Fender Deluxe Re­verb

A stal­wart since 1946 that also fea­tures a fa­mously mis­named chan­nel

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Fender’s Deluxe Re­verb is one of the most pop­u­lar amps ever to come out of Fuller­ton. The orig­i­nal Model 26 Deluxe was the very first Fender amp, in­tro­duced in 1946. It was fol­lowed by a suc­ces­sion of tweed ver­sions in the 1950s, chang­ing to the ‘brown­face’ non-re­verb cir­cuit in 1961 with the new, front-fac­ing an­gled con­trol panel. This was re­placed with the best-known ver­sion: the ‘black­face’ Deluxe Re­verb, which was made be­tween 1963 and 1967, fea­tur­ing two chan­nels: nor­mal and the mis­named vi­brato (ac­tu­ally a tremolo). The valve-rec­ti­fied AB763 cir­cuit used a pair of 6V6GT out­put valves; mean­while, the preamp was com­mon across sev­eral dif­fer­ent chas­sis styles, up to the 80-watt Twin Re­verb.

In 1968 the cos­met­ics changed again to the less de­sir­able ‘sil­ver­face’ amps (al­though early sil­ver­face mod­els still have black­face cir­cuits). Later mod­els switched to a dif­fer­ent out­put stage de­sign in­tended to pro­duce more clean head­room and a mas­ter vol­ume was added. The sil­ver­face mod­els ran un­til 1982, when the amp was re­placed by the Deluxe Re­verb II, which re­verted to black­face cos­met­ics.

The Deluxe Re­verb re­mains a favourite for small gigs; its low-ish 22 watt out­put is easy to crank into a sweet over­drive at sen­si­ble vol­ume lev­els. Played clean, the sweet tre­ble, scooped mids and tight bass response mixed with a dose of re­verb and vi­brato (tremolo) is in­stant Amer­i­cana. Fender has a re-is­sue of the 1965 Deluxe Re­verb, along with other ver­sions taken from var­i­ous points in the amp’s evo­lu­tion.

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