Fender DRRI - what are the "necessary upgrades"?

Geosh

Member
Messages
2,395
Just bought a used Fender Delxue Reverb Reissue with the stock Jensen Special Design speaker in it.

I have played a new one at Guitar Center recently and loved the cleans, but didn't get to play with any dirt pedals with it. I have read though, it is a bit picky with dirt pedals? Wondering what mods I might need to do to make this a bit more pedal friendly.

I'll be swapping out the tubes with new glass and adjusting the bias as needed. Also, I was thinking rather than just cutting out the bright cap, I would make it switchable.

As for the speaker, it doesn't get the best reviews. I have read lots of opinions on what is a good replacement, but not necessairly for what I am looking to do. I am looking for a good clean tone, but also a nice medium gain drive with pedals too. I probably will be using it dirty 60% of the time.

I was looking into a Celestion Gold, Creamback G12m65 or G12H75, G12H-30 Anniversary, Weber 12F150..

Anyone have any favorites? Especially for use with dirt pedals (Little Green Wonder, Barber Gain Changer, Klon, OD-820...)
 

Pelagic

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
385
IMO the "necessary" upgrades are to break in the speaker and run distortion thru the normal channel.

Other things are more a question of taste...IMO.
 

Aslan

Member
Messages
2,701
I agree with Pelagic! My DRRI is completely stock and I it use in the following rig:

Guild Starfire IV > Fulltone Wah > A/B box > A channel > Barber 1/2 Gainer to normal
channel on DRRI

B Channel > Strymon El Capistan > Vibrato Channel on DRRI

Everyone on the TGP talks like you have to clip the bright cap but I just adjust the treble and bass controls on the amp and get a killer sound.

If your set on a mod I would buy a Bad Cat Unleash then you can play your DRRI anywhere and have plenty of volume and clean headroom.
 

padavis

Member
Messages
2,348
I agree with pelagic and aslan. You can get as crazy as you want with these but really there's nothing wrong with the stock speakers they use.

I will say three speakers I've liked are Vintage 30s, 12F150 25watter, and a CRex.
 

ledzep618

Member
Messages
4,751
First thing I would do is forget all the bull crap you read on TGP about it being picky. It's a load. I don't buy into the bright cap clipping. I think they're fine bone stock.

If I bought used I would swap out tubes and bias right just as a matter of principal. Don't put too much thought into the tubes, JJs always worked for me.

But since experimentation is fun, of you do anything change the speaker. I ultimately landed on the WGS ET65 for mine...if I still had a DRRI now though I would be really tempted by the ET90, that speaker kicks ass.

Creamback m65 or a V30 kick ass too.
 

Silent Sound

Member
Messages
5,407
IMO the "necessary" upgrades are to break in the speaker and run distortion thru the normal channel.

Other things are more a question of taste...IMO.
Add me to that list!

Furthermore, never buy an amp that doesn't sound good to begin with. If you feel you have to tweak it from the beginning, you'll wind up selling it at a loss later on.
 

Geosh

Member
Messages
2,395
BTW, good advice on not buying an amp you feel you need to mod right out of the gate.
I have played a stock one at Guitar Center and really liked it, which is why I bought one. I bought a used one (from a guy through Reverb) though because the price savings was too good to pass up.

The tubes and bias are just because it is a used amp with original tubes. I like to start fresh with a clean slate.

The other "necessary mods" were all because of what I have been reading in reviews about the amp. I love to tinker with things, so if there were tweaks that made it better, I am always down to try things out.

I have owned several HotRod Deluxe, Blues Deluxe, and Blues Deville amps and always thought they sounded 10x better with a nicer speaker in them. I liked them stock, but I like them more modded.

I am not starting with an amp I am not happy with. I agree it would be a problem if I thought the amp was sub-par, but I was going to put it into the upper-echelons of bowtweek status with a couple modifications. I just thought I would see what people thought were the most beneficial modifications that can improve upon an already good amp if/when the time comes that I want to play around.
 

Geosh

Member
Messages
2,395
But, have you played the amp? how it sounds? what you don´t like?
Love it with a guitar straight into it.

Haven't played it with pedals, which is why I was looking up reviews... and then got distracted by all the posts about modifications...
 

Chukster

Member
Messages
191
Mine, bought used, was too fizzy with distortion / OD pedals in the reverb channel for my taste, moreso at low volume. I had the bright cap removed, and, since the "hood was up", had the mid range resister slightly boosted. This gives it a little more percieved fullness at low volumes. Stock speaker is back in after trying a Vin30, Naylor 12, etc.
 

Mojoworkin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,103
When I had a DRRI, I put a 12F150 in it, re-tubed with JJs, and re-biased - turned it into a bad motor scooter.
 

Rockerduck

Member
Messages
3,254
I've gigged mine alot. I put JJ's in and a Celestion V30, plus a ss rectifier. Used it for gigs. Now its my home amp. Put stock tubes back in, installed a Cannibis Rex and put the tube rectifier back. This Cannibis Rex is a great speaker for the DRRI.
 

amstrtatnut

Member
Messages
12,949
A lot of guys like the Eminence Cannabis Rex with that amp. I dont have that amp but do have the speaker. Its very balanced and has sparkle with no ice pick.

But I would hold off modding a brand new amp just because.
 

Comanche5

Member
Messages
1,855
I agree with the first few posts. Letting the speaker break in is the most important part. You may want to have the amp re-biased as they are a little cold from the factory, so I've heard. Don't run dirt on the reverb side (unless you clip the bright cap).

I hate repeating this story because of all the " TGP experts", but I had the opportunity to play a well-used DRRI right next to a bone stock (2-prong cord and all) blackface Deluxe Reverb. I wanted the original to just blow the DRRI right out of the water but... everyone in the studio agreed that they sounded the same. Both amps sounded great, but I left the shop feeling let down. Moral of the story: let a new amp break in before judgement.
 

Xlch721

Member
Messages
178
I have had my DRRI for almost a year now and all I did was change the speaker to a Cannabis Rex and some tube rolling. Here about a month ago I pulled the preamp tube out for the Normal Channel since I rarely use it anyways. The end result was more gain on the Vibrato/Reverb Channel. The best part is its a free and easy mod I aslo prefer a 12ax7 in the PI slot. Its a bit fussy with some overdrive/distortion pedals at lower volumes but crank up to anywhere past 5 or 6 and its a beast. Killer cleans and a nice dirty sound using either a TS9,OCD,or a Germanium FF along with a Wah,Compressor and my trusty old Echoplex.
I was a die hard Marshall guy untill I bought this amp now my 18 Watt gets very little use. I mainly use the 18 watt for heavier stuff aka metal with the same pedalboard setup and an A/B box. Not that the DRRI cant do it but its a lot easier with the Marshall.
 

bloomz

Senior Member
Messages
4,228
I wanted to send it in to Alexander for some mods - but he was busy apparently.

Best thing I've done with my DRRI is turn it on and play it.

It's a wonderful amp exactly the way it is.
 

Figaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,012
I like the Jensen C12K speaker in the DRRI much better than the previous Eminence gold label speaker. All the DRRI needs is better tubes and make sure the power tubes are biased correctly.
 

jz63

Member
Messages
184
The C12K is a good speaker but i really love the WGS ET65 in my DRRI. It really makes the amp sing.
 






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