. I had it completely rebuilt several years ago and I don’t use it out any more. I’ve been using a Dr Z Z-Lux Or a 65 Deluxe Reissue live for several years. But lately, I’ve been using a Tone Master Deluxe. I’m playing in a country band where everyone is mic’d through the PA. It is is wonderful.
    Spooky88 likes this.
  8. 53Strat

    53Strat Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Jan 26, 2020
    Late to the thread.

    I have and love the DR whether in DRRI or Tone master form.
    But my gigging years (behind me now) have always associated the Fender Sound with 6L6 power tubes.
    59 Bassman LTD ( I've owned two ), Prosonic and Blues Deluxe.
    The DR simply works better in small spaces but for me not the Epitome of Fender tone.
    For me , bring on the Tonemaster Super Reverb.

    Bottom line: You haven't missed much. :)
    noname_dragon likes this.
  9. ironsausage58

    ironsausage58 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Jun 1, 2011
    Abingdon, MD
    Really digging the Tonemaster. The XLR out makes recording a breeze.
  10. Keep on Truckin

    Keep on Truckin TDPRI Member

    Aug 14, 2014
    1968 Party on Sat . Night - Vox Super Lynx Deluxe thru My Gibson Ranger Amp , CRANKED ! My Bad ! Neighbors were Pissed ,Forever !
  11. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2013
    My first "real" amp was a very ragged Silver face Twin Reverb. I think that it had CTS speakers in it, but, I'm not sure.
    Every one else was using Marshalls then and I kept up pretty well; didn't then and still don't like Marshalls that much.
    I have been scaling back the wattage ever since. At one point my favorite rig was a Princeton thru the Twin speakers.
    Shopped for a BFDR for years, bought two Vibroverbs for about the same money; the Deluxes were always premium.
    Finally got one, needed work, got it sorted, used it for many years.
    These days, I have to admit, I prefer a Blues Jr. I still have the old Fenders, but, they don't get out much. What I'm saying is that it is not essential. Not for sale, either.
    hotrodkid and noname_dragon like this.
  12. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

    Feb 21, 2014
    I agree. I have both, a ‘76 DR (same circuit as 69 & up) and a 1970 VR. The preamp circuits are the same, but the VR’s power circuit is just right for any number of gigs. The trick to overcome the flabbiness at higher volume is to cut the bass. Better yet, just keep the volume between 3 and 4 and mic it.
    noname_dragon and Engine Swap like this.
  13. Theiglupickin

    Theiglupickin TDPRI Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire
    Just bought a Deluxe ToneMaster and it pretty much replicates a tube version and at 23 pds its easy on the back! I have a stable of tube amps, vintage and more modern but this TM is very nice and great for hauling around to gigs. Almost bought a new tube reissue but sometimes its good to think out of the box and try something just because........!
    noname_dragon, saleake and black_doug like this.
  14. ishtar

    ishtar TDPRI Member

    Jul 18, 2009
    I had a Deluxe and still wanted a Princeton.
    stonetone7 and cravenmonket like this.
  15. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

    Mar 20, 2003
    Tug Hill Plateau
    Not sure why people like the DR. Scooped mids. Really bright. Very clean. Doesn't want to distort. No thanks.
    When I used to play black and silver face Fenders I was always looking for more mids and some breakup.
    Used to mod the amps and sub speakers and tubes. Then in 1983 I got a Brown Deluxe. I loved it. I researched why I loved it which sent me to the Tweeds !
    I still play Brownie but I also have several Tweed clones.

  16. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    I've got several Fender Reverb amps including a 67 BFDR. Good amp but it's the one I use the least.
    noname_dragon likes this.
  17. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    The North Coast
    To each their own. I don’t care for them. But that’s probably not the amps fault. I don’t really care for any black face or silver face fender amps. I can do a Twin in a pinch if it’s backline at a festival or something. It’s not the end of the world. But the rest of the lines don’t do anything for me.

    I did have one Deluxe reverb totally get my attention on stage. Sounded so good it made me do a double take. I was thinking “no way...”... Turns out it wasn’t stock at all. It had a JBL speaker, different trannies, and other mods. Probably also didn’t hurt that Eugene Moles was the guy playing it. That one blew my mind. Most of the time I just find them kind of generic and “ho hum, another deluxe reverb.”
  18. Spooky88

    Spooky88 TDPRI Member

    Oct 26, 2019
    Bend Oregon
    I bought a 68' DRRI from sweetwater (they gave me a deal) after jamming with a local player that had an unbelievable collection of fender guitars and amps. Most of his collection required some work/maintenance. But his 65 deluxe reverb was awesome. I did some research and bought the 68'. I love it. I don't use it live as it doesn't fit the current group/sound I need but if I was playing traditional country in a group this would be the amp.
    noname_dragon likes this.
  19. Terrygh1949

    Terrygh1949 Tele-Meister

    Nov 14, 2018

    Yes they are a great amp, no arguments about that. I had a twin and, it was just way too much amp, weight, power, but, I drug it into a store and, did an AB comparison with a deluxe. Mainly sound comparison and, the twin won hands down.
    Ok I wanted a tube amp but, something I could transport easily and, not too powerful to play the gigs I usually play. The Deluxe is way overpriced, nixed that idea.
    I'm on the hunt, Fender Blues Jr, Vox AC15, Marshall, not sure of the model but, in this range of amps.
    Went to Guitar Center to try all these amps and, compare them. While I was there checking them out I spotted an unfamiliar amp about the same size and power and, features. Bugera InfinityV22.
    Wasn't really looking at price tags just looks, sound, and features. This amp blew me away! It was a used one in Great shape and, half the price of all the amps I was looking at!
    It went home with me that day and, I have giged it with my band and, used it at home in my studio. I now have owned it for over a year and, it is one fine amp! Absolutely no complaints. IMG_20191231_194913878.jpg IMG_20191231_194913878.jpg IMG_20191231_194913878.jpg IMG_20191231_194913878.jpg IMG_20200121_204357830.jpg
  20. Middleman

    Middleman Friend of Leo's

    Aug 29, 2007
    MV, CA
    I tried out a DR that had been used by the CARS (so the white lettering on the side of the amp read) and was sitting in GC Hollywood. It had an Eminence speaker and the transformers had been upgraded to Mercury brand. That was the single worse sounding DR I had ever played.

    Another one I that impressed me had a Vintage 30 speaker which was impressive sounding.

    Overall it's great for the studio but can be a miss on live gigs.
    noname_dragon likes this.
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