Price paid: $ 550
Purchased from: Alto Music
Sound — 9
I've been mostly playing through this on a Fender American Tele with your standard single coil settings, and the sparking clean tone and kilelr drive really emphasize the tele's sound and allow it to stand out quite nicely. The tele sound is generally geared towards classic rock and blues with the single coil setup, and this amp's tones really compliment it well. Crystal clean tone, and a nice blues/rock crunch of a drive. The distortion is not the kind I would go for if I were a strictly heavy metal guitarist, although I've partnered the drive with the distortion from my Boss MT-2 and have produced some killer metal sounds, even from my clearly non-heavy metal Telecaster.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a variety of styles, such as classic rock, spanish/flamenco, heavy metal, and blues, and I find I've been able to play just about anything through this amp and achieve a great tone. I've found that the Boss MT-2 pedal partnered up with the drive on this amp produces sick tone that's perfect for playing leads and ripping solos. I've been playing guitar for about 4 years, and I own an Ibanez amp of slightly smaller size and wattage, as well as an Ibanez GRX20 in addition to my Fender Tele. I've played both guitars through this amp and cannot bring myself to complain. This amp is an addition to my rig that I have absolutely no regrets about, and would not hesitate to replace it if some asshole lost or stole it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
It's a Fender. It's beautifully made, and durable. Plus with Fender's warantee I wouldn't worry about much with this amp. It's just your general kickass tube amp, and it works beautifully. I dont think this amp will break down on me any time soon, and the worst I beleive will happen would be having to replace the tubes, which is an inevitability anyway. I would certainly take it to a gig and not worry myself about a backup, this amp is completely reliable.
Features — 10
The Hotrod is a sturdy, well-built tube amp with 2 imputs and two channel switchings. You can go from clean, to drive (and then add the "more drive" subchannel). The footswitch is very efficient. Thhe sound is beautiful, a nice warm clean tone and a killer distortion, great for rock or blues. The build in reverb and prescence add a nice touch in crafting your own tone. Overall, probably one of the best amps you can find in the price range. I've played on dozens of amps in the 400-600 price range, and this one is by far the best.