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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / What a difference in my HRD...


Northern VA

"Mongo only pawn in game of life"
Mar 25th, 2016 12:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've had '96 HRD for about a 15 years and only used it sporadically. Always sounded good, but loud...if you own one you know what I mean.
I decided to try all new tubes and replaced the speaker...what an amazing difference.
Got rid of the 12AX7's, put a 12AY7 in V1, a 12DW7 in V2, a 12AT7 in V3 and 2 6L6CG's...all from JJ.
Replaced the stock speaker with a Mojotone 70w Greyhound. I went with Mojotone because they're extremely inexpensive and get great reviews. Rebiased to 67mV which seemed to be this amp's sweet spot. Nice highs, lows and just the right amount of mids. It's like a completely different amp. Best of all the volume on the clean channel is tamed quite a bit. Before I couldn't take this amp past 2 before it became ungodly loud for an apartment. Now it's 6 before volume becomes a problem, at 4 it's loud enough and full enough to sound great. The 12AY7 is a low gain tube, at 6 it's still clean. Drive channels aren't -quite- as loud as before, but the tone is a lot smoother.
I bought this used for $250-300 quite a long time and didn't want to dump a lot of money into it. But $80 for a speaker and $75 for tubes....money well spent.
Since this model had unlacquered tweed, I took a couple of bottles of liquid Kiwi brown shoe polish and a satin poly coating and changed the look a little.

Just waiting on the leather handle...

(This message was last edited by daveg at 02:48 PM, Mar 25th, 2016)

Think Floyd
Contributing Member

Eastern PA

Mar 26th, 2016 06:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

That does look nice!


Northern CT - USA

"We're not University material."
Apr 12th, 2016 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

But how do you carry it? Seems to be "sans handle" now :)

Good tips on the tubes and spkr swaps. I've got a Hot Rod DeVille that I bought around the same time ('95 or '96). Sitting in my basement collecting dust. Maybe I'll resurrect her some day like you did. Clean channel always sounded really good to me. It's just a heavy sucker so I've been going with other amp options.

Contributing Member

Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Jun 10th, 2016 06:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Seems that alot of us non giggers have a Deluxe something or another sitting around with the too loud syndrome. My HRDLX is 20 this year and is really underutilized if at all. I turn it on and play a good 3 or 4 hours about once a month. Leave it on standby, go eat lunch, return and play some more just to get some heat and electrons moving in it. Like I posted elsewhere, I should sell it, but then I wouldn't have a 20 yr. old HRDLX that literally looks a week old...I'm afraid that some day, I'm going to switch it on and nada.

(This message was last edited by jay1vinton at 08:34 PM, Jun 10th, 2016)


Northern VA

"Mongo only pawn in game of life"
Jun 30th, 2016 08:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

Still sounding good, speaker breaking in nicely and still holding at 67mV, wanted to make sure it wasn't drifting any.
I use a collapsible dolly when I move mine any further than 20 feet...I've had two back surgeries, so I try to minimize my stupidity as much as possible. Leather handle is taller than the original and took some getting used to look wise, but I've read too many postings about the original rubber handles failing and the handle has aged 20 years. The leather strap has a metal reinforcement strip in it.
Glad I did these mods, this amp is now useable at home at low levels...and just sounds so much better than before.

w/ new handle

reverend mikey
Contributing Member

west Omaha, east NE

The real Rev of the FDP
Jun 30th, 2016 09:05 AM   Edit   Profile  

Interesting handle - did you get the right size? No matter - as long as you don't need to stack anything on top of the amp (and why would you want to?). Looks very cool.

It is truly amazing what changing tubes and speaker can do to upgrade an amp's tone (and usability). Nicely done.

(Nice Strat, too ... 6-scerw bridge isn't American Standard, so what is it?)

The Jester
Contributing Member


I didn't do it!!!
Jun 30th, 2016 09:42 AM   Edit   Profile  

I recently replaced the V1 tube with a 12AT7 and biased my Python HRD to 71mV. Love it now! The volume is much more controllable and the drive channels are now usable. I got these recommendations off a YouTube video, and they seem to really have tamed the savage beast! And, it was very easy to do.


Northern VA

"Mongo only pawn in game of life"
Jun 30th, 2016 11:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

The handle is the right size, the description said it would be taller...just didn't realize how much.

The Strat is actually a 57ri body with a 62ri neck. I swapped the 2 necks out of curiosity simply to see what it would look like and the 57body/62neck ended up sounding amazing. I was surprised how much difference a neck and body combo could make. Honestly I didn't think it would change at all. The 62body/57neck sounded as good as before so I didn't lose anything to gain something else.



Jul 1st, 2016 03:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Handle is the right size, the attachment points are s'posed to be further apart is all.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Jul 5th, 2016 09:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

That looks like the stitched pleather handle type. A rubber dog-bone handle would fit perfectly and lay flat when not in use.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: 1985 - Current / What a difference in my HRD...

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