Clarification about the Deluxe Reverb (and Fender blackface amps generally)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by kristianlr, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. d'djembe mutombo

    d'djembe mutombo Member

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    100%.
    Also, there are people like me who are so used to amp overdrive that I don't believe in pedal friendly amps for OD as I think all OD pedals sound like trash. That's my own opinion though.
     
  2. 56Tweed

    56Tweed Sub-Octave Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Its important to understand what these amps were made for and what your tonal preferences are. BF amps are generally mid-scooped and were made to run on the clannish side. Many OD pedals are heavy in the mids which may or may not sound good with the amp to you. As previously mentioned, if you are looking for heavier music and different breakup tones, then you will likely need to rethink the speaker choices. As an example, you may be pretty disappointed playing metal through a BF champ and adding a metalzone.

    For me, I'm absolutely a Fender amp guy. I've owned dozens of them over the years including at least a dozen BF amps. When I think about what my target tones are they are typically edge of breakup to a light OD. I use fuzz or clean boost way more often than I use OD pedals, but I do use them. But I'm ore into blues and classic rock versus hard rock or metal.
     
  3. HotBluePlates

    HotBluePlates Member

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    That's because the whole notion of "takes pedals well" is just ignorant. I love cajun seasoning on jambalaya; it would taste like crap on chocolate ice cream.

    Everything from pick to speaker colors the sound in some way. No pedal (possibly no amp) has a single "voice" that can be counted to always occur, they simply have a way they color/alter the sound passed through them.

    Armed with an understanding of how the amp/speaker reacts (almost certainly with volume in mind), the player can figure out what pedals move them closer/further to the desired sound. So some pedals will subjectively "sound good" with a Deluxe Reverb (or other amp), while others won't.

    Players fall into the trap of thinking ______ pedal makes _______ sound. Then they plug the pedal into an amp (or use at a volume setting) wholly inappropriate for achieving that sound, and declare, "This amp doesn't take pedals well!!" Really, they just made a poor pairing.

    ____________________________________________________________

    Blackface amps (with the possible exception of the Champ & Vibro Champ) have a strong mid-scoop of 15-25dB at 400-500Hz. They also have perhaps too much low-end for anything other than clean sounds (even clean, I usually keep my DR's Bass control around 1-2). And the DR has a very small bright cap that (depending on your speaker/hearing) emphasizes fizz in distortion (unless the Volume control is up around 7 or higher).

    Some pedals adjust for these issues. That's why the Green Rhino has EQ controls to allow boosting at 500Hz (filling in the scoop, if desired) and cutting at 100Hz (cutting bass to clear out the mud).
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2020
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  4. SgtThump

    SgtThump Member

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    Just my opinion, but you'll need to use an OD or distortion pedal that can be SMOOTH and DARK with Fenders. They work well with the brighter Fender thang.

    EDIT - Two examples are the BB Preamp and J Rocket The Dude pedals. With the treble down, those pedals are very muffled and smooth. However, they are killer into a brighter Fender Combo.
     
  5. Madison

    Madison Member

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    As a long time Fender amp user, the past 5 years with a DRRI, I find the challenge for me is I like my base clean tone sparkly and bright. Kicking on the od into a really bright amp may not sound great, so there has to be a balance between the two. So I trade off a little of the bright clean and most od/distortion pedals have the treble dialed back. Right now I'm using an Amp11 and have the treble almost off and with a tele it still cuts pretty good. Also a quick guitar tone adjustment goes a long way.

    Sgt Thump's suggestions above are good, I've owned them both several times with a Fender. Also the Bogner Burnley v1 is a good dark distortion for a bright amp.
     
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  6. jackson

    jackson Member

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    It depends what you're after. Deluxe reverbs aren't great for everything, but, if you look at what the pros are using, you will see a lot of deluxe reverbs with pedalboards.
     
  7. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    “Take pedals” can mean;

    -I want the amp to make the sound of my pedals loud and I will be dissatisfied if it alters the sound of them.

    -I want the amp and the pedals to blend to yield an end result not achievable by the amp or the pedals alone. I will be dissatisfied if that end result is not what I expected.


    Either of these approaches requires that you have an understanding of the interaction between the pedals, and the amp. That includes how pedals interact with each other and the guitar too. User error is common.
     
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  8. Stig Ø

    Stig Ø Member

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    If I were to use my TRRI as an amp + pedals platform, I would get something like a Lehle switcher and run dirt into the normal channel, and use the vibrato channel for clean. There are two channels, why not use them? This setup would work with a DR as well.
     
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  9. kristianlr

    kristianlr Member

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    A perfect illustration of what I'm talking about and trying to convey :

    A new article and video by Reverb: 'Pedal platforms, a new breed of tine machine - how to choose a pedal platform amp.'

    (Link for those interested: https://reverb.com/news/pedal-platform-amps-a-new-breed-of-tone-machine)

    An excerpt from the article reads: "A great pedal platform will most likely not... Exhibit over-hyped bands, notches, humps, or dips in its frequency response. That is, it likely won’t have a particularly scooped midrange with over-emphasized highs and lows, or a major midrange hump. And note that amps with sharp, spikey or overly harsh high-end responses often tend to make poor pedal platforms."

    To me, that sounds like a DR, or any other blackface amp for that matter, no?

    But, if you watch the actual video, Andy goes on to say that the DRRI is one of, if not the best 'pedal platform' amps available, and is employed often by Reverb for demo duties.

    What gives?

     
  10. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    In my opinion and experience, it's very simple. In general, TRs and DRs are inherently mid-scooped. This mid scooped tone doesn't work well with dirt pedals that are either neutral or also slightly mid-scooped. A lot of pedals that only have a single "Tone" contro are like this.

    Also, a Deluxe Reverb on the reverb channel has a bright cap. That bright cap makes a lot of dirt pedals sound thin, harsh, overly scooped, and too bright.

    The normal channel doesn't have the bright cap so dirt pedals tend to sound better through that channel.

    A Twin Reverb is slightly different. The channels have a bright switch that you can turn on or off. That makes a big difference. Another thing that makes a big difference with the Twin is that it has a Mid knob. If you turn the Mid knob up to 10 you remove a lot of the inherent mid scoop you find in DRs and TRs.

    So, TRs generally do better with dirt pedals because you can dime the amp's mid knob and turn off the bright switch.

    You can also use pedals that have a full Treble, Mid, Bass tone stack. These usually give you a lot more tonal options with TRs and DRs.
     
  11. JK1965

    JK1965 Member

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    Use a simple ABY pedal.

    Run A to pedals then the normal channel.

    Run B straight into the Vibrato channel.

    Not only do the pedals sound much better, but now you have a clean channel with reverb and a channel with various gain stages based on what pedals are on the board. Makes these amp way more versatile
    The ABY I use for this was like $50 and it works great.
     
  12. Porschefender

    Porschefender Member

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    Simple circuits like tuxedo Bassmans on up, early Bandmasters and Vibrolux heads. As stated previously the Reverb channel doesn't fair as well in many amps.

    Those amps I mentioned don't have the "scooped" Fender tone, which I'm not a huge fan of. Those with a mid control, Super Reverb, Twin Reverb and Showman are more versatile tone wise but big combos can be a bitch to haul and just plain loud. I always pegged the mid control on my Supers when playing Fender guitars.

    The smaller combo's Deluxe and Vibrolux Reverbs and the larger Pro Reverb are more in the scooped camp but are all very usable depending on the player and what goes in.
     
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  13. aeolian

    aeolian Member

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    In general I find most Twin Reverbs to be too dry and they expose a pedal completely. A good Deluxe Reverb is more forgiving, warmer and a bit spongy turned up. There's still head room, banging a gain pedal won't turn it to mush, but it won't sound like gargling with razor blades either.
    And as said, it really depends on what you want. I recently got a Milkman Pedal Steel Mini which is pretty much pure clean headroom. Warmer than most Twins I've played but no give at all. I recently played around with putting a Mad Professor Royal Blue Overdrive at the input, after my pedal board (which has a Mad Professor Supreme and either a Venuram Myriad Fuzz or Wampler Sovereign distortion depending on my mood). I had the RB set at unity level and basically undetectable level of drive. There was a definite softening and warming up of the drive sounds. But the more I played back and forth, the more I missed the ridiculous dynamics and attack that I get with those pedals (particularly the Supreme) into the Milkman.
     
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  14. JackVanPage

    JackVanPage Member

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    I think it depends on what is meant by "takes pedals" and what is meant by "well." There are so many variables there that the phrase is meaningless to me. I played a number of gigs and recorded with an orange ad30 or tiny terror with the amps overdriven and using 6 plus pedals including delay and reverb in front. It worked great for me! But guitar player needs are so variable. Some pedals that people love I just couldn't get to work for me, especially live. And vice versa. So I dont it's specific to fender blackface amps.
     
  15. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    I've always thought that "takes pedals well" means dirt pedals.
     
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  16. HotBluePlates

    HotBluePlates Member

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    That's fine for Reverb to assert. That Pedal Show Youtube channel has been showing the opposite for 4-5 years now.

    Disclaimer: I've got a bunch of pedals, but I'm not a "pedal guy" but rather a "guitar & amp guy."​

    You might have to decide whether you think you want a flat frequency response kind of amp (akin to a stereo or a recording console), or a typical guitar amp to base your sound on.

    Guitars themselves are not "flat frequency response" but midrange-heavy instruments. Guitar amps that sound "balanced" have a pretty big midrange scoop. Guitar amps with no mid-scoop sound "midrange heavy" (like my tweed Deluxe copy, or AC10 or the Normal/Vibrato channels of my AC30).

    No, it doesn't sound like a Deluxe Reverb (or other blackface amp). Blackface Fender amps have a huge mid-scoop as I posted before. The scoop from the amp's tone circuit tends to counter some of the pickup's natural midrange, and you might declare the overall sound "balanced" but the pickup mid-hump and the amp mid-scoop are still there.

    Below is an actual graph of the Deluxe Reverb's frequency response (due to the blackface tone stack):

    [​IMG]
    Even with the internally-fixed midrange setting of 6.8 out of 10, the absolute-level of the mid-scoop at 500Hz is -24dB, and is about 12dB lower than either bass or treble (when they're set halfway up).

    A Fender amp with an adjustable midrange control (Twin Reverb, Super Reverb) can be set up closer to "flat frequency response." This happens when the Midrange control is full-up, Bass control is down around 1-2 (barely on), and Treble control set about halfway up.

    Arguably old non-master volume Marshall amps can more easily get closer to "flat frequency response" because their Mid control has a lot more range of effect.

    And as for the DR, as @guitarman3001 (and I) already said, the Reverb channel has a bright cap on the Volume control that artificially boosts extreme highs unless that Volume control is up to 7-8. You might not notice it with your guitar, but add a gainy pedal to the amp's input and the fizz appears (because the bright cap allows that fizz to bypass the Volume control unattenuated, while the rest of the signal is reduce by the Volume control).

    ______________________________________________________________________

    Since amps cost money (more than a different pedal, anyway) you probably need to learn about what works with your amp & why, rather than chasing a "pedal platform." The below video explains some of the basic considerations for why some pedals sound great into certain amps & horrible into others.

    (The value of watching a bunch of what That Pedal Show has created over time is that they rightly steer viewers away from a notion of "absolutes" into figuring out how to ask the right questions to get where you want to go.)

     
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  17. mallcorn

    mallcorn Member

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    Pack your bags with a few of your favorite pedals, hit the road to some of your favored music stores that currently are sitting on some of these amps you are willing to buy, and hear for yourself. And, for the amps you are not willing to buy, who cares how they sound with pedals....
     
  18. JackVanPage

    JackVanPage Member

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    I think that's what it usually means, but not always. And the well part is subjective. And do we mean while jamming alone at apartment volumes with cranky neighbors? Or in a rock trio? Or in a 7 piece funk band? I was a second guitar player in a band. I bought a tone block 201 and tried the foundation drive pedal thing. Spent weeks trying various pedals to dial in my best sound for the band (who liked it, or told me they did. I know I did.) A few weeks in I tried the tiny terror again just for fun and everyone thought it sounded better for what we were doing. So to me it's all very subjective as to what's good or bad.
     
  19. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    Very cool. So if I understand correctly, the mid-scoop inherent in blackface amps is most pronounced around 500Hz with a broader scoop from 100Hz to about 5000Hz?
     
  20. guitarman3001

    guitarman3001 Member

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    I've never seen a scenario where someone is asking if an amp takes pedals well and they are referring to a tremolo or chorus or delay...etc... it's always dirt pedals. The usual exceptions being someone who doesn't understand why their delay pedal sounds like crap running into the front of a massively distorted amp or why their overdrive or clean boost pedal doesn't add any volume in front of an already distorted amp.....

    The rest of what you mentioned I'd just consider personal preference, not whether or not an amp inherently works well with dirt pedals. That said, I'm sure someone out there is looking for the tone one achieves with a mid scooped metal distortion pedal running into a mid scooped blackface amp with the bright switch/cap on and to them, a scooped Metalzone into a DR's reverb channel works perfectly well. But......ya know...... some of those people are :nuts
     
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