65 Deluxe Reverb reissue compared to old original?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by 6789, Mar 19, 2006.


  1. 6789

    6789 Member

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    For the first time I just tried a new Fender Blackface '65 Deluxe Reverb reissue. I though it sounded really good. I was surprised because usually when I try new Fenders, I don't like how they sound.

    How do the new reissues compare to the old original backface Deluxe Reverbs. and how do the old silverfaces compare too.

    Do they all sound the same? Or are there noticable differences?
     
  2. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    the new ones don't sound nearly as good as the originals. I've played my share of both. They're not as sweet and they're "colder" sounding, not as much depth to the sound and not as wide a 'soundstage' if that makes any sense... I blame the following four things, in descending order of importance:


    Inferior speaker.
    Inferior tubes.
    Inferior transformers.
    Inferior discrete components (capacitors mainly).

    Two out of those can be easily changed, but with considerable extra expense
     
  3. jlagrassa

    jlagrassa Supporting Member

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    Never tried an original DR but the DRRI I think is still a very nice amp especially when retubed with JJ tubes, I bought one as a backup to my 59 Bassman RI. and use it every day at home.

    I would love to actually try an actual Deluxe Reverb or even a 59 Bassman to hear why people rave about originals so much.
     
  4. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    At least on the earlier DRII I had, the tubes and speaker were indeed inferior. NOS retube, celestion greenback in there, very big difference. An excellent amp with those changes. Not quite the mojo of the original. But how could it be? My BFDR is nearly 40 years old. Note that the original also benefits from a better speaker, though that is a matter of taste. I doubt an audience could tell much difference with both together on a stage. (I've done that; it sounded indecently good.)
     
  5. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Any of the new ones, to your certain knowledge, with the bright cap removed?
     
  6. fast ricky love

    fast ricky love Supporting Member

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    I couldn't sell the RI I once bought fast enough. NO comparison, just get the real deal and be done with it. Otherwise you'll eventually wind up selling the RI and at that point the real one will cost even more than it does now... do it right: do it once.
     
  7. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    I have one, with the bright cap removed, and a speaker upgrade. (Altec 417) It is a great small room gigging amp.
     
  8. ericb

    ericb Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd have to disagree with many of the posts saying the RI Sucks.. It doesn't at all. I have so many amps that I've learned a lot about them , and the guys who are mentioning speakers and tubes and components are on the right track for sure. I had the Blonde RI s/n 375 I think? I've sold it but it's 1 of the only amps ever I sold that I loved. I found perfect speakers for it, and found perfect tube combos. For you guys who never experiment much with tubes, this stuff really won't matter to you but I do with EVERY single amp I own . I always find out of my stash what I think are the best tubes for something and best combination..

    OK, here's where it gets tricky.. People ask how this amp compareds to the real 1965 or real 1967,etc... Before I bought this I took a roadtrip from VT to NH to Boston 1 week and Vt to Albany , NY the next week. I tried about 12 different BF Deluxe Reverbs and SF DR's. (This is when the 65 BF was still selling for 750!!!! NO MORE!) ... EVERY SINGLE AMP I TRIED SOUNDED VERY VERY DIFFERENT... I tried a few GODLY ones, and about 10 that were NO better at all than the Blonde RI I ended up with . I got a mint one driving outside NYC for 375.00. I fixed it up and used it for about 5-6 years regularly . It had 2 problems.... at first the SOVTEK 6v6's blew... Turns out they couldn't handle plate voltage the DR RI had.. ALso it was biased at about 12ma of current or so ... Ya wonder why it might not sound its best?? Well used RCA's are cheap and way better sounding so that's the route I went. ALSO Visseaux 6v6's sounded great in it. Meanwhile , the speaker wasn't great, and there are MANY MANY great alternatives these days..... But then the 2nd problem I had was the trem optoisolater went.. Turned out I heard they were very simple parts and did have qc problems, and got that repaired (UNDER WARRANTY for free) and then never had a problem . ANyway, in good shape, yes they can sound great and mine beat 10 originals I tried.. The other 2 originals were WAY BETTER sounding than mine.. BOTH sold before I could buy them. 1 was 700.00 for a 1966 or so , and 1 was 650 for a 1968 SF. Now the 1966 is probably over 2000.00! Listen yourself and use YOUR OWN EARS!!! Good luck

    p.s. a few years back I sat in at a friend's 'hippy' wedding outdoors at a log cabin with rolling brook ,etc here in VT's mountains and played the guy's early SF Deluxe Reverb. IT broke up sooner than mine but had absolutely AWESOME clean and on-the-verge-of-od tones but the bass was flabby as hell and there was static, etc.. Mine was very different but had NO noise at all , and solid bass. There'll all very different!

    ERIC
     
  9. majorledhead

    majorledhead Member

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    sold mine but the following mods had great results:
    *remove bright cap on channel 2
    *change phase inverter coupling cap to .02uf orange cap
    *switch in neg. feedback circuit
    * jj tubes
    *weber alnico speaker
    *rebias a little hot
    it was warmer and screamin' after the fact, but was always a good sounding amp to begin with.
     
  10. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    the bright cap thing does make a difference.

    Some people here bring up good points, some BFDRs are spectacular while some are only alright... and i've played a few that didn't do much for me.

    HOWEVER, these things can always be addressed... the components in the original were better plain and simple... transformers etc. If there's something about an amp's tone that you don't like it can usually be traced to some failed or badly drifted component OR tube.

    Most originals up and in GOOD RUNNING condition will sound better than the RI. However, sometimes the failed/drifting/old components add something magical to the sound, so I would only ever replace things that were failing if the amp sounded good.
     
  11. bob-i

    bob-i Member

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    I actually had a SF that sucked, couldn't sell it fast enough. Bought it brand new, 72 I think. Tried tubes and speakers but it never sounded decent.

    On the othjer hand, the RI's are not much better stock. I've never re-tubed one.
     
  12. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    Did you have the bias adjusted properly and were all the caps in good shape?
     
  13. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    There are differences. The tone caps in the new amps are not the old Astrons which sound, play, and feel different. The resistors are metal film rather than carbon comp and there is a difference there as well. There are transformer differences and other differences.

    But .... you can do a bit of inexpensive work on the reissue and have a killer amp that will stand head to head with the originals (as many of the originals are not in tip top shape) if you put some good tubes in the amp and bias them at 65% or so of ID depending on plate voltage.
     
  14. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    Myles, I disagree with a few points.

    Astron caps fell out of use in the days of the brown/blonde amps. After that they went to blue Mallorys (except cathode bypass and other electrolytics which they still sometimes used astrons...)

    The carbon comp vs. metal film making an audible difference is very open to debate. The reality is, it probably doesn't, except in a FEW critical locations.

    Transformers make a FAR bigger difference than any of the above (though the tone caps are very important).
     
  15. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    I agree with you on the transformer issue.

    The blue Mallory and Astrons are both in a number of my customers amps and each sound great .... different than ceramic disk caps or orange drops.

    I think the issue with carbon comps in the tone stack is that they are less stable and change value more when they get warmer and perhaps this change in resistance value lends the amps to something like a mini on the fly automatic adjustment perhaps.

    In essence though, I agree with all of your points here.
     
  16. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    i love the yellow astrons! They are rare after about '62 though. Unfortunately they also often leak DC a lot.
     
  17. songsmith1950

    songsmith1950 Member

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    This would also tend to mean that they would also leak lower frequencies that would usually be attenuated by the capacitors. This would make the amp sound warmer and a bit fuller. Basically the same effect as running a larger capacitor would.
    Could this not be a bit of the reason for the preference? Not being argumentative here, just wondering if perhaps a warmer flavor is not what you are liking more?
    Also, a cap that leaks DC can, under some conditions, set a false bias on the next tube in line, causing some clipping in the upper side of the waveforms. This could cause, in addition to the warmer tone characteristics, an earlier and softer excursion into distortion than the same amp would have.
    I say softer because the bottom end of the waveform would not flatten out as quickly as the top and would actually be delayed in onset.

    Just thoughts I wanted to share and a question I wanted to ask to help determine what you are calling "better". Perhaps this will aid me in attempts to build a better mousetrap.

    Tom

    Songsmith
     
  18. brad347

    brad347 Member

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    quite possible! I know I have some leaky astrons in my brown super and I specifically asked my tech not to replace them!
     
  19. gdwill2u

    gdwill2u Member

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    I have a DRRI and there was a blond 65 in the store when I bought it, I actually thought the DRRI sounded better, much better. Maybe the blond needed new tubes and a rebuild, mayber it needed a visit to the tech, who knows.....

    I put it NOS tubes and a Weber F150 and now the amp is suweeeeet!

    I think those that say the new DRRI's don't compare are either just snobs or they are comparing an old amp with a speaker upgrade and a new set of NOS tubes with a stock DRRI, that just isn't fair.

    fact is any stock DRRI will sound better than an old '65 with bad tubes and a lousy speaker, and any old DR with new speaker and tubes will sound better than a stock DRRI.

    The circuitry is the same....so what else is left but the tubes and the speaker.

    This whole topic is like the boutique versus manufactured stuff, I'd be real careful I am not just buying into someone else's hype. Let your ears decide.
     
    Revelation likes this.
  20. mbratch

    mbratch Member

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    Aren't blonde DRs a limited edition DRRI?
     

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