Deluxe 85 Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 01/10/2013 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Deluxe 85
The Fender eighty-five Deluxe is a 85 Watt solid state amp with a 12" speaker.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 7
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (2) 19 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
Deluxe 85 Reviewed by: geluidsterroris, on july 02, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 252

Features: The Fender eighty-five Deluxe is a 85 Watt solid state amp with a 12" speaker. This amp is versatile for a lot of styles like blues and rock, but there isn't enough distortion for a real heavy metal sound, so if you are into metal, you'de better buy a stompbox. The amp has two channels (you can Switch between them with a footswitch that comes with it). One clean channel, and one channel with all the settings like reverb, distortion, etc. You can also use these functions on the clean channel, using the footswitch. The footswitch has 3 switches, one for channel switching, one for the boost (yes it has a boost, which I really like, and one for the reverb. There are quite a lot of jackets: input channel 1, input channel 2, preamp in, preamp out, headphone, footswitch. // 9

Sound: My guitar is a Washburn X10, with the standard factory pickups (why replace them). I mainly play blues, but also some other styles like rock and metal. The amp has a very warm sound, becaus of the large speaker. The reverb is great, because it isn't digital but analog (yes this amplifier is pretty old). If you turn the reverb to 10, your sound is really awesome. I haven't tried the distortion yet (the amp is being repaired, I will explain you later), but some other reviews told me it isn't really metal-ish. The clean sound is great, there are no other noises, also with the volume high (5 out of 10). The volume is pretty high, because my neighbours are complaining, even with the volume on 1. I Live in a free-standing house so it's pretty loud. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Like I said before, it is being repaired. That's because the input jackets weren't alright when I bought it (I bought it second-hand). The previous owner explained me that these jackets break down pretty easily. I haven't had other trouble with it, so when it comes back from the repairer, it should be alright. I would rely on it on a gig, without backup (I don't have a choice, my other amp has 15 watt), but it will be okay. // 6

Overall Impression: I really love this amp, mainly because of the warm sound, the equalizer, and especially the reverb. If I'd lose it, I would buy a new one (If I could afford it, yep that's right I don't have a lot of money). I have chosen it, because since I have seen and heard it, I really wanted to have it. I started searching on the internet, (, it's a Dutch website), and I found this one. // 9

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overall: 9
Deluxe 85 Reviewed by: Fender_sky, on january 10, 2013
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 150

Purchased from: A friend

Features: The amp is awesome. It's quite an old amplifier, but it sounds great. It has a lot of input channels like Channel 1, Channel 2, Parallel mode (haven't been able to try this yet, because my amp came a bit banged up and still is), Preamp in, Preamp out, Head Phones. The amp is made for blues and rock and even funk (I do play a lot of it myself). It's quite loud, whenever I play in my flat I never put the volume more than 2. I like that it's loud, it can be used for gigs. It has an amazing analog reverb, and it sounds beautiful. // 9

Sound: I use a Fender Squier Bullet Strat on this amp. The clean channel really fits the Fender guitars bluesy tone. I only don't like the distortion that much, it's only for blues and maybe some dirty rock. The boost is a good thing about this amp. I play basic rock, blues, punk and funk (Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, RHCP, Sex Pistols, Oasis etc.) and the clean channel serves me fine, and the reverb as well. As for the distortion, I use a Boss DS-1 pedal and it gives a more rock n' roll sound to it. Clean is really loud and I like it. I also use a Boss CS-3 on it for only some songs that I play. I like that it has a lot of power to it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I haven't tried it out on a gig yet, but if I got it fixed I probably would. It's probably from the 1990's, it's been in an underground metal cafe, and a lot of metalheads played their gigs on it (no wonder it's so banged up). All the knobs are working, but it's missing half of the channel input jacks. For the years it has been used, it's survived a looot of gigs. I'm still curious to find out how the parallel channel mode sounds. I dropped it once while carrying it to a rehearsal and nothing happened to it. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, it's a good amp and I would recommend it to anyone. Like I said it's good for blues, funk and rock. I'm not a big fan of the distortion but it's good if you can find a good blues sound. I just love the reverb on this amp, combined with a delay it can give you some pretty U2 or Pink Floyd-ish sounds. The clean channel sounds amazing, and I like that this amplifier has a lot of power. For the distortion, if you're a metalhead or you just need a strong distortion, I suggest using a stomp-box. If it was stolen or destroyed beyond repair, I would buy the Deluxe 85 again, the amp is really growing on me. I've been playing guitar for about 4 years. And besides the Peavey Classic 30, it's one of my most favourite amps I've played with. I highly recommend you try it out. // 10

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