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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Review of the Twin 65 RI, 65 & 68 Deluxe Reverb RI, & 65 & 68 Princeton RI

Revelation Sound


Jul 28th, 2016 06:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recently have spent some time with the Fender reissue amps and I wanted to provide my opinion on them after trying them out with single coil and humbucking guitars. Opinions may vary:

Fender Twin 65 RI: This is a wonderful clean sound amp with lots of headroom, it looks great, has the tilt option, a wonderful tremolo, reverb, and can be loud while still being clean. 4 6L6 tubes in this unit which help provide that classic tone. Though the amp is heavy, it’s not any heavier than most two 12” speaker amps, or even the heavier Mesa Boogie Mark V combo with one 12” speaker. Granted you may want to add wheels to it or use a cart to move it if you are doing gigs. It has that wonderful chime, a sparkled sound that sounds amazing with any guitar I tried it on. Outputs 2 are quieter than output 1. The sound of the amp can sound a little more forward sounding with the tremolo off. Turn it on with the intensity on 0 and it will smooth out the sound a little more. This amp takes pedals very well from a Valvetronix pedal board, to a Mesa Boogie Flux Drive. No other amp on the market has the character of this amp. So if you want the Fender tube sound, this is the amp to get. I replaced my Fender Twin (red knobs) with this amp, and the clarity and sparkle on the RI was a big step up.

65 Deluxe Reverb RI: This is the smaller brother of the 65 Twin RI. With only 22 watts and one 12” speaker, it is lighter and easier to carry around. It still has the clean chime tone with some decent headroom up to volume 4. This is a good amp for small gigs, playing at church or at home. Around volume 4, it starts breaking up and at this setting and higher it can sounds great for rth guitar punch on multiple types of guitars. Push it up to volume 8 and now it can sound great for an aggressive lead guitar as well. This amp also takes pedals very well. If the 65 Fender Twin RI is too much or heavy for you, this would be a great option. The distortion of this amp keeps the bright chime character on every volume setting. Really like this amp.

68 Deluxe Reverb: This amp is silver faced has a celestion speaker and breaks up faster than the black faced version. The clean sound does not have the same bright chime tone but it gets you faster to the break up distortion. The input 1 on the left has a slightly darker sound. This may be a better choice if you want more of a rockin sound. This seems to be Fender’s version of hot rodding their own amp. I would choose this amp if you want this crunchier tone and your not as concerned about that sparkled Fender sound. This amp also takes pedals well and will provide a more aggressive sound compared to the standard RI with the same settings along with your pedals.

Princeton RI is the smallest brother and is similar to the Deluxe RI however with it its 10 inch speaker and 12 watts, you will get a different sound that is lighter in tone over the Deluxe Reverb DI. This amp has been used on countless recordings over the years as well. Believe it or not this amp can get loud. With having less headroom than its bigger brother, it also breaks up faster. This is a great amp for home or studio use when you want distortion at a lower volume. It still is able to produce some nice sounding clean tones up to about volume 4. With the smaller speaker and lower wattage than the Deluxe Reverb RI it provides a pleasant brighter sound with less low end.

Princeton 68: This unit rocks more than the standard reissue version. You generally need to bring down the treble a bit to get some better sounds out of it. It is another great studio amp or small club setup with a PA. This like the DR 68 lacks some of the cleaner bouncy tone, so depending on what you are looking for, one will be better suited for you over the other. I would choose this amp as a second amp for someone who already has a bigger amp with more headroom and clean tones.

There are some who feel the original amps from the 1960’s or early 1970’s sound the best. Though many older amps do have a certain tone you may prefer, they all sound different due to the aged parts, how worn the speakers are, and if newer parts were installed over the years due to wear/tear, or updates to the amps. My opinion is that the Fender company has gone in the right direction with these reissue amps. Granted not one amp will provide the sound that every guitar player is looking for, these Fender amps have been used on thousands of recordings in rock, jazz, country, and blues which says a lot.

(This message was last edited by Revelation Sound at 04:34 PM, Jul 29th, 2016)

Mike DeTorrice
Contributing Member


Jul 28th, 2016 09:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's a fine overview of these classic Fender amps as released in these re-issued and standard-type formats. They all have their strong points and it would be difficult to choose just one !



San Clemente, CA

Happy Sunsets, tahitijack
Jul 29th, 2016 10:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice review. I think a lot of folks will appreciate your explanation of the difference between the 65 and 68 Deluxe Reverb Reissue. I agree with your comments.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jul 29th, 2016 04:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just wondering Revelation, what do you think of the '68 Vibrolux Reverb? It's from that same Custom '68 series.

Revelation Sound


Jul 29th, 2016 05:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

It is difficult choosing just one. Spent more time with the Deluxe Reverb RI and 68 Deluxe....

For my Stones, Beck, Larry Carlton style, I prefer the 65 Deluxe Reverb RI. You can get the Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street Rolling Stone sound with this amp. The 68 is a little more garbled distortion which can be nice for certain things however.

Don't see many stores carrying the Vibrolux Reverb to try. I would assume it's in the 68 Deluxe family sound.



lets take it apart
Aug 1st, 2016 02:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

Revelation Sound
Very nice Test report
I thought I wanted a TUBE amp again and took home a Blues Jr and returned it and tried a 65 Deluxe Reverb RI with a Jensen K12n
took it back and decided I liked my Mustang 3 better than spending the extra 1100.00
They sounded Great but the Mustang 3 has a ok sound and its lighter and way more clean headroom


usa metro detroit

Aug 2nd, 2016 01:23 AM   Edit   Profile  

Those SS amps are a great buy! They have come along way and a lot of guys are using them more and more.. :)

Myself.. I really gassing for a 68 Custom Twin Reverb I really like the features it has.

Revelation Sound

Pennsylvania, USA

Sep 30th, 2016 06:55 PM   Edit   Profile  

Debating if I want to buy a 65 Princeton RI next. Love my Twin very much, but to have a small amp that overdrives tubes the way this amp does is quite special.

Big Joe


Sep 30th, 2016 08:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 65 Twin RI as well as a 65 Princeton RI and love them both. While both have that Fender Blackface tone they have their own sound identity. The Princeton is also to practice at home or use in smaller gigs. While the Twin is perfect for larger venues, it also sounds great at low volumes, but your ears will bleed before you get it to distort.

Tony F

Long Island, NY

When you come to fork in road take it
Dec 19th, 2016 06:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

The Princeton 68 is a hot rodded amp with new mods while the 65 reissue is pretty close to an original BF.
I bought a 68 and returned it as it was very bassy with no chime and no headroom. Once the volume was on 5 or more the tone was so compressed, distorted and flubby the amp was useless atleast for rehearsal or small venue gigs. That said it makes a great studio or bedroom amp.

(This message was last edited by Tony F at 04:53 PM, Dec 21st, 2016)



Ike Turner is my guitar hero!
Dec 21st, 2016 04:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

One little note here: Be sure that the speakers are totally broken in before making your own individual amp evaluation....

It took me a rather long time to fully break in the new speaker on my 65 Deluxe reverb reissue before I could fully appreciate it's tonal qualities.

Also, if you use an extension cab and your amp supports it..........this will change the character of your tone, too.....

Contributing Member

South Florida

Jan 3rd, 2017 11:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm convinced that if they put a gun to your head and you have to pick 2 amps you go with the 65 TRRI and 65 DRRI.

If you have to eliminate one of those then probably the TRRI goes because it's loud and heavy and you stay with the 65 DRRI.

Contributing Member


Home of the Goodyear blimp
Jan 3rd, 2017 03:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have the 68 Princeton custom and the drri . They sound nothing like each other and I like it. Gives me some nice choices in tone. I have 3 strats and a 335 that sound great thru both.

Revelation Sound

Pennsylvania, USA

Jul 31st, 2018 04:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

One of the main differences between the 65 and 68 is that the 68 has the celestrian speaker which breaks up much earlier and offers more distortion. So depending on what style you like, one is better than the other.

After having a Reverb Twin RI, I am thinking about the Princeton 68 for a much different sound with more distortion.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / Review of the Twin 65 RI, 65 & 68 Deluxe Reverb RI, & 65 & 68 Princeton RI

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