Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III

Hot Rod Deluxe III , Tube Combo Guitar Amp from Fender in the Hot Rod Deluxe series.

SonicPulverizer 10/14/2012

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III : SonicPulverizer's user review

« Big rig killer »

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The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III is the brands newest addition to the Hot Rod series. The amp features 40 watts of 6l6 power coupled with an all 12ax7 preamp section. Fender has revoiced the drive sounds in the amp to make them more flexible and appealing to contemporary musician's. The amp has three modes that share a single tone stack, an effects loop, global master volume and presence controls, and a bright switch. The amp isn't a terrible exciting thing to look at, but the simplicity of it's design has a sense of class that is oftentimes overlooked in other affordable combos.


The Hot Rod III takes very little tweaking to deliver a decent sound. I learned about the amp while looking for an affordable solution that could take pedals well -- this amp definitely delivers in this regard. The footswitch is small and unobtrusive, the sound is very loud, and the construction is solid. These characteristics together with the amazing used prices available, makes this version of the Hot Rod an excellent solution for the gigging musician.


I played through the Hot Rod Deluxe III with a Gibson Les Paul Traditional w/ stock pickups. A Carl Martin Plexitone pedal was used in front of the amp while a Strymon El Capistan was used in the loop.

The sounds are surprisingly good even without the aid of pedals. Fender's heritage for excellent clean sounds are available in this amp in spades. The drive channels have a sense of focus and responsiveness that I've not experienced in a fender combo previously. The El capistan added an excellent hi-fi sheen over the sound and gave it the "finished" feel of a recorded guitar track. I had originally purchased the Hot Rod to use in conjunction with the Carl Martin, and while the distorted sounds do not lack for much, the plexitone brings another level of crispness to the sound. The sounds were good enough to convince to retire my Mesa Boogie backline and use this rig for good stretch of time.


The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III is an affordable and elegant pedal platform that can survive just fine on it's own, if need be. The used prices out there are certainly a steal, and competition in terms of sound quality are few and far between. I highly recommend trying out one of these with your favorite pedalboard, you might just find it replacing your current rig and putting cash back in your pocket.