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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Blues Deluxe


United States

Jan 6th, 2001 08:04 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just traded my late 60's Fender Princeton (a very faithful practice amp) for a blues deluxe.
I LOVE it!! It has great tone..all the way up to 10! Comes with a blues drive, which I dig! Works excellent with my new tele! I have a great blues setup! Sounds even better when I run it through the original Tube Screamer TS9..not to mention the Dunlop Wah. Anyway, I recommend them..that is if you can find one. I think they have stopped making them. Replaced them with a HotRod or something!



Jan 6th, 2001 06:03 PM   Edit   Profile  

oh yes, itīs a fine amp.
it came off somewhat "stiff" when i got it, but the combination of power, portability and features (not to forget "the looks"!) won me over, so i thought i might try and get the best out of it.
so iīve been through some experimenting in the 1.5 years i own it now.
tried different speakers/tubes, had the drive-channel revoiced to match the clean-channel (no big deal, and worth it), finally decided to change it to a 2x10" set-up, wasnīt that impressed first but have now found that it sounds fabulous with 2 jensen ri p10rīs! thereīs also a very simple mod to improve the reverb DRAMATICALLY (thanks to steve dallman!). now this is an amp i intend to keep!
cheers - C.


United States

Jan 6th, 2001 06:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

yeah, the previous owner of mine, was going to put 2x10's in it. And I might..eventually! Thanks for the reply

Hans (former HanZZ)


Jan 25th, 2001 04:39 AM   Edit   Profile  


do you have a documentaion available about the mods of your BD (speakers/tubes/reverb)?






Jan 27th, 2001 05:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

hallo hans!
iīll try and "document" it here...
i mostly play strats, use the drive-channel as a "crunchy" rhythm sound and a tube-screamer for leads.
1. what annoyed me the most was that the drive channel was much more trebly than the clean-channel - and you know they have a shared eq...
i had my tech "voice" it to my liking and it took about 10 minutes. i was playing my guitar, he opened up the amp (back-panel), swung his soldering iron, and i said "stop" when it sounded right to me. sorry, i canīt tell you what exactly he changed - but it was an easy fix, and it sounds better now.
2. i liked the stock-speaker for clean sounds, but thought it was still a bit too trebly in overdrive, so i tried an eminence-made "celestion-clone" i had lying around. this speaker didnīt have as much bass - but also not the piercing highs of the stock speaker and was a good match. later i tried returning to the stock-speaker for a more "fendery" sound - but i went right back to the eminence.
3. i was toying with the idea of a 2x10" setup for a while, as i feel that multiple-speaker-setups just tend to sound more "lively" than single-speakers, probably because of some miracelous interaction between the speakers. when i got around to do it i used 2 jensen ri c10qīs. they sounded very nice - very "fendery", maybe "blackface-like", strong highs (not piercing) and strong, yet defined low-end. but it wasnīt THAT much of an improvement over the single 12". i then came across a pair of jensen p10rīs - and these really make a difference! very smooth sound, shimmering highs, plenty of bass and smooth breakup. i really like these!
4. the "reverb-mod" was suggested by the great steve dallman. itīs a very simple mod, and a huge improvement on the reverb!
just remove the back-panel and look underneath the reverb-knob. there should be a resistor called "c50". just clip one end of it (best use a long pair of plyers and be careful - itīs quite narrow in there) - and youīre done. the reverb sounds much smoother now, less "boingy" and just more useable to my ears!
5. i experimented with different preamp-tubes - like a 12at7 as a phase-inverter for a cleaner sound, but now use 3 12ax7 again. the stock power-tubes (5881) were alright, but one eventually went bad, and now i have 2 sovtek 6L6 in there and they sound just fine to me.
so, this was about it...;)
thanks for reading so far.
if anything, i highly recommend the reverb mod - and checking out differnt speakers (i think an alnico 12" would be great).
hope this helps
cheers - C.



Jan 27th, 2001 05:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hey Carsten, I have a Blues Deluxe also, and I have 2 questions for you.
1. As far a speaker, do you think a Jensen P12 R as a replacement for the stock speaker would be a good choice.
2. On the reverb mod., did you have to add a cap. in there somewhere, Because I thought I read about that mod. Steve Dallman mentioned and I thought it had a cap. in there somewhere. If not, I just might try that one myself.



Jan 28th, 2001 02:35 PM   Edit   Profile  

hi el-dawg!
1. yes, presuming that the p12r would be close in sound to my p10rīs i think it would be a great speaker. mind you, these p10rīs break up very easy - so itīs not gonna be very loud AND clean.
2. clipping "c50" is just a part of steveīs reverb-mod. but it makes a big difference, and itīs very easy to do. iīd have to reread the whole mod to be sure what else was involved.
cheers - C.



Jan 29th, 2001 03:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Carsten!



Jan 30th, 2001 01:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

youīre welcome, el-dawg!
cheers - C.



Jul 14th, 2001 08:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi All
The only thing that I ccould say good about the Blues Deluxe is that it sounds great.
Other than that it has been the biggest peice of junk I have ever owned.
It has been to the repair shop twice at $ 100.00
a pop and Need s to go a third time.
Now the input jacks are going Bad.
So I gave it to my 13 year old and bought a Prosonic.


Clubs 52' and Thinline

Jul 15th, 2001 02:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

I purchased a Blues Deluxe off ebay a few months back and its become my main giging amp. I also own a JTM-45 and a Blues Jr. Big improvement over the Jr I must say. Anyway, I love the clean tone of this amp, very brown sounding. It sounds awsome with my 52' and 72' Tele reissues but for some reason doesn't work well with my SG Standard and Jr. I run it through a Marshall 1936 2x12 cab only because I'm not real happy with the stock speaker. I would love just to lug around the Deluxe so please any suggestions on a good speaker would be great. Great amp and beautiful tone..



Jul 25th, 2001 06:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi Everyone,

Funny that rhughey mentioned that this amp doesn't seem to work with his Gibsons. Mine sounds great with the tele but my Lucille doesn't sound nearly as good through it either.



MBJ, germany

Aug 24th, 2001 02:02 AM   Edit   Profile  

hey rhughey!
are you still there?
i just stumbled upon this thread again...
as for speakers...
iīve been through: celestion vintage 30 (sounds too "in your face" for my liking, but very strong and pronounced, with nice singing lead-tone), celestion "greenback" (sounds GREAT for overdrive and lead-work, but lacks in the clean dept.) jensen ri c10qīs (very nice sounding speakers! iīd use them if i didnīt have a pair of p10rīs!) as a single 12" my favourite right now is the jensen ri C12N. (excellent sounding speaker. very full and warm with plenty of sparkle, too. sounds good clean AND driven - warmer/more "even" than the celestions, i think).
right now iīm using a pair of p10rīs, and their fine to me, but i doubt iīd go through the 2x10"-mod-hassle again.
hope this helps
cheers - C.



Jun 21st, 2002 08:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Hi, I'm a new boy with the BD ( I've just swap my 'The Twin' with it , as Carsten knows.).Has any body tried the 'drive' mod. that Steve Dallman suggested ( duncanamps.com), to get a more powerful 'drive'?Would it sound like putting a distorion box in front of the amp, or a real tube distortion by the amp itself ?Thanks.



Oct 12th, 2002 01:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

I`ve had my BD for years and has been my main amp on stage and it just sounds great.Only thing I`ve done is resolder the input jacks and replaced the tubes.Still has the original speaker.I replaced the power tubes with Svetlana`s and preamps with Electro-Harmonix and these sound fine.Would like to here comments on different tube replacements of other owners.


United States

Aug 2nd, 2008 05:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I just bought a new Blues Deluxe. I play mainly two instruments through it. A 1972 Gibson es335, and a new Eric Johnson strat. If I stick to BB king type leads my 335 sounds really good. My E.J. gets ice picky as hell real fast especialy at higher volumes. The base responce with both guitars is lacking even with treble all the way down and the base dimed. I put in a tone tubby 12" alnico. This helped alot with the ice pick and maybe smoothed out what little base is there. Still room for lots of improvement. I have a T.T. ceramic I will try next. Allthough I think changing speakers in this case is a limited fix. Thinking maybe of a pair of tungsol 5881's. Read somewhere that these might be hazerdous to the amps health. I need some good advice from someone that knows there stuff. Or someone that has had same problem and found a solution.


Brazil - São Paulo

Oct 10th, 2008 09:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had a Blues Deluxe Reissue and I liked it, but it only worked well with my Tele or my Strat. With my Les Paul the BDR didnt sound very well.
The speaker breaks up very easy but it hadnt a great sound. In my opinion.
With my tele it was perfect!

Big F
Contributing Member

New Hampshire

Big F
Aug 24th, 2009 02:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have one of the 90's Blues Deluxe, not the reissue. Sort of had a love-hate relationship with it over the years. When I first bought it, I thought it sounded good. Then I changed out the stock speaker to a Celestion vintage, and it sounded much better. But because of the limited range on the volume control, I became disenchanted. Had it for sale several times, but ended up not selling it. I recently replaced all the tubes, plugged it in and it sounds great. Usually go straight in, occasionally a bit of delay. Love the clear round sound of this amp again. For the price I paid new 15 years ago, I'll keep it and enjoy it.



Feb 7th, 2013 07:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Recently purchased a BD reissue, used, about a year old. Most of my playing is on the clean side (solo act), and I use either a Nashville Power Tele, a Gibson made Sheraton (with mini-humbuckers and a peizo bridge pickup), or a Heritage H550 set up with the peizo bridge pickup as well. All sounded good, but I had a pair of vintage D110F JBLs that have not been employed for about 12 years sitting in the closet. I built another baffle and mounted the JBLs. Since both were 8 ohm, it was necessary to power one of them with the internal speaker output, and the other with the exterior output, thus keeping the resistance within reasonable limits. The resulting sound was, to say the least, very dramatic. Much better bass response, and a much "punchier" sound was the result. Both JBLs were mounted at the bottom of the baffle, side by side, and the aluminum dust covers peeking through the grill cloth is killer.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Apr 2nd, 2013 11:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I worked on a lot do the original BD amps. I wrote up a "walk through" of it, and included my files on the mods I did. If anyone wants a copy, just email me. No charge of course as I'm not selling anything.

FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Blues Deluxe

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