#143129  by gr8fullfred
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:01 pm
JMHO here but................

The Fender Deluxe is probably the best sounding all around amp ever. If you put a JBL E or K 120 in there, you would have a hard time finding any amp that sounds better.
Might not be the most Jerry sounding thing out there, but, it would be hard to find a better sounding amp.

You could spend more, do mods, spend more, buy more gear, spend more, buy more gear, but, you still might be better off with the Deluxe.

You probably CAN'T do better, no matter what you do, for the size of the package. The Deluxe has the best tone of any amp per cubic inch.

Pound for pound you can't do better. I also have a Mesa Boogie 50 caliber amp, which is sorta half way between a deluxe and a twin, and is cheaper than either.

I will tell you what, put a JBL in the Deluxe and if you do not like it, send me a PM and lets see if we can work out a deal. I have a nice twin.......................
 #143135  by zambiland
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 3:20 pm
Deluxe Reverbs are one of my favorite all time amps (and I'm still kicking myself for letting an AB763 pass me by for $200). But I don't think it's the right tone for Jerry tone. 6V6s are great sounding tubes, but 6L6s are much closer to the right sound. I second the suggestion of getting an SMS CTP and a power amp with cabinet. Trying to make a DR something that it's not only detracts from the awesomeness that it is.
 #143136  by tatittle
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:06 pm
I suggested modifying the Deluxe with a preamp out if it is an older model. But I should point out that if this is a Blackface model in good condition, untouched, you may not want to do that. Any modifications will threaten the value of a highly collectible amp like a vintage BF Deluxe or Deluxe Reverb.
 #143137  by Smolder
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:35 pm
tatittle wrote:I suggested modifying the Deluxe with a preamp out if it is an older model. But I should point out that if this is a Blackface model in good condition, untouched, you may not want to do that. Any modifications will threaten the value of a highly collectible amp like a vintage BF Deluxe or Deluxe Reverb.
For the price of a sf deluxe (though they really are great) you could probably assemble an sms/mc50/1x12 k120 rig. The great thing about that rig, it sounds the same at nearly all volumes... The sf deluxe won't do that.
 #143138  by zambiland
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:46 pm
An amp I would consider perfect would be the Pro Reverb. 2 6L6s and 2 10"s. You could probably replace the baffle for a 12". Maybe even 2. It nails the Twin Reverb tone but isn't nearly as monstrous, both in volume and weight. The only problem is that they don't seem as common as they did back in the 80s and 90s. I guess people are hanging on to them.

http://denver.craigslist.org/msg/4773749057.html

I've thought about building one of those kit amps available on line. It would be fun and you could customize features (I'd like a Mercury Magnetics OT with multiple taps).

Also, if you've got deep enough pockets, I would suggest checking out Fat Willie's amps. This is the basic model that I would order with the proper speakers. He's Derek Trucks' tech and is pretty much the man in the Denver area (if you can deal with someone that make Glenn Beck look like Bernie Sanders), although Scooter Barnes is pretty awesome (and a fun guy and great player). I love hanging with him and talking amps and he's helped me out scores of times (including some great deals on 7581As). He makes Fender style amps that looks like they were wired by the vintage Hiwatt factory. Incredibly neat and precise construction that is bullet proof.

http://denver.craigslist.org/msd/4774681952.html
 #143141  by Smolder
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:58 pm
The pro reverb is two twelves not two tens, very hard to find, and a bit more expensive than a deluxe. It's nearly as heavy as a twin, and you still have the same problem you have with every fender besides the twin... As you turn the volume up or down the clean/breakup varies. The twin sounds nearly the same from 2.5 to 8 on the volume knob.
 #143143  by zambiland
 Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:06 pm
Smolder wrote:The pro reverb is two twelves not two tens, very hard to find, and a bit more expensive than a deluxe. It's nearly as heavy as a twin, and you still have the same problem you have with every fender besides the twin... As you turn the volume up or down the clean/breakup varies. The twin sounds nearly the same from 2.5 to 8 on the volume knob.

Thanks! It's been about 15 years since I've been in the same room with one.
 #143157  by joeriz
 Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:18 pm
At the risk of taking this thread a bit off course, I will second the Pro Reverb. I have both a '66 Pro and a DRRI. I grew up playing a silver face Twin. My DRRI has upgraded, beefier transformers (both power and output), has a SS rectifier, runs 6L6s, and currently has a Cannabis Rex speaker (pretty darn efficient) in it. It's a great little amp but, to me, it still sounds "small" for lack of a better word. I'm becoming convinced that it is a function of being a 1x12 amp with a smaller cabinet more than it is about everything else that I have mentioned. I have been gigging with it a lot lately but, just last night, decided to bring out the Pro and it was a whole different ball game in terms of the "bigness" of sound it put out. Given all of the changes I've made to the DRRI, the two amps are likely in the same ballpark in terms of power output. And while the Pro is close to the same size as the Twin, it is significantly lighter and hits its stride at a much more reasonable volume.

I mention this because if you are moving from a Twin, you may be more used to the 2x12/larger cabinet sound than you think. YMMV.

Joe
 #143160  by James-T
 Sat Dec 06, 2014 2:55 pm
If I was to start from scratch with what I know now from reading the posts on this forum I'd go with an SMS and a Carvin (or similar) power amp and a 2x12 birch cab. Affordable, light weight and in the ball park for a decent Jerry tone, with no fuss, mods and so on. I'd go as far to say I'd probably rack mount that with my GCX switcher in my birch ply pedal rack and have zero set-up time.

I started out years ago with a Silver Face DR - bought new in around 79. My only guitar was a 67 SG Junior with a single T-bucker Gibson pick-up probably late 60's vintage. It would just break up that amp like there was no tomorrow. When I got serious I purchased an 83 Rivera era Twin. Then upgraded to a 73 SF Twin (more sparkle). Just too clean and thin sounding for my liking - but boy did it like pedals (and busting my back)! Then I went the digital route (Fractal Ultra) until I scored a 73 Vibrolux (blackfaced) on CL for real cheap. It's like the DR, but with 2 10's so its a bigger sound, and I usually by-pass those anyways and go into my 2x12 cab. It's got more head room too but will break up enough for a good response when you dig in with your picking. It's also got the best reverb I've heard so far. Almost sounds like a delay.

With that said it's still not 100% Jerry, but probably outside of the Jerry world the best ever amp made (for my particular tastes - Clapton, Dead, Allmans and so on...), just a bit better than the DR because of the head room and extra sparkle.

But I'd still go the SMS route if starting from scratch.

Peace,

James
 #143161  by tatittle
 Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:19 pm
The Pro Reverb has a tube rectifier which will give it more sag than a Twin. The Twin has a faster attack because the voltage hits the tubes faster than amps with tube rectifiers.

I have become amazed at how big a difference a different cabinet (both size and material etc.) has on tone. I have a SF Fender which is all particle board (vs. just baffle) and it suffers considerably bc of that. I think the cheaper cab is the primary culprit in their tone being less respected (of smaller amps), rather than minor differences in the circuits. The bigger Fenders retain solid cabinets though I believe.
 #143198  by Jon S.
 Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:15 pm
mikelawson wrote:I am so ready to add the E120s to my Twin. I only think about getting a Deluxe each time I move my Twin in its case. Then it reminds me I am now 46 years old.
Right, and you ain't getting younger. Why risk the hernia?! Dual Showman Reverb and a pair of 1X12s, that's your ticket if you won't go the SMS-DCM200L route (1st pic below). Or an 8 lb. FYD into a 20 or so pound MC50 into a pair of 1X12s (2nd pic below). I now have a K120 in one and an E120 in the second but I've had enough even of the 1X12 w/the E120 so two weeks ago, I copped a second K120 which, eventually, I'll swap into the 1X12 for a pair of K120s.

Image

Image
 #143338  by gratefulredhead
 Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:41 am
I love love love my Twin 65 Re-issue, but only because I did a BUNCH of mods to it. I got the Twin for a crazy good price, so doing all the mods gave me the amp I wanted without a big investment. Here's what I did, and this thing sounds so freaking Jerry (circa early and mid 70's) that it kills me everytime I play through it.

First, to deal with the weight issue, I took the amp out of the cabinet and hired a friend to built a lovely walnut cab for it. Then I put my 12" Emminence Commonwealth speaker in a separate cab. (It's basically a JBL K120 clone, right down the Aluminum dust cap....I think it sounds even better and it's not as pricey) Now I move 2 light things instead of one back destroyer.

I pulled the 2 inner power tubes, and went down to one speaker. Replaced the Groove Tubes (icky) with some killer Sovtek 6L6 WXTs. Great harmonic overtones, tight but full low end...really great sounding tubes.

I pulled the preamp tubes out of the "normal" channel so as to route more signal into the vibrato channel, thereby increasing the gain at that stage, and driving the power section harder so that it breaks up a little earlier.

I replaced both my transformers (the stock ones on the new Fender amps suck) with Mercury Magnetics trannies.

I replaced several of the cheap capacitors in the amp with the orange super high quality ones. Let's more of the source signal (your sweet guitar) through into the amp and out to your ears. It makes a noticeable difference.

I can now get killer tone, full rich harmonics, clean as hell, but creamy and dirty in all the right places, and with a low end that snaps just like Jerry's. Not flabby at all.

My next move is to put a bypass switch on the tremelo section, as it sucks some tone and signal when you aren't using it.

Oh, and I use a Weber Mass 200 attenuator in smaller clubs where you have to REALLY hold back. But I can do most gigs without one.

I love the Deluxe reverb, it's a beautiful sounding amp, but the tone stack is different than the Twin and I've never been able to get one to REALLY nail Garcia's tone.

I hope this helps in your tone quest.
 #143342  by Jon S.
 Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:22 am
I'd like to add this on DRs, though I may be crucified for saying it. You won't find another amp (other than perhaps the Blues Junior) where so many people are asking about and seeking to mod/upgrade it. Why? Because it lacks volume, headroom, and above 3 or 4, flab-free bass. This is why I tell people who ask me about DR mods, "The best mod ever invented for the DR is to sell it and buy a VR." [Ignore the preceding if you're playing at volume levels and the type of music where you don't need more volume, headroom, and flab-free bass. For you, the DR is the voice of angels.]