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My Hot Rod Deluxes have been great workhorses in the gigging world, but honestly they don’t hold a candle to the responsiveness of this amp.Street price is a “little” on the steep side on paper (a thousand bucks) but it’s still cheaper than the ’65 DRRI and has a way cooler character.Switching between a pick and my fingers, the amp immediately met me halfway, producing a wonderful sound full of shimmery overtones.Though it isn’t alluded to in any of the official product verbiage from Fender, the reverb on this amp seems to have a much more useable range.To be clear, these are two completely different channels—not simply a Normal & Bright pairing, but two unique voicings perfect for channel switching.I plugged in to the Deluxe Reverb with both a ’69 Tele thinline and my go-to rock machine, a heavily modded Squier Jagmaster that has a L500XL in the bridge.Eventually, I upgraded to a solid state Marshall that had a 12” speaker a footswitch so I could go from clean to dirty without the use of a small pushbutton on the face of the amp.
If you don’t already love Fenders, you might want to give this amp a test drive—its ability to interact with your playing just might hook you.I had to let it go, sadly, since I couldn’t carry it by myself (having always relied on the kindness of the boys in my band) and replaced it with a couple 1x12 HRDx combos that wouldn’t break my back.Though I’m obviously a card-carrying member of the Fender amp club, I’ve always sidestepped the blackface vs silverface debates.On my Twin Reverb and the other Fender tube amps I’ve owned, the reverb seems to have a bit of a range from 1-3, but at 3.5 and up is just all surf, all the time.
The DR employs a very useable reverb range and doesn’t just go immediately to Dick Dale.
Here in Portland, I almost feel like I’ve seen more silverface amps in the backline than blackface amps—we’ve always been a music scene that embraces the less-loved, less mainstream equipment—and they’ve always sounded amazing.