Fender Deluxe Reverb
A stalwart since 1946 that also features a famously misnamed channel
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.