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Post new topic The recent Fender Deluxe Reverb / Hand wired / anyone tried?
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Author Topic:  The recent Fender Deluxe Reverb / Hand wired / anyone tried?
Brian Scott

 

From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 16 Jun 2020 2:05 pm    
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I have been looking for a late sixties or early seventies silverface Deluxe Reverb and noticed the new handwired versions are getting glowing reviews.It sounds like Fender is really trying hard to stick to the original with pine cabs and hand wired boards.
I have my eye on a used one for sale a couple ours away from me so I thought I would reach out and ask if anyone has one or has tried one, and how they compare to earlier versions / black and silverface.
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Francisco Castillo

 

From:
Easter Island, Chile
Post  Posted 17 Jun 2020 5:35 pm    
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those are super sweet sounding.

original silverfaces are indeed awesome amps but they all need some extra bucks to get them perfect working condition. A new amp should be problem free for (hopefuly) a long time, like caps, pots, sockets, etc.

I practice at home with a 76 Silverface Champ, dead quiet, and has the classical Fender cristal clear tone. But i wouldn't rely on it for a gig. I've invested the same money it cost me, for new speaker, tubes, caps, job done, 3 prong cord, light, etc (I pay extra high shipping prices and taxes from USA to Easter Island).

If you like that Fender sound, i'd say go for it.
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Anthony Parish


From:
Charlotte // Austin
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2020 11:58 am    
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Are you referring to the blackface '64 CUSTOM DELUXE REVERB or is there a silverface version out there too?

https://www.fender.com/pages/guitar-amplifiers-vintage-pro-tube-64-custom-deluxe-reverb/

Looks sweet.
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Ken Metcalf


From:
Converse Texas USA
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2020 1:22 pm    
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Test drive a Tone Master Deluxe.
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Brian Scott

 

From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2020 12:24 pm    
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Thanks Ken, I checked the Tone Master Deluxe out online and am very interested. I like all the extras it has like the lower wattage choices. Really light weight a big plus too.
Yes Anthony, that's the official name. 64 Custom Deluxe Reverb.It's seems to be that Fender is making a lot of reissues nowadays.
The only DR that comes out of the CA /US customer shop I think.
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Anthony Parish


From:
Charlotte // Austin
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2020 7:16 pm    
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If you do get that hunka' hunka' hand-wired, tube-driven goodness, PLEASE post some sound clips! (I'm sure lots of the subtle complexities of that amp would get lost in digital translation, but who cares).
I bit the bullet and picked up one of the new Tone Master Twins, and I gotta say... I understand what the hype is all about. Everything sounds good through that amp ... GFI pedal steel, Les Paul, heck, even my Fender P-bass sounds good through that amp!
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Marc Jenkins


From:
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2020 10:24 pm    
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For that price you could buy a Milkman Amp. Built in a one-man shop with much higher-grade components...
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Steven Paris

 

From:
Los Angeles
Post  Posted 20 Jun 2020 11:05 pm    
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Marc Jenkins wrote:
For that price you could buy a Milkman Amp. Built in a one-man shop with much higher-grade components...

+1!!
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 1:34 am    
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Yes, I've played one. Sounds like a Deluxe Reverb.

Quote:
For that price you could buy a Milkman Amp.

And ... for that price, you can buy a clean, original 60s blackface Deluxe Reverb, a real piece of playable history. And for half of that, you can still buy a real nice vintage silverface Deluxe Reverb.
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Bill Duncan

 

From:
Lenoir, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 5:22 am    
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Is "hand-wired" audible? Other than bragging rights, are there benefits? No sarcasm inferred, only questions of practicality and return on investment.
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Brian Scott

 

From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 5:57 am    
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I'm not looking at buying a new one at full price.I know where there is a used one at a good price.
As far as an appreciable audible difference, I don't know, but amp techs seem to like the serviceability advantage.
I just missed out on a used 73 Deluxe reverb that was for sale locally. I have couple of early 70's Princeton reverbs... My favorite tele amp and even pedal steel at home and rehearsals.
I know the twin reverb is probably considered the best Fender amp for steel but I think the Deluxe Reverb might serve me better.
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Bill Duncan

 

From:
Lenoir, North Carolina, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 6:55 am    
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There are a few constants with amplifiers and pedal steel. One is where you play. Another is who you play with. Also, the sound you want for the music you play. A fairly big one nowadays it seems is the weight and how much you are willing to suffer for the sound you are chasing in your head. One thing I have found is, some of the band may notice the nuances in the sound of your amp, but few spectators will.
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Tom Wolverton


From:
Carpinteria, CA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 10:38 am    
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One thing about the 64 Custon DR (hand wired), it appears they put some cool mods into the circuit. Like trem and reverb on both channels. And the tremolo is the bias tremolo like what’s in the Princeton. I like that.
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Joseph Napolitano

 

From:
New Jersey, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 5:54 pm    
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I had a Tonemaster Twin for a couple weeks. It didn't sound like a tube amp. Returned it . Stuck with my Silverfaces.
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Josh Yenne


From:
Sonoma California
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 10:58 pm    
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Bill Duncan wrote:
Is "hand-wired" audible? Other than bragging rights, are there benefits? No sarcasm inferred, only questions of practicality and return on investment.


Yes. It really is a different beast completely.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2020 11:57 pm    
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I don't see how nowadays a human can do better than a robot. This requires more explanation.
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Benjamin Davidson

 

Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 3:40 am    
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The Custom Deluxe Reverb is a vary faithful recreation of the '60s Deluxe, you really can't A/B an original and these side by side due to the various components change over time (most notably the speaker won't have the break in hours that a classic would have, but every component has the potential to change value over the years and alter the tone).

In comparison of purchasing an actual '60s Deluxe Reverb, you need to honestly assume that maintenance will need to be done on any vintage amp - and depending on the specific amp there could be a lot there. Very difficult to purchase an original without a tech going through the unit first to see what you'll be getting into (filter capacitors age, bias circuit inspection, circuit modifications, grounded cord, transformers that have been overheated and near failure, etc.). These new units also have some of the most common modifications to that vintage circuit already accomplished (i.e. reverb and tremolo on both channels) - that modification is going to decrease the value of an original DR.

In regards to purchasing a 70's silverface, you're getting into that same territory - with the prospect of looking for a unit modified to '60s specs or cost of having a tech complete that conversion.

My thoughts on a competitors amp of any kind, is that if the DR is the tone your looking for - go get that.

As far as tone, realistic tone, between an original '60s DR, a Custom Handwired Reissue, a current DRRI, or even the Tone Master DR - we as players are going to notice any subtle change in practice and our playing. The recording engineer may not notice anything, the live front of house guy has higher priorities than to notice, and the crowd can't tell. That's just how it is, we should be playing the equipment that inspires us as players.

A few comments to the benefits of the hand wired amps, this one or any vintage or boutique amp on the market that follows those old manufacturing methods. I don't think there is a real tonal difference between an amp built on a modern circuit board, or that is built on the old eyelet or turret boards. (Where we can hear a difference between a modern build and a vintage build with the same circuit schematic, that tone difference is specific to the individual age and values of the components in each amp, the type and hours of use on each speaker, and the interaction of the specific tubes reacting to the speaker). Where the older methods are preferred is in construction and serviceability. Eventually all these PC board amps are going to have a trace fail on the board, overheating, tech not diligent in what they are doing, component failure, etc. Once the manufacturer is out of those boards - you're going to have a hard time fixing that board. With the older board construction you can (would be a pain) rebuild that amplifier from the chassis up if you needed to with parts that are still relatively easy to get your hands on.
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Ken Metcalf


From:
Converse Texas USA
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 6:36 am    
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I recently sold my 74 Deluxe reverb. It was a great amp but I push it pretty hard playing lead guitar.
The power tubes had to be replaced every year or two to keep that sparkly sound.
Many people could run the tubes much longer but they start sounding dull to me.
Fender did not change the circuit of the deluxe from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. You can find some bargains is a 70s deluxe. I had an Austin amp tech over haul the amp for max headroom and replaced the speaker with a Weber F150.
Wasn't cheap.
I am happy with the Tone master twin and got the TM Deluxe also. Tired of the tube routine. Still have a 67 Twin for sale in road case. ^_^
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2020 7:30 am    
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I wrote:
I don't see how nowadays a human can do better than a robot. This requires more explanation.

I think I get it. A human can undo what they've done.
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Chris Reesor

 

From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post  Posted 26 Jun 2020 9:30 pm    
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PCB amps aren't all created equal. Take an 80's Boogie, for example. Heavy fiberglass mil spec board, probably plated thru holes, all controls, jacks and tube sockets mounted solidly to the chassis, all wired together by hand. Or an SWR bass head, same deal, rugged, built to last decades.
Compare that to many other PCB amps. Pots on sub boards, not anchored to the panel. Jacks the same, Power tube sockets (heat) screen resistors (more heat) on flimsy sub boards. All tied together with ribbon cables and connectors to get dirty and fail. Cheaper to build, but you get what you pay for, usually.
Small wonder PCB amps get a bad rap.

Excellent post, Benjamin.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 27 Jun 2020 12:42 am    
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I once owned a keyboard (ok, only a cheap one) where the DC input socket was soldered on the board. One tug and it was gone.

You can just about get away with on-board pots in a domestic situation, but not for anything that's going to be dumped around. I share Chris's disdain of ribbon cables.

This thread has been good for me! I now understand why hand wiring is way better than the alternatives. Thanks for raising the issue, Brian Smile
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Brian Scott

 

From:
Florida, USA
Post  Posted 27 Jun 2020 5:02 am    
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Thanks for the excellent post Ben. Pretty much my sentiments. Other people that will hear the amp ,(band members,audience,sound techs)might not appreciate the difference,but I tend to get inspired and therefor play better when I am getting a good sound!
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