The Deluxe Package

The Deluxe Package (for Fender Deluxe, DeVille, Blues Junior, and all the Hot Rods) includes a number of tasks which should take care of many of the design and application flaws for modern Fender amps. The Deluxes and DeVilles are some of the, if not THE, most popular amps in production worldwide, but they have come with their fair share of flaws. The most common problems and solutions to them include:

1. Bad solder joints to be resoldered, especially at: inputs, outputs, controls, and tube sockets.

    Bad tubes might be a sign of a bad solder joint at pin 5 or other pin of power tubes.

2. Bad IC caps (Illinois Capacitors) batch of 22uF@500V which went into PR246 & PR247. The

    major symptom of this can present itself by sounding like a bad rattle in the loudspeaker.

    We like to use F & T brand caps to replace them, because they are virtually the same size.

3. Bad preamp tube sockets, if you have the black ones, they don't retension themselves.

    We put in the tan colored Belton brand sockets or the ceramic PCB mount sockets.

    Some of the amps have been known to have bad jacks (yeah, the expensive, plastic Fender ones). They're plastic; they sometimes can't handle the wear and tear. We will gladly replace them with original manufacturer parts, or for non-warranty service, we offer a modification to replace them with the metal Switchcraft brand jacks we all love.
    Some of the amps, especially when opened for service, present a problem with bad ribbon cables, which may fail upon any movement of them during handling and work on the PC board. The wires are very brittle. Often times they can be repaired by trimming them back about 1/2". It never hurts to apply a bead of silicon adhesive to hold them in place, and that goes for the PCB mounted capacitors, too; resoldering the capacitors and applying silicon, especially caps with radial leads,  is good preventative maintenance.
    Sometimes Q1 or Q2, the J111 muting FETs (Field effect transistors) can short, causing low volume for one channel or the other.
    You should consider a complete resolder of this amp if you plan to take it on tour, as it may have been constructed to meet the RoHS standards, i.e. lead free solder (brittle tin/copper solder). Refer to the RoHS blog for more info. This complete resolder of the amp with a 40% lead solder may solve many of the problems before you encounter them, making the amp a closer competitor with its uncle, the Fender Twin and others of the era.
    Also, it never hurts to use the non-permanent Loctite thread-locker for jack hardware, so it doesn't come undone; once the nut comes loose on your jacks, it isn't long before the solder joints on that jack break under the weight of a 1/4" instrument cable moving all over the place.
    We offer the same retube and bias service for this amp as we do for all others. This includes cleaning and retension of tube sockets. We recommend a matched pair from mother Russia, such as Electro-Harmonix/Sovtek, as they have proven to be more reliable. Strangely enough though, the JJ brand 12AX7 preamp tubes have proven to be a great low-noise alternative for the first and/or second stages of the preamp; otherwise, the Electro-Harmonix 12AX7 tubes are not bad and at a slightly lower cost.
     When setup correctly, this amp can play cleanly to about 5 on the volume dial for the clean channel. Pulling the mid back a bit and adjusting the presence can help you achieve this with everything else at about 5. While I prefer a Twin for that sort of sound, many blues and jazz players  are relying on these amps for their clean tone.