Searching for a replacement amp (previous amp - different brand - too much background hiss). I spent time researching what I wanted and then visited a number of stores to see and hear these models.
Right from the start I liked the sound of the Hotrod deluxe but waited until I was sure about buying.
Paid $2000(AUS) at my local store where I buy a lot of gear. Which was a good price by standards here in Perth.
Beautiful sound. Clear and sparkling on 'normal' channel. But can add plenty of overdrive using second channel or 'more drive' selector. And I use Boss effects to create as much embellishment as I like.
Reverb and presence knobs work well.
Some reviewers have complained about sensitivity of the volume controls, but I don't agree.There seems to be fairly smooth increases in volume as the knobs are rotated. The only thing I notice is that the amp can get very loud indeed for its rated power.
Nothing so far.
Solidly built. Best looking amp.
Great having the controls on top.
No problems with reliability so far.
Excellent clear sound. Beautifully quiet unless you strike a note (no background hiss). No hesitation recommending this quality product.
And if the resulting beauty goes some way towards calming ill will in the world then that is a good thing.
I bought it in a loca music store, in Norway, where I live, for about 8000 Kroner, which is the same as 900US$.
This amp really has a stunning amount of power! I've played at stages outside using only a third of it's capacity! The reverb is also remarkable, and the clean sound is unbelieveable.
The knobs on this thing is WAY too sensitive...At least at the lowest levels, which make me a bit of problems when I want it to whisper in my bedroom at nights. This is not a big problem though, more a little annoying thing that seem to bother me.
The other thing about this unit is that it doesn't sound good with many distortion units...This has caused problems for me when using e.g. the Big Muff Pi, or the Boss MT-2 Metal Zone. The built in drive-channel of course gives you warm overdrive-sound, but it doesn't give enough if you'll play hard-rock! I think the problem with dist-units is that it colours the sound too much in the preamp-tubes, and you end up with a bit unsatisfying distorted sound.
The Deluxe is made of good quality wood,and is really good put together. The DogBone handle is also nice and sturdy, but this is a heavy piece of equipment for a small guy like me...(25 kg) It has to be mentioned that this is a tube-amp, and therefore it will have to be cared for, and not be roughly treated.
A nice guitar amp of supreme quality,but if you want the metal-distortion, you MAY struggle a bit. (unless you're an effects-expert)
This is basically a custom piece for the Fender Hot Rod series. This amp is every way is the exact same functionally and tone wise as the black standard with silverface grill. You have the same response in feel and tone. The only difference being that the tolex is brown on the front and the grill and the speaker is updated. Instead of a Celestion you get a Jensen speaker that matches the voicing of this amp much better.
There are a couple new features in the Hot Rod Deluxe lll that are very important to me. The first one being that speaker that is standard is actually usable. They used to have some cheap speaker in there that wasn't very musical and a lot of guys would switch out the speaker for something much more sweeter in tone. The next feature is a usable gain channel two and three. Before they gain channels were so bad that I never even used them. They sounded terrible and nothing like a tube amp distortion.
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Combo Guitar Amplifier Features at a Glance:
* Amplifier type: Tube
* Output power: 40W
* Speaker: 1 x 12" Jensen
* Output impedance: 4 ohms or 8 ohms
* Preamp tubes: 3 x 12AX7
* Power tubes: 2 x 6L6
* Rectifier: Solid state
* Inputs: 2
* Channels: 3 selectable channels (Normal, Drive, and More Drive)
* Controls: Presence, Reverb, Master Volume, Middle, Bass, Treble, Drive select switch, Drive Volume, Bright switch
* Effects: Spring reverb
* Effects loop: Preamp output/power amp input
* Speaker jack: Extension speaker jack
* Covering/grille cloth: Black textured-vinyl covering with Blackface-style black/silver grille cloth
* Height: 18.75"
* Width: 23.5"
* Depth: 10.5"
* Weight: 45 lbs.
* Footswitch: 2-button, 3-function footswitch included
* Cover: Amplifier cover included
Number of Channels Three
Speakers 1 x Celestion G12P-80
Effects No Effects
EQ Treble, Bass, Middle
Amp Modeling No Modeling
Number of Models 0
Number of Tubes 5
Preamp Tubes 3 x 12AX7
Power Tubes 2 x 6L6
Inputs 2 x Instrument
Outputs 1 x Speaker
Footswitch I/O Yes
Effects Loop Yes
Weight 45 lbs.
This amp has a better tone that the standard simply because of the better speaker. The Jensen is a far superior speaker to the Celestion for this style of amplifier. Now that they have a usable gain channel then this amp has much more flexibility that before. The old amps were just outright sloppy. The bad thing is that these amps are made in Mexico. So they are going to be cheaper made and will break down on you a lot quicker. I'm not sure if they fixed the jewel light from going out on this model. Everyone who owned this amp knows that the light always goes out on these things.
Anyway, use this amp with any nice guitar. I like this amp with a solid Gibson Les Paul. I used it with a Line 6 Dl4 and a Ibanez Ts9 and I had some great tones that cut through the band quite well.
These are a limited run so they are extremely hard to find and sometimes impossible. These amps from Fender sometimes are even exclusive to certain stores and online retailers. So hunting one don in this setup can be a challenge. They are very cool looking and fit the tone of the amp better in my opinion. I would recommend this over the black standard as the speaker is better and the tolex is very unique.