Deluxe VM Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 09/30/2015 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Deluxe VM
The 40-watt tube platform provides a foundation of great tone to build on, and the versatile tube preamp offers a wide range of tone and gain settingsfrom world-standard Blackface Fender clean to aggressive overdrive with post-gain EQ.
 Features: 8.5
 Sound: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) pictures (2) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Deluxe VM Reviewed by: Bluesman5364, on september 30, 2015
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: EBAY

Features: I bought this particular amp the first time after seeing it demo'd at the Winter NAMM in 2009. It is a MIM amp with solid state effects added, all black, silver face grill cloth. The average looking Fender amp, nothing out of the ordinary except for the VM logo on the bottom right corner. Comes with a 4-button hardy footswitch that controls the Gain, Reverb, Delay and Chorus, all easy and smooth to dial in. The only negative I would have with the amp is that there is only one input jack. I would like to have seen another; one for the clean and another for the effects side. // 8

Sound: I am primarily a blues, '60s-'70s guitarist who also plays at our non-denominational church where we play traditional gospel to the contemporary and rockfish Christian music out today. I run mainly Strats/Tele's through the amp, but it also takes beautifully to my Epiphone Sheraton II/Casino and Les Paul Standard Plus Pro Top and a Gibson Les Paul Standard. The it has it's original Jensen speaker which for me sounds wonderful, though I have thought of changing out to a Celestion Alnico Gold having heard one recently in a Deluxe Reverb. This Deluxe VM cranks out at 40 watts, strong enough for a medium sized venue with no issues in the competition department over drums, etc. The amp did not seem to do well with the public and it was discontinued within a short time. It's not too heavy to pack around, has the basic effects one would need to play at a local gig. This is not what I would use for a touring rig but surely at local events; Definitely! The Gain while not in the class of a Tubescreamer, does a decent job as does the Reverb which comes in quickly and turned up all the way, drips wetness. The Delay while not tap tempo capable, still does a fine job. I don't use the Chorus much so I can't comment for comparability purposes to anything. lastly, this is not a good bedroom amp; again as it is powerful, BUT you can run it low volume and still enjoys all of its capabilities. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've never had one lick of problems with this amp in the 5 years I've owned this one. I still have the same tubes it came with. It's really a sturdy amp and that I have enjoyed time and time again. I've let it run hot for 4 hours stints and never found it to overheat or lose tone in the Jensen amp. Again I plan to swap out soon when I get the $275 for the Alnico Gold, but no issues with the current setup. The knob setting are not overly sensitive, easy to dial in all the basic settings, and even the effects are a breeze, smooth and reliable. A well made amp. Tubes are easy to get to for change, though I haven't had to yet. I do have several Fender amps I like to swap out through for fun so perhaps that is why the duration of the current tubes which are the GT. I also plan to swap for JJ's, though I put Mullards in my Deluxe Reverb and love the tone of those tubes. // 10

Overall Impression: Again, I play primarily the blues, '60s-'70s rock and Christian music. I play out routinely at local gigs, jams and at our church. The amp is reliable, sturdy, light weight enough even for a guy like me in his 60's to haul about. This is my second time around with the Deluxe VM. My first I purchase in 2009 after the Winter NAMM where I first heard and fell in love with it. I wound up trading with a fellow musician who wanted a Fender amp with built in effects so he didn't have to haul around a pedal board for the 3-4 pedals he used and with the umph. He had heard the Deluxe VM and I let it borrow it for a gig he had. When he returned with it, he came with his Fender HR Deluxe asking if I would trade him. I played with the HR Deluxe about a month and though not convinced, said I would trade him after much pleading from him. While L enjoyed the HR Deluxe, it was not fit for my needs with the OD and more OD was too much, so I sold it and purchased my current Deluxe VM which I've owned since 2000. This one is a keeper, so don't ask to trade. I'm a Fender fan through and through so this may be completely bias in review. So be it! Still for the price (and don't pay more than $400 as they are out there) you can't beat this wonderful yet non-popular Fender 40 watt amp. The 9 rating is simply for the effects being not solid state and lacking a skoosh and the lack of a second input jack on the effects side of the amp. // 8

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overall: 9
Deluxe VM Reviewed by: lecantoman, on june 29, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 799

Purchased from: Sam Ashe Music

Features: 40 watts (Two 6L6 power tubes, two12AX7 preamps with one for distortion, one for phase inverter). Single 12" Celestion G12P80 spkr. Fender Clean Channel with dedicated pre-gain tone controls and a second Drive Channel with dedicated post EQ for tube distortion shaping. Digital Reverb Chorus/Vibrato with controls for rate, depth and mix. Tape emulation Delay with delay time, repeat, and mix controls Effects Loop 8 ohm Extension speaker output 4 button footswitch included for Channel, Reverb, Delay and Chorus/Vibrato // 9

Sound: I have owned many many amplifiers over my 45 year history of banging on guitars including 4 different models of Fender amps. I have owned Twin Reverbs purchased in the 60's and 70's, a Fender Showman and more recently a Frontman 212-R which I had for about 2 months and traded it in on this little sweetheart. Never had a Marshall. No gigs for me for quite a few years but purchased this amp for a home based studio. I wanted a tube sound in compact pkg that could rival more expensive boutiques and I am happy I bought it. Like all Deluxe models this one is a classic and a lot to be said for oldie but goodies. Those who aren't into head banging metal styles but still want to crank up the Drive channel and pretend when no one is around will appreciate the versatility of this amp. No Fender is designed specifically for that chore or style but they are getting closer all the time. Most of you would be surprised at what can be done with distortion fine tuning. You can certainly emulate the grunge, metal etc. Fairly close even without additional pedals and muddy up your leads just a tinge for that almost creamy description so many folks like to use. Be patient and not scoff at first impression. Take a little time to play with her knobs and fine adjusts before lumping this into most other Fender Combos. This is true for the digital reverb, which gives you great sounding 60's surf, Ventures without going above 3 or 4. Chorus is basic but not at all bad sounding. I am more than satisfied with the Delay. (I put my Electolux Memory Man back in the box). All day today I found myself bypassing the effects loop with the Vox unit and enjoying the amp alone with all it's useful toys. A good compressor and you are all set for musical mayhem. The Vox is adequate but not my first choice for that tool. I use this amp with a Morley Quad and Triple box routers set up to allow it be dualled with a Bose PS-1 with dual bass speakers and ToneMatch Audio engine system. I have a Vox Tone Lab ST coming out of the rear positioned effects loop of the Deluxe VM and a POD DXT Live off the Bose. Most of the time now I'm playing the Deluxe VM alone without any external effects and loving it. Played together both of these systems mate up beautifully and a virtual tonal factory without all those little pedals all over the place. The amp's clean channel is Fender and that's what they do best. Everything is super quiet. I have one Ebtech Hum eliminator in the system for good measure but that's on the Bose side going out to a Korg DG3200 Digital Recorder. I love that Bose system too by the way but that's another story for another day. I play classic and present day rock, country, blues and the Deluxe VM is certainly a great way to have your cake and eat it too sorta deal. Can't say how it would be out there performing on stage but it's breathren has been a great amp out there doing just that and also in the studio all it's life. I miss the looks of the metal corner protector plates, but that's because I'm older and set in my ways. What I really like about this amp more than any other specific feature is the way it allows each of my guitars to come alive with their own special distinct sounds. I have a Fender American Deluxe Strat and Amer. Deluxe Tele as well as Tom Anderson Classic T and Classic, a Taylor T5 and a '52 Reissue Tele. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Reliability and Dependability..can't say as new to my collection. It's a Fender and my past experience has always been good. She's louder than I'll ever use and volume adjustments opens other world's of tone just like other good tube amps. There is no dedicated line out for recording but there is the effects loop. Thank you Fender. // 9

Overall Impression: Not a regular gig guy so don't need a backup. Did I want something else when I bought this amp, yeah sorta.. I was looking at a Rivera Venus -6 and would still like to have one but we are recession bound and just couldn't justify the $2799. I use to like 20 something hotties too but doesn't mean I'm missing them just because I haven't tried one on for size lately. I plan on playing the dog doo doo out of this one! // 9

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