Hot Rod DeVille 212 Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 11/28/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Hot Rod DeVille 212
This amp is nice and basic, two channels, one clean, one overdriven with two types of overdive, "drive" and "more drive".
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.1
 Features: 9.1
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (1) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: JDawg4098, on december 29, 2006
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Purchased from:

Features: As a throwback re-issue 2-channel 60watt tube amplifier from the '60s, I was surprised at the modern tones this amplifier can achieve. Of course this amplifier is known for it's blues and classical rock ability, but if the need be, this thing can scream. With versatile settings in the three-band EQ, presence, great reverb, bright or normal, and "drive" and "more drive" settings ("rythm" and "lead" respectively) this amp is exactly the right amp for all of you blues and classic rock fans out there. // 10

Sound: I play a Fender Stratocaster HSS Deluxe, which has two standard pickups and the dual-coil "humbucker", the dual-coil being needed for less hum and more versatility outside of blues and classic rock. Seeing as this is the most likely guitar that Fender used to tune the tones on the amplifier, this guitar-amplifier combination sounds amazing. The clean channel combined with reverb and the front pickups on my guitar can create the perfect B.B. King sound replica, while the center pickup selector with overdrive is great for Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the lower pickups for heavier, deeper music. One pet-peeve on this amplifier is the sensitivity. At about the 1.5 (of 12) volume level, the amp is barely audible. However, at 2.0, I cannot hear myself think. Even at a small gig in town, I did not have to turn up this amplifier past "2". However, due to the amplifier's tube properties, this amplifier's tone begins to Shine at above "2" so it is not practical for use in a small room. But believe me, once you pass the tone-lump, you will get the classic tube sound that you cannot beat. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This amp sure seems to be solid, but due to its weight and its open exposed tubes, I sure hope that nothing will bang it too hard from the back. This amp has never broken down and has not needed maintanance. It is difficult to carry around, it weighs a good 70 pounds, but the sound it delivers is worth it. I would definitely use this on stage without a backup, but only if I had to. This is not because of the amplifiers quality, just because it is smart to have a backup at all times. // 7

Overall Impression: Metalheads and crunchies, this amp is not for you. The amp lacks in its muted "thump" that metal needs. However, if this amp is turned up to "6" or above on overdrive, you metalheads will be pleased. This amp is for the hardcore classic people such as myself. Chuck Barry, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Freddie King, all of these artists' sounds can be re-created using this amazing amplfier. I have been playing for just under a year and I do not need another high-end amplifier, nor will I anytime soon. I would definitely buy this amp again were it stolen, it matches me perfectly. If I could fix something on this guitar, it would be the sensitivity of the volume, but since this is a professional amplifier, I will not complain. This amp is not meant to be used in a small room like my own. My favorite feature it has is the versatility of the tone, from all different eras of classic rock and blues. Keep the classics alive with this amp. // 9

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overall: 8.5
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: dio_dude, on july 19, 2007
2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 380

Purchased from: music corner whyalla

Features: This amp was made in 2006 so it says on the box. This amp is the perfect practice amp with many a feature. It has almost every effect that exists on it and has many unique amplifier sounds such as modern or blackface. Although it looks small it is a loud amp, 50watts to be excact. There is also two inputs and a headphone input, so it makes for a very useful companion. // 10

Sound: The amp is an effect lovers best freind, especially if your neighbour happens to be a homicidal maniac just waiting for a reason to kill you. I usually have it on about two because I happen to have a mother that is just like that homicidal maniac god bless her soul. The drum beats are good, but if you play around with the tempo and go to record a loop, it will suddenly skip at the end due to being out of time.My gothic g400 Epiphone handles it pretty well also. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is this beatiful amps downfall. When I said that it handles well quiet I meant at about 3 or 2. If you go to around 1 and a half, it skips and jitters from quiet to nothing. But it's great for loudness and that. The other problem is the knob that you use to change effects. As an impatient man on the go, I like to get everything set as quickly as possible. But when you go to turn something up, say the delay time, you are met with a wall of frustration and slowness. When you turn the knob too fast up it will start to go down. It is really quite annoying. // 7

Overall Impression: I play metal and this thing handles it great. I also play blues and other styles, but mainly metal, and the drum loops really help with your speed and accuracy. This amp blows away my Drive 20 watt practice amp. If it were stolen I would contact the police just as any law abiding citizen would. I had been using this amp about a month before I bought it. In the shop you could pick up a guitar and play on it. This amp is perfect and can make any guitar sound great. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: Mental Hop, on march 30, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Georges Music

Features: I believe it was made in 2006 and it is perfect for the music I play but may not be perfect for everyone. It has two channels with a "More Gain" Switch for the Drive channel. It came with a built in reverb. The reverb on the floor model was part of the reason why I bought it but my reverb is broken unfortunetly. It does not have a headphone jack. I don't need anything more from this amp than they give me. This amp has enough power to supply you with enough sound for some pretty nice size gigs. It's very loud! Every knob goes to twelve and I've never needed to put the volume past three before it gets a bit unbearable in the volume categeory. This is a tube amp and even though it's only 40 Watts this is much louder than my previous Fender FM212 100 Watt amp. It has a bright switch that really lightens up the clean channe. Presence knob that I was looking for after my starter Traynor amp blew and not having one for about five years. // 10

Sound: I predominantly use traditional stratocasters. I use it with the Cool Cat by Danelectro and The Daddy O. Both sound very nice through the amp. The amp doesn't need an overdrive pedal but the Daddy O is too good not to use. It suits my style of music perfectly. I play thriving rock and roll, rockabilly, country and punk. For those styles, this amp is perfect but it is nearly incapable of playing metal of any sort unless you have a pedal of some sort. I took a point off for that. Also the distortion isn't that intense but it will get the job done just fine. The clean channel does distort at high volumes but that's not a bad thing at all. It's actually a little nicer than the Drive channel. This amp though is perfect for classic rock and country. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I would never need any amp besides this one. It is perfect for my purpose, has held up for about two years without a problem and hasn't broken down yet. The tubes haven't burned out yet and they've been doing pretty well. This is a very reliable amp and is built like a tank. It's heavy yes, and my reverb has never worked but other than that it's built tough. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing for 7 and a half years. I own about nine different guitars, a Boss digital recorder, two basses and a mess of other equipment. I wish my reverb worked. It covered under a 5 year warranty but that means I won't have my amp for 6-8 weeks and so I won't be able to play with my band unless I get a backup. If I lost it or it was stolen I can't imagine getting any amp other than this. It's literally perfect for me. I love the sound, the feel, and the features. I hate the weight and broken reverb. My favorite feature is the bass control on it. It really beefs up my strats. I wasn't able to compare it. It's the first amp I came across and had no intention of buying a new amp but I got this and I'm happy with it. I just wish the reverb worked! // 9

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overall: 9.5
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: antoniottt, on november 28, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 1400

Purchased from: Local Dealer

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: Kartman, on september 01, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 575

Purchased from:

Features: This amp is nice and basic, two channels, one clean, one overdriven with two types of overdive, "drive" and "more drive". Although many guitarist find the overdrive on this amp to be lacking, I personally like it's overdrive quite a bit. The knobs are all standard with an extra knob for Reverb and one for Presence. The only thing that could improve this amps features would be a direct output which would be essential for recording. // 8

Sound: I play a single-coiled Fender Jaguar through this amp and get unholy tones I didn't think were possible with an amp for less than $1000. The tones range from a bright sweet tone to a nice glassy smooth tone with the flick of a switch. This amp suits my musical style very well, a mix of funk, jazz, and rock. Although, with the right pedals, this amp can truly rumble the ground with it's 60 watts of power. I wouldn't be surprised to see this amp play metal: it's extremely versatile for a Fender amp, which get the image of not being able to play higher-gain sounds. When I punch on my Big Muff, this amp gives out an incredibly fuzzy, punkish sound, great for choppy powerchords, blistering solos and beautiful legato. This amp sounds amazing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've had to replace the same tube twice, but besides that, I've never had any problems with it. I haven't gigged it yet, but I'm sure that if I did, it would do the job well. It's durable and large, but don't move it around too much when the tubes are still warm, it could risk blowing a tube. Also, this amp is heavy, weighing in at over fifty pounds. So remember to be careful when moving this guy around, it's not easy. // 8

Overall Impression: After 4 years of playing, two on this amp, I'll say that this amp has me set for life. I don't ever plan on selling stop using this amp because it just plain works for me. If it were stolen, I'd be pissed off, as mine is tweed, a very rare color for the Deville lineup. This amp is for anyone looking for some sweet tones. The only thing I wish it had was a direct output so it could be plugged into an interface or mixer, so I wouldn't have to mic it when recording. // 9

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overall: 8.5
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: P@tGoD, on april 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 500

Purchased from: eBay

Features: still trying to date my amp but I believe it to be at least 5 years old, and I've owned it for 3 years now. I decided to buy this amp after my band mate purchased a LTD Edition Hot Rod Deluxe (1x12 Celestion) and I realised how much better it sounded than the 80W solid-state Peavey Bandit 112 'Transtube' I was using at the time. That was a great amp, but lacked headroom and that tube amp sound so I wanted to get a tube amp that would last me indefinately. This is 60W instead of 40W and has 2x12 Fender Eminence speakers. Clean channel and 2 Drive channels - 'Gain' and 'More Gain', but I never use the gain channels - just run it clean with some FX pedals. 2x 6L6 power tubes and 3x 12AX7 preamp tubes. I use this amp for practice and gigs - it is my only amp and the only one I'll ever need. This amp is LOUD, I hardly ever turn it past 3 (goes to 12! ) and the clean tone is fantastic. // 8

Sound: My main guitars are a Squier Showmaster NLt I've heavily customised with a Tele neck pickup, Strat middle pickupand a PAF at the bridge. I also use a Fender CIJ Jazzmaster with Seymour Duncan pickups, so I regularly play both single coil and humbucker pickups through it. Moderate/high output pickups naturally Drive the amp more so there is quite a difference when using differnt guitars, something you don't really get with a solid state amp. I use this amp exclusively on the clean channel, which stays clean even at high volumes. You can adjust the treble, middle and bass settings via 3 knobs along with the master volume, reverb and presceence. It also has a little Switch you can depress that toggles Bright mode. This boosts the treble which is useful for adding more brightness to your signal to cut through the mix, without having to tweak the EQ. The distortion is a weakness on this amp, which is partly why I don't use it - I also just prefer the distortion from my RAT. I would suggest not buying this amp for distorted tones alone, unless you are prepared to buy a good distortion pedal as I find the distortion sounds to be muddy and furry with little clarity between notes. However, this amp is absolutely superb on the clean settings an provides an excellect clean sound for use alone or with pedals. Recently I've stopped using the amp's spring reverb, which is really good, only because I have a reverb pedal so I can Switch between dry and reverb sounds. The foot pedal has a channel select (clean/gain) and a second button for the 2 gain stages. As the reverb is not digital it does not have a footswitch for this, but I would find this useful if it did. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I 100% trust this amp. It has taken a few knocks in transit, had some wine spilled on it (she was sorry! ) but I treat it with the care and attention it deserves. It's really heavy but can be carried by one person over short distances. The amp has never boken, but I did replace the tubes about 18months after I bought it. The amp did not sound as good as I thought it should given other reviews of it and I did not think the tubes were totally healthy. I ended up re-valving the whole amp with a brand new set of balanced Harma 6L6 and 12AX7 tubes from Watford Valves for just about 60 and it was totally worth it. The tone sounds more open and alive, wheras before it was a bit dull and flat. My advice with a second hand tube amp purchase is to revalve the amp unless you know the tubes are fresh because then you know how old they are. // 9

Overall Impression: I have been playing for just over 6 years and I'm currently the 2nd guitarist (I dislike the title 'lead guitarist' because I stay equally in the mix)in a 4-piece band, currently playing acoustic-based songs adapted into heavier rock versions. The style varies from gentler clean songs to much heavier alternative rock sounds, and this amp can handle it all. This is mainly because the amp is run clean and I use a handful of pedals to determine my specific sounds. I would not be happy using the Drive channels of this amp instead of a distortion pedal because it is weak in this area. It makes up for this with massive headroom and pure, clean tube sounds at any (useful) volume. Apart from the weak gain channels the only other gripes I have with it is the limited footswitch options - I would love it to have switchable reverb and/or the ability to Switch the Bright setting on or off. Also, because it is a heavy combo, Fender should have provided handles on each side, rather than a single one on the top, it just makes it harder to carry. There's little difference between this and the 40W 1x12 HR Deluxe but I would recommend the Deville if you want a little more power/headroom. This is a pro-quality amp that is very reliable and easy to use. I have seen it in many a band's live setup and I think it will serve me very well for many years to come. // 9

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overall: 9
Hot Rod DeVille 212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 21, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: It is a very versatile amp for the jazz, blues, rock, funk and reggae I play. Two channels and a boost. Effects loop, headphone jack all tube (except the reverb). 212 speakers, 60W. Extremely heavy. The sound is excellent on the clean channel and so so on the drive, typical of a Fender. But the clean alone makes this worth the money. It's a pro-level amp. Plenty of headroom. // 9

Sound: The sound is excellent on the clean channel and so so on the drive, typical of a Fender. But the clean alone makes this worth the money. It's a pro-level amp. Plenty of headroom. It starts to break up at about 4-5 but by then the walls are rattling and the cops are coming. If you're at a gig, that's probably as high was the sound tech will let you have it. So in short, veeeeeery loud. Typical chimy glassy Fender trebles, plenty of thump from the 2 12s and great definition of notes. When I think amp sound quality I think of this. I agree with many with high standards that the Twin is better, but honestly the Twin is my all time favorite amp and perhaps one day I'll shell out the cash for one. This is the next level down IMO. On the noise side, it is somewhat noisy, but that's to be expected from this type of device. I use a compressor and noise gate with mine to tame it a bit. Works very nice with both humbuckers and single coils, being tailored more for the latter, since it is a Fender afterall. But I still prefer HBs personally. Works well with pedals, although if you get this you're a purist and pedals, other than a compressor and noise gate like I said, will rob you of tone and ultimately defeat the purpose of this high-end tube amp in the first place, I think. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Very reliable for a tube amp. Aside from tube changes, I've done nothing to it and have had it for years and it's been around. The build quality is perfect. I wish it wasn't so heavy though. It really is a workout taking it practically anywhere. So much so that I usually opt for taking a small practice amp anywhere that isn't a gig really. // 9

Overall Impression: IMO this is a new industry standard. Like I said before, aside from widely recognized classics like the Twin, this is an amp to be measured against. But you should be a pro to own one. I'm a serious amateur but still find this thing exceeds my needs. Today the world is full of wannabees and posers. If you own this thing you should need it. A pro will put it to good use. // 9

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