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

by vaughn skow April 27, 2013 2 min read

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!


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