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Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

3.45 3.45 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

Easy, simple, reliable, awesome sounding amp!

3rd September 2013

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb by djm525

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

The Fender Deluxe Reverb '65 reissue, first of all is what is stated in the title: a reissue of an amp that Fender produced starting in 1965. There were two different styles of the Deluxe Reverb that were produced, very similar internals, but the outside was different. The first was the "blackface" style, meaning the plate behind the knobs is black, and the model is written in a very stylish cursive. The other style of the Deluxe Reverb is the "silver face" meaning the plate is silver and the model is written in a rather blocky looking blue color. The reissued '65 Deluxe Reverb is the "blackface" model, which in my personal opinion looks a lot better. This tube amp is packed with tubes, having 4 12AX7s and 2 12AT7s in the pre-amp, 2 6V6s in the power amp, and a 5AR4 in the rectifier.

Lets start with the features of this amp. First of all, it has two channels, each of which have two inputs. Now, these inputs offer different impedance, and are not meant to be plugged into simultaneously, however, it is possible to do so if looking into this amplifier as a teacher or a student. The two channels are labeled as "Normal" and "Vibrato", and there is no option for any kind of built in distortion or overdrive. Here's where MY BIGGEST COMPLAINT lies with this amp. The normal channel has a volume control, a treble control, and a bass control. No mids, but thats not extremely important. The vibrato channel has all that the volume, treble, and bass, like the normal channel does, but also has a reverb control, an intensity control (for the vibrato/tremolo), and a speed control (For the vibrato/tremolo). Now, the vibrato channel seems like the channel you want to always use, right? To have access to that sweet, tube-driven spring reverb? Well, if you're hoping to use an overdrive or distortion pedal with the vibrato channel, you're (for the most part) out of luck. The vibrato channel has a brightness cap (essentially a boost in the high end) installed that cannot be switched off. So you make the choice of getting spring reverb with a brightness cap from the vibrato channel, or no spring reverb and no brightness cap from the normal channel. Once again, its my personal opinion that overdrive sounds terrible running through the vibrato channel. You may like it, and like all gear you should definitely try before you buy!

The tone of the amp is what sold me on it. The speaker is a 12 in. Jensen, which gives you a very nice, clean, and bassy tone. Playing a lot of jazz music, as well as getting the majority of rock tones from pedals, I welcome a very good sounding base amplifier that simply sounds good. The spring reverb is a very fender-esque reverb that can get gentle reverb to full on tube driven spring loaded crazy! However, the reverb unit in the amp can introduce a fair amount of noise into an otherwise quiet amp. After playing this amplifier in a church band a few nights, people began wondering what the "feedback" was. Turning the reverb off fixed the issue, but once again, its unfortunate that such a great sounding reverb can cause issues. The vibrato channel is something nice to have, but not something I use every day. It is very surf sounding, and it can get you some pretty sweet tremolo, however, don't expect full choppy on/off/on/off tremolo that you hear in some common rock songs today. The vibrato also introduces a fair amount of noise into the amplifier. It sounds a lot like a fan, even when the vibrato is turned all the way off. You have to literally engage the foot switch to turn off the extra noise. Other than that, however, the amp is a very good, very clean sounding amp that has a lot of headroom. I haven't gotten this thing to distort yet from volume, but I've heard it starts around 7-8. A big step from my older tube amp, the Marshall Class 5, that started to distort at 3. The amp does get loud, but not too loud. At 22 watts, it certainly is capable to play a decent show, but don't let the volume discourage you, as most places want to mic up the amp regardless.

The amp is super reliable! I've had mine bump around in the back of my car, fall over, be left on overnight, and I've even had a drunken flight attendant spill wine on the top and trip over it later in the night! (long story), but it still works fine! I haven't even needed to replace the tubes yet! This amp comes with a few extras, including a 2 button foot switch (Reverb and Vibrato), a dust cover (at least mine did), a sticker and a manual. This thing retails for $999.99, but I bought mine for around $850, so there is definitely wiggle room. Remember that this is the 2nd to lowest model of the '65 reissue line that they have. Below this there is the Princeton Reverb, then the Deluxe Reverb, then the Twin Reverb, and finally the Super Reverb. If you're looking for more speaker cones, then the twin and super might be worth taking a look at, but if you want an amp thats lighter than 42 lbs, the Princeton may be your best bet. If the brightness cap really is an issue, the twin and the super have switchable channels, and I believe the Princeton does not have a cap installed at all. If you don't want a clean amp, and are looking for something really bluesy and overdrive-ready, look at some of the hot-rod series, such as the hot-rod deluxe, Deville, or blues jr. However, if you're just looking for a solid, all around amp that is super reliable and simply gets the job done well, then check out the Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb!

  • 2
23rd October 2014

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb by Wesso

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

Finally got a REAL amp. I have to say when I first got the amp I was disappointed. I play a majority of the time at low volumes at home while practicing. Initially, my pedals sounded shrill and harsh through the second channel, the one with the reverb and tremolo on it. I use a Sex Drive, a Boss DD20 delay and a Boss OD20 distortion pedal and a Boss EQ primarily. I started looking up the subject of the sound on the second channel and found a vast array of articles and posts about how to "fix" the problem. A lot of suggestions about changing the speaker, the tubes, the "fritz" mod etc… I just paid over a grand for this amp and did not want to have to shell out large amounts of funds to fix it. I read a number of posts that said not to modify it and that the original speaker sounds the best through the amp. I have not made any of the suggested upgrades so I can not comment on their results. What I decided to do was tweak the amp and pedals. I have to say that I am now VERY please with the amps sound. So what did I do? First for low volumes I plugged into the second input on the second channel. This is a lower gain input and is the best input in my opinion for OD pedals at lower volumes. Next, I turned down the treble knob to 3. I then tuned down the tone knob on the Sex Drive and the other pedals. On my eq pedal I had originally boosted the highs but put all the sliders to flat and boosted 100k slightly and 6.5k by about 3db. That was the ticket! The sound is now phenomenal and matches the tone I was after in my head. IMHO an eq pedal is essential especially for situations like this. You can really shape your tone. In short, if you just bought a DRRI and don't like the sound at low volumes but want that wonderful reverb and tremolo, before you start butchering this amp, TWEAK!

  • 2
5th June 2017

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb by bace

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 1 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 2 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.5
Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

This is supposed to be Corona build quality. What a crap. Lot of of hum and noise on the vib and reverb channel. The reverb tank seems to be the reason. Very low build quality. This is a shame for Fender. (2016 RI that is)

31st August 2017

Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb by jonitto

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 2.25
Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

Fender factory models leave so much to be desired. The Blackface 60s Deluxe is such a classic amp. Sad it has come to this.

At least the Super Sonic 22 has a lead channel, effects loop, and mid boost for the rhythm channel.

Greg Jones - Beat Making and Music Theory Instructor at The Recording Conservatory of Austin Audio Engineering, Video and Music Production and Business School | TRCoA

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