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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KazJY, Feb 1, 2008.
For $649 it doesn't seem like a bad deal. Anyone care to share a brief review?
I had an original USA 90's tweed model that held up trouble free for 13 years.
The drawback to these amps is, if the PC board gets damaged beyond repair, the cost to replace the board with labor exceeds the value of the amp.
I personally recommend Blues Deluxe over the Hot Rod for reliability.
The only hitch for most people is the quality of the stock fart-tone speaker.
So when you consider the cost of this amp, add in the cost to upgrade
to a better speaker.
One cool thing about the circuit is that if you zero out the Reverb and Presence controls, you pretty much bypass the PC board section of the amp, giving you essentially an all tube 40 watt bassman circuit.
It's very easy to haul around too.
While you're looking, check out the Vibrolux Reverb and the Blues Deville.
I personally don't recommend the Blues Deluxe RI. I had one for about a year and a half before getting rid of it. With the original stock speaker, the tone is stiff, boxy and harsh. IMO the reverb really wasn't that great. The drive channel is useless and weak and overall the amp really wasn't that sensitive to picking dynamics whatsoever. Basically, if you buy this amp you need to swap out the speaker and even then, I don't know if it would be worth it. At that price now, you are looking at so many better amps out there.
I don't know whether these newer Fender reissues are just overemphasized in the pre-amp department or if it is just the junk speakers they are shipped with, but truthfully I don't care for a single one of them. They capture no real magic of their predecessors.
Going along with the previous poster, if you do bypass the reverb and presence, you do get essentially a tolerable sounding bassman circuit. That's actually how I ran mine. Peace
My quickest out the door purchase ever YOMV. Good Luck!
I've had mine since '93 and love it! I can't stand the dirty channel, but that's not why I bough the amp. The Hot Rods never sounded as good to me, but again, it was the distortion that I just didn't care for.
Also, very cool that Fender has released the extension cabs for these amps at NAMM.
I had one and loved it. I replaced it with a DRRI and I'm equally as happy. Just different flavors.
Didn't care too much for the dirty channel. The cleans are pretty good, but by the time you buy another speaker, you're almost to the Deluxe Reverb RI price range, which sounds much better IMO.
A friend of mine had one of these and I thought it sounded very good on the clean channel. The drive channel didnt do much for me. My only problem with this amp is that it goes from too quiet to being loud too easily. If you can play it loud this is a non issue. The sweep on the volume control isn't sensitive enough I guess. Other than that I think it is pretty good amp.
I tried out a bunch of amps recently and am buying a DRRI from somebody here on the boards.
I compared the Blues Deluxe, Blues Jr., AC30CC1, AC15CC1, AC15CC1x, Classic 30, JMP 45 (not quite sure) and the DRRI. The Blues Deluxe sounded a lot less open, more directed (smaller cabinet?) than the DRRI to me. The Blues Deluxe seemed a lot more like the Hot Rod Deluxe. A little less harsh, a little smoother, but not quite DRRI smooth. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but it likely has to do with the SS rectifier?
Also, I've heard some mixed thoughts about the reissues compared the originals (released somewhat recently). I guess the new ones are made in mexico, as opposed to the originals from the states. I've never tried an original, so I really wouldn't know.
Either way, don't buy one new. You can check out eBay or whatever and find one for a couple hundred less. Go to a used store and try out as many amps in your price range as possible. If you're looking to spend around $650, you have a lot of good options. I was looking to spend around the same money and I would strongly recommend trying to track down some nice used DRRIs and AC15s to try out. Or if you want, just try them out at guitar center or something and go through eBay or the classifieds or something.
I guess Fender figures enough time has gone by that people don't remember they weren't very good.
I started this thread after plunking through one for a few minutes when trying out a Strat - didn't have time to sink my teeth into it too much.
I saw a photo in the "60 years of Fender Amps book", and Fender was saying how it was originally a top seller that Fleiger discontinued prior to the release of the HR series.
Thanks for the posts - I agree with most of them here, with the limited time I had with one - I don't remember the dirt being real good, but a good clean sound. Still not sure it's worth the money to have to upgrade the speaker right away...
any other posts are appreciated.
They were never " great" but pretty darn good for a tube driven 40 watt
clean Fender circuit in a portable package.
My original 90's USA Tweed ran just under $400.00 new, so that was a pretty good deal and those USA models still sell for their original price
in good condition.
Sure you can buy an all hand wired version of the same circuit with better components and speakers like the Gries 35 or The VVT Amps Fralin, or an original hand wired Silver Face, but not for under $500.00 used.