Hot Rod Deluxe review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (211 votes)
Fender: Hot Rod Deluxe

Price paid: $ 350

Purchased from: Friend

Sound — 8
I play an Epiphone LP Special SC with P-90's. The controls on the amp give me some really good ranges to work with, especially with the presence. Clear highs, nice crunchy mids, but again, no low end what'soever. Distortion is good. I like it for what I play and keep it set at 6 (1/2 total).

Overall Impression — 10
I play a really hard, overdriven style of 'stoner' rock (Fu Manchu/Red Fang/clutch). When I first got it, it didn't sound good at all. The tubes were dead, and the stock Eminence speaker is a complete POS. So I started tweaking. First I changed out the dead stock tubes for some Tung Sol 6L6GC-STR's and 12AX7's. HUGE difference from the stock Groove Tubes. Next, I changed the stock POS Eminence speaker for a Vintage Jensen C12N. Again, much clearer mids and highs with just a little more low end. The final tweak, which made this amp score as high as any Orange/Vox/Marshall for me, was a second 1x12" cab. I made one myself to the same measurements as the amp, and put a Celestion Vintage 30 in it. This amp now tears the paint off the walls with clear highs, crunchy mids and ball soaked lows that make me think I'm playing a 4x12 setup. Fender should just charge another $50 for it and put in a decent speaker to begin with. Overall, with a little tweaking, this amp suits perfectly the style of music I play. It's got plenty of power for any Jam or live show, and is versatile.

Reliability & Durability — 10
So far, no problems with the construction. It's only needed a standard tube change so far. It seems to be very well made and rugged. I would depend on it for a gig or any practice as a main amp.

Features — 7
I borrowed this amp from a friend and ended up buying it. He was looking for a more metal tone when he bought it, and this one definitely does not fit that bill. Features are all stock, and the only effect I use is a wah. This amp is plenty loud for a jam, but really lacks low end with the stock set-up.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    turn it all the way up on the clean channel, and strum as hard as you can. i bought one of these amps yesterday, and this is how to get the best sounding tone.