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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / DRRI cleaner tone


Elk Grove, CA

"Let's Do Funk"
Aug 19th, 2017 02:07 PM   Edit   Profile  

Bought a DRRI (wine/wheat)because I've always wanted one. Playing R&B, Funk, (Strat, Tele) and the amp seemed to break up around 5. Played it like this for awhile, then decided to make a speaker change. Have a CR in a Blues jr, like it, so put one in the DR. The Blues jr sounds cleaner, louder than the DRRI!! I know, only a 7 watt difference, but was hoping to get a little more out of the DR. Any suggestions, short of buying a Twin, which is too heavy--?? Thanks much

Contributing Member

Boston Area

Aug 19th, 2017 11:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Stay with the Blues Jr?

Contributing Member


Home of the Goodyear blimp
Aug 20th, 2017 08:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

The DRRI is designed to breakup around 5 . I have the same one you have , it comes with a different speaker than the stock one which is designed to break up earlier. There isnt a ton of diffetrence between 15 and 22 watts , but the difference you hear more than likely the el84 vs 6v6 difference.

If an amp change is what you want try checking out a HRDX or Blues DX. 6L6s and alot more headroom.

(This message was last edited by budg at 12:10 PM, Aug 20th, 2017)

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Aug 20th, 2017 12:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

You could try a SS rectifier which will minimize some "sag" and result in some cleaner tone.

I have the same amp but I use it for blues so I love the early breakup!


It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Aug 21st, 2017 06:35 AM   Edit   Profile  

A different, more efficient speaker might get you more clean volume out of the DRRI.

You could also try a pair of JJ 6V6's.
I haven't tried them myself, but most comments I've read about them say they are more like a small 6L6 than a 6V6. For many, that's not necessarily a good thing, but it might be just the ticket if you're looking for a bit more clean headroom.


on the rhine

Aug 21st, 2017 04:21 PM   Edit   Profile  


Many players have tried to get more "oomph" from a Deluxe Reverb - seems like a bigger/tighter speaker or an upgrade to 6L6 power-tubes are the most effective ways.

I´m probably not much of a help, as I like my Deluxes as crunchy as they get ;-)

cheers - C.

(This message was last edited by carsten at 04:55 AM, Aug 22nd, 2017)


Elk Grove, CA

"Let's Do Funk"
Aug 24th, 2017 07:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

First off, thanks folks for your responses! I had hoped that a DRRI would be a little cleaner.
Looked at Yellow Jackets "Uni" model to try and help! Changed to a cleaner(?) speaker. Some one wrote, "stick with the Blues Jr's" of which I thought about buying another (w/CR spk)and running two-(Maybe it's the 6v6 vs el84s) -another Bjr is cheaper than a DRRI...OR I may just have to go to a larger amp,(of which I own several)and learn to tame it down!
Anywho, thanks all again for your ideas/opinions!
That's what this forum is for, and I'm grateful!!

Contributing Member

Activity does not

always equal achievement
Aug 24th, 2017 07:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

Another simpler and cheaper option to increase clean headroom is to pull the 12AX7 in the V1 position and replace it with a 12AT7.

That gets you a reduced gain factor (about 70% of the 12AX7) and keeps the distortion down as you crank the volume up.

Mick Reid


American-made in Oz!!
Aug 24th, 2017 10:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

+1 on Peegoo's advice.

Contributing Member

Delco, PA

"I'll take a simple C to G
Aug 25th, 2017 07:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I replaced the stock speaker with a Weber 12F150 and it made a significant difference in headroom.
Not a cheap fix but it did what I wanted.

Contributing Member


too many guitars and not enough hands
Sep 1st, 2017 03:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Plus one on peegoo change the v1 tube to another lower gain tube

and then if you want a speaker change can do help clean it up

but how much scratch do you want to spend on the amp? even running the amp through an extension cabinet may give you more headroom

Weber Cali is a good speaker for clean and headroom.

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
Sep 3rd, 2017 04:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

"I had hoped that a DRRI would be a little cleaner."

You are not the 1st to be fooled in this regard. The DRRI is an ideal sized amp and it does have good clean tone up to about 3.5-4 but after that, it's difficult to get much more out of it. It is supposed to be a slightly naughty little amp.



When Good Enough is more than adequate.
Sep 15th, 2017 02:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

If you substitute a lower gain tube such as a 5751, 12AY7 or 12AT7 in V1, the overall volume of the amp before distorting is not going to be any louder - even if the volume knob shows a higher number. The easiest way to get a higher volume before the amp distorts is to put in a higher efficiency speaker.

Some 12at7 phase inverters are cleaner than others, so you may get some increase in clean volume by using a different brand of PI tube.


on the rhine

Sep 16th, 2017 05:42 PM   Edit   Profile  


"If you substitute a lower gain tube such as a 5751, 12AY7 or 12AT7 in V1, the overall volume of the amp before distorting is not going to be any louder - even if the volume knob shows a higher number..."

Yes, that´s exactly what I found. The onset of distortion happens a bit higher on the volume knob - but not at a higher volume.

Otoh - a more efficient speaker makes a lot of difference.

I like to play my ´66 Deluxe at a volume where I can play it soft and it will be clean, and when I "dig in" it will distort - usually around 6-8 on the dial, depending on the guitar/pickups.
I´ve tried a "boatload" of speakers in this amp - and most "modern" speakers were just too loud to play it the way I like it. I´ve been using the original (inefficient) Oxford for years now ;-)

cheers - C.

Contributing Member

Northern CT - USA

"We're not University material."
Sep 21st, 2017 07:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I must be the only guy who doesn't turn my DRRI past 3. Any louder and the band leader and/or sound man will quickly ask me to turn down :)

I run my DRRI w an ext cab loaded w a Celestion V30. The DRRI has a CRex inside and sits on top of the ext cab. Both spkrs are 16 ohm. Sounds great to me. I line up stage left and put my rig on the side so it's coming right at my left ear. In ear monitor in my right ear for vocals.

We don't have a loud stage sound. Keep it down so we can focus on the vocals and we let the sound man control the overall volume out front. So yeah 3 is the volume I set my DRRI. Maybe a hair more for outdoor gigs. I think setting it up beside me and sitting it on top of the closed back ext cab helps a lot!

I love the warm sound of the CRex. I'm also a big Weber fan. Got a Weber 50 watt Blue Dog in my Classic 30. Lots of clean headroom.

Good luck!

Contributing Member

South Florida

Sep 22nd, 2017 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

You aren't the only one DanL. I"m basically in that 3 to 3.5 range most of time. I don't think I"ve ever had it over a little past 5. I am very happy with the tone.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / DRRI cleaner tone

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