Fender Deluxe/Deville amps - can they be more than they are?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by pir8matt, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

    Messages:
    5,695
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Trampa Bay
    Kind of a weird question, yes. I know these amps are commodity fare, and no one expects much from them, but are there any basic changes that can make them sound a lot better than they do out of the box?

    Specifically I had heard that they could be changed from 6L6'es to 6V6'es but I don't know much about that. Is that just a tube swap? What has to be done to make that happen?

    I also wondered if putting better speakers would make a difference, or getting speakers that have had pre-rola doping done to them and putting those in.

    Anyone done this? Thoughts?
     
  2. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,716
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Viva Las Vegas
    All you need is a new set of tubes. That's a great series of amps.
     
  3. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

    Messages:
    5,695
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Trampa Bay
    I tend to buy JJ's because thats what my local amp guy tends to have. What would you recommend?

     
  4. ScioBro

    ScioBro Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,142
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lower Michigan
    you're talking about the Hot Rod series, then check out mod.s by Omega amps. Just google omega amps to find it.
    $250 bucks improves the clean, drive, and more drive channels.
    Also gets you some increased robustness features....improved input jacks.
     
  5. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,716
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Viva Las Vegas
  6. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,716
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Location:
    Viva Las Vegas
  7. ReddRanger

    ReddRanger Member

    Messages:
    3,044
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2006
    +1. My favorite out of this series is the HR Deville 4x10. They're actually cool amps stock.
     
  8. GuitarInnovations

    GuitarInnovations Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    They're fine enough amps in their own right, but once you start taking them apart to mod and tweak they show their ultimate weakness: poor construction. I owned and modified a HRDx a number of years back. The QC was terrible and many of the parts were just cheap. Opening it up to bias and swap speakers eventually made it so the screws were stripping or snapping. Lining up the chassis to screw back in was way more hassle than any amp should be. They just weren't engineered to be opened up and tweaked repeatedly. If you're going to just buy one and use it, go for it. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
     
  9. GuitarInnovations

    GuitarInnovations Member

    Messages:
    1,055
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Also, just my opinion, but the drive channels can be useable if you use each volume a little bit. They're not like a master where you can crank one over the other to get the goods. A little goes a long way with each volume.
     
  10. Tomo

    Tomo Member

    Messages:
    16,624
    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, Mass
    No need mods. just get better tubes. Maybe different choices of 10s.. 12s..

    Tomo
     
  11. Hamer95USA

    Hamer95USA Member

    Messages:
    2,483
    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Hey pir8matt,

    +1 for the Omega Amps Hot Rod Deluxe/Deville mod. Jim Price of Omega Amps will turn that Hot Rod Deluxe/Deville into blackface cleans in the clean channel and Dumble overdrive tone in the drive/more drive. The best $250.00 I spent on an amp mod and the one amp that I regret trading away.
    ttp://www.omegaamps.com/mods2.html

    Other tricks to improve the stock Hot Rod Deluxe/Deville combo amps:

    Better preamp & power tubes

    Install Cliff input jacks: The stock jacks are poor quality and will break off the circuitboard. Hard wire the Cliff input jacks and the amp will take abuse even if it gets knocked over with the cables plugged into it.

    Reverb mod: Clip resistor R103 behind reverb pot on the circuitboard. The taper of the reverb pot will work properly after the mod.

    Drive/more drive master volume knob: Change stock linear taper volume pot to an audio taper pot. The taper of the new volume pot will allow you to turn up the volume pot up for more volume rather than between 1 & 3 with the stock linear taper pot.

    Change the stock Eminence Legend 125 speaker. I installed an Eminence Cannabis Rex in my Omega Amps modded Hot Rod Deluxe which smoothed out an already smooth sounding amp.

    Guitar George
     
  12. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

    Messages:
    5,695
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Trampa Bay
    Cool, lots of great info, thanks!

    I'm looking to scale back to an inexpensive gig amp that I can take out without worrying too much about.

    I actually used to have one a few years ago (a deville) but I've gone through so many phases of wanting different stuff now I'm not even sure what I was looking for then. I can't remember disliking it or anything. I don't even remember what it sounded like, honestly, though I do sort of recall that the gain wasn't all that great.

    Now I'm totally spoiled on boutique stuff so if I get one Im gonna have to do something to it just to feel like I didn't just buy an amp off the shelf.

    Heaven forbid! :)
     
  13. Sparky6string

    Sparky6string Member

    Messages:
    3,527
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Thither
    I agree that they are cool amps. Their drive channels separate them from most others and their cleans are gorgeous. The 6V6's you are asking about are the new JJ 6V6s, and they can be used because they are so overbuilt. I wouldn't hazard any other brand or type. Another thing that some like to do is put in THD Yellow Jackets for a more Voxy type sound. Also some experiment with speakers. There are several easy mods at Justin Holton's Hot Rod site too.
     
  14. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

    Messages:
    5,695
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Trampa Bay
    Well, I found a Deville locally for only $450 (thanks craigslist!). I ordered a 6V6 retube kit and plan to have my amp guy make some of the modifications like better input jacks, etc. I was even thinking about getting some of those eBay celestion clones (though I wonder if maybe Im missing the point of getting a cheap amp in the first place, spending money on it).

    I used it today with a cover band I just started playing with. I didnt even bother with the footswitch, since the drive channels aren't that great. The cleans are good, the reverb is big, and my OCD and TS9 seem to love it.

    It aint a matchless or /13, but it gets the job done.
     
  15. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,790
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2005
    Location:
    Pembroke pines-Santiago-Greenville
    omega amps.

    they will do a great mod on reliability, better parts, better sound


    That is what i have been told and i will send my Blues Deluxe to him!
     
  16. Clifford-D

    Clifford-D Member

    Messages:
    17,112
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Location:
    Close to the burn zone
    I changed tubes, speaker a couple times, came back to the stock thing.

    I think they (Fender) did a good job on this amp.

    Add my Greenline od (great for chords) and my Zendrive2 od (great for soloing and chunkier riffage)

    I think this is a superb blues sound.

    That makes me pretty happy.

    Oh yea, My G&L ASAT Special. Can't forget that.
     
  17. Mark C

    Mark C Member

    Messages:
    4,420
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Location:
    El Paso
    I just posted a thread two days ago about the Omega mods. IMO, you'll be very happy if you go this route - turns a decent amp into something that will run with anything.
     
  18. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

    Messages:
    5,695
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Trampa Bay
    Well, I dont doubt that, but after you pay for shipping the amp both ways (probably about a hundred bucks, conservatively), and paying the fee ($250), now you're talking about an 800+ dollar amp, depending on what you pay (seems like they go for $500-600 used).

    Still not a ton of money, but its getting out of the bargain ballpark at that point. Still, I suppose if it sounds great then money is no object, but thats what got me into trouble in the first place.

    I think I'll just try the 6v6 tube swap and try to be happy with that.

     
  19. matthet

    matthet Member

    Messages:
    386
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    i'll confirm this when i get my deville back from Jim this week, but from the clips i've heard, and what Jim played me over the phone, you can't get an amp that sounds as good as his mod for, heck, under 1500 or more. A tube swap is one thing, having someone revoice the amp to your liking is a totally different thing.
     
  20. pir8matt

    pir8matt Member

    Messages:
    5,695
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Trampa Bay
    Well, that makes sense. I'll be curious to hear about it when you get it back.

     

Share This Page