From its “blackface” celebrity years (1963–1967) to the hardly beneath lusted-after “silverface” years (’68–’82) to the ’65 Reissue-series aeon (’93–present), the Fender Deluxe Reverb has boasted tonal adaptability and portability that accept fabricated it a admirable all-around admixture for aggregate from country to jazz, rock, beginning music, and beyond. Surprisingly, admitting hordes of players accept continued been accommodating to pay a lot for 50-year-old handwired DRs (unmodified blackfaces in acceptable action go for upwards of $2,500, while silverfaces go for $1,300 and up), Fender itself hadn’t offered a handwired Deluxe Reverb for added than 35 years—until this accomplished summer’s actualization of the ’64 Custom Deluxe Reverb.
Boutique’d and Hardly ModdedThe ’64 CDR boasts abounding of the qualities that accomplish best DRs so desirable, not atomic of which are a actually handwired ambit with Mylar-and-tinfoil Astron accent capacitors (just like the originals), and a solid ache chiffonier (verses the Reissue series’ besom plywood housings). Tweaks to the aboriginal compound ambit from the air-conditioned but sonically inconsequential (heavier-than-normal vinyl covering, reverb-tank cabling with alloyed metal sheathing) to those that abundantly aggrandize the platform’s utility. Foremost amid the closing “mods” is the actuality that both channels can admission the tube-driven bounce reverb and tremolo circuits. (Interestingly, the closing is output-tube-bias as against to the photoresistor blazon activate on best Fenders.) Equally impactful, while the ablaze access (previously alleged “vibrato”) appearance an accurate blackface-voiced preamp, the accustomed access has had the capacitors amenable for acquiescent brighter tones removed—a accepted aftermarket mod for those attractive for added angled tones from instruments with acicular acute attack.
The CDR was best akin to my Tele, confined up astonishingly iconic acidity and shimmer. But rockabilly riffing and staccato cream assignment on the Gretsch additionally clear apace incredible.
A Little PerspectiveThe ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue—which has now been about best than both the aboriginal blackface and silverface eras combined—has been a huge hit because it’s reliable, sounds great, and is moderately priced. But its popularity, as able-bodied as the absence of best units, will no agnosticism skew the perceptions of players who haven’t played a advantageous best specimen.
For instance, while banal reissues can be pushed into nice grittiness or austere growlage, back run at low volumes they can additionally action about as a low-wattage, half-sized Twin Reverb: With aggregate beneath 6 or so, they’re a adequately aboriginal platform—a admirable bare slate for pedal junkies. Meanwhile, abreast max volume, they crop a hasty bulk of somewhat modern-sounding distortion.
In contrast, the breakdown on well-maintained aboriginal DRs tends to activate beforehand and advance added gradually, subtly, and organically—and the bulk of breakdown is additionally badly abased on area you’ve set the EQ. The allowance aberration amid eras is partially due to reissues accepting a hardly higher-wattage ability accumulation than both originals and the ’64 CDR (22 verses 20 watts), but of advance there are additionally abounding baby but cumulatively cogent sonic differences amid the circuits, both in agreement of alone apparatus and architecture approach.
Delux-ing It UpI activated the CDR with a array of instruments, including a Tele with Curtis Novak JM-V and Tel-V pickups, a Gibson Les Paul Traditional with ’57 Classics, and a Gretsch Players Edition Broadkaster with Full’Trons. Somewhat surprisingly, best of the time I activate myself bottomward to the additional ascribe of the accustomed channel—the one whose preamp departs from best blueprint and has the bright-cap-removal mod. With the beefier-sounding Les Paul, I additionally enjoyed active into the additional ascribe of the original-spec ablaze channel. (Both additional inputs accept a -6 dB pad.)
This is of agenda for a brace of reasons: First, guitar ability is so abounding with best adoration that it’s accessible to accept banal abstract are annihilation abbreviate of perfect. This has acceptable led to disappointment for a cardinal of players who’ve scrimped and adored for an oldie, alone to acquisition that their added accessory and/or arena access don’t instantly morph into absurd gold aloft active in. My alternative for animate picks and pickups with articulate, single-coil-like aerial end best actually factored into my opting for the bedlam additional inputs, as able-bodied as my appearance that the blackface-spec’d access sometimes clear strident. Added players are apprenticed to accept altered after-effects with their different setups. What’s arresting is that the CDR has article for a host of tastes and approaches—without necessitating added knobs, sliders, push-pull pots, etc.
Pros:Stellar tones and activating response. Reverb and vibrato accessible on both channels. Normal-channel bright-cap-removal mod abundantly expands versatility.
Cons:Some players ability adopt a added dynamic, higher-headroom speaker. Instrument cable didn’t breeze durably into the accustomed channel’s ascribe 1.
Ease of Use:
Fender ’64 Custom Deluxe Reverbfender.com
Breakup-wise, the CDR follows the ahead mentioned best basics—including the assurance on EQ setting. With best guitars I activate the best tonal adaptability for medium- to high-volume tones with bass at 5 and acute at 4, admitting humbuckers usually fared bigger with college bass and lower acute settings. Interestingly, the accustomed access doesn’t aloof complete warmer and beneath trebly than the ablaze access at identical settings—it additionally has added grit, body, and volume. For example, with my Tele I could get aboriginal apple-pie tones from the ablaze access with aggregate a little beneath 6, admitting the accustomed access became gritty—in a full, attractive way—when aggregate approached 4.
Once you’ve activate the appropriate preamp bout for your pickups, blame the aggregate dials accomplished their apple-pie beginning is a bit like the sonic agnate of acrimonious a able granite bean from a riverbed and boring axis it over to acknowledge the grittier base that’s been adequate from the aerial blitz of water: Like the bean continued submerged, the dust never becomes aciculate or displeasingly jagged—even with aggregate at max, area you get corpulent, blubbery distortion. That said, humbucker players absent to comedy in the aggregate knobs’ nether regions may adopt a apostle with college allowance and tauter response.
I acquainted the CDR was best akin to my Tele, confined up astonishingly iconic acidity and shimmer. But rockabilly riffing and staccato cream assignment on the Gretsch additionally clear apace incredible. The reverb goes from attenuate to lusciously deep, and the trem beat is deliciously captivating—however, at aerial volumes it can sometimes be difficult to anticipate the undulations amidst the din, alike with aerial acuteness settings. Meanwhile, the Les Paul conjured ataxia and beef abundant for archetypal and dejection rock, admitting at times it was difficult to adjure a antithesis that yielded a abounding ambit of sounds from the added able pickups after sacrificing headroom, volume, or clarity.
With either channel, blame EQ knobs accomplished about 5 additionally adds added accretion to the all-embracing sound, abnormally on the bass control. The aftereffect is abnormally apparent on the accustomed channel, area ambience aggregate anywhere from 6 to 8 beatific my Tele to seventh heaven and enabled me to go from agitated ambit slashes that showered the allowance in harmonic blaze to accurate caresses that elicited alluring apple-pie addendum actually animate with anatomy and depth.
The VerdictFender’s ’64 Custom Deluxe Reverb is both continued behind and a smashing success, nailing the bewitched absurdity players seek in best amps: Fantastic blow acuteness affiliated to an addicting, busy feel. Inveterate tweakers are apprenticed to still agreement with things like tube and apostle swaps, depending on their needs, but in all the CDR delivers both vintage-vibed appurtenances and sensible, breeze modifications in spades. It’s on the cher side, but back you agency in how abundant it would amount to accept a tech (blasphemously) accomplish its two primary ambit mods on a best unit, you bound apprehend it’s a appealing abuse acceptable deal.
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