The Unlikely Story of my 1965 Deluxe Reverb

Mar 31, 2021Guitar Tone

Ever heard a story and instantly thought “yeah right…”

Well, here’s one of those stories.

It was the summer of 2013, and Shanna and I had finally made the decision to pack up and move up to Nashville. I was teaching guitar lessons during the week at a very cool spot. Jeff Quimby had a recording studio on one side of the building, and Jeremy Mayfield and I had teaching space on the other end. Those were good times, but I digress…

I was hanging out between lessons when I got a phone call from my buddy Travis. Travis was driving for 1-800-GOT-JUNK at the time. He told me about an attic he had just cleaned out where he found “an old Fender amp and another thing that looks like an amp head”. He asked if I wanted him to bring these 2 items over to the studio so I could take a look. “Of course! Come on over!”

A few minutes later Travis walked in with a blackface Deluxe Reverb and an old reverb tank (the “amp head looking thing” he had described on the phone).

He decided to leave them with me so I could check them out. First I took a peak in the back of the Deluxe Reverb. I checked the info on the sticker against a Fender amp dating website and was pleased to discover that this was indeed and legit mid-60s blackface Deluxe – October 1965 in fact.

Andrew Timothy's 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb
My 1965 Deluxe Reverb

Next, I plugged it in, not knowing what to expect. Who knows how long this amp had been sitting untouched in some old guy’s hot, musty attic down in Mobile, AL? After letting it warm up for a couple minutes I strummed a few chords and was instantly blown away. It certainly sounded like it was struggling a bit….the tubes would need replacing, and a good tune up was needed…but I could already hear the amazing potential of this old amp.

As for the reverb tank, it was pretty much dead on arrival. The tubes were covered in what looked like acidic buildup, so I didn’t even risk plugging it in until a professional tech could look it over and clean it up.

I called Travis up and told him I wanted to buy the amp off of him.

Travis: “Ok…how about $100 and you can keep the amp and the reverb tank.”

Me: “DEAL!”

So yes…I got a 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb AND a mid-60s Fender Reverb unit for $100.

A couple months later after arriving in Nashville I took them both to Kevin Shaw out at Shaw Audio. He ended up replacing all the tubes, the speaker (with a Warehouse G12C) and the transformer. Once I got it back from Kevin, I was simply blown away by the tone!

Over the years, I’ve played that amp on dozens of recordings and a bunch of gigs. I don’t take it on the road any more, but it stays right next to me in my home studio. I’ll still take it to around town rehearsals, sessions, and gigs too.

As for the reverb tank, Kevin Shaw decided to buy it from me. I’m pretty sure he restored it and sold it to another of his customers who had been on the market for an old reverb tank. So win/win/win.

So there you have it – my “that’ll never happen to me” story of how I got my ’65 Deluxe Reverb…for $100.

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  1. David Lansing

    Every musician should have at least one story like this to tell , love it !

  2. Amanda

    Once in a lifetime. Glad it happened to you.

    • andrewtimothy

      Me too! Still hard to believe it happened to me.


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