For years I’d wanted a Fender Deluxe Reverb Reissue, often abbreviated on gear forums and sites as a DRRI. Okay, so you might think to yourself, “Wait, I came to this page to read about an Egnater Tweaker 15 and this guy’s talking about a Deluxe Reverb?!?!?”. I’ll get to that, I promise.
After some trades and sales, I ended up with a DRRI. I even picked up an Eminence Cannabis Rex 12″ speaker after reading that it was an alternative to having a “bright mod” done, which involved removing a component on the circuit board (a capacitor, maybe?) and I didn’t want to mod my amp. That amp was the tone I’d wanted for years without paying the big bucks for an actual vintage Fender Deluxe Reverb. It had this wonderful clean tone and, at 22 watts, didn’t have to get TERRIBLY load to get some breakup going in the tubes.
In 2009, I ended up buying the PRS SC245 Ted McCarty Soapbar that I own and have used on Skylines and the Horizon. The Guitar Center I bought it from didn’t have a Deluxe Reverb Reissue in the isolated room I played the guitar in, but they had a combo version of the Egnater Tweaker. The guitar sounded so good through it. I could tweak away to my heart’s content and everything sounded so good. The drive channel was impressive and although I couldn’t switch it via a pedal, the amp responded well to rolling off the volume of the PRS.
True to the name, the Egnater Tweaker has numerous switches that allow you to tweak the sound of the amp. I’m going to go over them, but not in too much detail. Why? Good question. There are a good number of YouTube videos out there by people who play and make demos far better than I can if you want to hear how it sounds and I imagine they go through the differences.
One of the primary switches is one labeled USA, AC, and Brit. These represent a voicing that aligns with Fender, Vox, and Marshall amps, respectively speaking. Over the couple of weeks I played that PRS up at Guitar Center before pulling the trigger on it was that the USA voicing sounded close enough to the DRRI and also captured a solid Marshall sound. I got the best of most of both worlds, could sell the DRRI, buy the Tweaker, AND have money left over.
Up until that point in my life, I hadn’t owned a head and cab that I could make the most use of. At one point, I’d owned a Fender Roc Pro 1000, which I believe was a 100w head and played it through a 4×12″. It was loud, and at least for me, wasn’t a tube head.
I bought the Tweaker 15 head first. Another cool feature is that you can select a 4, 8 or 16 ohm output. As the DRRI was an 8 ohm amp, I plugged the speaker cable into the 8 ohm jack and played it through the speaker of my DRRI.
I have to admit, playing a tube amp at bedroom volume isn’t the same as playing it cranked in an isolated room in a music store, but it still sounded good. Eventually I saw a used Tweaker 115 cab pop up on another Guitar Center used site and bought it. I plugged the speaker cable into the 16 ohm output and off I went.
I sold the DRRI shortly thereafter (and replaced the original speaker). I made a nice profit off of the whole thing. While I’d go on to the miss the DRRI, the Tweaker more than made it up for in its versatility and remains an amp that I regularly play.
I used the Tweaker for the entirety of the 2011 Watauga sessions and JD and Matt recorded all of their tracks for Lo-Fi Nice Try’s Waiting Drove Us Mad using it as well. While I haven’t used the Tweaker for any stuff on Skylines and the Horizon, it will make an appearance on any future projects I record music for.
I tend to leave the Vintage/Modern switch in the modern position, preferring the boosted mid and highs it provides over the more neutral vintage setting. I also favor the USA voicing for the cleans and the Brit voicing for any gain I do using the amp’s controls.
Pictures incoming soon!