#1
Ok guys, just like the title says, i'm in the market for that classic Fender sounding cleans. I've got a MESA and a Marshall and am gassing for that classic fender sound. So which amp am i looking for at fender? I have listened to soundbytes on their website and youtube, but am looking for input from folks that actually have the amps. Right now the choice is the Hot Rod Deluxe III. Haven't been able to get out to try it yet. So Fender Amp folks, what are your suggestions??
#2
Not a HRD, first of all.

It's probably best you just answer the following questions:

Budget?
Genres?
New or Used?
Home or Gig?
Closest City?
Current Gear?

If money were no object and I wanted Fender cleans I'd be looking at Super Reverbs, Twin Reverbs, and Bassmans... All blackface or earlier preferably.
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Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#3
Not knowing any of the above, I'mma go and suggest a blackface twin or deluxe reverb.

It might help to know the above though.
Name's Luca.

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#4
Budget-Doesn't matter
Genres- Don't know anymore, too many genres out there and i can't keep up with all the correct names that would describe the tone that i would like to get
New or Used-either
Home or Gig- Mostly home
Closest City-Norfolk, VA
Current Gear- Marshall JCM2000TSL, MESA Mini REC, CARVIN 4x12(with eminence speakers), Marshall 1936A 2x12, Gibson Les Paul Classic, Fender Strat Ultra, Fender Strat, Schecter Hellraiser, SChecter C/SH-12, Schecter C-1 Classic, Jackson RR1T, Jackson DK2M, Jackson Professional, Jackson Dinky, Brian Moore i8.13, Ibanez RG620X, Ibanez S1520, Ibanez EP-7, too many pedals to list.
#5
Sell all those amps and get a modeler like a Kemper or an Axe-FX.

Especially if you mostly play at home.
I know purists like to knock them but they both sound amazing.
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#6
"Classic Fender clean tone" does vary somewhat so you gotta be specific what you are looking for. Dick Dale (Showman), Doobie Bros (Bandmaster, SR, Deluxe, Princeton, Mesa), and Larry Carlton (Tweed Deluxe, Mesa, Dumble) all got a classic Fender tone but all are quite different.

For reference: I am a Fender fanboy and live about 20 miles from their factory in Corona. I have owned a bunch of original BF amps over the years and still own my first one (64 Fender Super Reverb) that is essentially all original. I also own a Mesa and gigged with a HRD for 5 years. My impressions:

Any original BF Fender does great shimmering clean tones. They are the gold standard. The Twin and SR are often too damn loud for most gigs when cranked up. This is from personal experience being kicked out of clubs because either I or my bandmate were unwilling or unable to turn it down in the heat of the moment. Power attenuators offer marginal control and suck tone if you go beyond about -8db.

HRD on the clean chnl is voiced a bit darker than a typical BF Fender but still has marvelous classic Fender clean tones. The OD channel is pretty useless so I use a TS9 pedal for dirt. A Blues Jr. also does really nice Fender clean tone.

The Mesa F30 has essentially a Fender BF Princeton clean channel circuit which is very good. The master volume is also very good so this amp sounds good clean at any volume.

My little Fender Super Champ is a hybrid amp but the chnl 1 is relatively unmolested tube and offers a very good BF Clean tone that sound like an old 60s BF Vibro Champ. A cheap and dirty way to get good Fender BF tone.

I use a lot of Fender clean tone playing everything from Surf, Doobies, Steely Dan, SRV, Creedence, Brian Setzer, and appreciate what these amps have to offer. Good luck in your quest.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Sep 12, 2014,
#7
I am a Fender Twin guy but unless you're going to be playing live you don't really need a twin. My personal favorite is a Fender Vibroverb but if you're just going to use your fender for practice than I would highly suggest a Princeton Reverb. Vibroverbs kick serious ass though
#8
CAJUNDADDY- Thanks, great info, I get all the BF stuff but can't quite seem to figure out which current Fender AMP that equates to. I think the best way I can describe the tone i'm thinking of is SRV Little wing, probably not a fender but that's the tone.

entropicxdisson- One day i will have the AXE FX, but i need to get smarter on how it works, i don't think i could fully use that beast, doesn't mean i don't want one though.
#9
Stevie played Little Wing live through a BF Super Reverb, Vibroverb, and even a few Marshalls in the late 80s and all versions sounded great. That was Stevie.

Jamming in your room mostly with the possibility of a stray gig? I would look at a Blues Jr., Deluxe Reverb reissue or a Super-Sonic and pick the one you like. All sound great if you got the ears and the chops.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
Quote by Cajundaddy
Stevie played Little Wing live through a BF Super Reverb, Vibroverb, and even a few Marshalls in the late 80s and all versions sounded great. That was Stevie.

Jamming in your room mostly with the possibility of a stray gig? I would look at a Blues Jr., Deluxe Reverb reissue or a Super-Sonic and pick the one you like. All sound great if you got the ears and the chops.


Totally agree. Also having super heavy strings helps. Personally I think you can get that notorious fender clean sound out of the majority of fender amps. Some break up earlier than others (vibroverb for example), otherwise many are fairly similar
#11
Blues Juniors sound nice, and probably meet the 'Fender clean' criteria for most people, but to be honest it's not half as nice as a real BF Fender... And it's my only amp.
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Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#12
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#13
1969 Fender Deluxe Reverb !!! SWEET TONE !!!
"And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make "Lennon & McCartney "Imagine all the people living in the world in peace " John Lennon !
#14
Quote by Cathbard


Not trying to threadjack, but I looked at the Jaded Faith mod and remembered the "dual mod". What in the world does that mean?
RG351DX - Bridge Dragonfire Screamer, Mid+Neck Fender Hot Noiseless
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#15
That's for the Egnater amps I think.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#16
I love my Blues Junior, for bedroom levels the cleans are fantastic. However I haven't played any Twin Reverbs or Deluxe Reverbs so I don't have a basis for comparison. Try one and see how you like it.
#17
Blackface twin or blackface super reverb. or a 5F1 for smaller occasions/ will finish my 5f1 build in the next week or two, but i love them.
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#19
I like the Deluxe Reverb personally. Small enough to be cranked but also loud enough for gigs.
#20
I play a 1973 Super Reverb and a 1974 Champ. Both great amps, if you want Fender clean at bedroom volume, I'd recommend either a Champ or Princeton. If you want cleans at club volume, Super Reverb or Twin will do the trick, probably some others but those are the two I've actually used so I can't say much about other models. A lot of people like Vibroverb and Vibrolux in the studio, SRV used almost all Fenders, Eric Johnson uses a Twin for his clean sound and a Marshall for leads, John Mayer uses Fenders and pedals, or did, and Clapton and Johnny Winter used various versions of Music Man amps, Leo Fender's other company, after he sold Fender to CBS, but basically also Fender sound. Derek Trucks uses a blackface Super Reverb, Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) uses several Fenders including a Princeton onstage. On one of teheir videos I have, Scott Thurston is using what looks like either a Showman or Bandmaster. Which reminds me, I played a Showman once, fell in love in about 30 seconds...

So just about any Fender amp can produce that Fender clean sound, which one you want depends on what kind of volume level and therefore wattage you need for where you play. For bedroom stuff the small low watt amps like Champ and Princeton are great. My Champ is fabulous at moderate volume at home. For onstage in clubs, sometimes I can't get clean enough with my Super Reverb in louder club situations and wish I had a Twin...the Super Reverb starts to break up around 6 on the volume knob, it gets noticeable onstage at around 8. At 10 it's outright dirty, no more "Fender cleans"...but boy does it sound great...
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#21
Thanks All for the Responses.

CAJUNDADDY- Got another tone for ya- Doobies- Long Train Runnin? Is that a Fender amp? Or is that all acoustic?

I'm still unsure on what to get from the Fender amp universe. I don't think i'm good enough yet to even go and noodle around on them, definitely not at a GC.

Fumble Fingers- You pointed out a great thought- Which amp takes pedals the best? I have a bunch of pedals, here's a list of the distortion pedals that I own- Damage control Solid Metal, HomeBrew Electronics The Big D, ProCo Rat, Line 6 M95(although I typically don't use for distortion), Home Brew Electronics Power Screamer, and I think that's it for the distortion pedals.

What do you guys use for distortion in front of your Fender? And which Fender do you play it through?
#22
Doobies used Bandmaster, Super Reverb, and Deluxe Reverb, in the early days and they all do Long Train tone great. We have covered that song a lot over the years and it's pretty easy to nail that intro tone with any decent Fender tube amp including the HRD.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4tJSn0QtME

All Fender tube amps take pedals great and my favorite OD is either TS9 for 70s classic rock or OCD for a little more modern crunch. I use both. Which amp to get really comes down to where you intend to play and how much $$ you got.

My preferences:
Bedroom- Champ, Super Champ, Princeton Reverb
Pub gigs- Blues Jr, Deluxe Reverb, HRD
Larger stages- Super Reverb, Twin, Bassman RI

As a first amp I would probably get the Super Champ X2. Great tone, inexpensive, and the onboard OD/Rev/DDL is good so no pedals needed at first. Everybody needs a small grab-n-go amp that sounds good and it does.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 21, 2015,
#23
CajunDaddy- Are you talking about the Fender Super Champ X2 15, it's only $299, for the head only of course, but I could play it through my Marshall 2x12.

For slightly more money, what do you think about the Fender '63 Tube Reverb http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/63TubeRevBT

And then there's this Fender Super-Sonic 22 - 22-Watt Tube Head
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SupSon22HDBk

Of those choices do you have any experience with them? I had a modeling amp once- the Johnson Millenium 150 I think it was, is the Champ this kind of modeling amp? I never really figured how to tweak that amp just right so only used the stock tones. Would I start with a Champ only to end up wanting the all tube real deal( I like to buy once, but I suppose I can always build up my collection) ? or in your opinion would the Champ be the one?
#24
Quote by grim1
CajunDaddy- Are you talking about the Fender Super Champ X2 15, it's only $299, for the head only of course, but I could play it through my Marshall 2x12.

For slightly more money, what do you think about the Fender '63 Tube Reverb http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/63TubeRevBT

And then there's this Fender Super-Sonic 22 - 22-Watt Tube Head
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SupSon22HDBk

Of those choices do you have any experience with them? I had a modeling amp once- the Johnson Millenium 150 I think it was, is the Champ this kind of modeling amp? I never really figured how to tweak that amp just right so only used the stock tones. Would I start with a Champ only to end up wanting the all tube real deal( I like to buy once, but I suppose I can always build up my collection) ? or in your opinion would the Champ be the one?


I have the older Super Champ XD. I use it alot and really like it. The voice channel is simple to use and sounds very good. The clean channel is pure Fender tube bliss. If you are not gigging yet this would be my first choice.

The 63 tube reverb is a vintage reverb unit only and not an amp- do not buy.

The Super Sonic is a great amp if you are already gigging. A lot of $$ for a BR practice amp but it sounds great. I have friends that gig with this and love it. It is 3x the price of the Super Champ but only 1.2x the tone.

Remember that your tastes will change over time and this is the first amp of many. No guitarist ever only owns one amp, so buy the tool you need today and down the road as needs change you will know what comes next. At this point I have owned about 30 amps but whittled my collection down to only 5 I can't live without. Two are Fender tube.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 21, 2015,
#25
for a fender champ you want an original one not the new one. they were practice amps back in the day but when cranked have a great sound. you can find a used one for a fairly reasonable price. I'd look at a Princeton as they have a great clean sound and dirty up when really cranked. if you can find an older affordable Concert then that might be worth a look as well. I had an early 60s 4x10 Concert years ago and that was a really good amp for cleans (took pedals really well and got a surprisingly good metal sound when I ran a Rat through it)
#26
As always, we are just a bunch of internet dudes. Trust your ears first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGeWr6dHvFk
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#27
The Super Champ is a great practice amp no doubt, but it doesn't compare to any of the classic BF re-issues. I had a chance to play one against a Hot Rod Deluxe, and even then the HRD sounded much better.
#28
^I disagree. I prefer the Super Champ XD to the HRD, when volume is not a concern.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#29
Quote by 757ian123
The Super Champ is a great practice amp no doubt, but it doesn't compare to any of the classic BF re-issues. I had a chance to play one against a Hot Rod Deluxe, and even then the HRD sounded much better.


Hehe, I like both and have gigged live a lot with both. I like the Blues Jr. too. This weekend I am doing another race track blues jam with the Porsche Club of America. The 64 Super Reverb and Mesa are staying home and the SCXD gets to come out and play. This drummer is in the pocket and doesn't play super loud so the SCXD is just the ticket. The other guitarist will probably bring his Blues Jr. and he is a very good player so it should be a blast.

Come to think of it there are damn few Fender tube amps that I can't get great blues tone out of, much like a well known Austin TX Blues player from the 80s. He just sounded great through all of em.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Jan 21, 2015,
#30
I was talking with a guy today who used to have the Fenders but swears by the Mesa F30 now. You really may want to check those out. There's a Mesa dealer in Richmond.
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#31
Quote by metalmingee
I was talking with a guy today who used to have the Fenders but swears by the Mesa F30 now. You really may want to check those out. There's a Mesa dealer in Richmond.

I own a mesa F30 and the cleans are the best thing about that amp. Seriously fantastic.

I'd probably buy a late 50's bassman over it given the choice though...
RIP Gooze

cats
#32
I think I just need to hear some folks that can play demo them. I'll have to take a look around when I get the chance to get to a Guitar Center. Does Fender make anything around the same size as my Mesa Mini Rec?

Y'all have given me a ton to think about and I thank you. I'll keep combing craigslist and keep an eye out for a great used model.
#33
Want to spend 1500? Fender Twin Reverb. Awesome amp and very classic. You will go a long way before you find something to meet your criteria better. Get the one with the black control panel, I believe it is called a '65 Fender Twin Reverb Reissue.
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-FEN-217300-LIST


Want to spend 1000? Fender Deluxe Reverb. Awesome amp and very classic. 22 watts instead of the Twin Reverb's 85 watts, but beautiful sound and a loud twenty two watts. It's the one with the black control panel and its made in the USA and called the '65 Deluxe Reverb Reissue.
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-FEN-217400-LIST

Made in Mexico versions of these amps have silver control panels with light blue pin striping and besides being imports have a few differences. I would go with the USA made version.

Cheap hybrid version is the Fender Super Champ X2, approx. 400 plus/minus.
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-FEN-2223000-LIST
"Now all the things that use to mean so much to me have got me old before my time." G. Allman, "Old Before My Time", Hittin' The Note cd.
Last edited by DuffB at Jan 22, 2015,
#34
Just thought I'd update you guys on what I got for Christmas. The Fender Blues Jr. Lacquered Tweed version with the Jensen C-12N Speaker.

if you want to check it out here's a link
http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/BluesJrLT

Thanks for all the help. I'll refer to this often if I get Gas for another Fender amp.
#35
If you are looking for a cheap amp, I think the mustang is the best bang for your buck. I have the Mustang II V2, the cleans sound amazing,(twin reverb setting with a touch of reverb ) and for less then half the price of a tube amp, its a great deal if your on a budget.
Here are so recordings I made with amp to give you an example of the clean tones
https://soundcloud.com/matt-hooke-1/sets/feel-the-peace
Hope this helps
Last edited by chainsaw54 at Jan 12, 2016,