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Rating and Reviews: Fender '68 Custom Deluxe

The Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb packs 22 watts into two channels: "Vintage" for the rich sound of the original, and "Custom" for modern high-gain tones.

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"Fender '68 Custom Deluxe Reverb" submitted July 21, 2014

By Bill Fletcher in St. Maries, ID
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Musical Background: Professionally 37 years.
Music Style: Classic rock, country and blues.
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VERIFIED BUYER
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: Good company, the price was the lowest on the World Wide Web. The shipping was free and the amp arrived in a timely manner. I'd go with zZounds again.
10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Fender 68 Custom Deluxe Reveb" submitted October 20, 2014

By Brian M in Sellersville, PA
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Musical Background: Playing guitar for over 40 years, played semi-professionally for over 14 years.
Music Style: Rock, blues, folk/rock, originals and covers
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Overall: I've owned many kinds of guitar amps over the years; from high end boutique (Dr. Z, Fargen, Allessandro) to some run-of-the-mill solid state. I keep coming back to Fender. I've played long enough to have developed my own style and Fender fits the bill, right on the money. I found myself drawn to the "Fender" sound even in the higher end amps I've purchased...it just works for me. Fender did a righteous thing with this amp; tremelo for BOTH channels; "Bassman" like tone stack in the first channel; I believe they did away with the "bright" cap that many folks clipped on the original and reissue Deluxe Reverb amps. I haven't played through this amp long enough to fully assess the Celestion speaker, but so far I have no complaints. I fully expect it will be just fine. My last Deluxe Reverb RI was done point-to-point aftermarket by George Allessandro (a great guy and a superior amp-builder / designer, IMO). I loved that amp but lost it at a very trying time in my life. Now, yeah I know some folks are really "down" on PCB circuitry, but honestly, I gigged the aforementioned Deluxe Reverb RI (before the P-T-P conversion) and a Hot Rod Deville 4x10 for over 5 years, dragging them all over the place and never had one problem with them. Zero. 4 to 6 gigs a month, practice every week. Anyway, I LOVE this amp's tone and versatility. PLENTY loud for any gigging I do...and for large open air gigs I have a '70 Super Reverb I can use...or just mike the '68 Custom. For the money, you cannot beat this amp, IMO. Read some reviews complaining about features (!)- it's made to be "old school". You want a bunch of the latest "Zoinks" computer controlled features- buy a Boogie or a Peavey for cryin out loud! This amp is NOT a reissue- yet it follows the original late 60s Fender Deluxes relative to tone and break-up. I personally find both channels starting to break up around "5" and to really get "snarly" around "8" either channel. I play a 2003 American Series with stock single coils. My long effects chain is as follows: guitar>Boss BD Keely Modded> Vox Wah modded to true bypass>amp. Will this work for all guitar music types? No! Is it a "do-all" amp? No! Ain't designed to be! But if you want some great tone, syrup-y tremolo, the good-old-old-school crunch, in an affordable, versatile (within aforesaid limits) package-just get one! I may see if George Allessandro with convert this P-T-P some day...or I might not. Either way- Congrats Fender! You've got a winner with this amp...and a "Friend in Pa.!" And ZZounds- you've got a friend too. My first purchase from you folks was this amp- it will not be my last. No B.S. service- FAST delivery, friendly staff. Large selection and great prices. Keep up the great work guys!
21 of 22 people (95.45%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Better than the '65" submitted June 24, 2015

By Mark H in Marietta, OH
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Musical Background: Gigging musician, jamming
Music Style: Rockabilly, old country, surf, jazz.
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Overall: This is a great addition to Fender's lineup. I've stayed away from Deluxe Reverbs because the '65 reissue I had a few years back sounded shrill, to my ears...even with the treble backed off. I can't speak to the newer '65's, but this '68 sounds terrific. I play a Gretsch DSW with single-coils, and this amp just makes them sing. The Vintage channel is perfect....crystal-clear sparkling highs, but not shrill, at all. The reverb and tremolo are great, too. Great rockabilly sounds with my Aqua Puss analog delay. The Custom channel is darker on clean tones, but is perfect for overdrive and distortion pedals. You get all of the crunch, but without the ear-piercing highs of some Fender amps. The amp is plenty loud, and breaks up around "5", or so. Breakup is smooth and not harsh, at all. I've only had the amp for a week, so I can't speak to reliability issues others have had. All I can say is that mine works great, and sounds awesome. I may check out the '65, too, just to see if they've changed any, but if you're thinking of getting the '68...do it. It's worth every penny.
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"A Tone Machine" submitted August 19, 2014

By David M in Columbia, PA
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Musical Background: 20+ years of gigging on guitar/bass/piano
Music Style: rock/blues/country/jam
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
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Sound: If you want killer mid-late sixties Fender cleans, it is great. If you want anything else... either be prepared to buy lots of pedals, or get a different amp. Fairly simple, really. As far as response goes, it is very touch sensitive in all the good and bad ways that make classic tube amps sound the way they do. Do not expect pristine and sterile digital sounds - expect a few pops, rattles, hisses... and heavenly warmth and sparkle. Feature: I find the Vintage channel to be more to my liking, and the Custom channel is rarely used by me. That said, for some people, the Custom channel is the main selling point. It sounds great, but is darker than I like my Fender amplifier to be. I don't really hear Bassman in it, just a darker, gainier, and midheavy version of the Vintage channel. Vintage channel is all you would expect from a mid-late 60s Fender DR in terms of tone. Reverb is spot on, and tremolo is likewise stellar. Ease of Use: Just dial and go - this is a pretty straightforward amp. I like Vintage channel, volume=4, bass = 5, treble=5 1/2, reverb=4. With a Tele, it is heaven on earth. Quality: Seems well made, though I think the 65 Blackface DRRI is built a little better. Value: Not a cheap amp - but the cheapest that sounds like this. So much different - and for my purposes better - than an EL84 amp like a Blues Jr. or Hot Rod Deluxe. Gig with confidence - this is a solid, prolevel amplifier. Manufacturer Support: Actually quite cool folks. I was having trouble at first with clicking and a weird hiss in the verb but they helped me locate and correct the loose connections. Easily could have happened during shipping, and they got me fixed right up. The Wow Factor: Yup, wow. Just sounds good, and has the classic Fender appeal in sound and looks. Overall: Simply stellar. I usually play bluesy/country rock, and I play in a similar sounding worship team at church. Been doing this for 20+ years. Also teach. Using a Strat with 54 pups and a Tele with Texas Special pups. Short story is this: if you like classic Fender sounds at a reasonable volume, this is perfect. If not, look elsewhere. If you want a bedroom amp, get the Princeton. If you want to gig, get the Deluxe.
10 of 11 people (90.91%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great versatile Amp " submitted August 17, 2015

By Sean B in New York, NY
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Musical Background: Jam at Home Play for 15 + years
Music Style: Rock and Roll, Metal Punk Blues Singer Songwriter
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Overall: Bought This amp instead of the 65 Twin reverb, this amp is a beast and sounds great I Initially had issue as i suspected hooking up my GNX4 to it due to the GXN4 having amp models it took over the great sound of this amp but after disabling the amp models for the GNX4 models and leaving only leaving the stomp boxes this amp sounds beautiful better than I could have imagined haven't had the need to call support so I don't know I'm running a Digitech GNX4 with the amp models disabled and a Fender american deluxe HSS and a les Paul Studio
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"68' Custom Deluxe Reverb" submitted September 20, 2016

By Joe Z in Rocky River, OH
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Musical Background: Playing for 10 years. Gigging and playing professionally for 7
Music Style: Rock, blues, hard rock, classic rock, metal
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: Let me start by saying I used to own the 65' reissue DR. This thing blows that out of the water. Finally no ice pick like highs, smooth mids and nice natural overdrive with out having to dime it like the 65'. Also, finally they let you have reverb and trem on both channels. The Celestion V type is awesome. Such a good speaker for the money. Blows that Italian Jenson out of the water. I never understood why they put a 100 watt speaker in a 22 watt amp. This thing sings and screams. Takes all my pedals extremely well. What ever issues they were having with hissing and reverb tank when these first came out has been taken care of. Thats kind of why I waited to get one. Great amp. Everthing from jazz to blues to rock. And when used with the right pedals anything harder you wish to play. Very touch responsive amp. And very warm sounding. Breaks up really nice around 6 so you still have headroom. Love this thing. Thanks zZounds!
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"More Than Just a Pretty SilverFace!" submitted August 30, 2014

By Christa B in Vashon ISland, WA
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Musical Background: Playing since I was 12 years old. 25-plus years in recording studios in NY, L.A., London, etc.. Multi-inst mainly guitar + keys
Music Style: Evolved from bubble-gum to bluegrass to blues -to ROCK - a little jazz/fusion - new country music - and .. what's next??? With
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Sound: Sweet! Ultra touch-sensitive. I play a wide range of styles - sometimes all at once - and it just seems to anticipate what I need and want. I am impressed! I live mostly on the "Custom Channel" - the "Bassman tone-stack" with the Vol between 4.5-5.5 and use my guitar volume control and it responds beautifully. The "Vintage" channel sounds great, too and I know I'll get more use of that channel with time, Feature: Not a lot of "features" here. Just two great sounding channels. The reverb is okay, the "vibrato" is very pure and lovely but I don't use that kind of thing much. Ease of Use: Takes some getting used to and some FORGETTING if you're used to the '60's and '70s versions of the Deluxe. After a few days it becomes just plug in and play - and play and play and play..... Quality: A few little probs with QC at Fender. The foot-switch is a cheap, embarrassing disaster and they ought to soundly thumped for including such a piece of junk with such a sweet amp. It arrived DOA. Good news, a spare Vox FS2 (built like a freakin'; tank!) worked just fine. I'll get the local Fender Service Guys to replace the P.o.S. Foot-switch and put it back in the envelope it came in for storage. There's also a bad tube in there - a little "rattling" at certain frequencies. No biggie. I'm gonna replace the 12AX7's with Tung-sols anyway. (Just cause I love 'em) Value: Worth every penny! Overall a "9.5" in the amp world! (there ARE no "10"'s) I'm glad this was made in Mexico - It would probably have cost at least $2k if made in the U.S.!! GREAT AMP. Manufacturer Support: NO calls to Fender. Dealt with zZounds and American Music in Seattle - the local Fender authorized service center and they were both great. The Wow Factor: As I said, a "9.5" in the amp world! I've got 3 other GREAT guitar amps, 2 pretty darn good ones (one trick ponies) and no way would I want to part with this now. Overall: I bought this without trying - based on my own past (decades of) experience with Brown Fender Deluxe and Black and Silver-face Princeton amps in the studio. My first impression on firing it up was that possibly I had a defective piece. It just didn't sound "right" - "no" headroom by comparison to the old Silverface and Blackfaces, a little bit cold sounding. BUT THEN !!!! After a few days back and forth with my other amps - including a Vox H2 Hand-wired AC30 - and about 12 hours of break-in, I set aside my preconceptions and treated it like any other new amp to play with and OMG!!! The Deluxe not only gave me the Fender vibe that was missing among my Vox's and Marshalls (4) but a SUPER sweet sound on my Humbucker guitars, a nice spanky full fat zone for my Tele and Strat with wonderful clean rhythm sounds and singing sweet "just right there" creaminess in mildly distorted - really fat lead tones. More than I hoped for! So, now when two of my favorite Vox's and the Marshall are in for service for a little while, I'm happy as a clam with this Deluxe as my "main" amp till their return. Versatile, Musical as all Hell, and - oh yeah, I'm not gonna need that Mad Professor "Simble" overdrive pedal, 'cause this reminded me so much of a smaller, "studio" version of the Dumble Overdrive 100 that I used a few times back in the '80s. Speaking of pedals, it LOVES them. Once I opened my eyes, I got more than I bargained for!
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"What about the negative reviews?" submitted October 7, 2014

By Kenneth Eaton in Brattleboro, VT
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Musical Background: over 45 years, guitars, bass, keys..
Music Style: rock, fusion, blues, jazz
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Overall: This is hype, the silver face amps were the primary reason Fender lost it in the late 60's and almost went out of business. Calling them "vintage" may refer to their age but not their popularity at the time. Why don't you offer this with a Coronado, the other low point in Fender history?... I don't have to be a "verified buyer" to know something about the history of rock and roll gear. This is just packaging, if it were anything like an actual Silverface you wouldn't get any repeat business.
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