Hey guys, its Seth at Stages Right.
Fender Blues Deluxe – A Great Pro Amp
Today we are going to do a product review on the Fender Blues Deluxe. I’ve had this amp for quite a few years now and I thought I’d just share a little bit of my knowledge and my experiences with it. So we’re just going to run down, from left to right on the top here, and just kind of go over everything that’s on the amp and what it’s capable of doing. But first off, I will tell you that this is a 40 watt combo tube amp. It’s powered by; it’s got three 12ax7 preamp tubes and two 6L6 power tubes that give it a really warm bluesy sound. And I will say too, that this amp is not really meant for home practice because this thing gets really, really loud. I know its 40 watts, but when you compare that to, it’s you know, compared to solid state, it’s actually a lot louder. So definitely meant for the gigging guitarist and playing in a venue.
Blues Deluxe – Just Like the Name Says
So I will start off by saying that these two switches on the left, the left one are your tubes. The on and off controls your tube power. So when you’ve got that on, it warms up your tubes and as long as you’ve got the second switch on standby, there’s not going to be, there’s not going to be any sounds coming out of your guitar because the second switch that’s your sound signal. That’s just cutting off the sound. So it’s great for when you’re taking a break during a set or something and you want to keep those tubes warm, but you don’t want to sound coming out. You just flip that second switch to standby and you’re good to go.
Simple Amp to Dial In – Once You Know How
So we’ll go move on to these three input jacks here. The first one is a foot switch and this is the foot switch that Fender gives you when you buy the amp. I’m sure you guys are all familiar with the little box foot pedals that basically just change the channel for you and it’s a two button switch, one controls reverb, the other one controls the two channels because this is a two channel amp. You have a clean and then an over driven section. So the next knob we got here is Presence, and this is a very subtle kind of effect that’s on here. When you have it turned down, it’s a little more of a normal sound, I guess you could say, and then when you crank it up, it just makes it a little bit brighter, just slightly brighter. So you can kind of hear the high end a little bit more. That’s really all that’s doing. I usually leave it around a six or a seven, something like that, just because it’s kind of a subtle effect and I like to run a pedal board through this amp as well. The next knob we got here is reverb, and it’s a classic Fender spring reverb, so you’ll hear that I got it turned way down. Can definitely hear there’s not that that ring-e-ness, but when you turn it up, you can definitely hear that that reverb kicking in and I love it. It’s great. Fender does a really good job with their spring reverb. Next knob we have is the master volume and this only controls the volume when you are on the driven channel, so channel 2. So if you’re trying to adjust this when you’re on your clean channel, it’s not going to do anything, so stop trying. But I’m not going to crank this up just because it’s it gets really loud, like I said, and it will definitely peak our volume, so I’m just going to leave it where it is for now. And in between the Master and the Middle knobs here we have the channel select and that’s going to switch you between your two channels. Right now, I’m on the over-driven channel, but I’ll go ahead and switch to the clean so you can hear that as well. So yeah, a very, very nice clean sound, got a very warm, warm tone to it and that’s it’s great having that this nice of a clean channel on this amp because it’s so responsive to your effects pedals, and if you’re running a pedal board through this through, your clean channel, it’s going to sound great. I guarantee it.
I’m going to switch to overdrive for now so that way when we get down there, I can show you some of the other features. The next three knobs we have are the Middle, Bass, and Treble. It’s your basic three band EQ. That’s pretty self-explanatory. It’s just your equalization settings and there’s no real trick to this. It’s more preference for how you want to set it up and what sound you’re going for. But again, very responsive. It’s a nice EQ to have. The little light in between the Treble and the Drive knobs is just to indicate which channel you’re on. So when that red light is lit up, that means you’re on the second channel, the drive channel and when it’s not, I mean just on the clean channel. Next one is the Drive knob and that’s going to control the amount of overdrive that you get when you’re on the drive channel. Again, this won’t work when you’re on clean because it doesn’t affect the second channel. So I’ll turn it way down so you can kind of hear and it does have an effect on the volume, too so I’ll have to turn the Master up a little bit so you can hear that better. Now turn that back down and turn the drive up so you can now hear, you can kind of hear, the static of that drive kicking in to now. Definitely gets a little more crunchy, but again, this is one of those things that you’re not really going to notice until you get it up to higher volumes, because like with any tube amp, the higher volumes, that’s when that sound starts to break up and you get that that drive in there. So yeah, you’re definitely going to want to play that at a higher volume to really hear it more. But you can kind of hear the difference there. And then the last knob is your Volume knob and that again is for your clean channel. So if you’re trying to adjust that when you’re on your drive channel, not going to work. So that’s strictly just for your clean. And then at the end here, we have a little selector switch for normal and bright. Right now I’ve got it on normal, so it’s just kind of that warm tube sound, and again, if you click that in, it’s subtle, but again, it’s just a little bit more for your high-end. It gives you a little more punchiness to your sound. So it kind of just depends what guitar you’re using, or you know, what you’re doing, whether you’d use that or not. And then the last two are your input jacks for your guitar labeled one and two. Number one is for your low gain guitars like Stratocasters and a lot of things with passive pickups, and then two is for active pickups and your higher gain guitars such as like an SG or something like that, or a Les Paul. So that’s pretty much it on the on the top here, on this plate, for all the knobs and all this.
Classic Fender Cleans and Crunch
So I’m going to go into a little bit of a demo and show you guys the sound of what this can do. All right, now play a little bit of a kind of funk for you. So those are a couple of things that you can do and a couple of sounds you can get out of it. But I’m going to go ahead and kind of mess with these settings a little bit so you can hear a little bit more. The first thing I’m going to do is I’m just going to adjust the drive on this a little bit. What I’m going to do is actually turn the drive down and then turn the master volume up a little bit so that you can kind of start to hear the crunchiness of it being able to break up a little bit. You kind of get a little bit of a sense of it there. I’m going to try and tweak it a little bit more and see if I can get a little more crunchiness. Yeah, there you can hear a little bit more now. What I’m just doing is I’m just to keeping the volume at a good level, just turning that drive down, and keeping that master up, because when you have that master volume and you start to crank it, that’s when that breakup starts to happen, even if it’s subtle. So you can kind of start here that crunch coming through and it’s you know, it’s subtle, but it’s got such a sweet sound to it because that natural tube drive that you get. You can’t, it’s hard to match that with a pedal, so, so yeah, definitely for the gigging guitarist, this would be a great choice for you. If you play country, or blues, or funk, or rock, or really anything, the sky’s the limit once you start adding a pedal board to it. You can make any sounds that you want with this and still hold on to that nice warm tube sound.
Blues Deluxe – An Amp Worth Serious Consideration
So I hope this review and this demo was helpful, and if you guys are in the market for one check it out on Sweetwater, or Musician’s Friend, or your site of preference. But thanks again and stay tuned for more.
Fender Blues Deluxe Amplifier – Simple is Beautiful
The next amp I want to talk about is the Fender Blues Deluxe amplifier. This is that tweed thing that looks very, very much like Hot Rod Deluxe with a single 12. It’s tweed, real tweed unlike the PV. It’s two channel and it’s only rated at 40 watts. You’re getting almost the same wattage, as say, a Hot Rod Deluxe. Audibly, they’re going to be about the same volume. If you can hear the difference between 5 watts at that sort of, you know, volume, then you’re pretty special, because I don’t think you’d hear a difference to be honest.
The great things about this amp is it’s very, very simple. The reverb absolutely rocks, just like all Fender reverbs. So, I think the Fender reverb is the best, even better than the Two Rock Reverb which is an amp that costs three times as much. I really like the fact that the foot switch controls the channel and the reverb. You turn the reverb on and off, or you can just swap between the channels and it’s only got one gain stage instead of two, like the Hot Rods. So it’s very, very simple. If you’re not into huge amounts of high gain, it’s the perfect little club amp. At forty watts it’s going to be pretty loud.
A Speaker Swap is a Great Mod
Now, the biggest disadvantage to this amp, and this is just my opinion, so I don’t care if you love it or not really. It doesn’t matter. This is just my ear and my experience. The speaker, the stock one, is horrible. As soon as you get rid of that and put anything else in, then the amp really comes alive. I can’t speak highly enough of that modification. To me, the stock speaker is all tops. It just lacks any smoothness. It’s just scratchy and weird. I didn’t really run mine in for more than maybe three weeks. I just didn’t like it. As soon as I changed it and put, like, a Greenback in, a Greenback copy (it was a Lowrance), wow, it was like a million times better. So that’s the kind of mod you’re going to need to do to that amp if you’re playing blues and you want to smooth sound. You may want to swap that out it. It might get better over time as you wear it, but for me, I didn’t like it at all. As soon as I swapped out, it sounded way, way better.
There’s no real other disadvantage to this amp. I actually really regret getting rid of it. It might be on the horizon one of these days soon. A slight disadvantage that I can think of also, is the cabinets can rattle quite a bit. It’s not uncommon for amps to rattle a little bit. But that’s just one thing that I noticed on mine, a little bit I think. I ended up fixing it out eventually.
Blues Deluxe is a Genuine Contender
Yeah, they’re a good quality amp and had a Mexican made one and I had no problems with it the entire time I had it. I thought I had a problem with it and then I found out the speaker jack there’s actually in the wrong place. So yeah, once I put that back in, perfect. I had no problems with it at all. So good quality amp. I can’t recommend them enough. But if you buy one, you’re not going to be happy with the stock speaker if you like similar tones to me. But that’s subjective so take it for face value. That’s it.