Other Amps

Amp advice…Deluxe Reverb, or other?


Lots of great amps out there. A silverface DR serviced properly with the right speaker......now that's what God intended, and one shouldn't be put off by the later ones (1979-80?) with the 'pull boost.' They are about the same as the non-pull boost ones and can usually be had for much less coin; just don't pull the boost knob, or simply have the tech get rid of the dang thing.


Thanks for the input, everyone! Lots of great suggestions, and good points...especially about the whole boutique vs. vintage thing. I like the idea of supporting small businesses, so if I do decide to go the hand-wired, boutique route, I’ll definitely consider DeLisle or Cave Valley. A couple of people mentioned the ‘68 DRRI....I actually had one of those a few years back. It was ok, but I think I liked the ‘65 version better....seemed to have more headroom and better trem/reverb. Who knows, I may give the ‘65 another go....it’s been about 10 years since I had one, and I didn’t have a Gretsch at the time to play through it. It’s PCB, but that’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, if it sounds good.

– MarkH

Mark, if you are going to look at the DR reissues, look at several of the '68s. I don't have a lot of experience with them but friends that do say that they can vary widely from amp to amp. Maybe it's just the way that the shops have them set up or biased, but it's something to consider.

My first good amp was an original '65 Deluxe Reverb that I bought new and there is a lot to be said for them. In a moment of stupidity (I have had a few of those over the years) I sold it. Last I heard it is still going strong more than 50 years later.

I later bought an 80-81 Deluxe Reverb, one of the last ones before they stopped making the all wired ones. It was a silverface amp in the restyled black face. I couldn't get over the fact that it just didn't look right. I ended up replacing the face plate with a RI one and ended up getting a new cab for it. People see it and they probably think it's a RI and I really don't care. It has had the bright switch snipped and has been blackfaced internally. I put a Weber California speaker in it and it sounds fantastic. Not quite as good as the Executive but still great.

The Deluxe Reverb (and its variants) is an absolute classic amp. You can't go wrong with one. If you need more power then buy a good microphone.


Support a local builder, It's easy for them to copy a fender type type if that's what you want and customize it too. a deluxe with a really efficient speaker can get pretty loud.

Or if you want more poop than a deluxe find a silverface vibrolux. 35 watts and 2 x 10's. The same circuit as the deluxe except more power in the power amp. Still reasonably portable.

You can however get a copy made and it will sound exactly the same or better annnd you will be supporting a small business, rather than pouring $$ into the vintage amp market.


I tried a ton of amps when in the market 6 years ago. I had a $2500 budget, loved a ton, and the Mesa Boogie Lonestar was my favorite.

The Tech21 Trademark 60 kept me coming back for more and was a very close 2nd....yup, beating out all the others....Vox, every Fender, easily Marshal, and many others.

Great amp, great deal and I love it still like it was new. I love my Gretsches thru them.


Yup, forgot that one. I’ve kept mine as well. So versatile, so light, so loud when you need it, but same great tone (including as driven as you like) at low volume. Great look with wheatie grillecloth. Horrible cheesy rippy “tolex” though - thin-skinned as an always-offended professional victim.


Another vote for the Gretsch Executive (built by Mark Baier, Victoria Amps). I owned one for a few years and was convinced it was the best amp I had ever owned in more than 60+ years of amp-dom.

I would still own it if a Standel 25L15 had not landed in my life. The Standel is better than the Executive -- marginally, not significantly.

The challenge is to find Executives. A call to Mark Baier would likely come up with an excellent alternative.

Weight -- I think Execs run about 50 pounds. I bought a foldable light weight "hand truck" at Home Depot for under $30 for significant moves. I still use it for the Standel. Very similar to this:



Another vote for DeLisle. Shoot Mugsy a PM and tell him what your price range is and what you are looking for. He will treat you right.


On the Fender 68 DR RI, I understand that removing the Bright cap from the board (C10) and re biasing the Amp on the theory that Fender ships the Amps biased cold to give the tubes/Amp a longer shelf life but also makes the Amp sound thin. A Tech can properly re-bias it for you. ( unless you know what you are doing, don't try this youself, its very dangerous)


Gretsch Executives are unreal. I also love they Peavy Delta Blues (and I never liked anything Peavy before). Or buy something from Tavo. I'm pretty convinced anything he does will be great.



Synchro over at Gretsch-talk has one of my Elizabeth Reverb amps. His is a 40 watter, but the amp can support 6V6s for 22 watts.


Synchro over at Gretsch-talk has one of my Elizabeth Reverb amps. His is a 40 watter, but the amp can support 6V6s for 22 watts.

– WinnieThomas

I reached out to Synchro because I thought I had seen a review of this amp on another forum. I was evidently mistaken but he sent me a mini review that I will requote here:

"Great to hear from you, Don. I don't think I wrote up the Elizabeth, but I'll be glad to chime in. Basically, the Elizabeth is an update of the classic Blackface circuit. Mine is running 6L6s and outputs roughly 40 watts. It's possible to bias it for 6V6 tubes, as well, and end up at 22 watts. Probably the greatest advantage over the Fender DR is that the Elizabeth has a Bright switch, which comes in very handy, especially at lower volumes where the bright cap can make things a bit harsh. Another significant advantage is the reduced weight of the Elizabeth, which is nearly 10 pounds lighter than a Deluxe. It is a single channel amp an does not have tremolo, so there is a trade-off, but I think it's a favorable exchange.

"IMO, it's probably the best Blackface style amp out there. Hit the Bright switch and you are instantly transported to Bakersfield. Click the Bright switch off and the sound becomes a bit more middle of the road, with a decent midrange. The reverb live up to anything you would expect from a Fender. Mine has vintage Blackplate RCA 6L6s, and has a lot of character. One other advantage is that the Winfield allows you to choose the speaker to suit one's taste."

Hope that does more than just Muddy the Watters (See what I did there? A double pun.)


My vote.

– Ric12string

Dang Bob, jumper those together, open your doors, and blow all that snow downhill! Lol

Nice pair of amps.


One of those is mine. Bob is keeping it for me till I have room.


One of those is mine. Bob is keeping it for me till I have room.

– Proteus

That's cool Tim, and very nice of Bob.

Remember though, possession is 9/10ths of the law. Lol


If I were looking to buy right now


My vote.

– Ric12string

Only thing wrong with that picture is that it is not the fireplace in my family room.


I’m in agreement about the Executive in the Deluxe category, as unrealistic, acquisition-wise, as the concept appears to be. That said, to my ear, the actual Fender Deluxe differs enough to still be a valid alternative even if one has an Executive. (That is, unless one is in search of their version of, “the tone”, which I personally am not.)


SO many amps!! I am on amp overload myself. I need to sell some (which will probably mean I buy some more or build some more)


SO many amps!! I am on amp overload myself. I need to sell some (which will probably mean I buy some more or build some more)

– JBGretschGuy

Yep, we're a lucky bunch now a days.

More factories, and a bunch of small builders give a ton of options. A some folks like building their own, like JB stated.

Great time to be a guitar player.


One more recommended the TopHat Rialto I think I spelled ths right. Anyhow it's 12 watt with 4 modes tweed to blackface Princeton reverb. It's not listed on site yet as it's a new model.


Well, I certainly have many great new ideas for my next amp...thanks, everyone. For now, though, I did go ahead and get the ‘65 DRRI. After playing the 6122-62 through it, I’m glad that I did. I don’t think they’ve changed anything in the last ten years, but this one sounds better than I remember the old reissue sounding. Not harsh or brittle, at all. It’s certainly louder than I remember...impressive for 22 watts....plenty of headroom for me. Hopefully, reliability won’t be an issue, but time will tell. My 13 year old Bassman is still going strong, so I’m optimistic.


Two mods a lot of people make on these is to snip the bright cap and upgrade the speaker. Don't know what speaker you have in it but that may be an option. Putting a Neo speaker in it might shave some weight.

But congratulations on your choice. Great amp. Like I said above, if it's not loud enough, get a good mike.

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