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#1
Hey all,

So, as part of a sudden case of severe, ongoing GAS (It's been awhile since I've bought anything), I'm eyeballing a possible second amp. I love my ENGL Fireball for the metal tones, but let's be honest - it's kind of a one trick pony. In the interest of expanding my available tones for other genres, I'd like to look into a good amp for vintage clean/mid-gain tones.

Earlier today, I was jamming on my buddy's Hot Rod Deluxe 2x12, and thought it was pretty awesome. But at the same time, I'm not as well versed in the non-metal/hard rock gear as some of the other UG'ers out there are. Are the Hot Rod series amps one of the better options in their price range? Or what else would be good? I don't see myself buying anything tomorrow, but I'd like to find something fairly inexpensive, preferably under $500 USD. I can go used, and it can be a combo or head (though I'm not sure if the cabs I have are best suited to Fender tones). Something capable of both a warm, smooth overdrive, and a twangy clean tone is a plus!

All advice appreciated!
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#2
The HRD's are fine on the clean channel and is quite nice boosted. The overdrive channel is horrendous. The best way to go is to hunt up an old blackface Twin/Bassman/Bandmaster and stick a tubescreamer or two in front of it.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#3
I have the 1x12" HRDlx. I love the amp, by far my favorite Fender amp I have owned. But as said, the OD Channel is pretty bad. You can get it to sound decent (at best) with a lot of tweaking. EuroTubes offers a tube package that helps calm down the OD channel (and makes the amp's clean sound even better), but it still just doesn't give the same effect as a sweetly overdriven tube amp. Now, playing the HRD on the clean channel and cranking it, that is where this thing really shines, put a good OD (I always prefer TS808's) in front of it, love at first feel.
#4
Yep - pretty much, you're not going for a fender for OD - it's all about the cleans. I have the HRD 1x12 and have played the 2x12 which to my ears had bugger all difference in tone, I would recommend saving the money and the weight (these aren't light) and going for the 1x12.
The only 6 words that can make you a better guitarist:

Learn theory
Practice better
Practice more
#5
Quote by Wylde_Life
I have the 1x12" HRDlx. I love the amp, by far my favorite Fender amp I have owned. But as said, the OD Channel is pretty bad. You can get it to sound decent (at best) with a lot of tweaking. EuroTubes offers a tube package that helps calm down the OD channel (and makes the amp's clean sound even better), but it still just doesn't give the same effect as a sweetly overdriven tube amp. Now, playing the HRD on the clean channel and cranking it, that is where this thing really shines, put a good OD (I always prefer TS808's) in front of it, love at first feel.

In other words - retube it with JJ's. JJ power tubes and NOS preamp tubes would be my choice but all JJ's would be ok. Not everybody has a collection of NOS tubes for some reason.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#6
What volume level do you need out of it? If you just want it for home jamming, and occasional small coffee shop type gigs you could get away with a Blues Junior. Its a little more chimy than the HRD but I prefer its overdrive.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#7
I'm not an amp guru, but I have an HRDx III and re-tubed it with JJs and I think it sounds incredible. I thought it sounded good before I replaced the tubes and I think it sounds fantastic now.

People like to beat up the HRDx for it's overdrive. I think it sounds good. It's not a hard core metal amp thats for sure, but the overdrive is very usable for blues and rock.
#8
Quote by agroban
I'm not an amp guru, but I have an HRDx III and re-tubed it with JJs and I think it sounds incredible. I thought it sounded good before I replaced the tubes and I think it sounds fantastic now.

People like to beat up the HRDx for it's overdrive. I think it sounds good. It's not a hard core metal amp thats for sure, but the overdrive is very usable for blues and rock.

Boosting the clean channel sounds miles better though. Its not a lack of gain people complain about its just mooshy sounding, boring OD.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#9
Quote by agroban

People like to beat up the HRDx for it's overdrive. I think it sounds good. It's not a hard core metal amp thats for sure, but the overdrive is very usable for blues and rock.
I disagree. An overdriven Fender Super Reverb is very usable for blues and rock. An overdriven Fender tweed is very usable for blues and rock. An overdriven Marshall JTM45 is very usable for blues and rock. To me the overdrive on a Hot Rod is not really usable for anything, but that's just my opinion.
#10
Plug straight into a Tweed deluxe clone TS. They go for $500 used if you look around.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#11
In his defense, you're naming amps that excel at blues and rock, by anyone's standards. I don't call that 'usable.'
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#12
Quote by tubetime86
In his defense, you're naming amps that excel at blues and rock, by anyone's standards. I don't call that 'usable.'


The OP said he has a good metal amp and was looking for a low to mid gain amp to play something different.
#13
Quote by al112987
I disagree. An overdriven Fender Super Reverb is very usable for blues and rock. An overdriven Fender tweed is very usable for blues and rock. An overdriven Marshall JTM45 is very usable for blues and rock. To me the overdrive on a Hot Rod is not really usable for anything, but that's just my opinion.


Well opinions are like ass holes. Everyone's got one and some smell worse than others .


Just playing of course. Tone is very subjective. Many here hate the OD on the HRD. Maybe the super reverb or the tweed would blow my mind.
#14
Seriously a HRD or even a BJ is settling. We all know the correct answer is blackface Fender (or JTM45/Plexi clone if you've got a British bent) with a tubescreamer of some sort out front. Why argue about which latest tinfoil offering from Fender has the worst distortion? Get something good.
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
#15
used Peavey Classic 30, good cleans and overdrive
Guitars
Fender American Standard Strat 2008
Burny late 1980's Super Grade RLG-70 Les Paul
Sterling by Musicman JP50
Fender Classic Series 60's tele
Yamaha FS720S
Amp
Roland Microcube
Fender Blues Junior III Humholdt
#16
Quote by agroban
The OP said he has a good metal amp and was looking for a low to mid gain amp to play something different.

You misread my post. I was saying that calling some of the best blues amps out 'usable' seems like a gross understatement.

Quote by Cathbard
Seriously a HRD or even a BJ is settling. We all know the correct answer is blackface Fender (or JTM45/Plexi clone if you've got a British bent) with a tubescreamer of some sort out front. Why argue about which latest tinfoil offering from Fender has the worst distortion? Get something good.

He said he'd like to keep it under $500. He could potentially find a blackface head for that but then he needs a cab, and potentially some repairs. Besides he said he liked the HRD, and has an Engl as his main amp. God forbid someone have anything but the best, and save a few bucks...
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
Last edited by tubetime86 at May 17, 2011,
#17
vox ac 15 possibly used? i think they are like 600 new.

perhaps even a night train. i was loving that series. lots of character compared to most lower end fenders ive tried.

engater tweaker?
#18
Still saying Tweed deluxe clone...
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#19
Quote by gregs1020
Still saying Tweed deluxe clone...

I didn't believe you that they could be found that cheap... Until I did a Jaxed search.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#20
yup. all day long.

people spend twice that and then have to put them together. as long as you have a decent tech check it over (i'm no wiring expert, i just can tell min's is sloppy lol) then you should be good to go.

great little amps, i'm getting another one. i miss my old one more than i thought i would.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#21
Quote by gregs1020
yup. all day long.

people spend twice that and then have to put them together. as long as you have a decent tech check it over (i'm no wiring expert, i just can tell min's is sloppy lol) then you should be good to go.

great little amps, i'm getting another one. i miss my old one more than i thought i would.

I saw one in ATL for $300... But without a cab and it looks like Min did the wiring, either him or birds.

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/msg/2372090257.html
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
Last edited by tubetime86 at May 17, 2011,
#22
wow, well no shell or speaker, and it's a crap chassis to boot. i doubt he'll see $300 for it. i'd hold off for a good one with the nice cab etc, just missed one last week. tgp and hc classifieds have them pretty regularly too.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#23
I have a Hot Rod Deluxe, I had my amp tech re EQ it, which really smoothed out the volume control, and he replaced the speaker with a Jensen Neo. Now it sounds amazing, clean, or with a good overdrive. i didn't retube it yet though since the tubes test strong. Or a Twin Reverb is the ultimate clean amp.
Guitars:
Gibson SG Standard with Bigsby
Gibson Custom ES-137
Gibson Custom 54' Les Paul VOS Goldtop
Gretsch G6129T Silver Jet
1968 Harmony Rocket H75


Amps:
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (modded)
1970 Fender Twin Reverb (blackfaced)

#24
i wouldn't be doing my job if i didn't mention used music man amps.

http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-Music-Man-212-HD-Guitar-Amplifier-w-Footswitch-/270748714200?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f09e184d8

that one has replacement speakers but you can find a music man fairly often for under 500. sometimes cheaper.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#25
Well, it sounds like the general verdict here is what I expected - that the hot rod series amps are decent, but that the Bassman/Deluxe Reverb/Twin Reverb, etc. are the ones to really try to get if possible.

What I'm curious about now, is with all the various Fender amps available, which one would be right for me? Being able to get a nice, chimey, bell-like clean, and a slightly twangy clean from the same amp is a big plus. Gain-wise, I don't mind using an OD pedal if I must, but being able to get some crunch at lower volumes without one would be nice.

Also, I've been curious about the various amp styles Fender has made over the years (Blackface, Silverface, Tweed, etc.). Is the difference between them all mostly looks, or are some more sought after for their tones than others?

And, two more questions I'd rather just ask here, than make a new thread for!

1 - Since I have a feeling a Vintage 30 knock-off isn't going to provide the more classic style tone I'm after, what are typically considered good speakers that pair well with Fender-style amps?

2 - If I'm going to use the strat I currently have for the tones I'm after, it's gonna need some new pickups to do them exceptionally. For the tones I'm after, would a PAF style pickup in the bridge be a good choice? or perhaps a slightly-overwound PAF style? And if I wanted to use a P-90 in say, the neck, is it more like a single-coil wiring wise? or would I still have some use for coil splitting?
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#26
I've owned 2 HR deluxe and I loved both of them--especially the clean tones. The 1st overdrive channel was great for classic rock, but I didn't like the "more drive" channel. Now, if you plug a good distortion pedal into the clean channel, you can be as metal as you like.
#27
Quote by FlightofIcarus

Also, I've been curious about the various amp styles Fender has made over the years (Blackface, Silverface, Tweed, etc.). Is the difference between them all mostly looks, or are some more sought after for their tones than others?


They're from different eras of Fender Amp design. It's the easiest way to distinguish which specifications a Fender amp has (Like a Blackface Twin has different specs than a Tweed Twin). The earliest, I'm pretty sure, is called TV Panel (up to the early 50s), but practically no one uses them other than the Bassman and to a lesser extent the Champ. The next would be Tweed (late 40s/early 50s to 1960). I'm pretty sure the most desirable Tweed amps are the Blues Jr and the Deluxe (and their reissues, though the Reissues aren't exactly the same specs). Then there was "Brown" and "Blonde" amps, meh on both of those, unless you can find a Bandmaster Head ('61-'63) or a '63 reverb unit, those are priceless. Then, there's the "Blackface" amps, from 1963 to 1974. These, and their reissues, are almost universally accepted as the pinnacle of Fender Amplification. Then came "Silverface" from '74 to the nineties (I'm not 100% on when they stopped making silverface), but they're also meh. Then you start dealing with modern amps. Most of them are OK, but some are better than others.

And, two more questions I'd rather just ask here, than make a new thread for!

1 - Since I have a feeling a Vintage 30 knock-off isn't going to provide the more classic style tone I'm after, what are typically considered good speakers that pair well with Fender-style amps?


I'd recommend Jensens if you're focusing on Vintage Twang, Eminence for bell-tone chime, based on what Fender uses currently. I'm pretty sure there are other Speakers that would work better.

Also, Fender is not a big Head/Cabinet manufacturer. Most of their amps are combos, and if you go with one, I'd say just leave the speaker that is in there, unless you're really not satisfied with their sound. "If it ain't broke..."

2 - If I'm going to use the strat I currently have for the tones I'm after, it's gonna need some new pickups to do them exceptionally. For the tones I'm after, would a PAF style pickup in the bridge be a good choice? or perhaps a slightly-overwound PAF style? And if I wanted to use a P-90 in say, the neck, is it more like a single-coil wiring wise? or would I still have some use for coil splitting?


For what you're looking for (Bell-like chime and clean twang) I'd say go SSS with the Strat. The bell like chimy tone is a Strat neck pickup and the Twang is a Fender single-coil bridge pick-up. Though I guess you could pull a Wayne Kramer and go SHS.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
#28
Well, that definitely clears things up! Though there are certainly a ton of different amp models they've made over the years too. Is the Blues Deluxe reissue good for the roots rock tones I'm after? How does it compare to the Hot Rod series amps? Just trying to narrow it down to a few amps to know what to keep an eye out for.

As far as the pickup thing goes, mainly just curious as I suspect if I want some suitable psychobilly tones on top of the other stuff I've mentioned, that a bridge humbucker may be best for the job. I also have push-pull pots though, so I'd be able to split it too. Would a coil split PAF-style pup provide something reasonably close to single coil tone? Keep in mind that I'm used to rather hot pickups like Super Distortions and such, so I'm pretty sure anything relatively mild is going to have an amazing clean tone in comparison
- Gibson Flying V 120 #1 (White)
- Gibson Flying V 120 #2 (Cherry)
- Gibson SG Standard ('61 style)
- Jackson DK2M

- ENGL Fireball 60
- Avatar 4x12

- Many pedals, plus other stuff
#29
Quote by FlightofIcarus
Well, that definitely clears things up! Though there are certainly a ton of different amp models they've made over the years too. Is the Blues Deluxe reissue good for the roots rock tones I'm after? How does it compare to the Hot Rod series amps? Just trying to narrow it down to a few amps to know what to keep an eye out for.


I'd guess yes, though I have no experience with one, so I can't say for sure.

As far as the pickup thing goes, mainly just curious as I suspect if I want some suitable psychobilly tones on top of the other stuff I've mentioned, that a bridge humbucker may be best for the job. I also have push-pull pots though, so I'd be able to split it too. Would a coil split PAF-style pup provide something reasonably close to single coil tone? Keep in mind that I'm used to rather hot pickups like Super Distortions and such, so I'm pretty sure anything relatively mild is going to have an amazing clean tone in comparison


The answer is still no, regardless of what you're use to. It'd still sound like a PAF; a thin and weak PAF, but still a PAF. The short reason why they can't is that a Stratocaster's single coil has six magnets, a PAF has two. There's no way for a PAF (or most humbuckers) to decently replicate that single coil chime and twang. If there was, do you think there'd still be a market for single coils?

EDIT: I mean, the tones you're looking for don't necessarily need high end pickups, you just need some single coils. Sound is based more on the construction of the pickup than what type of magnets or how many winds it has. In fact, I'd even say you should be looking at low output pick ups. If you're playing through a halfway decent amp (which based on what you said you're looking at, you would be) than you could probably get away with some cheapo GFS Pickups.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
Last edited by kangaxxter at May 19, 2011,
#30
What does work well is going in the other direction; two single coils mounted side by side wired in series like a humbucker. You make one of them RW/RP and you get hum cancelling as well. Mighty fine way to run for slide, I have it that way at the bridge on my slide guitar. Takes up a bit more room than a humbucker so you do have to have/make more room. Not going to get PAF tones unless you are damn lucky but you wouldn't know it wasn't humbuckers if you didn't look too closely.

Edit: Oh, you will love this TS:
http://www.ampwares.com/fender.asp
Gilchrist custom
Yamaha SBG500
Telecasters
Randall RM100 & RM20
Marshall JTM45 clone
Marshall JCM900 4102 (modded)
Marshall 18W clone
Fender 5F1 Champ clone
Atomic Amplifire
Marshall 1960A
Boss GT-100


Cathbard Amplification
My band
Last edited by Cathbard at May 19, 2011,
#32
Quote by kangaxxter
They're from different eras of Fender Amp design. It's the easiest way to distinguish which specifications a Fender amp has (Like a Blackface Twin has different specs than a Tweed Twin). The earliest, I'm pretty sure, is called TV Panel (up to the early 50s), but practically no one uses them other than the Bassman and to a lesser extent the Champ. The next would be Tweed (late 40s/early 50s to 1960). I'm pretty sure the most desirable Tweed amps are the Blues Jr and the Deluxe (and their reissues, though the Reissues aren't exactly the same specs). Then there was "Brown" and "Blonde" amps, meh on both of those, unless you can find a Bandmaster Head ('61-'63) or a '63 reverb unit, those are priceless. Then, there's the "Blackface" amps, from 1963 to 1974. These, and their reissues, are almost universally accepted as the pinnacle of Fender Amplification. Then came "Silverface" from '74 to the nineties (I'm not 100% on when they stopped making silverface), but they're also meh. Then you start dealing with modern amps. Most of them are OK, but some are better than others.



I can't even begin to explain how far off you are here. I've heard Fender's history butchered before but holy shit. The only thing correct here is the order of the styles.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#33
Hey Kangaxxter, I have this immaculate blues jr. it's one of the most desirable Fenders ever and I'm willing to give you a killer deal on it. $8000 shipped, it's a killer deal, the less desirable 410 Bassmans go for $10,000+ in this condition so you are really in luck my friend.
Last edited by al112987 at May 19, 2011,
#34


TS - His history lesson is awful, but as I said he got the orders right just not anything else.

Tweeds tend to be dirtier sounding, think raunchy Neil Young. Blackfaces are a bit cleaner, and a lot twangier. Silverfaces are all over the board due to quality control issues in that era... But generally way cleaner and sometimes even sterile sounding.

For your sound I think you'd be looking for a blackface. Something like a Deluxe Reverb could be perfect for you. The reissues aren't half bad, could be a great option. The Blues Deluxe reissues are pretty damn nice too. You'll need a boost to get a little crunch from it, but with a boost they cover what you're trying to do pretty damn well.

I'd say just keep an eye on your local craigslist and if something pops up go try it out. Be patient, a perfect amp at a perfect price will come up, but it may not be tomorrow.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#35
#36
Wow 311. I want to move to Seattle.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#37
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#38
man i really want a blonde blues jr.

those old fender el84 amps are off the hook.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#39
Quote by TNfootballfan62
Holy crap. I guess all those 90s grunge bands that didn't pan out finally gave it.

I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#40
Nothing quite reinvigorates a thread like posting bad information.
Actually, I go by Dave, but there are already too many Daves on this forum.


Fender MIM Stratocaster
Fender Jaguar Bass
Epiphone EJ200 Super Jumbo
Fender Excelsior 13w
Acoustic B300HD (with matching 1x12 cab)
BOSS BD-2W
NYC Big Muff Pi
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