'65 Deluxe Reverb review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.1 (30 votes)
Fender: '65 Deluxe Reverb
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Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
I'm by nature, a single coil player. I spent many of my "early" years playing a Gibson SG and still play it through this amp on occasion. Most often I'm playing Fenders (strats & teles) on blues, jazz, rock, soul, and country... Honestly, this amp is perfect for all genres and all guitars. I do recommend tweaking the eq when going from single coil to humbuckers, but other than that you can plug in and go! I love good thick low end (that's what she said) and this amp certainly delivers which maintaining amazingly sparkling highs and mids (even without a mid control). 22 watts is the perfect amount as the amp starts to break up right around 5 which is perfect volume for most clubs. I always carry a Sennheiser E609 just in case I need to bring it out in the mix a bit more.

Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for 17 years and gigging for about 14 of them. I've learned a lot about gear and I've really gotten serious about tone only in the last few years. Before that it was about technique and skills. Even when tone wasn't a priority for me, Fender amps were in the forefront of every musical environment I have come across. Now, they're a mainstay of my tone. I've seen a lot of reissue haters out there who have probably never tried one because of their love affair of all things Vintage and I share some of that sentiment. I've gotten the opportunity to play and own some Vintage Fenders, and the DRRI holds its ground against those amps with no problem. The reason for that is because tonally speaking, new Fender amps are still among the best in the business, bar none! If you have the opportunity to try one out, definitely do so!

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a very dependable amp as I've used it for 3 years (bearing in mind that it was used before I owned it) and it still hasn't broken down yet. That being said, if you neglect your gear, it will break down. Don't blame it on the gear. I keep the dust cover on this when I'm not using it and I don't do many out of town gigs with it yet as I'm still saving for a quality road case. I have played tons of gigs with it and I never take a backup because of how reliable this thing is. The only other amp in my experience to come close in terms of reliability is (believe it or not) my Peavey Classic 50 4x10. I've owned that for 15 years with absolutely no maintenance and no breakdowns... But that's a topic for another thread.

Features — 10
My amp was made in 2006 and I purchased it in like new condition in 2010. The dual channels (clean & vibe/reverb) are spot on for those Fender tube tones that have been gracing the music world since the '50s. Up until 2010, I had played in the same band for the previous 12 years. At that time, I was adamant about using 4x10 amps and minimal pedals (two tube screamers & a Vintage Vox wah). Since the breakup of that band, I've found myself playing across a vast range of genres and have had to revamp my setup. One of the things I had to undergo was a massive expansion of my effects setup and I've now incorporated 12 pedals onto my board not including volume and tuner pedals (wah, boost, tube screamer, distortion, fuzz, vibe, tremolo, phase, octave up, octave down, delay, reverb). If you're used to using a native distortion channel, you might miss that feature in this amp but since I'm already a pedal guy, I don't. And on that note, one must remember that this amp was designed back in the early '60s and originally released in 1964 when distortion was still a fairly new concept, hence the lack of a built-in distortion channel. That said, a lot of people say that this amp has trouble taking pedals... Tell that to Trey Anastasio & the ghost of Hendrix. ;)

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