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Life in Fenderland Pt. 4

October 31, 2017

 

Installment 4 Fender by the Numbers - The '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue

The next amp up in the reissue series is the '65 Deluxe Reverb. This amp is slightly larger that the Princeton, featuring more power through a larger speaker. The Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb features 22 watts of output power through a single 12" Jensen C-12K vintage style speaker. The amp is driven by two 6V6 output tubes and also has the tube driven spring reverb and tremolo circuit. This amp also includes "blackface" cosmetic treatment. The Deluxe is one of the most popular of the reissues being fairly light weight (42 lbs.), powerful enough for live gigging and having a reputation for taking pedals well.

My personal take on the '65 Deluxe Reissue is not flattering. With this particular amp I am in agreement with the tube aficionado nay-sayers. IMHO this amp has the least "mojo" of all the reissue series amps. Guess you need the pedals to give this amp some personality. The tone of the unit I purchased was so vanilla that I sold it after only a couple of months to a friend who was using a small Fender modeling combo. He loved the tube tone of the Deluxe reissue (not surprising considering what he had been playing through). So I guess tube tone is in the ear of the beholder...

A recent development in the Fender reissue philosophy has been the rise of handwire reissues. These generally limited edition amps are handwired in the old school tradition and have more of the vintage tone and vibe than the PCB based reissues (and may be a response to the tube critics who compare the reissues to the spawn of Satan). The only real problem is that handwiring takes time and time costs money. As a result, the handwires are rather expensive. The reason I bring this up in the '65 Deluxe reissue installment is my discovery of the '64 Custom Deluxe Reverb handwire. I was at Showcase making a payment on the Vox 60th Anniversary AC30 I had on order (that's a whole 'nother blog), when I asked Rich Longacre what was new (always a bad idea!). He proceeded to show me the '64 Custom Deluxe Reverb demo unit they had on the floor, and by the time the first power chord had rung out, I was at the front counter putting money down on this amp as well. This thing sounds amazing! So the '64 Custom Deluxe Reverb is handwired (rumor has it that it is being built in the Fender Custom Shop), and is rated at 20 watts. It features a single 12" Jensen C-12Q vintage style speaker and is powered by two 6V6 output tubes. It also features blackface cosmetics and an aged grill cloth that actually makes it look like a vintage amp. In appearance and overall design, it looks like the '65 reissue. It sure doesn't sound like the '65 reissue, in fact it dumps all over it. It should be noted that the '64 Custom Deluxe Reverb handwire costs twice as much as it's '65 cousin, but it's easily twice the amp. The '64 Custom Deluxe Reverb handwire is one of the best examples of "clean Fender tone" I've encountered in a non-vintage amp. Highly recommended (if you can afford it!)...

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