FDR-1 Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb review by Boss

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 5.1 (69 votes)
Boss: FDR-1 Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb

Sound — 7
Just like with my recent Boss Fender Bassman pedal review, I must state that Fender amps have never been a part of my setup. The Deluxe Reverb and Twin are the king for clean tones, but I am not a big fan of their distorted tones. With the Drive set pretty low, you've got the quintessential Fender tone: bright, crisp and clear, with just a bit of hair on it when you dig in. Turning the Gain knob up gets you into the Fender classic rock tone -- saturated, edgy and thin. I prefer a thicker, more Marshall/Bogner distorted tone, but Fender lovers will feel right at home. The vibrato, as mentioned before, was a bit difficult to use, but can do anything from a slow, subtle sweep to a chaotic stutter. The reverb was a pretty good approximation of spring reverb that sounded best when used sparingly. Any setting above 12 o'clock drowned the tone in a wash of ambience.

Overall Impression — 7
I don't think the FDR-1 is something I would incorporate into my Live setup, but it would be great to beef up a lackluster clean tone, or to Drive the front end of your tube amp harder. Even if you already have gobs of gain, hitting it with a bit harder signal will make it brighter and more responsive. It would also be useful in the studio for an instant clean tone without having to wheel out an 80+ pound amp. For blues and classic rock players looking for that classic Fender tone, Boss has come up with a clear winner.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Boss effect pedals haven't changed much in 30 years or so, and with good reason -- they never break! Boss is smart enough to know a good thing when they have it, and their pedals are legendary for being able to take tons of abuse and keep working without a whimper.

Ease of Use — 7
The Boss Fender Deluxe Reverb pedal is laid out pretty simply: Level and Gain on a concentric pot, Treble, Bass, then Vibrato and Reverb on another concentric pot. The Vibrato control is for depth only. The only way to control vibrato speed is with the Tap function: hold the foot switch down for 2 seconds to enter Tap mode, tap in the vibrato speed, then hold it down for two more seconds to lock in the speed. It adds some versatility to the pedal, but I found the programming cumbersome. You're talking about several seconds of playing with the footswitch to get your speed set. For stage use, I want to be able to do as much with only one tap of my foot as possible. I think I would have put a vibrato speed knob on another pot at the top of the unit with the others.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Marshall sounds are so boring, hopefully this gets more kids into Fender tube amps
    I like these new fender emulating pedals. If i had a studio they would definately be around. Great for experimenting different tones through single amps. But i don't see the use of one for playing live.
    hmmm sounds interesting. they need a tremolux pedal too cuz i have a 63 tremolux and im afraid to play it.... but they pedals sound cool
    personally i hated the pedal....but then again i hate fender amps so...
    I really like playing fender amps when i get bored with my other stuff. So this pedal looks like fun but not too practical.
    I have one and it is one of the best overdrives I've used. I'll quakify that by saying I also have a real DRRI too. I got the FDR-1 to run into the front of a Custom Built 1950s ish clone ish of a tweed twin but wired for 4 6V6s instead of 6L6s. It has massive iron so it has plenty of thump and whump but also has delicious natural distortion (If you sytand 2 miles away from it ; SO the FDR-1 fit the bill tremendousely for me it does what it's designed to do. The Reverb is a little cheezy but I usually use it sparingly anyway. I have two Twin Reverbs too (both 1972 Silverfaces) The FDR-1 is a good pedal
    this thing has a great clean sound. it will give you some distortion but not a cranked thick overdrive fenders aren't known for that. it makes a nice improvement on a solid state amps clean channel.reverb is ok as long as you don't go past noon on the control.vibro takes a bit to get used to it. but in a live situation i don't see it being used for more than a nice enhancer to your clean / drive channels ,or for some reverb. just too complicated to adjust vibro on the fly.
    drop kick
    This is just a great pedal. I have a collection of vintage Fender tube amps and this unit is a killer. If I was still playing gigs, this little unit would beat lugging a super reverb up three flights of stairs at 40AM anyday. I am totally into home recording now and can't wait to use it and the bassman unit in conjunction with my Line 6 XT Live. Amp modelling has really advanced during the past few years. I challenge anyone to close their eyes and tell the difference between this and the "real thing".
    This pedal is for cleans. No one really plays Fenders for the Distortion anyway.I'm getting this for my Peavey Vlave King to add a little personality to the average clean channel on my amp.