'65 vs. '68 Fender Deluxe Reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by 96StratMan, Mar 15, 2018.

What would you go for?

  1. '65

    22 vote(s)
    57.9%
  2. '68

    16 vote(s)
    42.1%
  1. 96StratMan

    96StratMan Strat-Talker

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    Hi all,

    I was just wanting to get some of your thoughts on these two amps..

    What do you like about either one in particular?
    What styles of music are generally suited best to which amp?
    Is there an annoying limitation of one, for example? Etc........

    I play mostly alternative rock from the 90s, but also 60s and 70s rock and heavy rock. I've only had chance to play the '68 so far. I really liked the tones but couldn't get it very loud in the shop so no idea what it can actually do. Any opinions would be great!

    Thanks.
     
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  2. TangerineDog

    TangerineDog Senior Stratmaster

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    Funny - I've opened a similar thread some time ago.

    After playing both a 65 and a 68 DRRI myself though, I gotta confess that I was kinda underwhelmed by both of them.
    Why?
    I had played a store guitar through a 68 some time before that and it sounded like pure gold!
    So I had assumed it was the amp that did that. But when I plugged my own guitar into that other 68, it sounded just like my Marshall at home. Very much the pure sound of the guitar amplified, but no added goodness.
    If that's what you're after, I'm not judging! It just wasn't what I was looking for.

    The 65 was a bit brighter. More headroom. The 68 had some crunch with the volume turned up about halfway.
    Now since the 68 is meant to emulate the basic characteristics of early Fenders, it emulated the early, essential crunch sound as well. Unfortunately, I've heard more nuanced church channels and pedals, so that crunch all others compare against came off as a bit bland in comparison. It was a bit warmer than the 65 breaking up as well.

    Keep in mind that the 68 is engineered to have less clean headroom, but also to take pedals better. So if you get your OD from pedals, the 65 would be the obvious choice except that it takes pedals not as well as the 68 while the 68 might not stay clean long enough for you to get your pedals sounds at the volume you want...
    That might be a problem.

    Overall, I had been set on getting a Fender amp, but they merely did what my Marshall JVM1 does, only louder. If I ever need a louder amp, it's either gonna be a JVM250 - stick to what you know - or a Hot Rod 1x12 combo.

    I like the Hot Rod - to my surprise. It doesn't have the classy classic Fender looks, but it's got straightforward controls and isn't too expensive.
    It has more mids than the Princetons, but most of all it felt like there was an interaction happening between guitar and amp. I noticed how the amp reacted to different guitars, changed its compression, began to break up at different levels, while the Princetons just made louder what I put in.
    Edit: again, if you want the amp to be just that, an amplifier, and not something that adds it's own flavour to your sound, the Princetons are the way to go.
    65 for classic Surfy bright sounds, 68 for earlier crunch and more warmth. They will sound good no matter what you plug in.
     
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  3. 96StratMan

    96StratMan Strat-Talker

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    Thanks for such a detailed reply! Interesting reading what you'd found through playing them. I like the idea of the 68 crunching earlier with increased volume, that's my kind of thing - almost what I'd expect because I've only ever played small combos. But I've seen a consensus saying that the 65 has a more beautiful range of clean tones that the 68 can't compete with. But then if it doesn't take pedals too well, and it doesn't have much of its natural crunch, does that mean you'd end up never finding a good overdriven tone?.. Lots to think about
     
  4. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Get a Princeton if you want gain at reasonable sound levels.
     
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  5. 96StratMan

    96StratMan Strat-Talker

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    Does the Princeton have any drawbacks when compared to the Deluxe Reverb?
    (at higher volumes that is)
     
  6. 93studiolite

    93studiolite Strat-Talker

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    I voted 68, but to be honest I haven’t had a chance to play either. I’m only going by what I have heard online.

    I also prefer the 68 over the 65 Princetons. I really want to go somewhere I can play both versions and get a good comparison with my own gear. If I get enough GAS, I’ll be picking up the 68 Princeton Custom though.
     
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  7. Folk_Hogan

    Folk_Hogan Senior Stratmaster

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    I have the ‘68 and love it.

    Here’s an awesome demo video from the guy that designed it.

     
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  8. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Do it. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I don't own a D.R., and I am a new Princeton owner, so factor that in.

    It doesn't have as much bass as a 12" would. It's not something I'm missing, though. It has a natural compression and punchiness that leaves nothing lacking to me. It breaks up at reasonable levels without a boost pedal. It's still very loud, enough to play it in a band in most cases.

    If you have it on 10 and have the bass up, you can make it 'fart out', but I don't tend to play it like that. I haven't had any issues, and I usually play a Strat on 6 or 7 through it, straight in. I have the Fudge Brownie with the alnico speaker. I've let a few other people play through it, and they were all very impressed, as am I. Reverb can go as far as you want. The tremolo is fairly subtle, not as pronounced as a Vox.

    Don't be scared of the 10" speaker. The sound is huge. I'm used to playing through 2x12, too. It is really astounding.
     
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  9. 96StratMan

    96StratMan Strat-Talker

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    Thanks man, sounds like a cracking amp you've got. Time to listen to some comparisons I think!
     
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  10. RPKennedy

    RPKennedy Senior Stratmaster

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    If given the choice between those two, I'd opt for the '68 because of the Bassman tone stack channel.
    But if I were you (which I'm not,) I'd get a Princeton.
     
  11. Stormy Monday

    Stormy Monday Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I picked up a 65 DRRi a year and love it. I tried it out with one of my strats in the local store. Didn't try a 68 DRRi. I did try a real 1970's Princeton and it just didn't resonate with me.
     
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  12. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I bought my 65 DRRI nearly 3 years ago and I had initially had my heart set on the 68 after my first session with them both. A few days later (and a timely stocktake sale) I tried them both again and this time I thought the 65 was more the sound I'd be looking for my whole (guitar playing) life.

    For me it's that classic blackface sound that the 68 doesn't do so nice. For the record it cost me nearly $200 more than the 68, so budget didn't dictate which one I chose.

    No mods on mine, just played very often and occasionally at volume and the speaker breaks in pretty fast and sounds even better than when new. Absolutely nothing wrong with the stock Jensen imho and none of that 'flab' or too bassy/too bright nonsense I've read about on the internet. Maybe I got one of the only good reissues or take what you read on Internet forums for what they actually are, i.e: just an opinion, exactly like the one I'm expressing now.

    I did change power tubes and tubes in the second channel about a year later after it developed crackling noises, no issues since and the new tubes sound better too.

    Both great amps. I don't think you could go wrong with either. If you can test side by side with the same guitar as I did twice you'll know which one is going to suit you best.
     
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  13. 96StratMan

    96StratMan Strat-Talker

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    strange how your thoughts changed so quickly! what initially made you inclined toward the 68?
     
  14. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter Vendor Member

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    Dude the 68 Bassman along the with the regular 68 tonestack is worth more IMO than the 65 or Princeton put together.
     
  15. 96StratMan

    96StratMan Strat-Talker

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    The '65 is winning at the moment by 10-8 over the '68. Appreciate everyone's opinion - keep em coming!!
     
  16. The-Kid

    The-Kid Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter Vendor Member

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    I dont how to put it....

    What dude wants is subjective. Opinion subjective, preference subjective.

    They are both great amps....

    Saying you need the 65 because its the Classic BLACKFACE amd the other one isnt....great....give an impression that a 65 is perfect or the best tone....

    IMO the 65 is nice but overated. Great amp great tone....68 great amp great tone as well.

    The 68 will give you that Classic 70s Silverface tone the 65 wont.

    And it will also give you the classic bassman tonestack.....the 65 wont...


    IMO yeah the 68 makes more sense.


    The 65s are just for Jazz and Soft blues players.....I mean totally great tones but try busting the suckers up and they fart out pretty easy.

    The 68s have great cleans, dope Bassman and Silverface channels, reverb, better OD handling..does more and takes you further than just soft blues stuff and Jazz.
     
  17. Kstu

    Kstu Strat-O-Master

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    I had a 68 Princeton but never played the deluxe version. After a while I found the 68 Princeton was not for me. A darker sound with lots of bass and they will start to beak up around 4 depending on your pick ups but at that point it's loud.

    I since got a special edition 65 deluxe and am more happy. The DRRI having more power and being bigger has no effect on my practice as the volume I use is no different than Princeton. The 68 deluxe I have not played but sounds like it will have more options than the 68 Princeton I owned.

    I forgot to mention what I like about my DRRI. On top of it having a much less bassy and dark sound, even if I turn the bass and treble way up it still sounds good. Seems to have a much more balance sound, not bright not dark. Mine does have a celestion A-type speaker in it and works great for what I play . Lastly, I like the reverb on my 65 better but I liked the tremolo on the 68 more.

    I also have come to the conclusion that anytime I listen to an amp I am looking at on youtube etc it will sound nothing like it in person and I will no longer use those for input.

    Good luck ~Kevin
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
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  18. fezz parka

    fezz parka fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I like the idea of having a channel that isn't your typical lower mid scooped bf/sf sound. So I'd pick the '68.
     
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  19. Bladesg

    Bladesg Funk Meister Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Honestly most of it was because of the reviews/YouTube stuff I'd seen before I played it. I went in thinking I was going to buy the 68 from the beginning. Little more open minded when I went in for my second visit and it came down to what 'I' thought was going to be the better amp for me.

    Like I mentioned earlier, both great amps and if Fender has fixed the hum issues with the 68 then you can't go wrong with either.

    Regarding the 65 being a jazz/blues amp: it certainly does do cleans and lower gain beautifully but again I can personally attest to the fact that it has no issues doing high gain either but having said that I don't play metal/thrash. The plugged straight in is where I changed my mind on the 68 in favour of the 65.

    I haven't played an od/distortion pedal through it that doesn't sound great but my regular (pedalboard) weapons of choice are the Wampler 65, Analogman KOT and a Klone I built myself. I do occasionally plug the JH BOG Fuzz Face into my 65 too and it is freakin glorious.
     
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  20. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The last 2 times I went to buy and iconic amp cuz they are iconic I did not like them in the least. And I tried several of each.

    I ended up taking my sweet time when that happened. I always used my guitar when trying them and the first amp of the 2, I had for 9 years and regret selling it. If you do not like an amp you wanna play that much, do not buy it.

    The 2nd amp I have had 3-4 years and am still in the honeymoon with it.

    Both times I ended up buying amps I never even knew existed but could not be happier with them when I tried them.

    I would forget what you think - and find out for sure before you buy.