Other Amps

Information Thread - Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue

1

Hey guys, I've got one of the BDRI's on order right now, should be getting it in a few weeks.

I'm hoping to gather a thread here for everyone to share their tips, tricks, techniques, mods, quirks, etc., that are all specific to this model amp, primarily for selfish reasons, but the other owners or potential owners of this model will benefit as well (I won't stop you from reading, I promise).

So, who's got one? Likes/dislikes, issues, fixes, etc?

Thanks,

Mike

2

Had one and loved it, but had the opportunity to trade it on a '63 Gretsch Executive.:)

My only mod that stayed was to put a NOS GE 5751 in the V1 position. Makes the clean range much more controllable and gives a nice added punchyness to the cleans. Only downside is that the drive channel doesn't give mich drive anymore due to the lower gain of the 5751.

I tried god nows how many speakers on that amp, even a 15" JBL K130. But I kept coming back to the stock Fender special design (= eminence legend 1258).

3

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

4

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

– stokes

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

– stokes

Talk to me Goose.

I gotta lot of electronics experience under my belt, what are the issues?

5

I tried one years ago. I really liked it and it was alot of fun.

I'm a on a bit of an amp frenzy at the moment. In fact I have decided to sell some more stuff, save a little bit and find a reasonably priced used Blues Deluxe Reissue.

6

Are there any noteworthy differences between the Reissue and the 'original'? Besides the MIA vs. MIM thing.

7

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

– stokes

Talk to me Goose.

I gotta lot of electronics experience under my belt, what are the issues?

– Michael Barger

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

– stokes

Talk to me Goose.

I gotta lot of electronics experience under my belt, what are the issues?

– Mike B

Goose? Do you haver any experience with "real" Fenders?In my opinion all these Devilles,Hot Rod Deluxes,Blues Deluxes and Jrs made during that era are the absolute worst thing Fender ever put their name on.Now they add "reissue"as if it is some kind of classic tone machine they are reissuing.

8

What about some useful info rather than the skirmish? What exactly is it that is so horrible about these amps? Just because they look like an old VHS recorder from the inside?

9

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

– stokes

Talk to me Goose.

I gotta lot of electronics experience under my belt, what are the issues?

– Mike B

Goose? Do you haver any experience with "real" Fenders?In my opinion all these Devilles,Hot Rod Deluxes,Blues Deluxes and Jrs made during that era are the absolute worst thing Fender ever put their name on.Now they add "reissue"as if it is some kind of classic tone machine they are reissuing.

– stokes

Never owned one,worked on a couple.I find it confusing that they would actually "re-issue" this amp.I'll just leave it at that.

– stokes

Talk to me Goose.

I gotta lot of electronics experience under my belt, what are the issues?

– Mike B

Goose? Do you haver any experience with "real" Fenders?In my opinion all these Devilles,Hot Rod Deluxes,Blues Deluxes and Jrs made during that era are the absolute worst thing Fender ever put their name on.Now they add "reissue"as if it is some kind of classic tone machine they are reissuing.

– stokes

"Talk to me Goose" is a quote from Top Gun.

No, I don't. What's the difference between a real Fender and a fake Fender?

10

Okay,ignoring the fact that they sound like ass,compared to what Fender is capable of making,tone is subjective,after all.The build is very low quality,I've repaired over a dozen over the last few yrs or so.They use some of the cheapest parts available inside.Old VHS recorders were built much better.Calling something a "reissue" is inferring it was something special to begin with,cheap marketing scheme.Leo should have taken the name with him.

11

Mike B,I saw your last post after I responded.You have never seen the inside of a real Fender?Get a hold of a BF or SF amp and take a look inside.There is no comparison to the crap PCB's Fender uses today.Then look inside an older Boogie with PCB's,which are higher quality boards compared to the crap Fender is using.I have no love for PCB but at least use a good quality if you have to.

12

Well, nearly every piece of electronics made today is crap compared to the ones made 40 years ago.

You run into any common problems with them? What tends to go first?

13

Most of the amps,I'm talking the Devilles,Blues Deluxe,Jrs and such,had issues that where fixed by replacing a preamp filter.Had a couple with leaky coupling caps as well.They use IC caps for the filter.2 personal friends of mine had a Blues Deluxe and a Blues Deville and I talked them into changing all the filters even though they had no apparent problems.Told them if they didnt notice an improvement I wouldnt charge them,even tho I was only charging them the cost of the caps.They were both blown away by the improvement in response and feel of their amps.One has come back with 2 leaky coupling caps about 6 months later.Both of these amps were new when I changed the filters,by the way.Those IC and Nichicon and whatnot brand asian caps are pure crap,period.For me,Sprague Atom and F&T brands are all I would ever put in any amp.A tech I know in Carolina told me about another brand,the name escapes me right now,that he says are good as Sprague or F&T,I believe him,but havent tried them myself.

14

I've tried them and I feel they are decent tone units for the money. Doesn't sound like a PTP hand wired Fender, but then nothing does - except a hand wired Fender. The circuit design itself is pretty much the standard Fender circuit, though as pointed out, the cheap components and the PCB definitely choke off a lot of potential tone and basic mojo. That is why boutique PTP clones are so popular these days. And it's the reason Fender itself issues a few "real" Fender amps, like the new EC models. But you will definitely pay for the privilege of ownership.

I did use a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for a while (basically the same amp tonally), and never had a problem with it. Truth is, there are many models on the market that are a much poorer choice as far as a basic amp goes. I think that Mike will enjoy this amp, especially if he is moving into a tube based unit for the first time. Don't be too put off by the naysayers, just realize that when the time comes, you probably will be ready to move into the hand-wired zone. And your ears will be more educated to the sound/tone of the Fender tube legacy. Good luck and have fun... :)

15

The only Fender reissue i've buy was a Fender Blues De Ville 410. An excellent amp but too loud 60 watts and too heavy. i've sold it. It was impossible to play it at home without trouble with my wife, childrens and cats.

16

i've played through an older blues deluxe..had beautiful tube compressed clean sound..once while trying out compressor pedals in mannys nyc...and the amp sounded better than any pedal i tried

having said that it has known issues with the input jack being soldered directly to the circuit board so that eventually the input jacks get fuzzy and/or dies...so it may require hospitalization of the amp doctor variety...resoldering broken joints or replacing jacks...(common nowadays!)

but not a bad sounding amp at all...my fave of the fender non ptp amps..stock

some ingenious tweaking make it even better

cheers

17

I picked up an older DeVille a few months ago... All the pots were shot and several of the jacks were loose. Now, this amp had been well worn. But the jacks and pots are known short comings. I replaced the pots with Fender replacement pieces and the jacks with separate Switchcraft panel mounted units.

On the new reissues, the volume knob is a linear taper and tends to get loud very quickly... Like tooquiet-LOUD, kinda thing. Many folks replace them with audio taper pots or replace V1 with a 12ay7 to tame this.

There are two big cement resistors that tend to get hot. They are mounted very close to the board and can heat up the board too much and effect the components close by (this is on all versions of the DeVille/DeLuxe). The fix is to add length to the legs of the resistors and mount them in silicon with some air space away from the board. I haven't done this to mine, it looked fine and has performed without issue.

I have several friends who use Deluxes (one Blues and one Hot Rod) and both like the Vintage 30 as replacement speakers. But the V30 makes them much heavier.

18

Linear taper vol pot is an old "cheap amp" trick to make a less than savy kid think "wow,this amp is loud".I cant say for sure,but looking at and comparing these PCB's to the kind Mesa uses,I have to think the Fender PCB's are built by the same asian manufacturer that builds them for so many cheap solid state amps.Sorry,to you guys that like these amps,if it works for you,thats fine.I think I'd have more respect for them if they didnt have the Fender tag.

19

I have a mid 90s MIA Blues Deluxe that I really like. I replaced the preamp tubes with lower gain ones a few years ago and that made the amp a lot more manageable. I also replaced the speaker with a Jensen AlNiCo one and that made the amp much warmer. It's a good amp for rockabilly and jump blues stuff. I don't know much about the current issue ones, sorry.

20

There are mixed opinions here. It's understandable that some don't like the Blues Deluxe. I struggled with one for awhile before I swapped it for a Deluxe Reverb.

Too many watts for the music (Western Swing and old style Country) and venues I play was the main issue. I tried a variety of preamp tubes and a poor man's power soak that plugs into the effects loop. I put in a Weber Beam Blocker, which helped a bit.

As Axis39 points out, a different taper on the volume control would help smooth things out. The decibels jumped into the "ouch" level at about three, which was too low to get a convincing overdriven sound-- a la Jr. Barnard.

My rig for electric gigs currently consists of a Guild CE100 run through a Boss EQ pedal and an MXR Carbon Copy delay. My main amp is a '60s Gibson with about twelve watts.

While this works for me, it may not be your cup of tea. Work with the Blues Deluxe for awhile. If you play loud in good sized rooms you may get along fine.

21

To those people who complain about the cheapness in the Blues DLXs, DVs, JRs...: What do you think about the "real" reissues? Let's say the Deluxe Reverb for example. To me (non-amp expert) their PCBs do not look much different. Do they use better components?

Thanks.

22

I listed my old 72 twin reverb on CL and a guy sent a message asking would i trade it for a 78 Strat,4 nice guns ,a thousand rounds of ammo and a thousand in cash..My amp sounded great but looked rough and you can find them anywhere for less than a grand..He even emailed me thanking me for the deal! I thought i made a great deal...been six months and i miss that amp!

23

Most of the amps,I'm talking the Devilles,Blues Deluxe,Jrs and such,had issues that where fixed by replacing a preamp filter.Had a couple with leaky coupling caps as well.They use IC caps for the filter.2 personal friends of mine had a Blues Deluxe and a Blues Deville and I talked them into changing all the filters even though they had no apparent problems.Told them if they didnt notice an improvement I wouldnt charge them,even tho I was only charging them the cost of the caps.They were both blown away by the improvement in response and feel of their amps.One has come back with 2 leaky coupling caps about 6 months later.Both of these amps were new when I changed the filters,by the way.Those IC and Nichicon and whatnot brand asian caps are pure crap,period.For me,Sprague Atom and F&T brands are all I would ever put in any amp.A tech I know in Carolina told me about another brand,the name escapes me right now,that he says are good as Sprague or F&T,I believe him,but havent tried them myself.

– stokes

Most of the amps,I'm talking the Devilles,Blues Deluxe,Jrs and such,had issues that where fixed by replacing a preamp filter.Had a couple with leaky coupling caps as well.They use IC caps for the filter.2 personal friends of mine had a Blues Deluxe and a Blues Deville and I talked them into changing all the filters even though they had no apparent problems.Told them if they didnt notice an improvement I wouldnt charge them,even tho I was only charging them the cost of the caps.They were both blown away by the improvement in response and feel of their amps.One has come back with 2 leaky coupling caps about 6 months later.Both of these amps were new when I changed the filters,by the way.Those IC and Nichicon and whatnot brand asian caps are pure crap,period.For me,Sprague Atom and F&T brands are all I would ever put in any amp.A tech I know in Carolina told me about another brand,the name escapes me right now,that he says are good as Sprague or F&T,I believe him,but havent tried them myself.

– stokes

Hey Stokes, would this kit from Fromel Electronics take care of those issues you mention?

24

Book mark...A guy could learn something here!

25

To those people who complain about the cheapness in the Blues DLXs, DVs, JRs...: What do you think about the "real" reissues? Let's say the Deluxe Reverb for example. To me (non-amp expert) their PCBs do not look much different. Do they use better components?

Thanks.

– sascha

To those people who complain about the cheapness in the Blues DLXs, DVs, JRs...: What do you think about the "real" reissues? Let's say the Deluxe Reverb for example. To me (non-amp expert) their PCBs do not look much different. Do they use better components?

Thanks.

– sascha

maybe there are made in point to point not like the Blues DeVille or the others Fender. Personnaly i've buy a used blues junior with a lot of problems on it. A friend of mine have changed many parts of the amps who were cheap and non adapted to the amp. Now i've a amp who sound really nice but i've payed it used 350 €, changed all the preamp tubes 85 € removed a big part of the capacitors and transistors for another 100 € bill. And if i want to have a real good fender sound i must changed the speaker for an Eminence or some stuff like that. Fender put crap composents in their standards amps. You must buy the too much expensive custom shop series to have the real deal.


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