Fender Deluxe Reverb

Vintage Guitar magazine Hall of Fame 2011 Instrument

Fender Deluxe Reverb Main
In the June ’07 issue of VG, amp profiler extraordinaire Dave Hunter said of the Fender Deluxe Reverb, “If guitarists were to vote for the one ‘best amp for all occasions,’ [it] would very likely earn a majority decision’.”

And while this year’s nominees in the VG Hall of Fame “Instrument” category pitted the “DR” against three stalwart guitars, the results speak, um… volumes.

The overwhelming winner (trouncing Gibson’s Firebird and Les Paul Junior as well as Gretsch’s Duo-Jet), the Deluxe Reverb is viewed by many vintage-tone purists as the ultimate guitar amp. Why? Well, for starters (and we’ll recall Hunter’s words here), the DR is “…small enough to crank up into tone territory for recording, rehearsal, or bar gigs, yet loud enough to fill a room and be heard above the drummer in a medium-sized club with just a vocal P.A.”

Introduced in 1963, the DR came along as part of Fender’s storied “blackface” line, and was a fairly dramatic reinterpretation of the previous-generation tweed Deluxe. Though it kept the tweed’s two 6V6 output tubes and 12″ speaker, its circuit was entirely new even beyond the addition of reverb and tremolo (which, by the way, sounded gloriously lush), and there’s precious little not to like! The key changes included a move away from cathode-bias and the addition of a negative-feedback loop around the output stage, giving it class AB operation, rather than the straight class A of the tweed. Also, its split-load phase inverter was replaced with a long-tailed-pair PI, which let it use more of the 6V6s’ headroom. And, the tweed’s Tone control was replaced with controls for separate Treble and Bass. Overall, this configuration was “hotter” and more dynamic than most of the DR’s bigger-brother Fender amps, giving it more focus and headroom while allowing it to retain a deliciously tactile playing feel.

So, what’s it all mean, in meat-and-potatoes terms? We’ll let Hunter’s June ’07 text lay it out (and take us on out)…

“The Deluxe Reverb is a great amp for anything from blues to country to rock and roll, and even jazz. Consequently, it has long been a go-to combo for countless first-call Nashville and L.A. session players.”

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  1. billyg
    Posted August 6, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I am trying to find an article from shop of hard knocks. It involves guitar case handle replacement. I probably have the issue. Any help would be great. Thank you WD Greene

  2. Jeanine Shea
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Hi Billy,

    Was it this one by any chance?
    Shop of Hard Knocks – (Re) Building a Strong Case Ibanez guitar case fix Dec 2012 Kelly, Will 106

  3. billyg
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Ah not to be ignorant but Dec 12? Issue not out yet i hope. I believe it was titled replace that handle. Not sure ibanez was mentioned but i may be wrong. Thank You for checking on this for me.

  4. Jeanine Shea
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    So sorry, wrong year. It was 2011.


  5. Jeanine Shea
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I have nothing in my data base with handle in the title.

  6. billyg
    Posted August 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    thank you for your efforts appreciate your help billy g

  7. billyg
    Posted August 10, 2012 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    jeanine, i checked the case article out and this info will do the same for replacing a handle. thank ya much. billyg

  8. esquire
    Posted September 18, 2012 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I have an original 66 DR still have the same tubes from 66 in it. My no.1 amp for gigs.

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