1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb: Quest for the Best Replacement Speaker! | Warehouse Guitar Speakers

1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb: Quest for the Best Replacement Speaker!

1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb: Quest for the Best Replacement Speaker!

1967 Fender drip-edge blackface blackline Deluxe Reverb amp original speaker

Today I went on one of my most extensive tone quests yet, seeking out a love-mate for my new favorite amp, the ’67 Deluxe Reverb featured in last weeks blog.  I want to be able to box and store the original light duty Oxford 12K5 speaker and preserve it’s vintage value, plus maybe find a speaker with a little more oomph, to give the amp good gigeable volume, and clean headroom (ever elusive in 2-6V6 amps).

I decided to try ALL the WGS models I suspected may be a good match, plus quite a large variety of vintage models by various makers.  Wow, every amp is different!  Some of the results were just as I suspected, others were not.  The Video of my exploits is nearly a full hour long, so make a fresh pot of coffee and join me for a magical mystery tour of tone.  I seriously need YOUR input on this one, so P-L-E-A-S-E post you comments.

Spoiler Alert!!!  If you don’t want to sit through the whole 55-minute video, here is the nitty gritty:

Retro 30: Sounded HUGE, but a little too “modern” without enough vintage midrange warmth for me.

Blackhawk: Sooo sweet, but not enough sparkle and spank for the classic Deluxe Reverb tone.

G12C: VERY nice with sparkle & spank for days, maybe just a bit too much for me.

G12C/S: Nice vintage tweed tone, but too dark and smoky for the Deluxe Reverb.

New WGS light 12: EXACTLY (!!) like the 46 year old original.

Green Beret:  it was awesome! probably tied for second place!!  Like the original on steroids.

ET65: My old DR fav does not disappoint!  Beautiful, this may be #1.

Reaper (30): Very good match just a tad more presence than the ET65, also a #1 contender!

Vintage Jensen P12Q: Sweet, but just a little too much upper-mid bite for this amp.

Fender/Eminence Alnico: Same as the Jensen, only a little worse.

Vintage Oxford 12T6: Though bigger and healthier, it didn’t quite sound as sweet as the amps stock 12K5.

Vintage EV Force 12:  Won the award for most surprising.  Actually sounded nice and vintage; too vintage even, actually very warm and tweedy, in stark contrast to it’s massive look!

The ultimate winner?  Too close to call, so I need YOUR input.  Please post your thoughts here as a comment.  Maybe if we put our heads together we can figure this one out.

Here is that epic video!

See ya all next week!


email Vaughn     About Vaughn Skow

04/28/2013 10:10am

Don't say 'I don't play well' 'cause you are not bad. :-)


This is another very interesting video clip that will help many many guitar players around the world. Let me tell you. You are an ambassador of WGS products and, thanks to you, I have replaced a famous alnico speaker in a high-end combo amp and a ceramic speaker in a 1x12 cabinet (these speakers will go unnamed) with a Retro 30 and an ET-65, respectively. This would not have been possible without Vaughan Skow videos on Youtube. In fact, I am so happy about the two aforementioned WGS speakers that I plan to experiment further with other WGS products in a near future, including a louder version of ET-65, G12C, and Reaper HP.


Thanks and keep rocking on.


From Seoul, S. Korea,

HS Ryoo


PS: I 'think' a hemp cone version of ET-65 will sound fantastic. What do you say about it?

05/02/2013 8:37am

The Reaper all the way.  The ET sounds great, but I like the added bite the Reaper kicks in.  Very similar sound profile otherwise.

10/14/2016 9:48am

I listened to your video with headphones thru my Macbook Pro.  The ET 65 sounded the closest to the stock speaker on my end.  I would say that speaker 2 was the ET65.  Speaker 1 had more body when used with the distorion pedal but all in all I preferred the sound of the ET65.


04/28/2013 9:00pm

Vaughn, I liked the Reaper ... but ... on the (very well done) video, I still think the ET65 comes out on top.  Second for me is the Green Beret.  The Reaper is very good, and might be a good first choice for some tastes.  I like the nice rich, full mids on the ET65.  I also found the lightweight 12 quite enjoyable, my 50-somthing back especially likes that one!  To me the old EV was awful, just stiff and unmusical.  IMHO none of the vintage speakers even came close to matching the ET65.  Don't know if I should post this on the blog or the Q7A, so I'll do both!

Thanks for this video, I know it must have taken forever to put together, but it's very helpful.  Next time, though, It would be nice if you could go back to the good mics.   Not complaining, you've done a lot better than I could have!

Oh, and at the end, I prefer "speaker #1", gotta be the ET65!

Richard D Maha
04/30/2013 7:58am

Hi - at the end of the day, for your head to head shoot out, for the clean tones, I liked the ET65 a little better than the Reaper.  It just had more of the "Fender" tone to it.  For the distortion, I preferred speaker 1.  It sounded a bit smoother and richer than speaker two.   Hope this helps.  The G12c/s and new light speaker also sounded pretty good to me, too.

05/24/2013 10:46pm

"Hi - at the end of the day, for your head to head shoot out, for the clean tones, I liked the ET65 a little better than the Reaper.  It just had more of the "Fender" tone to it.  For the distortion, I preferred speaker 1.  It sounded a bit smoother and richer than speaker two.   Hope this helps.  The G12c/s and new light speaker also sounded pretty good to me, too."



I think if you're going to test a higher gain tone, a G12C might also sound good. Right now it's my personal favorite from your line. That lightweight jobbie sounded killer too and I can't wait to get my hands on one.

So far, we've built amps using the G12C, G12A, G10C, and Veteran and have loved them all. G10C has an amazing, round, surprisingly LOUD tone with a 5 watt single-ended circuit pushing it.

This was your best comparison video yet, Vaughan. It'll be good to have to refer to when making selections for different customers and different models.



Richard D Maha
05/28/2013 7:57pm

Hi - just read your post - I've been thinking about putting a G10C in my 68' Champ (I guess it would have to be a custom order for a 4 ohm version).  I already have the baffle and have tried a couple of 10" Weber speakers.  But, the amp still sounds better with my 8" Tone Tubby alnico than the Weber 10s.  Have you tried the G10C in a Champ?  I'm thinking even though the baffle and 10" speaker fit, the cabinet may be too small to let a 10" speaker provide any noticable improvement.  Appreciate any thoughts on the subject.

05/29/2013 10:42am

Yea ... I've tried a lot of over-sized speaker options in a lot of combos ... including a 10 in a Champ.  I actually own a Rivera-era Champ II ... which came from Fender with a 10 in the stock Champ cab!  Check out the blog on it from a couple years back:


So ... Yes, I actually feel a Champ is one amp where the cab can physically make use of the extra sonic real estate of a 10" speaker!  Here is what you'll get from the G10C (and I WOULD recommend the ceramic over the AlNiCo for numerous reasons):

Much (!!!) more volume

More useable bottom end and a touch more top sparkle

Less boxy lower midrange

More clean headroom

A much heavier amp :-)

Richard D Maha
05/29/2013 7:54pm

Hi, Vaughn - thanks for the feedback and link - your Champ II is a pretty cool little amp! I don't think I've come across one.  I've seen and heard a couple of the original Super Champs, but not many.  Also appreciate the advice on the G10C for my Champ - think I know what to order now!  I assume WGS will do a special order 4 ohm version. 

Thanks and regards,


05/31/2013 12:05pm

Just call the plant.  They are BUSY (!!) and it might take some persistence on your part ... but you should be rewarded ... that is IF they have 4-ohm voice coils available for the G10's.  Also, a Champ is TOTALLY happy with an 8-ohm load.  Like all good old Fenders, it's designed to operate with an impedance miss-match of up to 100% either way (in your case 2-8 ohms).  Although you might loose just a tad bit of efficiency.

Richard D Maha
06/02/2013 7:49pm

Hi, Vaughn - I've sent a note to WGS through the contact feature of the web site - I'll give them some time and if I don't hear I'll give them a call.  Thanks for the info on the Champ and impedence - didn't know you could mismatch the impedence - one more thing to ponder!BTW, I just installed a WGS G12C/S in my Deluxe Reverb (got it through Steamco in Canada) - sounds great! It came down to the ET65 or the G12C/S - I was impressed with all of the clips I heard for both.  Not 100% sure why I went with the G12C/S - maybe just a bit more of the old school feel and sound to it (to my ears anyway).  But really happy with what I'm hearing, especially with a Strat or Tele.  Thanks and regards,Rich

06/02/2013 9:56pm

Plus ... ya gotta love that old-school "Fender/JBL Orange" of the C/S!

Richard D Maha
06/04/2013 8:02am

:-))  Yeah - the orange is pretty cool - not many people have that color speaker in their cabs or amps!  Really enjoying the tone - can't wait to hear what it sounds like once broken in. 

Richard D Maha
07/30/2013 7:53am

Hi, Vaughn - any experience with a 2 x 10 in a Fender Deluxe Reverb?  Recently I've been enjoying the 10 inch speaker in my Champ II (tight bass, punchy, good balance).  So, have been tempted to put a 2 x 10 baffle in my Deluxe Recverb and was thinking a combo of G10C and G10A.  Any thoughts or advice?

Many thanks,


05/02/2013 12:44am

Ha, I told yah the G12C was bright, so I guess for my BFDR the G12CS would be a better choice. In the vid the ET65 prob was the closest to the original with more punch. The Reaper had more breakup? as in NO2 at the end.

Good demo all the same if I may make one suggestion is to have a subtitle of the speaker being played at each stage.



05/05/2013 5:00pm

out of this bunch my vote goes for the reaper. I had one in my SF deluxe and until then I had tried many but found that to be the best. But, it also gave the amp a slightly less American sound and just a bit more aggresive sounding. Then I tried a reconed Altec Lansing 600b alnico speaker (3 inch VC/ around 50 watts) and Whoa!!!!! That is the holy grail for me in this amp. Sort of sounds like a cross between a JBL d120 and the altec 417.

05/09/2013 7:31pm

I actually am leaning toward the light 12 a little ... because of it's being such a dead-on clone of the factory oxford!  And, it'll keep the amp very lightweight.  I figure for the bigger gigs I'll still take a Super Reverb or two.

Oh, by the way, at the end ...  "Speaker #1" was the ET65.  I think overall I prefer it ever so slightly to the Reaper in that amp.  It's just such a nice warm, round, organic tone ... which, again, is what I love about that amp to begin with.

I'll keep you all informed!

04/11/2014 12:35pm

Before I found a stock original Oxford, I ran a Weber Chicago in my '64.  I've also run an EV 12L in it which impressed me as being overkill.  The Weber Chicago was really nice and warm.  I'd also want to add a Celestion G12H-80 to the list.  That's a fantastic sounding speaker, too, but they're hard to find.

04/11/2014 12:39pm

If you can find one, a vintage Jensen C12Q is excellent in a Deluxe Reverb.

07/09/2014 10:02am

I'm a little late to this discussion but I thought I would post my comments anyway.

I recently put a G12C/S in my late 70s (I think) Deluxe. I can't judge how authentic sounding this is as the original speaker was long gone from this amp. I can say, it sounds great now. As Vaughn states, maybe a little too warm (too Tweed-like?) but I still have the bright swtich OFF (this amp has the bright switch pull on the volume control) and treble and bass mid-way. I really like this amp now. No ice pick, fat, warm, sounds great with pedals. Works for me !

- Hank

08/08/2014 8:43pm

Thanks so much  for that shootout it was pretty extensive. I am thinking about getting a Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue here pretty soon so this review is timely for me. I have to say I liked a lot of speakers for different reasons so it was a hard choice. My top two are the WGS G12C-s and the WGS 12 light. I know you found the G12c-s a bit smoky but I liked that and the 12 Light I would like to know when that is coming out because it was a close second for me. Thanks again for your time and efforts. Good job no matter what the critics say you did good.


Ruben Saragosa

08/08/2014 11:07pm

Hi Ruben,

The light 12 ... the G12Q ... is available now :-)

08/21/2014 3:11pm

Thanks Vaughan I just got my Fender Deluxe yesterday it came with the Jensen P12Q and it is not bad to early to tell though I will let it break in and then decide. I still really like the WGS12C-S The light being a 20 watt speaker worries me a bit that it might break up too soon and I would like my amp to have as much clean as possible. I tend to play pretty clean but I have a few dirt pedals like a ProCo Rat and Holy Fire and and MK4:23 from Creative Audio Labs. Thanks Vaughan for your input.

11/23/2014 7:57pm


I haven't used the ET65 but the Liberator is described as a "beefed up" version of it on here. 

I used to think British voiced speakers should stay out of Fenders. One day I plugged in my G12C/S equipped DRRI to my Liberator cab for kicks and that was the end of that misconception. For my taste, the Liberator Kills the G12C/S in this amp. It is like the amp could not breathe before and now it is alive.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but I recently read that speakers with lower resonant frequencies help cure the boomy lows in some open back cabs. The Liberator has one of WGS's lowest resonant frequencies. This is nice to know, but who cares really? This thing sounds awesome. The highs are fat and singing and the lows are articulate. What else could you want? In my opinion, it now has even more of a blackface vibe. 

Vaughn, your shootouts are great and I truely appreciate them. You might have missed out on something by not including the Liberator in your DRRI comparison. 


11/09/2017 5:34pm

jdiab01, The Lib was actually not released when I did this shootout ... it's been a LOOOONG time ago! As it turned out, the Lib has been discontinued anyway, so in the end it's all good :-)