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Fender amps - the loudest?
Old 31st July 2014
  #1
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Fender amps - the loudest?

Currently debating whether to get a Fender Blues Deluxe, Hot Rod Deluxe or Hot Rod Deville, some of my fave guitarists use the HRDev but as the BD is cheaper and a lot of threads suggest it sounds better my one issue is what's louder? price-wise the BD and HRDel are roughly the same, but are they as loud as each other?? Also, between the HRDel and HRDev what does the price difference really mean? is one quieter than the other? I will use an Epiphone Riviera and use a few pedals like a Tubescreamer OD, Danelectro dist, Carl Martin tremelo and analogue delay thru it.

Cheers, JG.

Last edited by Johnny Glitter; 31st July 2014 at 12:13 PM.. Reason: misspelling
Old 31st July 2014
  #2
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FFTT's Avatar
 

Don't fooled by artist endorsements on these amps.
Most are back line rentals with multiple back-ups.

The Blues Deluxe is generally more reliable than the Hot Rod Series but they all have common issues due to thin, double sided PCB, cheap switches and jacks and other typical modern Fender cost cutting measures.

The Blues Deluxe, is in practical terms a cheap PCB Bassman circuit when you turn off reverb and presence controls.

My '93 USA Tweed Blues Deluxe was fine sitting home, but as soon as I started carting it around to jams, it developed problems.

I bought a later USA Blonde to replace it and it also had issues in the switches and jacks.

The stock Special Design Fart Tone Speakers should be replaced with something like an Eminence C-Rex to help control the ear splitting highs.

The C-Rex will smooth the top end and because it is a high efficiency speaker 102dB SPL, it will make the amp considerably louder than the stock speaker.

The overdrive sections are virtually unusable without a better speaker.

Everyone I know with direct experience with any of these amps has had problems. HRD series the most troublesome.

You are far better off finding a clean Silver Face '72 or earlier Bassman, Super Reverb, Pro Reverb, Twin and have it refurbished as needed.
Old 31st July 2014
  #3
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Jim Messina tours with a pair of HR DeVilles. I saw him with Loggins recently and his sound was huge and clean. I got to talk to him after the show, and he said the amps were stock. Most likely so they can easily be replaced on tour. The DeVille has more headroom. Personally, I like the whole series as far as clean tone once they are biased properly (they are biased cold (brittle) from the factory to prolong tube life). I do not like the overdrive produced from the preamp section, and the reverb is very harsh and overly "springy". They all work well with pedals.
Old 31st July 2014
  #4
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Joe brings up a good point actually. If you can afford backups or call a back line rental company and rent a backup.
That's about the only way I would leave town with one of these amps.

With purchase price of $500.00, repairs and speaker upgrade, I've got $750.00
into my USA Blues Deluxe. I doubt I could get what I have into it, even being a USA model.

Now the bright switch isn't working Grrrrrrr!

The resistors burned a hole in the board of my '93 Tweed.
I spent $125.00 trying to get it repaired but it failed again.

The cost to replace the board plus labor would have far exceeded the value of the amp.
It was trash. Play & Toss, Consumer Grade Electronics.
Old 31st July 2014
  #5
Lives for gear
Where are you playing? Bars? Clubs? Stadiums? For most people, anything more than 40 watts is overkill, the exception being playing outdoors.

Your problem with your amps breaking is that you've centered on the line that Fender cuts the most corners on - tubes connected to the PC board, not the chassis; cement resistors, and cheap components. You'd do far better with a used silver face or even the reissue Deluxe, Super or Twin Reverbs that are better made and have proven to be more reliable. Anything with the words Deville, Blues should be a caution sign. Backline companies can stock them because they also maintain their amps in-between gigs or replace them when they don't work. I wouldn't use their use in back line rentals as a vote for the amp to get.

Joe is right on the biasing - it's set low at the factory for maximum tube life, not tone. Speakers are cheap but can be replaced.

If you don't wan to go vintage used, I would recommend a reissue Deluxe Reverb. Fender clean and great reverb; more reliable than all the amps you mentioned, takes pedals very well, and is loud enough for any show that you're not mic'd up to the PA for.
Old 31st July 2014
  #6
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If you want a Fender that actually sounds like a real Fender, take the time
to hunt down a clean Silver Face hand wired Fender. '72 or earlier preferred.

A Super Reverb or Twin will be easier to find at a reasonable price because one
they are LOUD, and two, they are HEAVY!

Small clubs & aging backs work to your benefit.

Any tech that has any business working on amps can keep them going for decades.

Average refurbishing costs, $250.00-$325.00 depending on components needed.

At least you'll have a real Fender.
Old 31st July 2014
  #7
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Ephi82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
If you want a Fender that actually sounds like a real Fender, take the time
to hunt down a clean Silver Face hand wired Fender. '72 or earlier preferred.

A Super Reverb or Twin will be easier to find at a reasonable price because one
they are LOUD, and two, they are HEAVY!

Small clubs & aging backs work to your benefit.

Any tech that has any business working on amps can keep them going for decades.

Average refurbishing costs, $250.00-$325.00 depending on components needed.

At least you'll have a real Fender.
There is absolutely no reason not to get a "vintage" Fender amp, meaning silverface or blackface, depending on your budget.

They are out there, and with a little tlc they will run forever and sound incredible
Old 31st July 2014
  #8
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Over 900 shows, a Super on one side of me and a Vibrolux Reverb on the other
and never once did they go down.

My SVT on the other hand went down twice mid show.

We covered a huge amount of material. A few guitars, a handful of very basic pedal covered everything.
Old 31st July 2014
  #9
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kafka's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FFTT View Post
If you want a Fender that actually sounds like a real Fender, take the time to hunt down a clean Silver Face hand wired Fender. '72 or earlier preferred.

A Super Reverb or Twin will be easier to find at a reasonable price because one they are LOUD, and two, they are HEAVY!
The Standard Issue outdoor-BBQ amplifier. I played a `68 Silverface Twin Reverb for years. I'd like of like it back, but my Fuchs ODS 100 is my "big clean" amp now, and I really need a JTM45 or JMP and a HiWatt (Reeves!) first.

If you get a Twin, also get a hand truck, preferably just before you go buy it. Even with casters on the bottom, they're just too unwieldy to haul around.
Old 31st July 2014
  #10
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Those Fender amp casters are there just to ensure that over the first pebble or guitar/mic cable your amp tips over and crashes to the ground.
Old 1st August 2014
  #11
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lame pseudonym's Avatar
 

Oh geez, that Bassman version that looked like a Super Reverb....

Take one step too far, one little tug on the cord, and it was face down on the floor, the chassis bent by the plug on your cable.....
Old 1st August 2014
  #12
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FFTT's Avatar
 

A Silver Face Twin 69 pounds 100 watts
Silver Face Super Reverb 86 pounds 40 watts ( not sure this is right on weight )

The Fender Amp Field Guide
The Fender Amp Field Guide

The weight of the speakers is a variable in both.

In either case, they were awkward to haul with a single handle.

68-70 Showman Head is a Twin in a head cab.
Old 1st August 2014
  #13
Lives for gear
From the same guide, the SFSR is 69 pounds, same as a Twin Reverb; not sure where you're getting 86.
Old 1st August 2014
  #14
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FFTT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nedorama View Post
From the same guide, the SFSR is 69 pounds, same as a Twin Reverb; not sure where you're getting 86.
I think its a typo too.

Black Face shows 60 pounds, so 86 pounds for a
SF doesn't make sense.


Year:

1968-1981
Model:

Super Reverb
Circuit:

AB763, AB568, AB569, AA1069, AA270, AA1070
Config:

Combo
Control Panel:

Silver, forward facing w/ blue labels
Front Conrol Layout:

Normal: In, In, Bright Sw, Vol, Treb, Bass - Vibrato: In, In, Bright Sw, Vol, Treb, Mid, Bass, Rev, Speed, Intensity - Pilot Lamp
Rear Conrol Layout:

AC Outlet, Ground Sw, Fuse (2A), Power Sw, Standby Sw, Speaker Jack, Ex. Speaker Jack, Vibrato Jack, Reverb Jack, Reverb Out, Reverb In
Knobs:

Black skirted w/ chrome center, numbered 1 - 10
Cabinet:

68-69: 25½" x 25½" x 9¾" (64.8 x 64.8 x 24.8 cm)
70-81: 24½" x 25" x 10" (62.2 x 63.5 x 25.4 cm)
Cab Covering:

Black Tolex
Cab Hardware:

Black strap handle, 5½" Chassis straps, 19" tilt-back legs, corner protectors, glides (68-71) or casters (72-81)
Grille:

Blue sparkle grille cloth w/ aluminum frame (68-69), w/o aluminum frame (70-81)
Logo:

Grille mounted, raised, chrome & black script "Fender" w/ tail(68-74) or "Fender®" w/o tail (74-81)
Weight:

86 lbs. (39 Kg)
Speakers/Load:

4 x 10"/2 ohms (8 ohms each in parallel)
Speaker Model:

Oxford 10L6, CTS 10" (AlNiCo or ceramic) or Rola 10" ceramic
Effects:

Reverb, Tremolo
Output:

40 or 70 (late 70s models) Watts
Preamp:

Normal: 7025
Vibrato: 7025, ½ 7025
Power:

2 x 6L6GC
Bias:

Fixed, adjustment pot (AB763) or balance pot (all others)
Rectifier:

5U4GB
Phase Inverter:

12AT7 (long tailed)
Other:

Reverb Driver: 12AT7
Reverb Recovery: ½ 7025
Tremolo: 12AX7(photoresistor)
Comments:

The speakers were arranged in a rhomboid patter with the top two offset to the left and the bottom two offset to the right. (70-81)
Bias mods and a hum balance control were added (AB568) and then removed. (AB569)
A "Boost" control and a master volume were added in the mid seventies.
Fender switched back to the blackface era cosmetics some time in 1980. Super Reverbs produced between late 1980 and 1981 have a black control panel and silver sparkle grille cloth.
A Mid control for the Normal channel and Line Out jack were added in ~1978.
Old 1st August 2014
  #15
Gear Nut
 

I've gigged with a lot of Fender amps over the years, but probably got told to turn my various Twin Reverbs (70s silver faces, resissues) down more than any other amp- big fat sound. I've also been using HRDxs since they hit the market back in the 90's and done countless gigs on the road with no issues using most of that series- loud enough, never let me down on a gig and reasonably clean to a point, and that's why I keep using them. Everyone has a different idea on "loud"
Old 1st August 2014
  #16
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

In most average clubs 40-50 watts is good n' loud even with a hard hitting drummer.

My old drummer had to wear golf gloves to protect his hands from the splinters
of 2-B sticks shattering. 40 watts was fine.
Old 1st August 2014
  #17
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Ron Vogel's Avatar
 

I used to gig around with a Early 90's Blues DeVille. It was the 2 x 12 combo, and I paired it with a 4 x 12. Never had an issue other than a dirty pot.

It was too loud for most smallish bars, and way too loud for home. Very nice, smooth and glassy tone to it. Never even retubed it before I traded it for a pair of vintage amps (Supro 1608, Guild Thunder 1).

I do agree though, I'd stay away from the Hot Rod series if you are giging it...a lot of people do, but they are built pretty cheap.
Old 1st August 2014
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

Personally I wouldn't gig with any new production Fender amps priced below the Deluxe Reverb. Not counting the Super-Sonic line, I've found most of the new production reissues to be road worthy and always ready to provide workable tones.
Old 1st August 2014
  #19
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Joe Porto's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Snap View Post
Personally I wouldn't gig with any new production Fender amps priced below the Deluxe Reverb. Not counting the Super-Sonic line, I've found most of the new production reissues to be road worthy and always ready to provide workable tones.
I have an early DRRI (1994) that I gigged for 15 years, and it is still going strong in the studio.

I did see a recent DRRI and Fender have definitely cut some corners. Mine has a very thick green PCB, where the newer ones have the same thin tan PCBs that are in the HR series. But at least the tube sockets are still chassis mounted.

Still, the DRRI is a fantastic amp. It's a great amp to use with pedals. Is plenty loud for live use with a drummer, provided you have sound reinforcement. Mine has never once seen the shop in 20 years. Just regular power tube replacement and bias that I do myself.
Old 2nd August 2014
  #20
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The old Fenders are built like tanks and sound wonderful. I know of a 1962 Concert Amp that can be had for a reasonable price...........
Old 2nd August 2014
  #21
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FFTT's Avatar
 

More perfectly great amps are sold due to aging backs than any other reason.

That's how I got my Bad Cat because the head alone weighed 69 pounds, 97 pounds in the flight case that came with it.
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