Price paid: $ 1400
Purchased from: Local Dealer
Sound — 10
I play this amp through a cheap Condor RX30 modded with DiMarzio's True Velvet and a Epiphone Korina Explorer with EMG 85 in the bridge and the 81 on the neck. With the Condor I can achieve "the" clean tone that Fender is so famous for and a warm deep overdrive. The Explorer delivers a clean sound with more "bite" and sustain, but not that harsh, since the 81 is in the neck. The overdrive is sweet and the second stage "more drive" sounds more like a distortion once you go past 6 in the gain stage. The only noise I've ever notice is a little metallic sound when you footswitch from Drive to clean when you're not playing. Not noticeable with elevated volumes on the stage, though. Well, it is a HOT Rod, but you can get some wonderful clean tones with this thing, it has a lot of headroom, a bit more compared to older versions. And it is freaking loud, I went past 4 and it was still crystal clean and the house was already shaking (If this is not loud enough for you, I would recommend you to look for another type of amp), after this, the tubes starts to break and it is pure magic. When switched to the Drive channel I could hear my neighbour screaming "Rock and roll" from the building beside me. Depending on the pups you use, the "more drive" stage delivers a nice distortion, but not suited for metal, I would say. By the way, it will give the best of your pedals than any other tube amp in the market. The reverb is nice but I don't use it. It can give you something similar to Dick Dale's surfing music style when you put on 10 (goes to 12). Until 3 it can be sweet, however, adding this "all time-not footswitchable" reverb in a medium sized venue will be a nightmare to you soundtech, and probably will kill your tone, if its not what you're really looking for. To play at home I believe that this amp will be a bit too loud and would recommend the "smaller" HR Deluxe or the Blues Jr.
Overall Impression — 10
Well, I've been playing guitar for more than 10 years and I think that I won't need another amplifier for the rest of my life, but I can't say for sure. My style has changed a lot in the past few years. A couple of years ago I wouldn't believe myself if I told you that I would buy a Fender in the future! I have always loved Marshall, I've owned a Valvestate 8080 and a Haze 15, but changed to Fender because Marshall's clean was letting me down and wasn't delivering the tone I was looking for. But I still love their distortion, though (I have a Guv'nor in my pedalboard for that sweet JCM800 distortion). Now I feel like I made the right choice. This amp covers anything from samba, jazz, blues, rock and some 80's metal (I would recommend buying a stompbox for a modern distortion sound). If it was stolen, I believe I would buy it again, or the Deluxe Version for a different sound. I looked everywhere for a amplifier that could deliver a nice, sweet clean tone, the overdrive was just a bonus, I have all the stompboxes I need on my pedalboard. I compared all the HR series, including the Blues Jr, the Peavey Valveking and the classic 30, the Vox Night Train and the AC15CC2. None of the above, except maybe for the HR Deluxe, convinced me. I chose the Deville 212 because It had more wattage and more headroom then the others. The Valveking just didn't sound right. It will take your the joy of playing to another level.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I own this amp for a few weeks and this thing didn't let me down once. I know I will have to change the tubes someday in the future, like every tube amp on earth. Gig without backup is always a risk, if the amp would stop working during a gig it would not come to you a few hours earlier, tap you on the back and say: "Dude, I'm not feeling very well today. You should take another one to go along." So, its always better to carry a backup. I have a Marshall Valvestate 8080 for backup that has 15 years and never let me down on stage, even after falling to the ground during the gig.
Features — 9
This was amp was produced in 2011, I believe, in Mexico. Version 3 of the HOT Rod Series. 212 configuration with Celestion G12P-80. Three 12AX7 in the pre amp stage and two 6l6 in the power. Weights a ton. I play mostly rock and a little bit of some Brazilian styles and this amp can deliver some wonderful tone and versatility. This amplifier features two channels, Normal and Drive, selected by footswitch, and a second stage of the Drive channel called "More Drive", also selected by footswitch. Has an effect loop, a global 3-band EQ, presence, global reverb (not footswitchable), independent volume for normal and Drive channels, no headphone jack and no master volume. Main use is for shows and little for practice. I would never need anything different than this to play in a small venue or in a stadium.