Fender has been the golden standard for guitar amplification for over 50 years. From the earliest RCA-inspired circuits to modern models like the Supersonic, Fender has been a prime player in the game every step of the way.
The Hot Rod Deluxe was introduced in 1995 as part of the Hot Rod series, which also included the Hot Rod Deville 4x10.
The Hot Rod Deluxe is a 1x12, 40 watt combo amplifier, powered by two 6L6GC's and voiced by three 12AX7A preamp valves. with a single channel and 3 switchable levels of gain.It has a preamp line out jack, as well as a power amp line out jack that allows it to use an extension speaker cabinet. There's also a footswitch jack for an included 2 button, 3 function footswitch.
The Hot Rod Deluxe is a master volume amp, allowing you to dial as much warmth into your clean tone or as much distortion into your overdrive as you want. A 3-band EQ helps further shape your tone, while a Presence control adds clean treble and a Reverb level controls the built-in spring reverb.
A rather interesting feature of the Hotrod Deluxe is its 3 stages of overdrive. Rather than having 3 separate channels crammed into one small combo chassis, Fender went the economical way and added an extra preamp tube to stack extra gain stages into the mix, essentially just adding more and more distortion to the bass tone. And this is where they strike out.
When demoing the Hot Rod Deluxe, one thing becomes quickly evident. The overdrive is pretty nasty. It's rattly, unfocused, and harsh, and I suspect the Jensen Special Design speaker that comes with the amp doesn't help matters.
The Clean tone is decent, however, and takes pedals rather well. And for this purpose the amp makes a solid grab-n-go or even a backline amp. But, I mean really, it's a Fender. They couldn't get away with having an amp with a bad clean tone. It's just sacrilege.
The Clean Tone, depending on gain setting, can go from sparkly, spanky clean to slightly overdriven, tweedy goodness. The use of humbuckers drives the amp even farther, whereas single coils still allow the amp to breathe a bit by comparison.
Unfortunately, the clean tone, for most players, is the only usable tone in this amp. The Drive mode isn't terrible, but it isn't great either. It's a bit of a rattly omen of what's to come with the More Drive mode. More Drive pushes the amp into all out trainwreck (and not in the Ken Fischer sense) territory. The tones in this mode are harsh, muddy, piercing... it's just bad. It does a fine job of making your guitar sound like a $75 beater fresh out of the dumpster. Which is fine, if you're into that sort of thing. Not so much, if you're not.
EQ settings are decently responsive, though not so much in the overdrive modes. The amp has an underlying harshness no matter how its set, and I suspect the speaker choice has a large influence on that. Reverb is economical and mediocre in depth and texture.
The Hot Rod Deluxe serves best as one of those amps you buy for $300 on Craigslist, take home, do some mods to it, upgrade the speaker, and use it for a small gig amp where most of your non-clean tones will be coming from pedals. I don't consider it an intrinsically versatile amplifier.
The Hot Rod Deluxe III is said to have made considerable improvements on the overdrive modes, and I've yet to hear or play one, but I can only hope this is true. Still, the Hot Rod Deluxe has its uses, and it's not the worst amp out there, but I can think of several other models of Fender combo I would request as backline long before this one.
I have been playing for over 40 years,dont play in a band but have in the past.I play a 1976 hardtail Fender Strat,a new Squier Bullet bought for a test bed axe,and a pair of vintage 1965 Silvertone solidbodys,Digitech 200 pedal.I love the Blues,Classic Rock,jazz music.I like to switch on the stereo or tv and play along and or jam with whatevers on so I have to be able to switch between styles quickly.
Purchashed at RICK's GUITAR SHOP Manhatten, Kansas.went in to check out a Blues Jr. and he was sold out Played the hr deluxe (which was my second choice)Love, Ta Da !!!!and Bought it 569.00,cash.Rick is a good ole boy and a players player no BS and he tried to get me to order the Jr.But cash in hand said take me home and plug me in NOW.
Versitility, lots of great reverb, very good distortions,excellent clean,Lots of room to move,and did I mention TUBE TONE like a milk chocalote on the tounge.Plenty of power and is very responsive.Seems well built and has great reviews.Warranty 5 years, Vintage looks and lots of classic Fender tone.
Volume pots to sensitive,Plastic jacks and speaker seems sort of cold or bright sounding.Don't get me wrong here it just sounds like there is more amp than speaker.Maybe just my ears.This sucker is loud and wants to show it!!!
It's a Fender Amp, Great no matter where or when it was built.Solid as a Rock,Top quality componenets, Cabinetry,above all sound Quality.9.5 Out of 10
Good buy for the Buck (or I never would have bought it)I did not consider anything but a Fender as I replaced my Princeton Chorus with this,Not the amp for any hardcore distortion but the right amp foreverything else.
I got this amp at guitar center in California just about 3 months ago. I first got it due to my guitar teacher recommending it to me. It is a GREAT amp. One of the LOUDEST amps out there. The list price is around 599.99$ but i got a good deal on it for 519.99$. It is totally worth the price.
I like the clean channel. It makes even my worst guitar sound great and it gives the classic Fender tone. Also the amp is very loud.
Somethings i dont like is the Drive channels. If your looking for a more distortion sound. I would suggest buying a pedal. Also the volume controls are alittle too sensitive.
It is well built. Very strong and can probably take a few beatings and still be good to go.
THIS AMP IS OVERALL GREAT. You should take no hesitation in buying it
I bought this from a local Fender dealer here in Kansas.650.00 w/ tax I could have bought it online for less,but if it breaks he wont fix it.so I hired a tech.
This amp screams Stones,The drive channel is Jumping jack flash,Brown sugar to a T.I have had many Fender products over the years and have had not one problem with any of them. This is without a doubt the finest tube amp you can buy for the money period.The reverb is to die for and the clean channel makes the neck pu on my strat sing jazz.
loud, Loud, Loud, did I say its Loud?They have built an amp that is great but you cant play it and have "Tubes a cookin"in the living room and the wife watching the TV.tHIS THING WANTS TO BE CRANKED and it does it very, very, well.
Very well built and what you would expect from Fender.
would recommend it to anyone, if you want metal buy a pedal.