Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #107431  by Deadhead85
 Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:20 pm
I used to own one, actually just sold it last summer! It's a really nice reissue of a vintage amp, but I was never fully happy with it. I experimented with all sorts of different tubes, speakers (Cannabis Rex, Tone Tubby)...I even modded the circuitry in it, and upgraded the caps etc. I had been trying to get a Bobby tone out of it at the time, finally I decided to sell it for my Mesa Boogie MK I. It's cool to see it mentioned here, hopefully your having better luck than I with it.
 #107432  by Deadhead85
 Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:23 pm
Did the one you played have Groove Tubes in it? They come stock in that amp, and I cannot stand GT's. They become too grainy and saturate the amp with distortion once they get warm enough, which doesn't take long. I had tried the chinese and russian made ones, both rattled and had microphonic issues...had much better luck with Electro Harmonix tubes in that amp...6L6 and 12ax7's.
 #107448  by Bear62
 Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:20 am
Yes it is a reissue of the FBD made in 1995, I believe. I got mine as a demo @ GC for $500 in 2010. Had one bad tube that I corrected. Originally got this as a grab and go amp for Blues Jams. Does a great job for what it is. The GT power tubes (Sold in matched pairs) have 3 different ratings based on how hot they run. The hotter they run the earlier the breakup. I found this out when I had a broken tube caused by the footswitch coming loose from the velcro. This is a SS rectified amp that sounds great w/ single coils and HBs! It has an effects loop that I can send my SMS to the amp in and use power and speaker from the FBD. BTW, I gave up the footswitch and run clean or front it w/ a Fulltone FD2. Good little amp. I would put some compression in front to get Weir tones. Amp and speaker alone are a bit darker tone FWIW!


 #107455  by Utah Joe
 Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:11 pm
I've been thinking about getting a Blues Deluxe Reissue to use as a practice amp at home. Based on the reviews I've read they seem to be a good amp for the money. There are some common complaints, such as a sudden, dramatic increase in volume when the master volume is turned up past 2, so was thinking of getting a mod kit from Fromel Electronics in Seattle ( ... ues-Deluxe) and then adding an Eminence Commonwealth speaker.

In good used condition I've seen BDR's as low as $450-500; new they run about $750. I figure getting a used amp plus having the mods and speaker professionally installed would set me back about $850-900. I'd thought about getting the SMS preamp and 1x12 cabinet with the Eminence Commonwealth (roughly $1,145) but I just don't need that much volume at home as I would like to keep my marriage intact. Still, for the money that may not be a bad way to go. I've also looked at other boutique amps, such as the Carr Rambler, but I can't justify the expense since I'm not playing professionally at the moment. If anyone has any other recommendations for nice practice amps I'd welcome the input; otherwise, I'll probably go with the BDR.
 #107474  by Maybeck09
 Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:47 pm
I have the Blue Deluxe (I have the original USA made from '93). Bought her new in SF and have hauled her from coast to coast. She's hearty and loud. Just this year ('11) I upgraded stock speaker to Cannibus Rex, and better tubes(can't remember but from Eurotubes I think. There are several sites with recommendations. It sounds very nice now with punch and a cleaner edge. Still very loud and with the drive channel on can get really loud. I use it for practice and gigs-loud enough for most, otherwise run it thru PA. She's not ideal- I'd like a more tube rectified sound myself, but she fits the model that I've needed for years. I have also owned Fender Custom Vibrolux, and Super Reverb (both reissues) as well as a nice Rivera and have since sold them all and kept this one. Good luck in your search.
 #107880  by racecar
 Sun Jan 15, 2012 6:14 am
Very coincidental.... I jammed at a studio last thurs and played through this exact amp. I loved it and considered replacing my tweed blues jr. (Billm Audio modified) but I thought better of it after Friday nights gig in a small club, still love my little blues jr for smaller places. But the deluxe is a great amp.
 #107889  by Chuckles
 Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:46 am
Had an original mid-90's that had been upgraded with new caps, etc and sovteks. Really liked it and used it for smaller gigs/jams and for travel (think I used it when I sat in with Fennario the first time?) but sold it last summer. Kinda regret it now.

The "lead" channel is worthless, but it got a great clean tone. Looking at maybe a Blues Pro for jams.
 #119851  by Mosfed
 Tue Oct 16, 2012 5:04 pm
I have a Blues Deluxe as well. You need to change the linear-taper potentiometer with a log/audio pot in the master volume position. This should help bring the volume in line and make it more useable. As it is out of the box it basically maxes out at 4.

Then I put some NOS GE tubes in the 6l6 positions and some ribplate Telefunkens in the crucial preamp positions. Changed the speaker to a JBL E-120. And I only use he the clean channel.

Now it really is a killer grab and go amp