Reissue Blues Deluxe review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.5 (26 votes)
Fender: Reissue Blues Deluxe

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Musicansfriend

Sound — 10
For reference I play an American Standard Strat. This is where Fender really shines. This amp, on the clean channel just sounds amazing by any standard. And considering most players have a nice pedal collection, that is all most need out of an amp. The amp is loud enough for any size gig. We always mic the guitar amps, so all you need is enough volume to hear yourself on stage. But this could carry most gigs on it's own. But one complaint is the volume knob really only goes from 0-4, not 12, after 4 it is almost at full volume. The reverb sounds great to my ears. It does have an effects loop to add more effects. Now for the most controversial topic, and the area the draws the most complaints from this amp, the Drive channel. This amp with produce great tube overdrive, but will not produce distortion. A lot of people buy these kind of amps thinking the Drive channel is going to sound like hard rock distortion. The overdrive sounds like The Rolling Stones or John Mellencamp, not AC\DC or Nirvana. That is where a good set of pedals come in. Most of those bands used distortion pedals to create their sound, I know a lot of players with Marshall Stacks that just end up using distortion pedals. I use an Boss DS-1 (seeing eye mod) and a MT-2 pedal, and with these pedals I can reproduce almost any sound from Led Zeppelin to Marilyn Manson. But it won't do stuff like Korn or Slipknot, but for anything else this amp is hard to beat at it's price.

Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for about 12 years now, and in bands for about 8 years. I play almost any kind of rock music, but mostly alternative rock. And this amp is just amazing. I can almost bet it is the best under $1000. I would buy another one if need be. The only amp I would ever consider trading it for would be a Mesa Boggie, but I would rather buy another guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 10
The blues deluxe is built very nice, and has details like the Fender name on the carrying strap. The tweed looks great with the chrome control cover and chicken head knobs. The overall look of the amp will attract attention.

Features — 8
On the surface the Hot Rod and the Blues Deluxe are almost that same amps. Looking at their specs the only differences are the Drive channels (more gain on the Hot Rod), foot switch (reverb on the blues deluxe), and Internal Variable Bias control on the Hot Rod. Both are loosely based on the 59' Bassman, which by the way is my personal favorite amp. The Blues deluxe has a little less low end then the Hot Rod due to different caps used in the preamp, it uses the preamp tubes a little different making different distortion, it shares the drive control on both channels so it is not as clean at higher levels on clean, and has a different reverb circuit. I think the blues deluxe sounds better out of the box, but with the Bias Control, the Hot Rod can be modded with different power tubes very easily. So if you plan on modding buy the Hot Rod.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I have had this amp for about 3 years now, and the reviews are spot on. This amp is great and plenty loud. I never use the distortion channel, it's unnecessary. I use the clean channel all the time, with a Tube Screamer, and it sound perfect. Besides, if I switch the pedals off, the amp has a beautiful ringing clean tone.
    what sort of distortion can you get, not with any pedals just them amp???? id like a good description, not just saying low gain
    you can not get any distortion out of the amp, you can get a mild overdrive. But it is not very good.
    I just made a purchase for $595 from GC after having 3 Bugera V22s. I finally put the price point out of the picture and purchased what I really wanted and deserved, the Fender Blues Deluxe (reissue). I am a Blues player (wanna be) and this amp is the reference for Blues. I had sold my Fender Blues Junior and the Bugera just wasn't cutting it, poor reliability. I was wishing I had the Blues Jr back. Not any more.
    OK. I tried a Blues Deluxe Hot Rod. Great amp but was too mid-range sounding. I think that splitting the pre amp to 3 channels looses something. The Delux re-issue tweed has a much more warmer sound and fuller sound. Put the clean channel and I push it with a Boss ME50 and it is BALLS OUT. I use the 2nd Channel with the drive all the way up for Blues. I got rid of my Marshall JTM60 for the same reason I did not like the Hot Rod. Take the Deluxe Re Issue add your favorite pedel and enjoy. If you have a pedel do not buy the Hot Rod.
    Also if you put a good commpression pedal on the OD channel you will drop out of your seat. LOL
    I read that Blues Deluxe was made in the early 90s and after that they started making Hot Rod Deluxe that replaced the Blues Deluxe. And now they have made a reissue of the Blues Deluxe.
    I have just purchased the Ext. Cab for the Blues Deluxe. Sounds great and looks even better. Also changed tubes,replaced the Emminence Speaker with a Jensen 100 watt and kicked up the Bias. Ordered the same speaker for the Ext.Cab. Now my drive channel sounds like a Drive Channel should. Not as over the top as a Hot Rod but alot fuller then an off the shelf Blues Deluxe.
    I have changed tubes to the Groove Tubes GT6L6GE's and changed the stock speaker to a 12" Celestion Gold and it is Now as good as any boutique amp around...ensure that the bias is adjusted to 60 to 65 milivolts every time you change tubes... Also, I had found that the area between the top of the chassis and the top of the cabinet near the handle vibrated considerably. To avoid any cabinet related buzzing, first tighten the speaker mounting screws. Then tighten each of the speaker baffle screws and nuts. Then, tighten the chassis screws as follows: First, loosen all top, side and back panel chassis screws one to two turns. Next, tighten the top chassis screws, then tighten the side chassis screws. Lastly, tighten the back panel chassis screws. This should draw the chassis tight to the top of the cabinet and eliminate buzzing sounds there. I hope this helps! After doing the above, I love my bluesy Blues Deluxe!
    FYI see my critique above...I have the Blues Deluxe Reissue...also, I change the 12AX7's to the Tung-Sols...I have found that they are the best for clarity of tone and low noise. My guitars are the stock 2009 Deluxe American Strat and the 2001 American Strat with Gold Lace Sensor pickups...both sound great through the BDRI!