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Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb - 22W 1x12" Guitar Combo Amp Reviews

4.5 stars based on 50 customer reviews
Questions about the Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb - 22W 1x12" Guitar Combo Amp?

Questions about the Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb - 22W 1x12" Guitar Combo Amp?

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  • from NW Ohio December 27, 2016

    First Fender Amp

    After many years of playing and many (too many) amps, I finally purchased a real Fender and have no idea why I waited so long. This amp sounds great and is beautiful to look at. Love the Celestion V-Type speaker. I've recently put this speaker in several cabs and am really happy with it in all locations.

    The Deluxe Reverb really shines around 3 on the volume and has splendid tones above and below.

    Looking forward to tracking with this amp, too. Fractal Audio FX8 straight into it opens Pandora's tonal box.

  • from Alameda, CA December 4, 2016

    At Long Last!

    I recall reading numerous interviews with guitarist where the argument was made that tone is all in the fingers, or some such thing. I used to wonder how true that was until I bought this amp. Of course, Jimi, Jimmy, or Eddie are going to make anything sound pretty fantastic, but there's a reason they don't just play anything when it's up to them. I'm not them, of course, but for me, this is in many respects a holy grail sort of find, at least in this price range. I've been through a number of amps over the last thirty years, but nothing compares to this one. The tone on the custom channel, with a modified bassman tone stack, is a thing of beauty--it's fat, but it has sparkle and chime, and a good amount of responsive inherent compression that's divine. I've messed with the vintage channel a bit, which is fine, but I keep going back to the custom.

    As for pedals, mine have never sounded this good. Whatever I throw at it sounds superb, and the dynamic responsiveness of the amp never gives way. However, I did take a couple out because, to be honest, I don't need them anymore--I think I was adding pedals to compensate for the lack of tone in my previous amps.

    There is a bit more hiss in this amp than others, such as my Vox AC151c or Blues Jr, which some argue is a function of its design, but nothing that bothers me. I was pretty worried about this, but Brandon at Sweetwater was excellent about checking the amp before shipping. Now that it's here, all I hear is that unbelievable sound that makes me just want to keep playing. Which I have. In fact, I'm going to end right here and go back to the bloody thing.

  • from GA November 21, 2016Music Background:
    Experienced

    Amazing Amp!!

    This amp is incredible! It is everything that I had hoped that it would be. I really like the classic fender sound. Sounds amazing when the amp is cranked. Really punchy. However, if you are planning on playing at quieter bedroom volumes, you aren't going to want to turn it much past 2, which still sounds great to me. I run a pretty good sized pedalboard most of the time too and this amp handles the pedals just fine in either circuit.

  • from Sterling, VA October 18, 2016Music Background:
    guitarist, home recorder

    So Good

    The Custom Deluxe is so good, I sold my old amp and trimmed down my pedal board significantly. One nice drive pedal in front of the Custom channel, and you're good for anything from crunchy dad rock to rolled off volume clean stuff. And this is even with Volume in the 2-3 range.

    Run straight in, with the Custom volume on 5-6, and it's exactly where I've always wanted to be. Run a strat this way. Trust me. It's inspiring enough to keep you playing well after your wife asked for help with the dog.

    The reverb is present, but not overbearing at all. In fact, I find myself just throwing it on tracks because it sounds like it's supposed to be there. Tremolo was a pleasant surprise. It's a really sweet modulation on the lower intensity settings, and pretty usable up high, too. It sounds very 'musical', to use an overused term.

    There's hiss, but you only notice it until you realize it's so very worth it. Dimmable lights, though. Turn them off.

    The amp looks very classy, too, if that kind of thing matters to you. Also, I thought there was no way a private equity held lifestyle brand could come correct with an amp. I was wrong. I have to think this is one of the best amps available before you start hitting the hand wired price range.

  • from Redding, CA October 8, 2016

    Great light weight combo.

    Pros: The versatility on this amp is amazing. The two channels really are unique. Not to mention, the ability to jumper the two channels takes it even a step further and gives you more tonal choices. Admittedly, I spend most of my time either on the Custom channel or jumpered, however, the Vintage side has the classic Fender cleans. The Custom channel does take pedals well, too. A big plus is the Vibrato and Reverb operating on both sides of the amp. Great tone at a reasonable volume.

    Cons: There is an audible hiss especially after I biased the tubes slightly hotter than the factory settings. This does not bother me, but I could see where some players could have a problem with it especially if you're expecting dead quiet. Plus, the reverb is noisy past 3. I'm replacing the reverb cable this week and possibly the whole reverb tank in hopes to tame that issue. Once again, a trade-off I'm willing to accept for such great tone.

  • from West Virginia July 21, 2016Music Background:
    Semi Pro Gigging musician

    love this thing!!

    This amp is thick full and chimey and the vibrato adds an awesome dimensionality to the sound. It just loves my overdrive pedal!! I run an American Deluxe Stratocaster into it, and man is it a blast to play.!!

  • from FLA July 12, 2016Music Background:
    Been playing guitar and bass since the '70's.

    Fender '68 Custom DeluxeReverb

    The Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. What else can you say that hasn't already been said? This is the amp I am looking for. Thanks again to Scott A. and Randy for all the help in the decision making process, great service and FAST-FREE shipping that has become the Sweetwater trademark! Now it's time to break in this baby with my new Gretsch Tennessee Rose (From SW)! CAAAAN YOUUU DIG IT!

  • from NY June 30, 2016

    AMAZING

    This Amp has that classic Fender Clean tube tone. Let me start by saying I have been playing guitar for almost 40 years, I've played in bands, in clubs. Back in the day out band played Sabbath to Zeppelin and of course I played a Marshall and Les Paul or SG. As i got older I started to appreciate different styles of music, the Marshall as great as it is has a very hard clean tone. So I sold my Marshal Stack and first purchased the Fender Super Sonic which is a great amp and and gets amazing overdrive sounds direct from the AMP. However going to the Custom Deluxe Reverb something about having a tube rectifier makes ALL the difference, it give the amp depth and sublet nuances. So if you are looking for a Tube AMP, if the amp does not have a TUBE rectifier then its not really a Tube Amp in my opinion. Today if I want to play Sabbath on the Custom Deluxe no Problem, the OCD overdrive pedal brings this baby to the Marshall lands, you can play Jazz, to SRV to Zeppelin this baby does it all. If you are a SRV fan you probably know that Stevie ONLY played Fender Amps.

  • from COLORADO May 14, 2016Music Background:
    40 years playing got paid occasionally, does that make me a Pro? LOL

    Solid Super Tone

    Just got her today form the awesomeness that is Sweetwater. Haven't put a lot of time in but I gotta say the tone is fantastic. Vintage channel is great, well... Vintage tone not exceedingly bright as you might expect very chimey and sweet BUT the Custom channel is where this baby shines it is still chimey but the edge of brightness is sliced right off and she is smooth and buttery. I too was hesitant about the Celestion but it seems to be sweet sounding after only a very short time playing, I'm sure it will sound really great after it is broken in which I will give it time to do before swapping around. No problems I can foresee, I was worried about the hiss and pops everyone complains about but while there is a bit of hiss I did a side by side with my 1971 Bandmaster and it's a little louder than this amp so I am chalking it up to normal, same goes for the pop when switching the standby on and off, Bandmaster makes the exact same sound so I am saying normal here as well, in fact this baby is kind of like a"mini Bandmaster" sounds great I recommend it

  • from Huntington Station, NY May 6, 2016

    Best Authentic Amp, Period

    I've been playing guitar now almost 40 years, I've owned many AMP, Marshall, Boogie, Fender. There is something about this amp, maybe is the tube rectifier but this is The Best sounding AMP, the feel is incredible very touch dynamic. The amp is so good your pedals will not get any use, I either use no pedals or a way, tube screamer and delay.

    Don't take my word for it try one out, you will not regret it. Only wish I had bought one sooner.

  • from April 18, 2016

    Amazing tone

    I have a Strat and a Paul, and both sound amazing through this amp, but dang it sounds good with the Seymour Duncan Antiquity PAFs in my Gibson! Custom channel gets nasty and starts singing around 5. I goose it with a dirt pedal with the gain turned all the way down and it makes a perfect rock and roll sound. Both channels sound great, and don't worry about the hiss unless you are recording really quiet music. In the real world, the noise floor will make it go away. Plenty loud enough for club gigs, but not so loud that you can't break up the power tubes without going deaf. I also have a Mesa Boogie and a Vox AC30, but this sound better than either of those amps. The stock tubes are J.J.'s rebranded as Groove Tubes, and they sound fantastic, no need to replace these. Get it, you won't be disappointed!

  • from Texas City, TX March 22, 2016Music Background:
    Actively Gigging, Local Clubs and Private Events for now

    Holy Fender Moly

    What a freaking fiasco! I was sprouting grey hairs getting this amp to me. Shipped it to the wrong place, FedEx wasnt sure where it was, i had a gig the night it was delivered. It all ended up being just fine. The first time i played this baby was AT THE GIG, unboxed it during soundcheck praying everything was ok. I bought a Gator G112 and Ryan had it packed into it and shipped that way. EXCELLENT SERVICE! This sucker is AWESOME! It clean peaks at about 4.5-4.7 and from 5.5+ it just GETS NASTY AWESOME! Talking bout real SRV tones and a relatively decent volume. Excellent amp. This amp just kicks. Its great, its fat and sparkly, its that Fender tone. Dig it.

  • from Macomb December 18, 2015Music Background:
    Practicing musician

    Fantastic Amp

    This is my second review of this amp, now that the honeymoon is over, I wanted to update. I've had the amp about a year now, and can't say enough about it. The amp makes your guitar tone just plain better period. I have a vintage Vibrolux Reverb, also a DR Reissue. I also had a Blues jr that I sold ( not sure what all the hype about that amp) This is the go to amp for me. I primarily play two guitars, an Eric Johnson Strat and a PRS Custom 24.

    I've been playing for 45 years, although not a professional musician, I have been in and out of gigging bands for years, and feel I can comment on good tone. This amp nails it. The change Fender made to this amp really makes it shine; custom channel with the bassman tone stack is the tone I was looking for. And the amp loves pedals. Because the clean is so nice, putting an overdrive in front of it is the tone that is just sweet. I use a Full Drive II for lead work and the combo with this amp is too good to pass up. I was never a fan of Celestion speakers, but the V12 in this amp just works. Also, I have a Full Tone Fat Boost for the strat and it takes advantage of the amp as well. Enough comments about the reverb and trem; one note is the the reverb is not as "surf lush" as the DR Reissue, but there is plenty there.
    I bought an open box originally that was noisy; sent it back and negotiated for a new amp and I couldn't be happier. As noted, had it a year now, and it gets better and better. Thanks Sweetwater and Ian Angle.

    If you are looking for perfect Fender amp, don't want to break your back or your wallet, buy this amp, period.

  • from Grand Rapids, MI October 9, 2015Music Background:
    Strat Guy

    King of Vintage Tone

    This amp delivers the "Fender Sound" from the fifties through the seventies. I got to admit I was a bit apprehensive when reading reviews on line about noise issues but this is not the case with mine. This amp is normal in background noise for an amp with modern Russian / East Europe tubes. The tone is what this amp is all about, creamy, jelly, clean or dirty its Fender all the way. The Celestion is great, got to give it five stars. Again thanks Norb, and the Team.

  • from Eagan, MN September 15, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist band member

    A Surprisingly Versatile Amp and A Better Choice than the 65 DRRI

    My dream amp has long been the Fender 65 DRRI and I was planning on buying one, but when I started researching I found that the 68 had some killer features like reverb and tremelo on both channels, and two channels that aren't the same. The left side uses a Bassman tone stack and the right side is basically a 65 DRRI. So I could get the 65 DRRI I wanted plus the other cool new features. So I went for the 68. I'm glad I did, because I find myself using the left side 90% of the time. That side really takes pedals well. I still plug into the right side for songs that need the Fender jangly clean. But most of the time, I'm using the Bassman side with pedals. Speaking of pedals, I found I needed to make an important change from the pedal setup I was using with my previous amp, the Blues Deluxe. I had been using a PlimSoul for distortion, but I found the tone somewhat off with the DRRI. The PlimSoul still worked for songs like I Love Rock and Roll, but for a more Marshall like tone, I picked up a Boss OD-3. This gives me the heavy overdrive I was looking for for songs like Eye of the Tiger, Paris Ooh La La, Heaven Knows, and others. For blues, the Boss BD2 Blues Driver provides a beautiful bluesy breakup while keeping the stage noise low. So I'm in tone heaven from clean, to blues, to heavy overdrive, to growling over-the-top distortion. I need it all because my band plays extreme variety. The deluxe reverb can get it all done, and not break the bank. The Mesa 5:25 Plus is another do it all amp, but with the right pedals, the 68 DRRI gets it done for a little less -- plus it's a Fender.

  • from Calif September 3, 2015Music Background:
    collector

    Raymond

    I new this was a full body amp. I'm impressed, my compliments to you and Fender!

  • from Nottingham,Pa August 4, 2015Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Sweet

    Might be the nicest sounding Fender amp I've ever heard especially for an amp that won't break your back. Plenty of headroom.
    I'd put it between the Princeton silverface and the twin (but more creamier). You can
    AB/Y the 2 channels for vintage and custom sounds. Great Amp!

  • from July 22, 2015

    Perfect Amp!

    Get an ABY box to switch channels and run both sides at the same time. Reverb and Vibe are Rich.

  • from Falcon Co July 2, 2015Music Background:
    2 Year Student

    Tough Decision

    I looked at so many varieties of the amp. The home work paid-off. It does exactly what I wanted to do. Clean classic tones, with the ability to change it up if I want. The 22 watt is plenty of power to play with a band. Whether you use it to be a monitor or the final output, in a small venue it does very well. The videos on Youtube are accurate. I have even played this with my Taylor accoustic, what a pleasant surprise. Derek, (Sweetwater) you are batting a thousand my friend.
    .

  • from Wenatchee June 27, 2015Music Background:
    Worship Leader, Music Teacher

    Ever Wanted a Deluxe Reverb AND a Bassman?

    It's been said before, but it's worth saying again: this amp is perfect. It actually is like owning a Deluxe Reverb and a Bassman in the same amp. I'll pick up my proverbial jaw off the floor and try to organize my appreciation for this amp in a few categories...

    1) The clean headroom provided by the 22w of all-tube lusciousness is breathtaking. There's ZERO "harsh/tinny/over-bright" sound to this amp... PERIOD. In either channel. I was worried that I'd only want to stay on the Custom side (Bassman tone stack) due to the Vintage channel being to bright. WRONG! It's buttery smooth through both channels, but the Custom channel has that "Oomph" in the low end that makes my Fender American Strat SING on single note runs... I'll put it this way- until this amp, I was really craving a Les Paul or a Jazzmaster to contrast the inherent brightness of my single coils (I have custom shop fat 50's in my strat). But after plugging my strat into the Custom channel, that's all gone. HUGE tonal versatility available.

    2) I have NOT noticed any noise/hissing issues whatsoever. And if anyone ever has that problem, you need to buy a Hum Debugger pedal from Electro Harmonix. Killer pedal.

    3) The vibrato and reverb are tube driven and they sound like angels laughing. It's that amazing.

    4) It handles pedals flawlessly. And the amp's EQ allows you to drastically alter your tone to your liking.

    In summary? Buy this amp. And use Ben Porter at Sweetwater- he's the best!

  • from Napa June 18, 2015Music Background:
    Former Pro

    When you fall in love with an amp...

    Guitars and amps come and go.. like dating... but occasionally you find the amp you want to take home to mom.

    Hiss - a bit - if you love touch sensitive amp you're going to get a little white noise. My experience was that after breaking in the hiss seemed reduced -- I don't notice it at 5 anymore ...

    Tone.. The Custom Channel and the Vintage Channel each deliver with their own voice.. BUT ABY these and jump the two ... Incredible...Tone a little sand in the transmission and fantastic grit.

    Reverb.. The Reverb was initially an issue and the case of a lot of noise. All I did was reverse the reverb pan so that the connectors faced the front of the amp and Voila that noise was gone.. Don't ask me how .. but it worked. The Reverb in the 68 is far less aggressive than the 65 Ri Blackface. Mine stays around 4 with the term set at 3 and 3 --- Just a murmur

    I Fretted about choosing between a Ri Blackface Deluxe and the 68 Custom... Played them both back to back. I worried that the Silverface would be Ice Picky...and I worried about its resale value.

    I'm not selling it -- So there goes the resale value issue

    I liked that features and tone better in the 68 over the 65 RI -- and Both Channels having Trem and reverb are a must.

    I hate the Italian Jensen speakers these days adn wondered why fender would chose a British Speaker but the speaker matches up with the amp very well.

    Yes I have fallen in love with my 68 Custom. Amps that I have now include a 59 Ampeg Jet and a 57 Vibrolux clone. The Fender 68 is my primary amp and gets 80% of the playing time .

    I have replaced the Groove tubes with Eclectic NOS tubes and will suggest that that helped reduce the white noise a bit as well. Other than that I have no interest in Modding this amp at all.. not even an urge to do so. THAT says a lot ... I really really like this amp.

  • from NYC May 20, 2015Music Background:
    All aspects of music (performance, production, recording)

    Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    I'm happy with everything about this amp. I bought it for its vintage sound and size (it is more portable than my other amps). It is great for recording and sounds very warm. You really can't go wrong with this amp in your arsenal. Also, I have to add that I never have any problems with any piece of gear I buy from Sweetwater and I will continue to buy from them exclusively.

  • from Nashville, TN May 12, 2015Music Background:
    pro

    Great amp!

    Absolutely love this amp! I've played through older vintage ones over the years and honestly I think this sounds better than any I've heard. Both channels are so good. I'm a little partial to the Custom channel which I'm told is voiced like a Bassman. But I love both channels. This is my favorite recording amp!

  • from May 2, 2015

    5 stars all day

    This amp is probably the best fender has come out with. I had a deluxe reverb about 4 years ago that had been gigged with pretty heavily but well taken care of, sounded amazing. This one sounds even better... right out of the box, not even close to being broke in yet. It takes pedals better, not that it didn't take them well before. The left side now has the reverb and vibrato, which is a huge plus. I didn't even use the side much before because I love reverb. I think I might like the left side better now, because it has way more *****. This is the ultimate blues amp, hands down.

  • from portland April 10, 2015

    68 custom deluxe reverb

    I am a professional player who's played for years and has used every amp imaginable including a lot of fenders....my style is roots, blues rock and beyond and I can honestly say I've never been happier with an amp. I use this with the straight clean sound which is gorgeous fender sparkle, and I put a tube screamer through for mild grit and a vox satchurator pedal for more serious ooomph. The amp handles the pedals just beautifully producing a lead sound with my strat's treble pickup that has become one of the alltime favorites that I have achieved.All the modifications to this amp, removing the bright caps, reduced negative feedback, accelerated picking response, celestion speaker, the bassman tone stack on the custom channel, and both channels having access to the vibrato are all worth they're weight in gold.
    This is a gem of a club and recording amp and the price is in the real world. I got this on my sweetwater
    card and the payments were great and when the first one arrived and I found the reverb cut out only on gigs, Sweetwater asap replaced it with another that has been great. You can't go wrong with this amp and Sweetwater,

  • from Atlanta, GA USA January 27, 2015Music Background:
    Semi-pro guitarist with 30+ years of experience.

    Impressive amp

    Have been using a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III for several years now and was very satisfied with it. It is a solid performer. But after reading so many reviews of the 68 Deluxe Reverb amp reissue -- including high praise from Joe Bonamassa — I thought I would try it out since there were some classic Fender amp tones I could not quite get out of the Hot Rod. I've only had the amp now for about a month but I've already ditched use of a compressor pedal because the touch sensitivity of this amp is so well-defined — and useful — that I no longer wanted the compressor getting in the way. The tones on this amp are top notch and I'm using both channels for my current solo gig -- using the Vintage channel for my archtop and the Custom (Bassman style circuit) for my Stratocaster. I thought the use of those channels would be the reverse of how I'm actually using them with those two types of guitars, but was so surprised by the tones I got with that setup that my mind was changed. Definitely recommend checking this amp out. I can't think of any other amp on the market that provides this level of tone and flexibility for this price.

  • from Union City, MI November 28, 2014Music Background:
    Vocalist, Live Sound Engineer, Guitar Hobbyist

    '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    I bought this beauty (And it truly is beautiful in looks!) in August and could not be happier with the amp. Fender has really done a great job with this amp! I really don't have a lot to add that others haven't already said, I can just agree...Takes pedals very well, (My favorite overdrive is Boss "Wazacraft" BD 2 ) So heres where my review gets a little different.

    I'm an amateur guitar player, although I've owned a lot of guitars and played some since I was 19 years old. I have a dear friend who is 5 years older than me who is a PHENOM guitar player with over 40 years of playing under his belt. He is a Fender guy through and through which is probably why I am. I've got a Custom shop Strat, and 3 different Tele's. He has two Strats and Two G&L's from the '80s and another 11 guitars. This friend of mine is a Tube FREAKazoid he collects tubes and plays through two vintage Deluxe Reverbs both from the early '60's. He is one of those tube tone guys who says that vintage is better than new.....UNTIL he saw and played through my '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb! He was very impressed! He is gonna sell his '63 but he said he would consider getting this amp for himself 'cause he wouldn't have keep fixing things on his vintage stuff! Point is it is a wonderful mix of Fender "something old something new, something borrowed something BLUE" when it comes to this amp you will be in 22 watt tube heaven. Don't wait, but it now. When I can afford it I'll probably buy the '68 Custom Princeton Reverb next!

  • from South Dakota November 10, 2014Music Background:
    Rank Amature with 45 years of experience

    This is why I love fender amps

    This is the best sounding amp I've had the pleasure of playing since keeping a 65 super reverb amp for a friend 30 years ago. The early breakup on this makes it an even sweeter experience. The reverb is splendidly fender, and the tremolo melts my heart. This is, for me, the sound of electric guitar.

  • from Killen, AL October 26, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    I recently started looking for a new amp in hopes of simplifying my rig and making it easier to setup & transport. The '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb fit the criteria of all-tube and light weight. I tested one out locally and was blown away at how great the cleans were on the Vintage channel with a standard Mexican Telecaster. The other positive feature was that the Custom channel had been tweaked to work better with pedals.
    I currently have 4 pedals for overdrive & gain on my board (Xotic EP booster, Xotic BB Preamp, Fulltone Fulldrive2, Wampler Plexi-Drive) and all sound awesome with the amp. I play a Baja Telecaster & a Music Man LIII. Guitars with hot humbuckers sound better through this amp if you use overdrives that have higher gain. I highly recommend the Wampler Plexi-Drive!!
    I used to not even consider buying an amp unless it had an effects loop (for delay/modulation effects); in fact, the last 5 amps I owned all had one. This amp doesn't have one and I'm not missing it at all. Since I'm relying on pedals for my overdrive tones, the delays/reverbs sound just fine when running through the front of the amp. Don't let the lack of an effects loop keep you from considering this amp. Plus, the absence of the loop makes set up much easier; with my previous amp I needed 5 instrument cables for the effects loop, channel switching, and guitar. I only need 2 with this amp.

  • from Palisades Park, NJ September 15, 2014Music Background:
    40 year adventure in six string bending

    Quintessential Fender

    This amp is simply amazing. I cannot express the amount of gear I have been through in the last 40 years and coming back to this amplifier was the right choice. Nothing beats a Fender clean tone in my opinion and it takes my pedal board with ease as well.

    The older I get the more I long for low wattage that breaks up quicker. This amp however is LOUD at 22 watts. I have yet to crank it to 6 because I just blow myself out of my practice room. All in all, its one of the best Fender amps you will ever own.

  • from Palisades Park, NJ August 27, 2014Music Background:
    40 year adventure in six string bending

    It's good to come back home

    Absolutely loving this amp. Nothing beats a Fender clean sound, nothing. On top of that, it takes my full size pedaltrain Pro board like champ. Creamy, thick goodness in every bend and pluck. 22 watts is massively loud if you desire crank it but the older I get the more I desire lower wattage that breaks up easier. I simply love this amp and as others have said Fender knocked it out of the park yet again.

  • from Hillsboro, OH July 4, 2014Music Background:
    Hobby

    Fender Nailed It

    Top Notch! Fender nailed the design of this amp. The two channels are very distinct and very Fender. The response is amazing. Single coils, P90, and hums react very differently (as they should) and the amp handles them all well. Pedals through it (Wampler Velvet fuzz, keeley bd-2) sound awesome. Waited several months until Sweetwater had it in stock again as there is no way you can seriously think about buying gear from anyone else.

  • from New England June 23, 2014Music Background:
    playing amateur since 1979 live

    Great amp, a blast from the past !

    I have always been a big fan of the "fender twin" sound. Pure, clean, clear and with all the sparkle. This lil guy will push it out with authority in spite of the size (wattage). Not real heavy, easy to move from gig to gig, enough power to keep the drummer at bay, and after 5 on the custom side, the breakup is warm and rich. I would not trade this amp , too versatile and recordable. tried a few pedals and was also very happy, clean headroom on vintage is great! cover and footswitch as well. Get it and don't look back. if you need a metal player setup, move along, but anything else it's up for the task. did not get any tube rattle when played at stage volume. Seems well built, like the ol' skool were. Tone, weight, volume and size all equal a great gigging amp, that will record great too!

  • from New York February 26, 2014Music Background:
    ...been playing for a lot of years!

    ...a great amp!

    I've had this amp for a while, and it has probably become my favorite. I also have a '65 reissue Deluxe and this seems to have a much richer sound - the highs sparkle more and the lows are more powerful - especially in the Custom channel; it almost sounds like a stereo with the 'loudness' switch on. The reverb sounds great, it is brighter, but not as deep as the '65's. Besides guitar, I play vintage keyboards, and this amp is incredible with a Wurlitzer electric piano or a Hohner Clavinet! The first of these amps had lots of problems, and I had to return a few, but luckily, a place like Sweetwater will work with you until you get an amp that works great. And, it looks beautiful - exactly like the late '60's Fenders (except the pilot light is a very cool blue, easily replaced with the traditional red). I love it!

  • from Goodyear, AZ November 9, 2013Music Background:
    Church musician, and Southern Gospel Musician

    68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    The first impressive thing, taking this out of the box, is the beauty of the amp. It looks like it was the real thing.

    Using my Telecaster or Strat was a real treat. Both sounded like I had never hard them before. Both sounded so full and rich. This amp I could play without any additional effects. It has so much natural compression. This is the best amp I have ever owned. I have had several 1964, 1968 and early 70's Fender amplifiers, but this is definitely my dream amp.

  • from Windsor, CT October 3, 2013Music Background:
    Gigging and recording musician.

    Where have you been all my life?

    Honeymoon review, so take it in context.

    But this is the tone I have been hearing in my head for years. There is nothing like Fender tube reverb. Nothing. It is rich, full, and covers your ears in its liquid goodness, rather just sounding like an effect. Makes real spring reverb in my Delta Blues sound cheap and flat, makes my pedals sound inadequate. Likewise for the tremolo. It has a depth that my Voodoo Labs trem (a very good tremolo pedal by the way) can not match. My Delta Blues reverb has no chance against it. Note that there is some intermittent clicking when the reverb is engaged. I have read that this is not unusual for Fender tube tremolo, and it has not been an issue when playing. It may present an issue for recording.

    The highs in the custom channel are more restrained than on the normal channel. But it is not dull. It offers up plenty of clarity with my Stratocasters and Telecasters. It starts to get some hair around 4 on the volume, which is perfect for my gigging situation. The normal channel has the traditional brightness, but it is easy to tame with the EQ. Clean tones on both channels, whether hairless or not, have a roundness that seems unique to Fender vintage circuits. When turned up to 8 (as high as I've taken it so far), you get nice low gain crunch. Sweet.

    I have put a Way Huge Green Rhino (Tue Screamer style OD) in front and it sounds great. It's a good sign. Will try my Whiteface Rat and others soon but my guess is that this amplifier will just nhale pedals.

    Cosmetics are outstanding. I love the silverface cosmetics, as they SCREAM 1970's to me. It is one of the main reasons I took this plunge, without amtest drive.

    So, for gigging in small to medium clubs with clean headroom, for insane reverb and tremolo, peal-friendliness and te round cleans that only Vintage-style Fender can give, this amplifier is an outstanding choice. I may have to consider the Twin equivalent at a future date.

  • from PA September 22, 2013Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Fender Custom '68 Deluxe Reverb

    These days it seems that Fender is offering almost as many "Deluxe" amps models as Strats, and each new seems more exciting than the last. I received the latest offering, the '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb, yesterday and have been playing it non-stop. For comparison, I set it next to a '74 mint Deluxe Reverb (Weber C12N speaker) and a Supersonic 22.

    The '68 Custom is a beautiful amp, rockin the bright, cheerful 1st year silverface look that, IMHO, is dazzyling compared to the more sober blackface style. The "custom" aspects of the amp include tube reverb and vibrato on BOTH channels, a Bassman-like tone stack on what used to be the NORMAL channel and is now called the "CUSTOM" channel, slightly earlier gain onset, a Celestion speaker and (arguable)better touch sensitivity.

    Except for cosmetics, the Silverface Deluxe Reverbs up until '76, changed very little compared to the Blackface models (2 capacitors) and are phenomenally good amps.

    So, how does the '68 Custom compare to the original? First of all, there will be no argument that the CUSTOM channel is far more usable and exciting than the old NORMAL channel. Turn it up and listen to its tighter, tougher bass response and add on reverb and vibrato for great tones. On the '74, the NORMAL channel had less presence and gain compared to the VIBRATO channel and most players simply didn't use it (I take the V1 tube out).

    On the '74, the VIBRATO channel has more lush reverb and sounds brighter than the '68 reissue. The '68 reissue has a tighter bass response compared to the '74. The '74 has a softer, compressed, bass attack with a clanky edge that gets flubbier with power chords as you turn up the volume. Most players reduce the bass to compensate for this, which is unneccessary on the '68 Custom.

    While both channels on the '68 sound great, this is not a channel -switching amp and an A-B box will be needed if you want to switch channels (one clean, one dirty) during a gig. Remember, that in a non-master amp like this, more gain also means the amp will also be significantly louder so instead of channel switching, an overdrive pedal with a minimal volume boost might be more workable.

    The Celestion speaker is excellent. Switching the speaker leads suggested that the speaker choices worked best in their respective models.

    An alternative to both the '65 Blackface Reissue and the '68 Custom is the Supersonic 22 which is based on the DR. The Clean channel has 2 modes, Deluxe Reverb and Bassman, both of which sound great. The Gain channel sounds like the world's best Tube Screamer in a Deluxe Reverb, with dual cascading Gain controls and four band EQ. (IMHO, the Supersonic 22 because of its all tube build and versatility is the best DR- type amp tha Fender offers.)

    PROS: The '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb offers TWO distinct and exceptionally good vibrato and reverb channels compared to the original and has a tighter bass response. Its a little less bright with less luster to the reverb compared to the original Silverface. It is an outstanding amp!

    CONS: You can still find good condition, hand wired, USA made, original Silverface amps for a few hundred dollars more than this reissue.

  • from WICHITA, KS July 7, 2015

    Alnico Speaker Change ?

    I have had this amp for a few months now and this is what I have experienced. First, the amp had an annoying hum coming from the reverb. Fixed this by simply rotating the reverb tank 180* in the back of the amp. Not sure why this works, or why Fender had or has this issue. Just glad I found a solution. Also, was not 100% happy with the tone coming from it. The V Type ceramic speaker is not bad, but it sounds a little flat or low fidelity. Decided to try a Jensen Vintage P12R8 Alnico speaker. Big improvement to my ears. Now it sounds like a crystal clear Fender Amp. Alnicos at lower volumes by themselves just sound so much more musical than ceramics in my opinion. If you have bought one of these amps and are unsatisfied with the tone, try an Alnico speaker, you might be surprised. Lastly, the Amp does sound Vintage, especially without a Mid Range control. You ears can get used to it, but once you put an EQ in the tone chain, it becomes very noticeable how Vintage this sounds without a midrange tone control. By being able to pull the mids out a bit with an EQ, the sound becomes a little more even and full. This is of course on its own at bedroom volumes, not on a stage with background sound where you would need a midrange hump to blend in better in loud live performance. So, not a perfect amp, but a amp with a lot of potential if you are willing to work with it. Biggest strength is the fullness of the clean sound. Every electric guitarist should own at least one Deluxe Reverb amp in their life. Vibrato and Reverb are excellent of course. Just kind of a low fidelity stock ceramic speaker IMHO.

  • from Colorado April 4, 2015Music Background:
    Gigging Musician

    Great gigging amp

    I bought a demo model from Sweetwater so I expected wear. There was no damage found on the amp at all. I did notice it had a loud noise when turned up - not a crackle but something odd. I found that when I lightly tapped one output tube it crackled loudly. At first I purchased new Output tubes. After I installed them the sound went away. Just for fun, I put the original output tubes back in and it too went away. It seems that one of the output tubes just needed to be re-seated. I also swapped some of the pre-amp tubes.

    I am still trying various pre-amp tubs out. Right now I have a vintage Mullard in the V1 for the vintage channel and a re-issue Mullard in the V2 for the custom channel. I'm still testing them out so I don't want to review them right now. I will say if you want to slightly change the sound of either channel then you should try swapping out some pre-amp tubes. I think a Tungsol 12ax7 in the vintage may be a winner as it just might darken the sound just a bit. Perhaps I should put the vintage Mullard in the V2 custom to slightly brighten it up.

  • from Tallahassee, FL January 4, 2015Music Background:
    gigging pro

    Worth the wait!

    This thing is awesome! I bought it after comparing it to the 65 Deluxe Reissue. The main selling point for me was the Vintage channel. I have waited years for the opportunity to buy a new Fender deluxe that shimmers like this. So far Ive gigged with it 3 times and evey gig Ive had folks comment on how great my tone is. The only reason I didnt give 5 stars is because the reverb tube was bad and I had to replace it but Matt Emick sent me a new one. As usual, great service from Sweetwater! I use a little compression and a Timmy overdrive as a dirty/boost for leads and it wails the way you would expect it to. Something magical happens when you get it turned up to around 5-6. That is the sound Ive been hearing in my head and waiting for all my life. Thanks to Fender for building it and to Sweetwater for awesome sales/service!

  • from Tomah, WI July 14, 2016Music Background:
    Professional since mid 70s, on road, studio, Nashville, Nevada casinos, you name it.

    It's everything you've heard!

    I've been playing professionally...making money at this since '72. My first "good" amp was a 73 Twin Reverb with the new master volume. I've had 'em all, Peavey (still have a couple of those), Gallien Krueger which I use for my solo or small band shows thru the PA. I've also had Sound City, Music Man, the 65w 210, Ampeg, i even have a Marshall combo....BUT to really get "that" tone you gotta have "that" amp, meaning a Fender, you can't fool Mother Nature. I've been working with the band I'm in for 7 years now, trad country, but I also play a lot of other stuff, wanted something versatile. I wanted the tone and be able to carry it easily. Played the Custom Deluxe at a steel show in Wi. Rapids.....blown away. I just bought mine early July '16, it arrived the day I had a show in Wi. Dells. Absolutely the same round full tone I wanted from my guitars. I play Teles but I don't do the "thin tone" I like a more jazzy sound, I play a friend's '71 ES-340 Gibson, too. This amp is it. My only complaint if it is one, is when you get it warmed up it will crunch out, but in a good way. This is in left (Bassman) channel, at 4.

  • from West Coast June 27, 2016

    68 Custom Delux Reverb

    I've been playing guitar for nearly 40 years. Not professionally, but playing routinely. I have owned many amps, including various Fenders, and must say this is the best. Very happy with the two different channels and am always surprised by the difference I get from each, with the various guitars I pay. I have read about many folks complaining about the feedback from the reverb. I had the same issue so I took it to an amp tech who put it up on his bench and tested it thoroughly. Interestingly the problem would not happen while in his shop. So when I brought it home and fired it up, I was not happy to hear the problem returned. After careful examination it occurred to me the problem was not the amp, but that it was the floor (concrete) it was sitting on. Once I put a small piece of foam between it and the floor, PROBLEM SOLVED. I now live in a different place, with the same concrete floor below the carpeting. I put the foam in place and once again the feedback problem is gone. If you are experiencing this issue, try the foam. It works.

  • from Bloomington , IN February 9, 2015Music Background:
    Guitarist

    Three Times The Charm

    I played this amp while trying out a new American Strat at Sam Ash last fall. The sound was amazing! I bought the strat that day and had been considering buying a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III for quite some time. The Hot Rod has multiple drive selections , 40 watts of power and sweet reverb. However, the tone of this amp is richer. It has THE FENDER SOUND, even better than the 65. The 65 is great also but you should play them side by side to hear the difference yourself. Now for the bad experience; I purchased this from Sweetwater because they had better payment options. The first amp I received was extremely noisy (loud hissing even with the volume turned to 0), also a very loud hum when the reverb was engaged. I had read reviews from all of the music retailers' sites about similar and other quality issues with this amp. Anyway, I rolled the dice. Sweetwater was happy to provide me with a replacement. After all they didn't make the amp. So I took it upon myself to drive from Bloomington Indiana to Terre Haute , a 2 1/2 hour drive each way. I picked up the amp and drove home, excited to play through and enjoy my new purchase. Upon opening the box it was apparent that the amp had been repacked, having different packing materials, an obviously used footswitch and a light covering of dust. So, they shipped me another amp. This one was factory new with no signs of use and so on. I was excited again! Then I plugged in the amp and was happy to find there was no surprising noise or other problems, until I turned on the reverb, NOTHING! I first swapped tubes , NOTHING! Then I decided to make sure the rca connector to reverb tub was properly connected. Removing the reverb unit I heard rattling and opened the unit. The springs were rolling around inside not even connected. So then I swapped the unit with the one from amp #2. Turning it on there was a loud squeal. Determined to not have to wait for yet another amp I sought the next possible problem might be the rca connector cable, so I swapped the cable from amp #2. Voila! Now I finally had a working amp. I am a HUGE Fender fan. I have owned 2 other Fender amps and never had a problem. I have owned 9 different fender guitars. Even though a Fender rep contacted me and heard my story, I cannot understand how Fender can let so many pieces of shiit roll out of any factory. Absolutely unbelievable. I hope that Rick Hines ( Fender Amp Product Specialist ) and Fender Corporation understand what their lack of quality control and greed has done to harm their reputation. Consumers buy most of your products, not Famous Musicians. They deserve quality the first time not the third or fourth or fifth. I wont tell anyone how much I love this amp without telling them the horror story as well. Also, when I bought this amp it was $1000, now it's going for $1049. Why the price increase with questionable quality? GREED! The 65 vintage reissue is still $1099, and it's made in America not Mexico. I had no problem with buying my amp because it was made in Mexico. I had hoped that I would receive a quality product from a reputable brand that I once had confidence in.

  • from NJ April 7, 2014

    Great amp with a couple issues

    I have been waiting for a few weeks to finally get my hands on this amp. I was debating between the '65 RI and this one. I went with the '68. It finally showed up on my doorstep Sat morning. I have owned a lot of amps, a couple fenders, custom shop pieces, matchless, etc. This is a solid piece of equipment. A couple of the issues first off, there is a loud pop that occurs when the stand by switch is engaged. Nothing terrible but noticeable definitely. After some research, it seems that this is normal, annoying but normal. I think I might bring the amp to my tech and see if there isn't a fix. Here's the second issue, after the amp warms up, there is a decent amount of background noise/hiss present. The good news is that once you start playing, it's non existent or at least not as noticeable. The custom channel was a bit muddy for me and a little too dark. The vintage was a much better fit. I haven't had the opportunity to really crank the amp up but at low levels, it sounds great. I really like the simple design, not too much to mess up. I'm running a keeley modded TS9 for distortion and it sounds great with 2 different les pauls. I play blues type stuff, Mule, Allmans, Crowes, etc. I'm thinking about buying a THD Hotplate to see how this sounds when cranked up. Overall, a great piece of equipment with a couple minor flaws. A good buy in my opinion.

  • from Augusta Ga July 22, 2016Music Background:
    gigging guitarist for 30 yrs

    Pithy

    Really requires a dark sounding guitar, unless you want your ears to bleed with overdrive. good clean, but would sound better with an alnico speaker. too too bright for my '66 strat w/ maple neck. drive pedals sound a little fizzy, even with the tone rolled. the high wattage ceramic speaker is too efficient, making for ear splitting highs. if you have a bright guitar with this amp, your band will stop telling you where the gig is. '65 DRRI is much sweeter, especially the sweetwater limited edition with the alnico speaker

  • from Charleston, SC February 23, 2015Music Background:
    weekend gigs

    Had to return

    I have mixed feelings about this amp. It has a great clean tone, and takes pedals ok, however I ended up returning two for the same issue. The spring reverb is a big reason I got this amp in the first place, however anytime the reverb was up past 4 or 5 there would be a slow swelling of feedback that would eventually build so loud that the only way to stop it was to turn the reverb all the way down. It even did this with the amp's volume all the way down. Once the reverb was turned up, the feedback swell began. Sweetwater was very nice about sending a replacement; however, the replacement had the exact same issue. I've since seen that it's a common problem for this amp. It's a shame, too, because the specs and circuit on these amps are great, but the build quality just isn't there. After I returned the second one I got a Mesa Express 5:50 and have zero complaints.

  • from asheville nc June 3, 2016Music Background:
    40 years blue grass countey and gospel

    amp no good

    this is a piece of junk, wish I had never bought it. too much treble even with bass cranked up. pop pop pop when turned on or off speed is as fast on 1 as my twin is on 7 or 8 and if I try to play an acoustic electric through it forget it. massive feed back with a 20 foot cord. all I can tell you as fpr me it is a junk amp and when I hook m peddle steel to it the amp is pure crap

  • from Cartersville March 12, 2015

    Poor quality

    Had one for 3 weeks then it started hissing and crackling even when nothing was plugged in. Returned it, got a replacement and it crackled when played thru right out of the box. Returned it for a full refund.

  • from Portland, OR January 27, 2015

    68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Review

    I actually went through three of these amps: all had to be returned for the following reasons - too much background hum/noise, large crack inside cabinet, and radio/like buzzing when bringing the volume up past 5. I want to love this amp - the tone is very, very good. However, due to QC problems I don't recommend it. I suggest looking at one of Fender's made in the USA amp offerings.

  • from Oklahoma City, OK January 22, 2015Music Background:
    guitarist

    Not good at all

    Way too noisy and I just couldn't keep it. I do know that this takes pedals well but there must be quality control problems with fender. At any rate, go with hand wired and boutique amps. Don't make the mistake I did. Fender IMHO is passé though 40 years ago they were great but now I question the company. Too bad.....

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