Hot Rod Deluxe review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (211 votes)
Fender: Hot Rod Deluxe
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Sound — 9
I'm using it with a stock MIM Standard Tele, and loving the tone. It has pristine clean tones, with a really deep reverb. The Drive channel is not the greatest, but it's acceptable. A good overdrive pedal will beat it any day. I haven't gotten a chance to crank it that high, but at 6 on input 1, it still kept a decent amount of headroom.

Overall Impression — 9
I think that it's a really good amp for my style of music. I was impressed at how good it sounded when the guy played through it using a cheap Epiphone, and could only imagine how good it would sound through my Tele. If it was stolen, I would not hesitate at all to pick up another one. I love the clean tones and the reverb. The Drive channel is something that I personally would avoid, it just sounds too rough and muddy for me.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This thing feels like a tank. It feels like it can be thrown down a 20 foot drop and still be able to gig that night. I haven't gigged with it, but there seems to be no problems with mine. The tubes rattle quite a bit, but that's to be expected with a tube amp.

Features — 8
I believe that this amp was made between 2001 and 2002. I'm thinking it's a 2002 model since Fender stopped using the service tag that identified the year, which was on the American made ones. The guy hardly ever used it and didn't even use it more than 30 hours. It still has the original tubes. I love the versatility of the amp, covers everything that I play. I play ska, reggae, punk, post-rock, and occasionally, blues. I haven't got to test how well it takes pedals, mainly since I don't have any. I actually think it has a little bit too much power. I haven't ever cranked it past 6, and even then it shook my house like crazy. I won't really ever be using the Drive channel once I get a decent OD pedal, I think the reverb is too deep as well, but whatever, no big deal. I mainly use the amp in my bedroom but I'm trying to use it to Jam with friends and eventually rehearse with a band.

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