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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / Hot Rod Deluxe

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United States

Nov 5th, 2000 06:37 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well since I've had this amp for over two months I figured I might as well review it. I think it's pretty cool. I compared it with a DRRI but decided to go for a Hot Rod instead. It's got plenty of headroom for average sized gigs. If you're playing in an ampitheater you can just plug into a couple of Marshall 8x10s anyway. I thought my guitar wasn't very good while playing through a Crate GX-15. When I plugged it into the Deluxe it came alive. It had more funk, if you will. Seemed to get a wider range of tones. I thought that the stock speaker sounded fine, so I didn't change it. Throw a tubescreamer on it with the gain at about 2 tone at about 5 or 6, and turn up the reverb, adjust presence, and walla or whalla err whatever..-instant "Lenny" At least the closest I've ever gotten. The bright, clean, majestic, sparkly Fender tone was all there. I use the clean channel alot more than I used to on my old amp. The distortion is perfect for blues or rock (heck Kevin Codagon formerly of Third Eye Blind used it). Death metal? I don't think so. It only has two channels plus a "More Drive" which just ollies it up 20db and throws some more distortion on top. I use More Drive alot more than I though I would. You can go from slightly distorted rythym to screamin' (if you want) leads with the kick of a switch. It's got an effects loop, 2 inputs, ALL tubes. Comes with cool Fender case. Awesome silverface chrome. Gave plenty of clean headroom for jazz and everything, fiddle with the settings a bit and you can get great bluesy breakup. Seems to sound better the louder you turn it up. There are probably tons of things I haven't covered but oh well...ASK QUESTIONS. It seems to be pretty sturdy and reliable, gigs nicely. There's not a thing I don't like about this amp. (So don't point anything out, I don't wanna feel depressed:) -Matt


Houston, Tx............#7 of the '72 Custom Club!

Nov 6th, 2000 09:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yea, I agree, it's an excellent amp. I couldn't justify $200 more for the DRRI. It does everthing I want out of an amp. I think in 20 years it will be the next "collectible" vintage amp.



Nov 7th, 2000 05:45 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Is this the Hot Rod with 1 x 12" speaker?

Hank Hill

USA 24/68 - I ate a pack of corndogs. It was wild.

Nov 7th, 2000 05:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

RhCp - Yes, the Hot Rod Deluxe is the 40 watter with 1x12". I've got one too, and it's a great amp. And like Mikel, at the time I bought mine I couldn't justify the extra $200 for a DRRI. Since then though, I'm looking for something else - the HRD is just too much amp for my situation now (don't play out, etc.). Even so, I can't say anything bad about the HRD at all.




Nov 9th, 2000 08:13 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

All you HRDeluxers out there...You want to be even happier with your amp? Buy or build yourself an extention cabinet.(8ohm) I just got mine finished and man does it sound great. You can get in the sweet spot between the speakers and it's heaven on earth.


United States

Dec 6th, 2000 07:58 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds intriuging. (however you spell that)What do you mean by buildng your own cab? Wouldn't it be easier to just by a Marshall 2x12, and then if you want to...change the speakers? I guess I'm a newbie.



Dec 8th, 2000 01:50 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The extension cabinet works great woith this amp, it really opens up the sound. I've had my HRD since 1996 and I never had a problem. Try THD Yellowjackets in the Power amp. This drops the power to 20 watts, and the amp screems. A amp tech told me that 6V6's will work even better, and they do not need converter sockets. Has anyone tried this??


Axe Victim

Dec 8th, 2000 02:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As most people on the FDP know, the HRD is an awesome amp!

I bought mine when they first hit the market about 4 or 5 years ago (I think). My HRD still sounds incredible IMHO.



Dec 9th, 2000 04:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

hello all

when you speak of an extension cabinet.
can you run it in conjunction with speaker in the amp? what ohm rating should the ex,. speasker be? thanks


Boat drinks! The boys in the band ordered boat drinks!

Dec 9th, 2000 05:14 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use a Fender GE-112 extension cab with my HRD. It's fine.



Dec 29th, 2000 01:43 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I set out to buy a Blues Jr. since I really don't play out, but my local Fender dealer wanted to move a HRD out so he gave it to me at a price I couldn't refuse....Bottom line: It's a lot more than I need but I'm lovin it! Great range from clear to grunge; sounds great (even makes me sound good! )



Jun 20th, 2001 11:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I had a Blues Jr. for a week and it started cutting out so I returned it. They didn't have another one in stock so I plugged into an HRD and was impressed by the glassy clean tone. Since I usually play a Les Paul, the BJ sounded a little dark anyway. Nothing wrong with the BJ at all, it just wouldn't get bright enough for me with humbuckers.

I don't play in a band anymore and the 40 watts concerned me for home playing but I've been able to set the volume to acceptable levels. I'm interested in the Yellowjackets and I might try them out after I've had the amp for a while.

This is the first Fender amp I have owned and I'm impressed by the tone. The clean channel is so good, I find myself using it more and the overdrive channel less. This can only help my playing as I won't be able to hide finger flubs in the distortion anymore. Whether I play my LP or Nashville Tele, the tone is high quality. I set the reverb very low - 1.5 at most.

The only thing I would like Fender to do in a future revision of this amp is to make the volume controls less sensitive. Corner protectors would be nice, too.

Anyone considering purchasing this amp will be very happy with it, especially if you have never played through a Fender amp before or are coming from Transistor Land.

Think Floyd


Jun 20th, 2001 05:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I just got my HRD today, and after 20 yrs. of SS it's my first tube amp. I narrowed it down to this and a Peavey Classic 30. The 30 was nice, but its clean channel couldn't compare to the HRD. Now all I need is a decent pedal or two.
Think Floyd



Jun 23rd, 2001 02:27 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had an HRD for about a year and also have a TRRI. Love 'em both, but for strats the HRD is almost the best I've heard, if only the reverb wouldn't ping so much at higher volume levels. But for the price its a helluva amp.


I'm in love with a blonde

Jun 23rd, 2001 01:02 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

After 6 guitars, 2 ex-wives, 3 trucks, I STILL love my HRD! What an amp and what a value,
John Tasca


Big ass, very crass, no class

Jun 24th, 2001 06:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My only complaint with the HRDX is it's so very LOUD. But that is not really a bad thing 8^) There are several great things about it:

The tone is great. Great low end, glassy highs, nice reverb (hey, it's a Fender!).

It's portable (heavier than my Princeton 65, but not back-breaking heavy).

Tube power under $600!

It looks cool.

A real deal, for sure.



Darkest Scotland

Jul 5th, 2001 11:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I like everything about this amp except the cheap and nasty jack sockets. I really don't think there's an excuse for them at this quality level. Proper metal-barrelled jacks (you can get them in PCB-mounting versions too, so that's not the reason, and Fender actually use those in many of their other tube amps) are essential for an amp that's going to see professional stage use.

If you've got one of these amps, ALWAYS tie your leads through the handle if you don't want to replace a socket (which is a bit of a pest, you have to take the whole board out) when someone trips on the lead.

Anyone at Fender know why they're made like this?

Jack Seaver


Dec 30th, 2001 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have had one of the HRD's(in TWEED, no less!) for a couple of years. Awesome amp! 40 of the loudest watts ever. I found an old boogie cabinet w/a 90w Celestion in it on eBay and use it with the HRD. It's like a religious experience when it's cranked. Gives you a strange feeling in your loins... well enough of that. Gotta go play!


Scottsdale, AZ, USA

"Within you, without you..."
Jan 2nd, 2002 07:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've had a HRD for 3 years and am still in awe. Yeah it can be very loud but that's why God invented volume controls. (Hey look there's even one on my Strat and my Tele ;-} ). Oh, wow, there's also tone controls where you can back off on the bass and middle when needed. But seriously folks, over the years of reading FDP posts about the HRD being too loud especially for at home use I thinks it's because too many users want to do the spinal tap "all 11's" and fail to understand you can play with the knobs. And yeah for at home use a Blues Junior would be more than enough but IMHO an HRD and a Strat or Tele is a match made in Fender heaven. Throw a TS-9 turbo out front and smile... It's like driving a 'real' V-8, just knowing you got the power when you need it!

PS Only complaint is the input jack; knock on wood it's loose and it no longer can be tightened but it's 'hanging' in there.

Big Alex

Brazil /Rio

Jan 27th, 2002 12:59 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic


I have finally decided BTW Peavey Classic 30 And HRD. HRD won because of its amazing clean channel that made the middle/brigde position of my fender stratocaster sing with that great low end.
the overdrive channel worked fine for me . The only thing is that I had to roll back the guitar tone knob a bit to get a creamy bluesy distortion. Reverb is great! Very loud amp!!


Blues & Beer

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