THE classic club amp
I'll admit, I went through a "modeling amp" phase a few years ago. I was seduced by the concept that I could "get the sound of xxxx amps instead of just one." After a few months of trying to "dial in the sound in my head" on one, however, I finally realized, all I was trying to dial in was the sound of a Deluxe Reverb.
In my opinion, The Deluxe is the quintessential low-power guitar amp sound. If a guitar doesn't sound good running through a DL, I'd say, you probably should trade guitars.
I've had extensive experience with '60's Fender Blackface amps. I've owned a '64 Super, a '65 Twin and a '64 DR. Like old girlfriends I dumped for all the wrong reasons, I deeply regret parting ways with them all. My only defense being that I was young, stupid and, possibly, high. Anyway, I can say with some certainty: this amp is very close to the amp it's based upon. No, it's not the same amp, but the basic sound is there. I really doubt all the originals sounded the same anyway.
One of my bandmates also has a '65 DRRI. This version has some subtle differences. Obviously, the wine red tolex and parchment grille are the first things you'll notice. Speaking of that: aesthetics are of course personal, but I think it's a very good-looking amp, and one I'll want to take very good care of. The reverb on mine sounds better to me. His is a bit tinny. The vibrato here is a bit deeper as well, and the your guitar doesn't get lost in the mix when you use it.
The biggest difference for me, however, is the Jensen P-12Q. This alnico speaker has a very "complete" sound. The one complaint I've had with recent DRRI's is the overabundance of highs. Highs from the P-12Q are clear and bell-like, and I don't find myself automatically reaching to turn down the treble. Likewise, lows are deep, but not "boomy." As a matter of fact, I simply plugged in my 335, adjusted everything to 5, and I was pretty much set. I played a gig the night after I received the amp and hardly touched the amp's knobs. Using the 335, a Strat Deluxe, and a Ric 360-12, most of my adjustments were satisfactorily made just using the guitars' tone and volume controls.
One additional note: Also because of the speaker, this amp does break up a little sooner than the reissue with the C-12K. This may or may not be to everyone's liking. It worked fine for me however. Once it breaks up, it blends nicely into a natural compression, and makes sustain very easy to achieve.
The amp takes pedals very well. No effects loop, but that's ok with me. I'm not a fan.
The amp is very quiet. In a dead-quiet environment, you may hear a bit of hiss, but nothing that will bother you at a gig. The soundman had an easy time mic'ing it with a Sennheiser 906. Again, he pretty much had everything set flat.
Another plus with this amp, it's light, and I think the positive of that speaks for itself.
The ONLY negatives I can offer: A thousand-bucks-plus amp should come with a cover. This one does not. And, the footswitch cord is too short. Minor complaints, I think.
All in all, this is one hell of an amp. I'm very pleased I bought it.
I should also mention, I have nothing but good things to say about my business dealings with Sweetwater, and my relationship with my sales advisor Ryan Wiltermood. I consider Ryan a trusted friend in the industry. I always get the best prices from him and Sweetwater, with no hassle, and shipping is always crazy fast. I ordered this amp about 2 PM one afternoon and got it the next morning. What more can you ask for?
If you're considering buying one of these, just do it! You'll never regret owning a Fender Deluxe Reverb.