After doing a fair amount of research into buying my first all tube amp I decided to go for a Fender Blues Junior which I was going to buy in the next week or so. However, earlier today, I saw a used Fender Hod Rod Deluxe for $680 in my local music store. And now I am unsure as to what to do. I love the tone of both amps but I have a number of questions for anyone who has experience with the Deluxe.

Would it be able to play a small gig un-mic'd?
Is it too loud for bedroom practice?
Would it be able to take a distortion pedal if I needed to add one?
Is it worth the extra money?
Would it have enough distortion for hard rock?
Does it have a good range of tones?

If you can answer any of these questions or give me any general advice/suggestions it will be greatly appreciated.

1) The HRD? Yes. BJ? No
2) Depends how quiet you have to practice.
3) You would have to add an overdrive/distortion pedal for anything higher than light blues OD, and it would take it brilliantly.
4) If you need the extra headroom and power.
5) No.
6) Not really. Great cleans, shit overdrive channels on the HRD.

Fenders don't really do hard rock. Look elsewhere.
Last edited by ze monsta at Nov 30, 2009,
You could play a small gig, un mic'd though I personally recommend you mic your amp every time you play but I understand that can't always happen. So yes, you can play un-mic'd.

It isn't really too loud for bedroom practice in your parents house. But an apartment? Yes. Way too loud. It goes from too quiet to pretty loud from volume 1 to 2.

I'm not sure if it's worth the extra money. It's a little bigger, has some different features and stuff. But I prefer the Blues Junior.

It has enough dist for hard rock, but I personally think it sounds pretty shitty. With an OD pedal though you could easily pull hard rock out of it.

I would say it has a moderate range of tones. It's still a Fender amp but it has a little more depth than a Deluxe Reverb or something. I personally hate the OD channel however.
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What's with all the hatred for the HRD drive channel? I personally don't find it that bad. Granted, it wouldn't cut it in the mosh pit, but it's functional. Having said that, I would look into getting a distortion/overdrive pedal if you want high gain sounds from it.
The clean channel however is simply phenomenal. Beautiful chiming chords and simply lush reverb. To be honest, the amp is worth buying just for the cleans alone. They are out of this world.
Fender Lite Ash --> TC Polytune --> Digitech Whammy V --> MXR Phase 90 --> EHX Small Clone --> Strymon Orbit --> TC Flashback X4 --> Rivera R55
Yeah, I guess it is kinda muddy. But it's muddy in a nice kind of way, a cheap kind of way, you know? It's fun for just seeing how gnarly and nasty that drive can get.
Still, TS, get the HRD over the Blues Jr.
Fender Lite Ash --> TC Polytune --> Digitech Whammy V --> MXR Phase 90 --> EHX Small Clone --> Strymon Orbit --> TC Flashback X4 --> Rivera R55
In my opinion it's drive channels have two flaws.
1) Muddy mess.
2) Lack of gain to the point where it's pointless having them and you're probably paying a whole lot more for something which you won't use.

The "more drive" channel is like adding coke and mentos to a beehive.
Thanks for the replies everyone! It seems as though many people aren't too happy with the amps distortion and I was wondering if adding a distortion pedal would help fix this problem? Also how heavy is this amp? Is it too heavy to bring around to band practice regularly?

Chea_Man also has reliability problems with his HRD... and I have problems with my Blues Deluxe. It does seem a reoccuring issue with the hot rod series as a whole.

HRD weighs 45llbs. They're pretty ****ing heavy, although I'm 6ft bean stalk...
I have a HR Blues Deville and while i don't have much of an opinion on the drive channels, I'd go with the HRD over the Blues Jr.

As for the overdrive... I use a Fulltone OCD for anything more than blues od. For blues od I use a TS9DX and / or a TS7. Those 3 pedals get me everywhere I want to go.
- Anthony
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Avid 11R

1) Yes
2) No
3) Yes, I use two
4) Don't know, haven't tried the junior so I couldn't compare.
5) The amp's distortion sucks but it takes pedals really well
6) Read above. Lovely reverb too.
***Short Sig***