Review: Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb Vintage Reissue Amp


Fender amps are a staple of professional guitar players and the mid-sized Deluxe Reverb has been a favorite of recording and touring artists since it’s arrival in the mid-sixties. With its roots in iconic Blues, Western, and Rockabilly bands, in past decades the rich tube tone of this amp has made it a key factor in virtually every musical style. Now, the ’65 Deluxe Reverb vintage redesign delivers Fender’s classic tube sound in an easily portable, 22-watt amp that’s built for the road.

With one 12-inch, 8-ohm Jensen speaker, the size (both wattage and weight) make this a very practical amp to transport and it’s certainly roadworthy. The well-balanced and solid Birch plywood cabinet with speaker and electronics weighs in at 42lbs. However, all that wouldn’t matter if the amp didn’t sound great—and it does! From a full-clean sound to classic tube break-up, this amp gives the player an amazing array of tone to choose from. The updated design features a workhorse pair of matched 6V6 Groove Tube output tubes, one 5AR4 rectifier tube, four 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 12AT7 tubes in a dual channel (normal and vibrato) configuration. Spring reverb and vibrato are also tube-driven with a two-button footswitch for conveniently switching reverb and vibrato on and off.

Unless you play the same songs every night, the professional player’s choice of amps usually comes down to finding an amp that’s versatile and reliable, but one that won’t cause you to sacrifice your sound. That’s where this amp shines. When I put the ’65 Deluxe Reverb to work with a band, I had plenty of volume to keep up and cut through the mix with a pretty loud drummer and bassist. I turned around and used the amp on a light jazz gig the next night and was equally pleased with the tone in that setting. That’s a very practical amp. Plus, it comes with a 5-year warranty to speak to its reliability.

There is nothing ’boutique’ or fancy about the ’65 Deluxe Reverb. Its beauty lies in the fact that it’s a basic amp with an updated design offering what is perhaps the best combination of portability and great tube tone for the professional guitarist. Of course, if you are not a pro, it will sound just as good right in your living room.

MSRP – $1,499.99
Street price – $1,099.99

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