I did it. I went back to the first guitar shop from Saturday to check out the Laney LC15R. It had a 10 inch H+H Invader speaker, 15 watts from an EL34, digital reverb, a line out, and an effects loop. I liked it, but I could not get a good clean sound (for my tastes) from it.
I plugged back into the Fender Deluxe Reverb just to make sure my ears were ok. They were. The Deluxe Reverb sounded just how I remembered it from Saturday.
So I plugged back into the Laney and got closer to a good clean sound, but it still didn’t feel right. Then I noticed that it was sitting on top of a Peavey Windsor Studio. Very similar wattage and features, but newer and designed for recording. So I plugged into that and got a great clean sound. Then I turned down the volume and turned up the gain to get a nice distortion.
I’m still thinking.