Purchased from: Local Store
Sound — 9
I use a 57 goldtop VOS and the combination has a great sound. For a lead boost I alternate from a Boss EQ pedal, a Boss Blues Driver and a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive. The Sparkle Drive is a great combination with this amp. Slaving the two amps helps with the volume in a large club and also provides a more depth. The amp does tend to get noisy and I have had to change the tubes in the 2007 amp. I put Messa Boogie brand and it gave the amp a punch. I wish that Fender had provided an extention cabnet for the Hot Rod Series. I see that this year they have.
Overall Impression — 9
I play blues and classic rock and I really like the sound with the les paul. I have been playing since the early '70s. I own both deluxes, and a 78 Music Man 410 hd 130. I use a 57 Les Paul Gold Top with 57 humbucker, am American Strat which is stock, a PRS 24 custom 10 top, and am ES137 Custom. My effects are a Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive, Boss Blues Driver, Boss EQ and a cry baby wah. If I would loose the Hot Rod Deluxe I would replace it with a Blues Deluxe or possible a deville.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have had both amps in the shop over the years. The 2003 had a power supply problem and the 2007 had a noise issue. I did change the tubes in the 2007 to messa boogie. Prior to that I was on a gig and the amp lost volume. I had to recover by swithching amps. Since I started slaving the amps I have not had this problem.
Features — 9
The features are more useful than most. You can get by with just the amp due to the clean, over Drive and more overdrive cahnnels. The reverb is good as well as the overall sound and ease of use. I am using two deluxes a 2003 and a 2007. I slave the 2003 through the 2007. My style is mostly blues and classic rock. I wish the amp had a bias adjustment on the rear of the amp.