#1
Hi all.

I'm looking to trade an amp of mine with a Fender amp, or possibly another amp with great Fender-ish cleans. A Fender Hot Rod DeVille ML 212 has come up, and I've heard some clips on YouTube, but would like to hear members' here on the forum experience with this amp. I'm looking for great cleans using my single coil Fender Strat, but don't want the cleans to be too bright. I'll be using pedals for overdrive and so forth.
I'll mostly be playing a bedroom levels, but need a loud amp for loud gigs, although I think I would suffice with maybe 40 or 50 watts. I love the idea of having almost infinite headroom before breaking up, so that I can use my humbucker guitar (with the volume know down) to avoid it breaking up at low volumes

In particular I'm concerned about it not having a master volume, and that it will sound bad at bedroom volumes.

Greetings,
Kenneth

PS. I originally posted this over at another forum yesterday, but since I didn't get much response I'm posting it here as well.
Last edited by kenneho at Apr 20, 2016,
#2
I've never used that model of the HRD but had an HRD 2x12 ( older model, 2004 or 2005) for many years. The issue with HRD in general is they are way too loud and you can never get natural breakup - the sweetspot is unattainable for any venue. The reverb on the older HRD's was horrific and basically unusable, so you will want to test it out- otherwise you'll need to budget for a reverb pedal.

Premier Guitar has a review of the HRD ML 212 amp and states it doesn't sound good with humbuckers - so you should check out that article.

Generally speaking, I would say a HRD 2x12 is way too much for bedroom use - you'd be better served with a Blues Junior or a Deluxe Reverb 1x12 or something similar - check out Peavey Classic amps as well for that budget. My HRD 2x12 was way too boomy to use well at low volumes, even with the bass set to 0.

As much as you may think you need a lot volume for gigging, you don't. The main sound issue at every gig, ever, is the guitar amp being too loud for the stage, making it impossible to get the vocal to cut through properly. A 15 watt tube amp is way more than enough for any situation, unless your playing with a metal drummer who is bashing the drums.
#3
I just watched the premier guitar video demo - the new model sounds quite different, and better, from the older ones. It's hard to tell how loud he has the amp in the video, so it may or may not be too loud for bedroom use.
#4
Never heard the Deville ML but the standard Deville is a pretty awesome amp. Similar in many ways to a Twin Reverb but a bit darker tone than a silverface. Loud as hell with cleans to die for and my reverb sounded great. For many years Larry Carlton would leave the Dumble at home and gig Europe with a HR Deville. He is as pro as they get with some of the best guitar tone on the planet.

Low volume clean tone is just fine. Remember when you turn down low, increase your bass to overcome Fletcher-Munson curves. It is the musicians version of a "loudness button" on stereo systems.

Downside: Heavy, and more amp than most of us can use on a typical pub gig.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#5
Thanks for the replies.

reverb66, thanks for the tip regarding the premier guitar article. I need to be able to use the amp with humbucker guitars... Does other Fender amps (say the twin or Hot Rod Deluxe) have the same sort of issue with humbuckers?

I'm not too experienced with tube amps, but what I've heard others say is that you won't hit that sweet spot without diming the volume. Hopefully running the amp at moderate volumes will sound good enough, for those smaller gigs.
#6
I played my HRD with a Godin Montreal guitar ( two humbuckers) for quite a while - it sounded good.

The twin is a better sounding amp in my opinion - the reverb is much better - but it's more expensive. I feel that Twins and 2x12 HRD and most of those bigger amps are prohibitively loud for most venues. That's why I think you should also be looking at some of the smaller amps.

You should look into renting one for a night - I did that a few different amps last time I was shopping and it really makes the difference when you can test it at home. Playing an amp at a music store is very misleading from a tone standpoint because the room is wildly different from a bedroom or even a jam room. For example, my old 2x12 HRD sounded amazing at the store, but shook the walls and sounded boomy as hell at home or in regular sized jam rooms with the volume even slightly up - I don't have that problem with my Lonestar Special amp, which has a more focused sound that lends well to small venues.

the good news is that Fender amps are everywhere and easy to rent. The HRD is one of the most common amps I've seen on stages at Blues/ rock or jazz festivals and it is a common backline amp for many situations.
#7
Look at Blues JR, Super Champ X2, DRRI for great Fender clean tone at manageable volumes. The smaller ones can be had for under $500 and are definitely gig worthy.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#8
Every now and then I have this loud gig, where my Marshall VS265 I used to own were almost but not quite loud enough. How would those smaller amps (20 to 40 watt Fender tube ambs) compare to these amps clean headroom wise?
Last edited by kenneho at Apr 22, 2016,
#9
Quote by kenneho
Every now and then I have this loud gig, where my Marshall VS265 I used to own were almost but not quite loud enough. How would those smaller amps (20 to 40 watt Fender tube ambs) compare to these amps clean headroom wise?


Anybody who gigs a lot knows that when you play those big outdoor shows the amp always gets mic'd. The 50,000 PA system provides ALL of the clean headroom whether you are using a Blues Jr or Marshall 100w full stack.

Small amp+SM57+PA= really loud with tons of clean dynamic headroom.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#10
Quote by Cajundaddy
Anybody who gigs a lot knows that when you play those big outdoor shows the amp always gets mic'd. The 50,000 PA system provides ALL of the clean headroom whether you are using a Blues Jr or Marshall 100w full stack.

Small amp+SM57+PA= really loud with tons of clean dynamic headroom.


Thanks for the input. What you're saying is true, also at the loud gig I mentioned. The problem however is stage volume that gets very, very, loud at time, and where my Marshall VS265 cannot keep up with the brass band (especially tubas) sitting right next to me. For certain songs, or parts of songs, the stage volume gets that loud. My main monitor is for hearing myself is my guitar amp.
#11
The Fender Hot Rod Deville is only loud due to the volume pot. It basically jumps from very quiet to full volume due to the linear taper. I've heard rumors that Fender fixed this issue, but everything I've seen has indicated that they have not. It needs a proper audio taper pot installed.

If digging around in amps and playing with the potential for lethal electrical shocks isn't your cup of tea... an easier solution to the volume issue is to replace the 12ax7 in the V1 position with a 12at7. It makes the volume control a bit more manageable.

In regards to brightness, the hot rod series amplifiers are generally considered to be a bit "darker" than most other Fender amps.
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
Last edited by ThunderPunk at Apr 24, 2016,
#12
Quote by kenneho
Thanks for the input. What you're saying is true, also at the loud gig I mentioned. The problem however is stage volume that gets very, very, loud at time, and where my Marshall VS265 cannot keep up with the brass band (especially tubas) sitting right next to me. For certain songs, or parts of songs, the stage volume gets that loud. My main monitor is for hearing myself is my guitar amp.


Tubas

A tuba produces sound from 80-120db/1m
A Blues Jr produces clean guitar 80- 112db/1m
A Marshal VS265 produces up to about 115db/1m

Solving your issue is best handled with distance rather than watts. Double the distance from tubas and you reduce their effective SPL by 6db. Halving the distance between your amp and your ears and you effectively increase guitar SPL by 6db.

Explain the problem to your director and respectfully ask to move further from the brass section as you are increasingly losing your hearing from their high SPL output (and will be suing the organization for damages from permanent hearing loss J/K). Then get your amp close and pointed at your head so you can hear your instrument. A massively better solution than getting into volume wars with the brass section. A HR Deluxe or Deville will certainly get it done, much to the annoyance of your director. (Ask me how I know)

I played in a jazz band in HS and college and for us the trumpets were the 120db SPL kings. They could drown out everybody by design. We had the bass, drums, keys, and guitar off to stage left so there was about 20' between us and the horn blowers. Problem solved.

Like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWzjb1mLfZE
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at Apr 24, 2016,
#13
Quote by Cajundaddy
Tubas

A tuba produces sound from 80-120db/1m
A Blues Jr produces clean guitar 80- 112db/1m
A Marshal VS265 produces up to about 115db/1m

Solving your issue is best handled with distance rather than watts. Double the distance from tubas and you reduce their effective SPL by 6db. Halving the distance between your amp and your ears and you effectively increase guitar SPL by 6db.

Explain the problem to your director and respectfully ask to move further from the brass section as you are increasingly losing your hearing from their high SPL output (and will be suing the organization for damages from permanent hearing loss J/K). Then get your amp close and pointed at your head so you can hear your instrument. A massively better solution than getting into volume wars with the brass section. A HR Deluxe or Deville will certainly get it done, much to the annoyance of your director. (Ask me how I know)

I played in a jazz band in HS and college and for us the trumpets were the 120db SPL kings. They could drown out everybody by design. We had the bass, drums, keys, and guitar off to stage left so there was about 20' between us and the horn blowers. Problem solved.

Like this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWzjb1mLfZE


Yeah, solving the issue with distance instead of watts is definatly the best option. Problem is that this is an annual gig we're I'm just a hired guitar player, and when I show up for the git everything is set up and I'm just told where to sit and play my guitar. But I will keep this option open, in case I get the chance to influence how the stage is organized.

On a side note, I've been thinking maybe I could monitor my guitar using in-ears, and use my Eleven Rack (which I love) instead of an real amp. That way I wouldn't need to start a volume war with the brass section at all.