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NAD: Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb RI

Stratoben127

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Jun 30, 2013
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301
Needed a smaller Fender amp and a backup for my currently blown '66 Super Reverb. I went to Sam Ash intending to trade in some amps for the new '68 Princeton but ended up getting a coupon that made the thicker sounding Deluxe a no brainer. Didn't even trade in any amps.

I love my '66 Super and owned a Blackface Twin too, and I gotta say, this new amp is certainly no significant step down. The build quality seems fantastic and the sound is really incredible. Compared to the Blackface Reissues it just has more of everything. Thicker lows, smoother but more highs, and far more touch sensitivity. It actually has a slightly more tactile feel to it that my old ones, and that was even before I put some NOS RCAs in the preamp. A really cool thing to get more drive at lower levels is to jumper the channels which you can do since there's reverb on both and they are in phase. Even without that, this amp gets pretty dirty.

It's not gonna replace my Super, but I'm really impressed with this amp. It's the smallest amp I've ever owned and I love how light and compact it is.
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,520
They get no love, and I don't get it. The Blackface and Silverface Reissues are excellent amps. But, be prepared for the slinging of mud to come.

Glad you found one that suits your needs and looks pretty too! I know how good they sound.
 

Steve Craw

Formerly Lefty Elmo
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Sep 9, 2004
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5,291
I've been really intrigued by these amps. I currently own a 1962 Deluxe, which I really love, but the EQ is somewhat limited with these. I had a blacktace DRRI, that was fine, but got sold when I bought the Deluxe. I have to give this variation a test drive. Do I understand correctly that the tremolo on these is the brown/blond type, instead of the blackface tremolo? That would be a big plus!
 

Minibucker

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Jan 12, 2003
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6,372
I've got one as well. The lower negative feedback definitely gives the amp a fatter/growlier character compared to the regular stock circuit, and a bit earlier breakup. Fattens up the clean a bit as well. It's really just a difference of a couple wire connections on a standard DR/DRRI to give both channels reverb and vibrato like the '68 Custom. The 'custom channel' is voiced very fat/bassy…probably really great on single-coil guitars, but with 'buckers it's a bit too much even with the bass on zero. They have an .022 µf in the mid cap in the tone stack, as well as a much larger resistor value for the 'mids'. Also, the reverb mix on the amp is kinda' on the weak side, whereas on the DRRI many feel it's too much/washy. that pretty much comes down to one or two resistors.

The good thing is that it comes with (as I recall) JJ 6V6's as stock, and if you like some of the 6L6-qualities of larger Fender amps, these do a lot to get some of that and help increase headroom. they are my preferred tubes for DR's.

I've built and worked on quite a few hardwired and reissue Fenders, so I was able to locate and tweak values to my taste….and it's still overall a good gigging amp.
 
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rob livesey

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Feb 28, 2007
Messages
655
Congrats on the new amp!

I'm a big fan of Deluxe Reverbs and I've been considering another one.

Does anyone know if these amps are eyelet board or PCB construction?

Cheers,
Rob.
 

Mr. Papa

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Jan 14, 2002
Messages
1,418
Almost certainly PCB.
I know a flock of guys who HATE on Fender reissues but LOVE this amp. I'd buy one just based on that, but having played one I can say that it really is that good. Grab your holiday coupons, boys.
 

Minibucker

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Jan 12, 2003
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6,372
It's identical to the Blackface Reissue PCB internals, with a few wires changed and a few different component values. Conversely, you could pretty easily convert a Blackface RI to this one. I have the schematic if anyone needs it.
 

Stratoben127

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Jun 30, 2013
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Thanks guys. I believe it's PCB but with handwired tube sockets and I believe the pots and jacks are not board-mounted and might be handwired. Weird that these are $100 cheaper than their blackface reissue counterparts (not a big fan of those).

Like I said my main amp is a real vintage Super Reverb and this still consistently blows me away. I played it on some Allmans, Black Crowes, Grateful Dead, and other stuff at a fill in gig last night and it killed! Totally useable volume in a smaller club than I normally play and tons of crunch on 6, but still great clean tones with the volume knob rolled off. I'll be playing with a band tonight that's more of my thing (bluegrassy electric jam band) where I can get a better feel for it.
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
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It's identical to the Blackface Reissue PCB internals, with a few wires changed and a few different component values. Conversely, you could pretty easily convert a Blackface RI to this one. I have the schematic if anyone needs it.

Good to know. Thanks!
 

sonar

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Jan 10, 2003
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3,589
They get no love, and I don't get it. The Blackface and Silverface Reissues are excellent amps. But, be prepared for the slinging of mud to come.

Glad you found one that suits your needs and looks pretty too! I know how good they sound.

Al, the reissues get a lot of love in the real world. I've seen and heard countless local bands and players playing the reissues over the 20+ years Fender have produced these amps.

I've yet to play the new 68's, so interested in forum feedback. I think Fender did a great job with the BF PRRI, or at least how it plays and sounds.
 

Minibucker

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Jan 12, 2003
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Thanks guys. I believe it's PCB but with handwired tube sockets and I believe the pots and jacks are not board-mounted and might be handwired. Weird that these are $100 cheaper than their blackface reissue counterparts (not a big fan of those).

Pots and jacks are on the same PCB strip as with the Blackface RI….also where the tonestack is wired. It's actually pretty easy to access once you get the hang of it. The amp is cheaper I believe because it's assembled in Mexico as opposed to US for the Blackface ones.

Also…IIRC the '68 doesn't have the bright cap on the normal channel, which takes away some of the shrillness of the BF RI.
 
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Wally

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Feb 27, 2003
Messages
3,535
Do I understand correctly that the tremolo on these is the brown/blond type, instead of the blackface tremolo? That would be a big plus!


No, Steve, the tremolo in the '68 Custom DR is the same trem that is in the DRRI....and in the vintage DR's, too...opto-isolator. IN Europe, that trem is a digital unit.
As noted by Minibucker, PCB consturction. Nothing on the front panel or the rear panel is chasiss mounted...PCB's there, too, as with the DRRI. So....good construction for a PCB amp, ime. Beats the fire out of the Blues/HRD series, for sure.
 

sugarloaf

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Jun 8, 2008
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324
I have one of these also as well as an original with a Jensen C12n speaker.

I think the '68 is more versatile than the original. I use the Bassman voiced side the most. I replaced the power tubes with current Tung Sols and the preamp tubes as well.

I have tons of NOS tubes that I reserve for my vintage amps but for the amps made today I use the Tung Sols. I would say they have about 90% of the tone.

Dave
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
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8,896
The amp has a Celestion G12V-70 speaker....is it 16 or 8 ohm?
 

Minibucker

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Jan 12, 2003
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No, Steve, the tremolo in the '68 Custom DR is the same trem that is in the DRRI....and in the vintage DR's, too...opto-isolator. IN Europe, that trem is a digital unit.
As noted by Minibucker, PCB consturction. Nothing on the front panel or the rear panel is chasiss mounted...PCB's there, too, as with the DRRI. So....good construction for a PCB amp, ime. Beats the fire out of the Blues/HRD series, for sure.

Yeah, def. better than the HR series. All the rear jacks as well as the tube sockets are actually all chassis mounted on the '68 CDR, just like it is on the DRRI.

204261d1383350499-new-68-deluxe-reverb-owners-dsc00507-jpg
 
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