1965 Deluxe Reverb Restoration
OK, every one has to have at least one
challenge in life and this '65 DR was mine. I picked this one up
sight unseen from a shop in Ocala Florida. It was real cheap. I
was told it was beat. I asked all the right questions, but hey,
it was cheap, how bad could it be? Although the pics below don't
do it justice, this baby was kicked, dropped and flown to Japan
without a flight case, (note flight tags just slapped on the top,
left to the handle). The story goes that this amp belonged to an
ex-amp tech for the Allman Brothers and it was his personal
experimental amp. Experimental? Pure butchery is more like it.
Basically, it was hot rodded for more power and ultra high gain.
Chassis was cut to fit a Pro Reverb power tranny and converted to
a solid state rectifier. The real kicker was a homemade circuit
board cut from standard pegboard material. A pegboard cap board
with missing cap pan held the Pro Reverb like power supply caps.
Long, cheap and poorly soldered wires looked like spaghetti.
Mixture of cheap parts were soldered together with huge solder
balls making this chassis complete garbage. If it weren't for the
fine steel chassis used in '65 and for the output and choke
transformers, I would have just buried this amp in the back yard.
The amp was completely disassembled. Cab was sanded, holes doweled and re-drilled. Seemed like I glued and puttied for days on end. Chassis was completely stripped, cleaned and polished. A new production power trannies was installed. A circuit board from an early '70s production run of Super Reverb boards was used as a starting point for building a new Deluxe Reverb board. A completely new cap board was made and a DR re-issue cap pan was installed. It took twenty two feet of yellow, red and blue cloth wire, a few new pots, new output tube sockets, one new preamp socket, new fuse socket, new AC cord, caps, tubes, reverb tank and tranny, braided reverb cables, all new hardware, tolex, "aged" grill cloth, logo and a re-issue faceplate to get this amp right. The speaker was the hard part. I didn't have an original Jensen C12Q sitting around. So I tried every new production speaker and several old Oxfords and Utah's. Nothing but flat farty boring tone. Then came Ted Weber and his new speaker company, WeberVST. I first started with a P12N. The "P" series has amazing compression, very early breakup but with good clarity. I needed a little more headroom playing in a band, so now it's fitted with a Weber C12N. The amp now has more punch with a tight breakup. The way a Deluxe Reverb should have always performed. Not the strongest Deluxe Reverb I've worked on or owned, but hey, she's mine. A bastard? Yup, like most of my amps. But hey, another Fender amp lives, and this one gets played a lot.
Condition on purchase.
Note Airline flight tags.
Homemade butchered circuit board.
"Aged" grill cloth and WeberVST C12N.