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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Fender DRRI for surf?

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Hey guys, first time poster. I recently have become very interested in Surf music, I have a Strat aand I'm in the market for a new amp. Since I can't afford a Blonde Bassman piggyback I was leaning towards a Deluxe reverb RI. I don't gig or play with a band and most likely never will. So would a DRRI be a good amp to get surf tones from while noodling around in my room? I know a lot of people swear by Twins but I think that a Twin would be way too loud for my settings. Also, would the reverb on the Deluxe be able to get drippy enough?

You can put humbuckers in it, but why?

Welcome to SG101, Smiley! The DRRI will be great for your purposes.


One of my amps is a DRRI. There is plenty of reverb. A Twin would be ridiculous if you are playing around the house or even bars and small clubs. Seriously, if you are not performing don't worry so much about what is the "right" amp by surf standards. Just have fun playing well and save yourself boatloads of money. If money is tight, buy a pedal and whatever amp. Just have fun playing. If down the line you do go out and play worry about it then.

i have one and be very happy with ,i haven't try in band at hight level (cause i haven't band at this time Cry )
but at home it sound really nice and is sound at low level too,i play with the level near the level i watch tv or listen musics(and in fact i think with less level than my champ 600 that i still regret, not like my old peavey classic 50 whith it my neighbours hate me (too loud to have good sound and in appartement it is not possible)
at first i would like a princeton but i have my deluxe for less then why not much power for less money

Last edited: May 05, 2012 04:44:37

I bought a DRRI in 2007. It is a good amp, and the reverb is really nice sounding. If you buy a "new" one, make sure you get it from an authorized Fender dealer. I say this because my reverb unit broke in 2010, and Fender sent us a new one cos' you get a 5 year warranty. Other than that, no problems & good sound. Just a suggestion, if you wanted to look at Fender Princeton Reverb's, check out the 1970's "silverface" models. They are still reasonably priced & work pretty good AND they're "hand-wired" (as far as we know). DRRI's are perfect sounding "surf" amps ! Good Luck.

Last edited: May 05, 2012 08:37:58

It seems to me that the DDRI is one of the best modern mid-level amps (in terms of Watts) around for these purposes. Good choice.

I hate to be the only naysayer but, you may find the Deluxe reverb a bit too loud for bedroom playing. Sure you can set it low, but you won't really get the full tonal benefit from this amp at a really low setting. 22 tube watts is a lot louder than you'd think. I have a tweed deluxe that's only 10 watts(!) and I have to use it with an attenuator at home. To get the best tone out of it the volume level is too loud for a bedroom. A Princeton or similar would definitely be a better choice for bedroom playing.

Last edited: May 05, 2012 13:35:34

I had bought a Deluxe and returned it for that reason, but I only had it two days i probably could've toyed around with it a bit more. I was thinking of the Princeton before but had heard a 10" speaker would sound too boxy. Whatever that means lol. I just figured a $100 more for a 12" speaker and 7 extra watts was a good deal lol.

You can put humbuckers in it, but why?

I have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe that I think is 40 watts. Anyway I had a twin for awhile and yes, too much amp for the room. I use the Deluxe now and here's 3 things I like about it. 1) I can play with a band and it keeps up volume-wise. 2) I can lower the volume to 1 or 2 and it's fine for noodling in the living room and 3) the reverb is great.

I've actually been shutting down the outboard RI tank (orig accutronics) and just using the reverb in the Deluxe. Even turned way up, it's still under control and not too overpowering or distorted. Very versatile.

After some internet research I'm leaning towards the Princeton. I'm gonna head up to GC tomorrow and try one out. Worst case scenario I end up going with the Deluxe. There are worst things lol.

You can put humbuckers in it, but why?

I like both the DRRI and PRRI for SURF, but if I could only have one it would be the DRRI because I prefer the kind of sound from a 12" speaker and a larger cabinet. Everyone is different though.

Cats 'n' Strats, 'cause that's how I roll - I eat reverb for breakfast!

Fenderus Collecticus
Strat Blender Pot Modification HERE

If you want to look at affordable options I use a Fender Blues Jr. for practice and jams and I find it's a great little amp for surf. It sounds pretty good out of the box, but with a few tone mods it now sounds simply amazing. Just something to keep in mind.

the Undead Bureaucrats

I use a DRRI as my main amp with a Strat. Sounds absolutely fantastic - Plenty of verb, growls if you crank it, and sounds great at lower volumes.

Another amp to look into is the Vox AC15. You can pick them up used for $300-400. It's lesser used for surf, but the clean tones are beautiful, and again, has plenty of reverb and vibrato.

Vincent / The Brigantines

Black Flamingos • Hi-Tide Recordings • Asbury Park Surf Music Festival

bedroom? not in a band? Check out the Fender Frontman 25.. I have the 212r and they've really dialed in the Fnder sound on that solid state. trying out an mp is free. Jetpack has the right idea.. just play!

Another small amp would be the Vox Pathfinder 15r.. reverb, trem.. good for low volumes..

both of these are cheap enough that you can still afford a larger amp if need be and you can always sell the smaller one for near what you paid for it.

I actually think I'm gonna go with a Princeton Reverb RI. They've been called the quintessential bedroom amp. All tube, tube rectifier, good reverb and excellent tremolo. Plus no bright cap which I like the idea of.

You can put humbuckers in it, but why?

I use both (silver face PR and DRRI). I used the DRRI at home at low volumes for years, but not that I have the PR its main practice and grab and go amp. Both are great and sound pretty similar at low volumes. The DRRI is more versatile in that you can actually gig with it (especially for non-surf gigs where grit is desirable). Both great amps for around the house and other low volume jobs.

I had a Blues Jr...its a decent rock amp for the price but not close the the reissues for vintage tones. Also, I had a Vox AC15 reissue of some sort and never really bonded with it - also its really heavy for a low-wattage amp.

On the other hand, I played my reissue reverb tank through a friends solid state 5W amp the other day and was really surprised at how decent the sound was...just barely kept up with a drummer in a very, very quite jam session. So if you have a tank, that might be a great option.

Those Mustangs seem really cool as does the new Super Champ.

I am sure you will be happy with your investment in the PRRI - great choice for surf.

I figured the PRRI would be the best bet. I also play garage and psych and some blues.

You can put humbuckers in it, but why?

PR circuit is a great little amp. I have PR clone which has a DR-spec OT and a 12" speaker and its awesome for surfin' or blues, plus it won't break your back!

He who dies with the most tubes... wins

Surf Daddies

Last edited: May 12, 2012 10:00:07

Princeton reverb works fine for "playing out". I sometimes used an ext speaker (this was in the 60's), & my PR was a 1964, & held up & projected VERY well. Plus, it's a GREAT lil' surf amp w/very good drippin' reverb !

jonfender wrote:

Princeton reverb works fine for "playing out". I sometimes used an ext speaker (this was in the 60's), & my PR was a 1964, & held up & projected VERY well. Plus, it's a GREAT lil' surf amp w/very good drippin' reverb !

Me too. Altho' you can't see it very well there's an extn cab underneath my PR clone (the amp just down off the front of the stage with the red pilot lamp glowing in the dark that's mic'd in this pic - to the left of me in my surfin' shirt with my jazzie)


He who dies with the most tubes... wins

Surf Daddies

Last edited: May 12, 2012 10:54:47

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