Other Amps

DRRI - Reverb vs Speaker Swap & Usability


This is going to be a dumb question but I'm going to ask anyway - do the speakers significantly impact the onboard reverb on a DRRI? Maybe it's two or three different questions?

1) How useful do you guys/gals find the onboard DRRI Reverb? (aka should I just run a pedal instead?)

2) If I tame the reverb (at 10 it's just shrill), do you think I really need a speaker swap? I ran an RE-20 on just reverb as a test and it wasn't as shrill, but rather than being chime-y it's just sharp (which I guess is pretty common for high end on DRRI)

3) If I'm using a lot of reverb, and not be shrill, is the best first investment a speaker or does it end up being a verb/trem pedal and just skip onboard?

First foray into really messing with my amp, appreciate thoughts and opinions.


Why so much Reverb? I don’t know anyone who uses more than “3” on the dial.

Speaker upgrade helps all around.


Fair question - I don't go to 10 all the time, although I keep getting asked if there can be "more" reverb. 10 is painful (unusable at some level), 4.5-6 seems to be around where I'll probably live generally, but even then I'm getting some frequencies on the high end that are clinky.

My question is probably two sides of the same coin.


And since I don't it want to seem like there's a "gotcha" here, I have a DRRI with a Weber Alnico and a DRRI with a Celestion G12H 70th anniversary. I'm trying to figure out if my next step is a reverb/trem (Flint?) pedal or if I can/should just tame what's going on with the different speaker first.

DRRI is a low watt-early breakup amp, but I'm playing surf stuff on it (hence the reverb).


Once you turn built-in blackface amp reverb above four or so, things get drowned out and thin sounding, I think that's just the nature of the beast.

You could try the old "feed the output of the reverb into the unused channel" trick to be able to tweak your reverb a little more, you'll have some EQ controls.

A better speaker is a good idea with a DRRI, but it's not going to change anything about the reverb.


The speaker shouldn't affect the reverb tank at all, especially as the tank should be in it's padded bag. You'll not find a reverb better than Fender's onboard versions or the 6G15 add on unit, except possibly that on an Ampeg. You should never need to run a verb higher than 5. The Celestion and Weber are both fine speakers, better than stock, and there's no need to replace either.


Okay, thanks all for the input. I think that clears up a few things - single note stuff is not tremendously bad when the reverb is super high but chords are stabbing me in the ears. I think my expectations aren't matching exactly with what the amp itself can do (which is ok, I just need to realign my expectations) and I'm still figuring it out. A pedal is probably needed if I want to get more flexibility with the verb.

Since I have two DDRI's, I am still going to pick up a speaker recommended in another thread - it's super helpful to be able to A/B them (even though one has been modded to hell and back). Really I just want to see if what I'm thinking will happen will happen - I haven't experimented with speakers so I'm interested in trying.

I guess also part of my confusion - the modded DRRI is pretty unobtrusive all the way up to 10 on reverb - but it sure doesn't have the range that the un-modified one does.


What Reverb Pan are they using in the reissues? BTW, the Reverb drive is after the Volume Control. If you're cranking the amp to get distortion, the Reverb will sound awful. Reverb is for clean only on Blackface Fenders. Once you get the Volume past about 4 1/2, the 12AT7 starts pulling grid current and completely unbiases itself, which feeds nothing but square waves to the spring.


Good question BZ, I don't know. I'm running the volume between 4.5 and 6 (not for disortion, just for volume) Sounds like that may be my problem. I'll have to fool with it more and see if I can find a good balance. If I'm overcranking the reverb AND pushing the volume I'm just compounding my problem sounds like.


You might want to try a more efficient speaker. I use a Weber California Ceramic. It's probably as close as you are going to come to a JBL being made these days. Keep your volume to about 4 and the reverb should be fine but I agree with others that even in surf music, there is no need to dime the reverb knob.


So trust me when I say that I'm not playing dumb when I ask this, but what defines "more efficient" for a speaker?


Knowing almost nothing about apmlifier circuitry, all I can add is that I find the sound of the reverb on my DRRI to be downright annoying past 2 or so. I seldom use more than a touch of reverb. An outboard unit would make sense if I wanted more reverb. I have Gibson amp from the ‘60 with reverb that, to my ears, puts the DRRI to shame.


A more efficient speaker helps a smaller amp have more clean headroom. You don't have to turn it up as much to achieve the same volume and the amp doesn't have to work as hard. Which could possibly help you with the problem Billy Zoom was suggesting. Either that or you need a vibrolux reverb.

A couple of ideas. If you want a nice light clean very efficient speaker I quite like the Eminence Little Texas. 12" ,very efficient at 101 db, 125 watts and only 4 lbs. It'll make your amp louder and a little lighter. Supposedly the Mod brand replacement tanks for blackface amps are darker sounding than Accutronics tanks. or at least that seems to be the biggest complaint about them. I haven't tried one personally. I've just read about it. Best of luck.


I think I need to crash course myself in reading frequency response charts. lol


Speaker efficiency is stated as ??db, 1w/1m. That tells you how loud a speaker with be with a given amount of power. db is the sound pressure level, or volume...1w/1m means measured with one watt of power at a distance of one meter from the cone. That's the standard way to rate speaker efficiency. Efficient guitar speakers run around 98 to 99 db. Inefficient guitar speakers will be rated around 97 db. It's a logarithmic scale, so that's quite a difference. As I recall, JBL D130's were around 103db. That's twice as loud as 97db.


Swapping out the 12AT7 tube with a 12AU7 may make a difference - anyone ever try that? Any change?


although I keep getting asked if there can be "more" reverb.

What kind of music can you be playing that you need that amount of reverb? Or is it possible the reverb in your amp is not working correctly?


It's not so much a matter of what music I'm playing it's more a matter of "Hey that knob goes to 10 and more is better, right?" In my case I have now learned that the reverb knob should only be labeled 1 through 4 and the should only be able to turn a quarter turn. Lol.

The amp is brand new, so I don't think it's broken but ya know, who knows?

As to the tube swap I'm interested in the results from anyone who has done it, but not particularly excited to try it myself.


Just because I feel like closing some kind of loop here, I swapped the Weber Alnico out of the stock DRRI and replaced it with a Warehouse G12C/S and am pleasantly surprised by how smooth all the frequencies are. It's sooooo smooth that a I'm curious how a G12C would do instead.

The weber is going into the modded DRRI (I'll report later, there's a speaker wire snafu that I must get past first)

Indeed, as advised above, there wasn't much impact to the reverb functionality. The speaker tames the high end on the reverb a hair (not much) but the high end overall is much smoother and overall more balanced. I'm going to keep the reverb down between 4-5 at the next rehearsal and see if I really need to pedal-up to get more reverb. BTW, yes, it's an Accutronics.


To me, Fender amps for "clean" sound, are tops. They are the best, and I'd say the Deluxe Reverb, any year, is fantastic.

The reverb and vibrato are brilliant, wonderful additions to the overall sound.

The speakers are fine, so in other words, I do not see any need to upgrade the Fender Deluxe Reverb. It's already an upgrade once purchased, new, used, vintage or very vintage.

It's all opinion.

Addendum: I rarely go over 3 on reverb.



Ok - so after playing both at volume at rehearsal and generally poking around (and a speaker swap which cured the hum problem that caused me to end up with two DRRI in the first place), I found that the modded DRRI still sounds fantastic/superior to my ears over the stock DRRI. After the advice here, and some reading, and some tube checking, I'm still on a slight trajectory to figure out how to make the reverb better on the stock DRRI.

Without ripping the amp apart (which I don't have the technical expertise to really dig into) there's not a good way to side-by-side these and figure out what mods were done....so....

I went and looked at the original E-bay ad when I bought the amp.

The seller said:

"763 Blackfaced A and B channels

Hardwired solid state rectifier

Celestion G12H-30...original Jenson not included or available

Various cap and resistor upgrades

Upgraded input jacks

A few small nicks in the black paint around the input jacks and a few light scuffs here and there. That's it. No rips, cracks or tears. Excellent condition. Includes the original cover but no footswitch.

The vibrato has the common DRRI tick when engaged. Never used it so I've never looked into it. Could be a tube or may just need the cap jumper fix...if you feel the need to. Zero issues otherwise with low hours."

With the amp came a card from Link Hunt Amplification who did the mods. If you don't want to click through, here's the description there:

"The owner of this amp desired more clean headroom and better tone. I installed a solid-state rectifier, replaced several components, and modified the power supply and bias supply.
I also converted the normal channel to the vibrato channel from an AA763 circuit."

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