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#2918398 - 03/31/18 06:22 PM New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob
Winston Psmith Offline
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A friend was moving and wanted to get rid of a bunch of old gear that he posted on FB, to give away; I saw a Red Knob Fender Deluxe 85 in the photo, and figured I'd ask. He said, "Come get it."

One Input jack is broken, and it could use some contact cleaner, which I have, otherwise, it works. For the price, I can't beat it . . .
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#2918414 - 03/31/18 08:21 PM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Cool! Here's a little Wiki history on the Red Knobs:

"Red Knob[edit]
The Red Knob amplifiers were produced from 1987 until 1993. These were some of the first models produced by the newly formed Fender Musical Instrument Corporation. These amplifiers, named for their bright red control knobs, have a slightly similar appearance to the older Blackface cosmetics, having black control panels with white lettering and the late 1970s "scripted tailless" Fender logo. Many of these models were simply refitted with black knobs and early 1970s "unscripted tailless" Fender logos in 1996 when most Fender amplifier manufacturing moved to the Ensenada factory in Mexico. This series of amplifiers all used printed circuit board construction and can be difficult for amateur amp techs to service. The Red Knob amps, with their high-gain channels, had their own sound, not much like the older classic Blackface and Silverface designs.
Regarding the Solid State amps of this 'Red Knob' era, there were two that utilized the same circuit board and wattage, the Fender Eighty-Five and the Studio 10. [Note: The schematics you will find on the 'Eighty-Five' amp will be labeled 'Studio 85' which can be confusing to those trying to find an accurate schematic. This mislabeling we can assume happened because the amp was intended in the design phase to be released as the Studio 85, but for some reason this changed when it went into production. Paul Wentling is credited as the designer. He (Paul) has stated, years after the fact, that he created some fairly bad sounding tube amps during this time frame, owing to the cost limits given him by Fender management at the time.] The SS Eighty-Five and the Studio 10 are the same 65 (RMS) watt amp except for the use of a 12" speaker in one, and a 10" in the other. The 12" version, the Fender Eighty-Five, was notably used by Steve Miller (Steve Miller Band) and Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) over the years on many recordings. They were made in Lake Oswego, Oregon at the old Sunn factory, a brand/company that Fender had purchased in 1985–86." Wiki cool
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#2918430 - 03/31/18 11:00 PM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Winston Psmith]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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I had one once, years ago. Cool amp, overall, especially for a SS amp. I traded that in for a brand-new 'red-knob' Twin. I have fond memories of those days...
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#2918444 - 04/01/18 01:26 AM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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like
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#2918458 - 04/01/18 06:52 AM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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@Larryz - thanks for that Wiki post! I didn't realize they came from the old Sunn Amps works.

@Caevan - I think you were the person who first put the idea of a Fender Red Knob in my head in some previous post? At any rate, I'd been checking them out over time, and couldn't resist a give-away, especially when it was less than five minutes' drive from my house. I figure even if I put some $$$ into it, it'll still be worth whatever that costs me; they sell for around $150-200US, and I don't think it needs that much work.

Funny thing with these Amps is a real Love/Hate dichotomy among players who know them: I keep seeing them alternately described as having either "the worst Fender Distortion sound", or a "great Clean tone"? A lot of players compare them with the Roland JC-120, which gets my vote for 'worst Distortion sound ever'.

Off to visit family for the day. I hope your day is good, whatever you and yours may celebrate.
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#2918508 - 04/01/18 10:20 AM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Winston Psmith]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Gotta love the price. A Standel Imperial IV & a silverface Deluxe Reverb came into my collection in exactly the same fashion.
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#2918547 - 04/01/18 12:26 PM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Scott Fraser]
desertbluesman Online   content
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Cool score, Winston Psmith
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#2918620 - 04/01/18 05:34 PM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
@Larryz - thanks for that Wiki post! I didn't realize they came from the old Sunn Amps works.

Off to visit family for the day. I hope your day is good, whatever you and yours may celebrate.


thu
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#2919317 - 04/05/18 06:42 AM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Larryz]
The Geoff Offline
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I, indeed, possess a Fender Studio 85. It's a great wee amp, I put a Celestion G12 in it it and it opened it up from being a bit boxy. As noted, great cleans - distortion is best kept low.

G.
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#2919452 - 04/05/18 02:24 PM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: The Geoff]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: The Geoff
I, indeed, possess a Fender Studio 85. It's a great wee amp, I put a Celestion G12 in it it and it opened it up from being a bit boxy. As noted, great cleans - distortion is best kept low.

G.


It seems that there were only minor differences between the two models. One feature on the Deluxe is the ability to blend the two channels. In theory, that should give you a sound similar to the Clean/Drive mix on the Sparkledrive pedal, but in practice, not so much.

Turns out, even the broken Input jack (one of those plastic ones) works, no noise, no shorting out, it's just the outermost plastic bit that's broken. I have a good feeling about this Amp - I like the size, I like the sound, and I like having a slightly smaller SS Amp as a back-up, so I may well invest in having some work done on it.
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#2919540 - 04/05/18 10:13 PM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Winston Psmith]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
One feature on the Deluxe is the ability to blend the two channels. In theory, that should give you a sound similar to the Clean/Drive mix on the Sparkledrive pedal, but in practice, not so much.


I really liked that particular feature of that amp, and even more so on the red-knob Twin.

Try feeding a given pedal to one input, and a parallel line (say, from the stereo outputs of some pedal or device) without that pedal, and blending the two channels to taste, clean or dirty. Cool sounds await.

Originally Posted By: Winston Psmith
Turns out, even the broken Input jack (one of those plastic ones) works, no noise, no shorting out, it's just the outermost plastic bit that's broken. I have a good feeling about this Amp - I like the size, I like the sound, and I like having a slightly smaller SS Amp as a back-up, so I may well invest in having some work done on it.


I'm glad for ya!
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#2919550 - 04/06/18 02:23 AM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Registered: 02/15/10
Posts: 3486
Loc: Inside the Beltway
Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Try feeding a given pedal to one input, and a parallel line (say, from the stereo outputs of some pedal or device) without that pedal, and blending the two channels to taste, clean or dirty. Cool sounds await.


I have an ancient splitter box, a Boss J-5 (1 In x 4 Out), had it since 1983 or so? Completely passive, no batteries, no buffer, nuttin' fancy about it. Should be just the thing for experimenting with the two channels.

I could see sending the Wizard of Pitch to the Clean Channel, and maybe a Flanger to the Drive Channel? Another nice thing with this Amp, it has a Headphone Out, so if I get an idea like this at 5:30 in the AM (right about now) I can set it up without waking my wife, or the neighborhood.
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#2919652 - 04/06/18 10:08 AM Re: New (used) Amp: Fender Deluxe 85 Red Knob [Re: Winston Psmith]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 11109
Loc: Northern California
Having a headphone out is cool for night time attacks and you can tape from it too... cool
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