"Hailed as the ultimate workhorse in guitar amplification, the Fender Deluxe Reverb is widely considered the most recorded amp in the history of music." — Happy Magazine
Much like my Tweed Deluxe build, I wanted one and I scratch built my own slightly modified one. Made in the USA pine cabinet, chassis, transformers, tubes, capacitors - all American. The speaker is a Made in the UK Celestion 50W Alnico Gold. This is a scratch built amp, with nothing more than the wiring and schematic of a Deluxe Reverb. Parts came from Ted Weber, Tube Depot, StewMac, Reverb and more. This is not a beginner build. Do not attempt without significant electronics experience — even if you have one of the DR kits available from MojoTone, StewMac and the like. A Deluxe Reverb is not a beginner build. Many amp techs can't fix one, let alone build one. Consider yourself warned!
Since I had a 15W Tweed Deluxe (it's definitely more power than that), I wanted the option of more headroom and power on this build. What I decided to change on my Deluxe Reverb build:
Getting the chassis ready.
Starting to populate chassis mounted controls.
Real spring reverb tank, just like the original. Minus the bag.
Starting to wire the power supply.
Starting to populate the fiber board.
Dog house wired up.
Continuing work on fiber board and its hookup wires.
Power supply done, tested and working correctly.
Starting to figure out how to get the board in the amp. Meticulously double and triple check components and wiring. Note I switched the Chinese ceramic tube sockets to Micalex ultra high quality ones. I never want to replace these if I can help it. Note keeping track of all components and connections on a wiring diagram to know what's done and what isn't.
Starting to wire the tube socket side of the board to the amp chassis.
Board fully wired in and triple checked for errors.
Adding the knobs.
Checking everything one more time.
Fire up and testing time. Used a variac to bring up slowly. As above, power supply had already been tested. Just checking voltages on the A,B,C and D and bias sections of the amp.
Troubleshooting issue with vibrato circuit that ended up being new tube was actually failing. Replacing tube had it working with no other issues.
Testing max output power, noise and singal quality with a signal generator and oscilloscope. Note 400V+. Do not play around with tube electronics without knowing what you are doing or with someone who does. Note slightly modified bias circuit here from above.
Custom tube layout label. Speaker is a 12 inch, Made in the U.K. Celestion Alnico Gold rated at 16 ohms at 50 watts max.
Dropped in a set of NOS Sylvania and Phillips 5U4G, 6L6, 12AX7 and 12AT7. All american tube set, just like the Tweed Deluxe. Not too many more of these around. Biased and ran at output for a couple hours, checked bias and put it all together.
Amp is very quiet, sounds great, is quite loud and the reverb is as expected, fantastic.