How to Troubleshoot a Fender Deluxe Reverb

Written by simon foden Google
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How to Troubleshoot a Fender Deluxe Reverb
Dirt can gather behind the dials. (amplifier knobs image by Darko Draskovic from Fotolia.com)

The Fender Deluxe Reverb is an iconic tube amplifier famous for its bright, clean reverb sound. It has been in production in production since 1965. As of January 2011, Fender currently mass-produces a 22-watt reissue of the original amp, called the '65 Dexlue Reverb. As is typical with tube amps, ongoing maintenance and troubleshooting are necessary for optimum operation. The tubes themselves are the most common source of problems, but it's smart to fully check the amp when there is a malfunction.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Soldering iron
  • Spare tubes
  • Spare fuses
  • Shaving brush

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Buy a new guitar cable. The sounds created by a damaged guitar cable can often be mistaken for amp problems. Eliminate this possibility from the troubleshooting process by using a brand new guitar cable.

    How to Troubleshoot a Fender Deluxe Reverb
    Damaged cables can cause crackling and buzzing. (guitar cable image by Darko Draskovic from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Turn the amplifier off and dial the master volume to zero. These are loud amps so to avoid ear injury, start the troubleshooting process with the amp as quiet as possible. Unexpected bursts of feedback from a malfunctioning amp can be extremely loud.

  3. 3

    Plug your guitar in. Turn the amplifier on and gradually increase the volume. If the amplifier fails to power up, the problem is likely to be in the power section. A blown power tube can cause the power section to completely fail. Check the power cable is properly connected to the amplifier and that the plug is properly connected to the wall. If the amplifier powers up, but no sound is coming out when you increase the volume the problem is likely to be located in the preamp section. If there is an intermittent dip in volume or distinctly poor quality output, the problem could be a loose fitting speaker.

  4. 4

    Turn the power off and remove the power supply. Unscrew the back panel to expose the power section, preamp and speaker. If your Fender Deluxe Reverb doesn't power up at all, replace both 6v6 power tubes. Then try the amp again. If this doesn't fix the problem, inspect the fuses. Fuses blow out to protect the amplifier from power surges. A blown out fuse will have a brownish tint. Replace any fuse with this appearance.

  5. 5

    Inspect the preamp section. Slide the preamp towards you. To fully remove it, disconnect the wires with a soldering iron. The Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue has six preamp tubes: Four 23AX7 tubes and two 12AT7. If any of the tubes have blown out, they will have a burn on the glass. If you spot any damaged tubes, replace the entire set. Replacing the set in its entirety with an identical set removes the need to bias the tubes. Once you've replaced the tubes, test the amp again. Clean the potentiometers on the preamp while you have the back off. Buzzing and hissing can be caused by dirt accumulations behind the dials. Melt away any solder blobs from the chassis using a soldering iron. Brush away the residue.

  6. 6

    Inspect the speaker. Crackling and rattling sounds can be caused by a loosefitting speaker. Tighten any loose screws. If you spot any rips in the speaker material, replace the speaker.

    How to Troubleshoot a Fender Deluxe Reverb
    Ripped speakers make a flapping sound. (speaker image by CraterValley Photo from Fotolia.com)

Tips and warnings

  • Use a plastic-safe contact cleaner to clean the potentiometers.
  • Consult a qualified tech or electrician if you are unsure of making any repair. Guitar amps can carry potentially lethal currents, so always be extra cautious.

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