I keep hearing of hot rod/hot rodded amps and circuits, but can't find anything on 'em.

Could someone give me an explanation about that term?
Name's Luca.

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Clue: amplifiers amplify so don't turn it on if you need quiet.
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It's basically just referring to a circuit being modified a little bit, to add gain, mids etc Easy example is that Splawns are hot rodded Marshalls. Splawn basically took something like the JCM 800 and made it better.
The term hot Rod originally comes from hot roding cars. Meaning to modify the car to make it or, louder, faster etc.

With amps it is virtually the same thing. Like described above.

A lot of 80's metal bands modified there Marshall JCM800's to make them more high gain as they didnt quite have enough gain for the metal sound.