Submitted August 30, 2014 by Christa B in Vashon ISland, WA
"More Than Just a Pretty SilverFace!"
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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!
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,
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.....
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)
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.!!
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.
Playing since I was 12 years old. 25-plus years in recording studios in NY, L.A., London, etc.. Multi-inst mainly guitar + keys
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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