I finally found a 1966 Oxford 12K5 for my Deluxe Reverb. It sounds great (after re-cone).
The restoration of the lovely 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb is complete!
Restoring a 1966 Fender Deluxe Reverb Circuit AB763
I absolutely love the sound of a Deluxe Reverb; It personifies the "Fender Sound" that so many guitarists desire. Unfortunately, an old blackface Deluxe Reverb will set you back about $3000, and there's no guarantee that it will sound good, or that it isn't riddled with problems. Of course you could buy a re-issue DR, but it is well established that the re-issues sound nothing like the originals.
I found an original 1966 Deluxe Reverb Cabinet on e-Bay. No chassis, just the cabinet and hardware. Paid $500 for it, which you may think is a lot, but the fact is that 50 year-old pine makes all the difference in the way that this amp sounds. Newer pine cabinets sound constricted and "damped". Old pine sounds incredibly clear and bright. The difference is truly remarkable.
I also found 1966 back panels on eBay - they match perfectly, heck, they may even be from the same amp.
Various hardware I got locally or had lying around. I aged these parts to match the vintage of the amp.
I always start the circuit by making the capacitors. In the case of the AB763, that means making reproduction blue "Paktron" tubular caps, Astron Minimite filter caps, Mallory first caps, and Minimite dual electrolytic caps. The blue tubulars are actually made from Solen or 150M new capacitors. Here is the finished set:
The caps layout first on the fiberboard:
Then the resistors, and soldering starts:
Wiring is done on the board before it goes into the chassis. The wires are solid push-back waxed cotton, as was original to the 1966 Deluxe Reverb. The wires are cut a bit long to allow for final assembly. Wires that are twisted are done at this point.
My favorite part - introducing the circuit board to the chassis. This is where you must be accurate and methodical, and have the patience of Job.
Almost done, just lack the filament wiring. The filaments wiring is done last.
Trying to do it first would be, um, crazy.
Completed Chassis and on the bench for testing.
The Chassis has already been stamped with the HardWay logo and dated.
The circuit schematics are always very close by.
You can see the new transformers, which are aged to look vintage, and the Astron Minimite reproduction filter caps. The "C.S.A. TEST" label is an important part of the vintage look.
The chassis mounted in the cabinet:
Back of cabinet:
The 2-conductor courtesy outlet is a rare part. They are getting hard to find. The Oxford speaker is a 12L6-11. The more common speaker in the Deluxe Reverb was the Oxford 12K5-6, but try to find one. The tone is indistinguishable.
I tried a 1960 Jensen P12Q speaker in this amp while I was re-coning the Oxford; it sounded really good - but it didn't sound like a Deluxe Reverb.