Other Amps

I hate my Deluxe Reverb

1

I have a 1981 Deluxe Reverb that just doesn't jive with me. It has the push pull Treble Boost but I never use that. The volume knobs don't have much range. Gets loud at just 1. When you crank it up it sounds shrill and honky. It currently has a Weber 12F150 but I still have the original Utah? speaker that has a hole in it.. What should I do ? Maybe just light the damn thing on fire.. lol. I want to love it but...

2

Not every "classic" amp is ideal for every classic guy. What guitars are you using with it?

Does it need tubes?

More to the point, what amps do you seem to like? Could just be a misfit with you. No problem with that. Pffft - Reverb it outtahere and get something you don't have to fight with to like.

3

Do both channels' volume controls act the same?

5

Well, you shouldn't have to pay to dispose of that defective piece of trash. I will take it off your hands and out of your sight and ears. I'll even pay for shipping. Just let me know.

6

I have a 1981 Deluxe Reverb that just doesn't jive with me. It has the push pull Treble Boost but I never use that. The volume knobs don't have much range. Gets loud at just 1. When you crank it up it sounds shrill and honky. It currently has a Weber 12F150 but I still have the original Utah? speaker that has a hole in it.. What should I do ? Maybe just light the damn thing on fire.. lol. I want to love it but...

– ForwardLook77

I was once presented with the opportunity to buy a Deluxe Reverb II. I take it yours is a DR II? Isn't a 1981 the DR II? The one I was given the chance to buy was about that year. I didn't try t but I could have tried it if I was interested. It was in about 1998 and it was a local music store. I think it was something like $400. I wish I had tried it but I didn't because I already had and still have a 1977 DR, you know the Silver Face models. My SFDR is loud like yours. Loud as all heck. Sometimes no matter what speaker you put in an amp that you describe won't really help. It may help but not enough to get where you want it too.

If yours is what I think it is it's a Paul Rivera amp. These are actually very sought after, well by those who like this version. I am not sure how close to Rivera brand amps these come.

7

Mine is just a Deluxe Reverb .. I've tried it with my 6120, Cliff Gallop jet, Panther, a Les Paul, SG, Esquire, Strat.. It is a late style silverface amp with earlier style black face cosmetics with Deluxe reverb written in smaller font..

8

Before you evaluate the sound of the amp, has it been serviced recently? You should make sure it’s operating as designed or you could have it “blackfaced” to earlier-style specs. That will cost some money though so decide if you’re willing to invest in it any more. If not, just sell it and get something to your liking.

9

Since mine is a 1977 both of ours may have the same internals with only the cosmetics outside different. I don't get much use out of it because of the same reasons you have with yours. Sometimes I want to sell it but I think about it and it wasn't much money to start, although I had to put $400 into getting it up to par because it was well used and the previous owner did some bad wiring mods and the transformer had to be replaced but I would think Billy Zoom put in the period correct one. BZ autographed it when I asked if he would. Thank you Billy. So because it's a classic and I didn't spend much on it and Billy autographed it I am hesitant to sell it. I think it's just the nature of that amp to be really loud at even 1 on the Vol knob. So I do play it a bit now and then but my 1971 Fender Princeton Reverb is my fave amp. Billy also worked on that a couple of times. That one sounds really good and basically Billy had to change the tubes the first and second time he worked on it but that was years apart. He did something else probably. But the amp really wasn't in bad shape at all. I guess I could change tubes but I don't trust myself to bias an amp or work on circuit in anyway.

Edit - I wouldn't call it really loud on 1 on the Vol Knob but it sounds loud at 2 and very loud on 3. You can imagine how a Mosrite would sound on it. Mosrites have hot pickups so on that amp it's LOUD! Also maybe overly bright. On the SFPR the Mosrites are also loud but manageable. Side Note my understanding is that the only Venture who liked Mosrite was Nokie Edwards. I guess Mel didn't care since he was a drummer but Don Wilson and Bob Bogle didn't like them. They didn't like it that they overdrove the amps really easily. Hear it on the Live in Japan recordings and you know what they mean BUT with that said that Live in Japan sound became a classic that many a Japanese and American as well as people all over the world seek when playing surf music on their Mosrites.

10

Again - what amps have you played through that you like?

11

A late Silverface Deluxe Reverb should sound fine. There's probably either something wrong or you just aren't a DR guy. Some things to consider:

The speaker. A SFDR can be a tad brighter than a Blackface. Had the same happening with mine. I ended up with an Eminence Cannabis Rex and it's great. I tried an AlNiCo before but didn't like it. The classis DR sound is Ceramic.

The bass control. That's a delicate thing. You might want some bottom end but if you turn the volume up the amp can get fuzzy. Dial back the bass until that fartiness is gone (usually around 3).

The volume control. Yes, it gets loud pretty soon but that's the nature of the beast. From around 4 (+/-1) it doesn't get much louder anymore but drives the power amp. That's nothing for home use. A SFDR is loud 20 Watts.

Do you have guitar playing friends? Does the amp sound bad to their ears, too? Any chance to compare to another specimen? It also could be just bad or worn components.

Don't give up too soon. SFDRs are great amps. Good luck!

P.S. And btw, a SFDR shouldn't be loud at 1 since there is no '0' and the knob actually starts there.

12

Is it biased correctly? I’m no expert, but I’m led to believe the bias can affect the sound a lot.

13

take it to a good tech, have it gone over, tubes and bias checked, clip the bright cap or put it on a switch.

And put an Eminence Alessandro 12" speaker in it - I never liked those heavy magnet Webers, they're loud, harsh, and have too much bass.

14

IMO all black and silver panel amps from 1964-1980 don't have much tonal range.

15

I say service it first. A good amp tech can do a lot of things to change the dynamic. Billy Zoom should weigh in.

16

Get it serviced by someone that knows tube amps. It's likely that the Volume pots need either cleaning or replacing.

I Removed the boost circuit on one of those and black-faced it. It was a great improvement.

17

Again - what amps have you played through that you like?

– Proteus

My favorite is a JTM45 that I built from a Metroamp kit over ten years ago. I've tried a Super Reverb that I liked also..

18

Something is wrong. Maybe it was modded? A tube swap and/or speaker swap are easy tests to try. Bias might be off. After that I would check voltages everywhere inside the amp.

19

Post photos! I've never seen one that new, or a Deluxe Reverb with a push/pull Treble Boost. Does it have Tremolo? A good shot of the insides would be really helpful, but just front & rear panels would let us figure out what you have. Where are you located?

20

take it to a good tech, have it gone over, tubes and bias checked, clip the bright cap or put it on a switch.

And put an Eminence Alessandro 12" speaker in it - I never liked those heavy magnet Webers, they're loud, harsh, and have too much bass.

– WB

I have the same amp and would echo what Walter says in the first sentence. I did just that.

As for the second, I put a big magnet ceramic Weber California speaker in mine and couldn't be happier.

The pull boost is not a treble boost but just a boost to try to induce some distortion. Bad idea but if you don't pull the volume control it is out of the circuit.

With your complaint about it being shrill and too bright, the bright cap is at least partly to blame. Clip it.

For those unfamiliar with this version, here is a picture (not mine):

I put a reissue faceplate on mine and eventually found a reissue cabinet to replace the particle board or whatever they were using at the time. Someone seeing it probably thinks it's a reissue. I don't care, it doesn't sound like one.

21

I was once presented with the opportunity to buy a Deluxe Reverb II. I take it yours is a DR II? Isn't a 1981 the DR II? The one I was given the chance to buy was about that year. I didn't try t but I could have tried it if I was interested. It was in about 1998 and it was a local music store. I think it was something like $400. I wish I had tried it but I didn't because I already had and still have a 1977 DR, you know the Silver Face models. My SFDR is loud like yours. Loud as all heck. Sometimes no matter what speaker you put in an amp that you describe won't really help. It may help but not enough to get where you want it too.

If yours is what I think it is it's a Paul Rivera amp. These are actually very sought after, well by those who like this version. I am not sure how close to Rivera brand amps these come.

– ThePolecats

It would not be a Rivera Deluxe Reverb II. They came a year or two later. This is a silverface amp. probably with a redesigned Black faceplate. If it is from 1981, that was the last year of the non-pcb DR before the custom shop came out with the '64 reissue.

I love mine!!!

22

The Boost switch used the Reverb driver to add gain. It sounded awful. Have somebody Blackface it & put a Vintage 30 in it. Are you on the West Coast?

23

The Boost switch used the Reverb driver to add gain. It sounded awful. Have somebody Blackface it & put a Vintage 30 in it. Are you on the West Coast?

– Billy Zoom

Houston TX.. Used to live in Garden Grove but that was a long time ago..

24

I have the same amp and would echo what Walter says in the first sentence. I did just that.

As for the second, I put a big magnet ceramic Weber California speaker in mine and couldn't be happier.

The pull boost is not a treble boost but just a boost to try to induce some distortion. Bad idea but if you don't pull the volume control it is out of the circuit.

With your complaint about it being shrill and too bright, the bright cap is at least partly to blame. Clip it.

For those unfamiliar with this version, here is a picture (not mine):

I put a reissue faceplate on mine and eventually found a reissue cabinet to replace the particle board or whatever they were using at the time. Someone seeing it probably thinks it's a reissue. I don't care, it doesn't sound like one.

– Don Birchett

That is the one.. I have clipped the bright cap a while back. Helped a little.

25

maybe a Deluxe Reverb just isn't the right amp for you. i don't really get along with them, and i generally get on well with most post-tweed Fender amps. one size does not fit all. i can't do a thing with a Marshall Bluesbreaker, either...they're great amps, but not for me. to me, the Deluxe is kind of the odd man out of the blackface/silverface Fender combo amps...they don't have the kind of big glossy 6L6/6V6 sound of a Princeton, Super, or Twin.


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