Complete Rebuild of a Deluxe Reverb Amp


I thought there should be a posting here in the Amp Technical Info section about this project. It has been well covered in the Amps and Cabs section.

Rebuilding a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue Amp


I’ve had quite a few DRRI’s over the years and have followed with interest the postings of MikeyMann (aka Mike McGuirk) who has been a proponent of stripping out the guts of the Fender reissue amps and rebuilding a new amp inside the reissue chassis. Cool idea. Guess what? I decided to get in touch with Mikey and I ended up taking my DRRI to him for a complete rebuild.

Right at the beginning, he snapped some digital photos and emailed them to me so I could see his progress. I’d planned on keeping these for documentation but then I started writing about each step of the process. This prompted me to ask Mikey more questions and request more photos. My “story” about the amp rebuild kept getting longer.

After a couple of weeks, I’d already written about 15 pages (with pictures). Mikey and I started having almost daily interactions, mostly by email but often by phone. I could see Mikey was taking his time to do everything absolutely top-notch using the best components. For example, my amp has a Mercury Magnetics power transformer, choke, reverb transformer and output transformer.

Since Mikey was being so meticulous with rebuilding the amp, I decided to be equally meticulous about documenting the process. When you look at the site you may think I’ve gone a tad overboard. :rolleyes:

I’ve been playing guitar since 1966 and have played in a ton of bands over the years. The first amp I bought in 1967 was an Ampeg Gemini I and I’ve been using tube amps ever since.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to start educating myself about tube amp theory and construction. I’m still just a hobbyist in this regard but this knowledge certainly helped me write this article. In fact, writing the article pushed me beyond the bounds of my tube amp knowledge and forced me to get a handle on concepts I hadn’t mastered. I try to relay this sense of discovery in the article as I take you chronologically through the building process.

About a month before picking up my amp, I decided to take the article I was writing and turn it into a full-blown website, which is where the link points you. This was a BIG project. It’s one thing creating an article using Microsoft Word but it’s another level of effort to turn it into a website. I hope you enjoy it because I’ve certainly tried to make it as nice looking and informative as possible.

Of course, part of the story is about how the amp works, how it sounds, how it feels and how it plays. In short, it does all of things just great. Mikey has a cool market niche with rebuilding reissue amps using hand-wired turret board construction and great components.

I now have a Deluxe Reverb that is built better than an original and which sounds every bit as good, if not better. There are even some mods he added for me, like external bias test points and a Triode/Pentode switch. And all this for a price I could afford. It’s pretty cool.

Check it out and let me know what you think.



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