Fender Hot Rod Deluxe vs. Peavey Classic 50 212 - which is the better clean platform for pedals?

klapaucjusz1

Member
Messages
921
I’ve had the Peavey Classic 50 212 for 9 years. Except for tube swaps, it’s stock. I use it for band practice and small – medium clubs and bars. We don't play for a living.

The thing is, I really hate the weight of the amp. It’s 28kg. Plus, after all those years I thought I’d try something else.
So I bought a Hot Rod Deluxe from 2002, MIA, stock, just to try it out. I wanted to stay in the same price range. I like the weight, it’s 20kg.

Now I can’t decide which amp to keep.

What I need is a good clean pedal platform, with reasonable headroom. I get dirt from pedals - right now – a Hardwire CM-2 for TS-type sounds, MXR Super Badass Distortion for heavier stuff, Boss OD-3 for boost, all stock. I don’t plan on using the dirt channel or onboard reverb. We play our own suff, sort of difficult to classify, but the sounds I need are funk, jazz, pop, soul, blues, with some heavier rock riffs here and there. I don’t play metal. BTW, I use a strat.

Now I did some comparisons at home and here are my thoughts:

The HRDlx clean tone is rounder, the amp is more dynamic. I really like the clean tone, especially at moderate volumes. Clean single notes sound prettier. But the amp is also more difficult to control – if I hit too hard, there is the „icepick in the ear” effect, even with treble rolled off quite a bit. Peavey is more neutral, slightly „wiry” in comparison, but clean chords have better note separation, especially when played with fingers. Peavey’s sound is maybe less „inspiring”, but it’s not bad at all. The HRDlx is rounder and more icepicky than the Peavey at the same time - not what I expected.

Peavey seems to take dirt pedals better – again, it has better note definition. On the HRD, OD and distortion pedals sound a little harsh and muddy – the sweet clean tone does not translate to sweet OD or distortion tone with pedals, IMO. But it's not very bad.

When cranked to band volumes, the Peavey seems to „keep it together” better – sounds rounder, but keeps good note definition. Whereas the HRD gets a bit boomy, muddy, less focused, and there is more of the „icepick” effect, which I find difficult to control. I was actually quite surprised by this, given that the amp is supposed to be a good pedal platform with good headroom.

I think part of that results from the fact that I know Peavey really well by now and know I how to dial it in. My playing style also probably developed to get the most pleasing sounds from the Peavey. OTOH, I did take some time to dial in the HRD, played it for a couple of days to get used to it, and then and spent about 6 hours on 2 days at home just comparing both amps. Perhaps I should give the HRD some more time, learn its strenghts etc. I also played both amps at band practice, but it’s not a good place to extensively A/B the amps, given the limited time and patience of bandmates. Still, in a band situation the differences between the amps were there, but seemed less noticeable.

I really like the weight of the HRDlx, and some sounds I can get from it, but I’m worried it will not be able to perform as well as the Peavey for what I need. Maybe the Peavey is a better all-rounder, whereas HRDlx excels in some areas and is lacking in others? So now the the question – what do you think about how these two amps compare as clean pedal platforms? Which would you choose and why?

BTW, at home I play a VHT Special 6, so I don’t need Peavey/HRD to perform well at low volumes. I’m not really interested in modding either amp or changing speakers etc. – I’d rather spend the money to buy a better amp, I’m just not ready for it now.
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,148
you summed it up pretty well.
One important thing to add - you have to differentiate between getting crunch entirely from a pedal, @ unity gain, and using boosts or ODs to hit the amp's input harder, i.e. getting more tube OD.
With unity gain pedals both fare pretty well.
The Peavey however loves to be boosted, much like good, basic M- or V-style circuits - try that with an HRD. :omg

talk about going from
serveimage

to
SnowPlowC_Feature_618x278.jpg


my opinion, based on 20+ years of playing a CL50/212 on stage.
watch out for the Fender flamethrowers coming in ! :hide

lol,
Rhino
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,148
The HRDlx clean tone is rounder, the amp is more dynamic. I really like the clean tone, especially at moderate volumes. Clean single notes sound prettier. But the amp is also more difficult to control – if I hit too hard, there is the „icepick in the ear” effect, even with treble rolled off quite a bit. Peavey is more neutral, slightly „wiry” in comparison, but clean chords have better note separation, especially when played with fingers. Peavey’s sound is maybe less „inspiring”, but it’s not bad at all. The HRDlx is rounder and more icepicky than the Peavey at the same time - not what I expected.

in short, the Classic is less scooped, n'est ce pas ?
 

klapaucjusz1

Member
Messages
921
you summed it up pretty well.
One important thing to add - you have to differentiate between getting crunch entirely from a pedal, @ unity gain, and using boosts or ODs to hit the amp's input harder, i.e. getting more tube OD.
With unity gain pedals both fare pretty well.
The Peavey however loves to be boosted, much like good, basic M- or V-style circuits - try that with an HRD. :omg

talk about going from
serveimage

to
SnowPlowC_Feature_618x278.jpg


my opinion, based on 20+ years of playing a CL50/212 on stage.
watch out for the Fender flamethrowers coming in ! :hide

lol,
Rhino
Thank you for your input!

I've always been using unity gain method, mainly in order to minimize the volume difference between clean and dirty sound. But I will have to try boosting the PV. Do you boost the clean or dirty channel on the Peavey?

BTW, what is a "basic M- or V-style circuit"?
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
8,313
you summed it up pretty well.
One important thing to add - you have to differentiate between getting crunch entirely from a pedal, @ unity gain, and using boosts or ODs to hit the amp's input harder, i.e. getting more tube OD.
With unity gain pedals both fare pretty well.
The Peavey however loves to be boosted, much like good, basic M- or V-style circuits - try that with an HRD. :omg

I was going to say something very similar.

And I boost the dirty channel set to mostly clean...i.e low pre higher post.
 

recto-robbie

Member
Messages
2,322
In my opinion the classic 50 is much better for a pedal platform, never played any classic 30 or 50 that wasn't superb for this alone.
Yup the fender does have some nice clean sounds no doubt, but like you said, the classic 50's aren't bad either.

If I were in your position I would sell the fender. I understand that playing the same old amp gets old and its fun looking into new amps out there, I do it all the time, but its not always greener on the other side even though your mind may tell you otherwise.
Again if I was in your position without a doubt I would look into swapping out those speakers, I know you said your not interested in doing so, but while those blue marvels aren't horrible, trust me on this, a little extra money put into that classic 50 most likely would put a huge smile on your face and stop any thoughts of that fender for good.

Two other changes that can be made with the classic 50 over time would be to put in JJ el84's when you need to do the next tube change and for about $20 bucks or so, if you use the onboard reverb, pick up a new MOD reverb pan, huge, huge difference, you will love it. You can find those on Amazon if you have access to it over there in Poland.
 

klapaucjusz1

Member
Messages
921
In my opinion the classic 50 is much better for a pedal platform, never played any classic 30 or 50 that wasn't superb for this alone.
Yup the fender does have some nice clean sounds no doubt, but like you said, the classic 50's aren't bad either.

If I were in your position I would sell the fender. I understand that playing the same old amp gets old and its fun looking into new amps out there, I do it all the time, but its not always greener on the other side even though your mind may tell you otherwise.
Again if I was in your position without a doubt I would look into swapping out those speakers, I know you said your not interested in doing so, but while those blue marvels aren't horrible, trust me on this, a little extra money put into that classic 50 most likely would put a huge smile on your face and stop any thoughts of that fender for good.

Two other changes that can be made with the classic 50 over time would be to put in JJ el84's when you need to do the next tube change and for about $20 bucks or so, if you use the onboard reverb, pick up a new MOD reverb pan, huge, huge difference, you will love it. You can find those on Amazon if you have access to it over there in Poland.
Thanks! What you said about the grass is very very true :)

I'll think about the speakers. Any suggestions?

As for tubes, I'm actually using the JJ el84s right now. I tried also the EH el84s, didn't hear much of a difference though, if at all.
 

recto-robbie

Member
Messages
2,322
I'll think about the speakers. Any suggestions?

Look around the internet there are many sights, probably even here on this sight with all kinds of talk and suggestions on speakers swaps. I have had good luck with v30's, g12m-65's. While I don't have a classic 50 anymore I always wanted to try a mix of these two speakers in a 50, from what I read they are a good match.
I guess the best thing to do is read, take your time, don't rush. And for the most part you will read that no matter what quality speaker you put into the amp it will make an improvement over the blue marvels. Good luck!
 

klapaucjusz1

Member
Messages
921
Replace the volume pots on the amp with tapered pots much easier to control the volume that way.
Oh, you mean the volume pots on the HRDlx. It's true, they are very sensitive, but I actually didn't have trouble setting the basic desired volume by twisting the knob very very slightly. Annoying, but feasible. What I found difficult to control was not the volume pot, but the picking dynamics. I had the desired basic volume, but once I hit the strings harder, the treble part of the sound was getting shrill/harsh/icepicky/painful. I have no such troubles with the Peavey Classic 50, at the same volume. Maybe it's a matter of technique, maybe the HRD is a more demanding amp, with greater dynamic range? Not sure.
 

klapaucjusz1

Member
Messages
921
Look around the internet there are many sights, probably even here on this sight with all kinds of talk and suggestions on speakers swaps. I have had good luck with v30's, g12m-65's. While I don't have a classic 50 anymore I always wanted to try a mix of these two speakers in a 50, from what I read they are a good match.
I guess the best thing to do is read, take your time, don't rush. And for the most part you will read that no matter what quality speaker you put into the amp it will make an improvement over the blue marvels. Good luck!
Actually for a moment I planned to put one of the Blue Marvels into the HRDlx, and the stock Eminence from the HRDlx into the Peavey, just to see what happens. I think both speakers are equally hated, but who knows, maybe in a different amp the results would be interesting?
 

ProfRhino

Member
Messages
11,148
I've always been using unity gain method, mainly in order to minimize the volume difference between clean and dirty sound. But I will have to try boosting the PV. Do you boost the clean or dirty channel on the Peavey?

BTW, what is a "basic M- or V-style circuit"?
I boost both channels when needed, and exactly like multicellular, my drive channel is only slightly above the clean channel, maybe 10% - 20 %.
I use the guitar controls a lot , and I play fairly loud, which makes the perceived volume difference when boosting almost disappear, power amp compression evens out the levels.

basic M- or V-style circuit - read vintage Marshall or Vox, short'n simple signal path, no channel switching, loops or other modern brainfarts. :p
these usually take boosts a lot better than current complex designs

but ymmv, of course,
Rhino

The Marvels are also built by Eminence afaik. Mine served me just fine on stage, with a Sennheiser 409.
Don't forget, the original cab is lousy particle board to begin with ...
When recording, an open back birch ply 212 loaded with a Gold and an old H30/55 is a killer combination, but don't forget to phase align the mics properly !
 

BlueRiff

Senior Member
Messages
7,745
I’ve had the Peavey Classic 50 212 for 9 years. Except for tube swaps, it’s stock. I use it for band practice and small – medium clubs and bars. We don't play for a living.

The thing is, I really hate the weight of the amp. It’s 28kg. Plus, after all those years I thought I’d try something else.
So I bought a Hot Rod Deluxe from 2002, MIA, stock, just to try it out. I wanted to stay in the same price range. I like the weight, it’s 20kg.

Now I can’t decide which amp to keep.

What I need is a good clean pedal platform, with reasonable headroom. I get dirt from pedals - right now – a Hardwire CM-2 for TS-type sounds, MXR Super Badass Distortion for heavier stuff, Boss OD-3 for boost, all stock. I don’t plan on using the dirt channel or onboard reverb. We play our own suff, sort of difficult to classify, but the sounds I need are funk, jazz, pop, soul, blues, with some heavier rock riffs here and there. I don’t play metal. BTW, I use a strat.

Now I did some comparisons at home and here are my thoughts:

The HRDlx clean tone is rounder, the amp is more dynamic. I really like the clean tone, especially at moderate volumes. Clean single notes sound prettier. But the amp is also more difficult to control – if I hit too hard, there is the „icepick in the ear” effect, even with treble rolled off quite a bit. Peavey is more neutral, slightly „wiry” in comparison, but clean chords have better note separation, especially when played with fingers. Peavey’s sound is maybe less „inspiring”, but it’s not bad at all. The HRDlx is rounder and more icepicky than the Peavey at the same time - not what I expected.

Peavey seems to take dirt pedals better – again, it has better note definition. On the HRD, OD and distortion pedals sound a little harsh and muddy – the sweet clean tone does not translate to sweet OD or distortion tone with pedals, IMO. But it's not very bad.

When cranked to band volumes, the Peavey seems to „keep it together” better – sounds rounder, but keeps good note definition. Whereas the HRD gets a bit boomy, muddy, less focused, and there is more of the „icepick” effect, which I find difficult to control. I was actually quite surprised by this, given that the amp is supposed to be a good pedal platform with good headroom.

I think part of that results from the fact that I know Peavey really well by now and know I how to dial it in. My playing style also probably developed to get the most pleasing sounds from the Peavey. OTOH, I did take some time to dial in the HRD, played it for a couple of days to get used to it, and then and spent about 6 hours on 2 days at home just comparing both amps. Perhaps I should give the HRD some more time, learn its strenghts etc. I also played both amps at band practice, but it’s not a good place to extensively A/B the amps, given the limited time and patience of bandmates. Still, in a band situation the differences between the amps were there, but seemed less noticeable.

I really like the weight of the HRDlx, and some sounds I can get from it, but I’m worried it will not be able to perform as well as the Peavey for what I need. Maybe the Peavey is a better all-rounder, whereas HRDlx excels in some areas and is lacking in others? So now the the question – what do you think about how these two amps compare as clean pedal platforms? Which would you choose and why?

BTW, at home I play a VHT Special 6, so I don’t need Peavey/HRD to perform well at low volumes. I’m not really interested in modding either amp or changing speakers etc. – I’d rather spend the money to buy a better amp, I’m just not ready for it now.
You sold me..keep the Peavey. Invest in a folding cart to ease the load.
 

klapaucjusz1

Member
Messages
921
I boost both channels when needed, and exactly like multicellular, my drive channel is only slightly above the clean channel, maybe 10% - 20 %.
I use the guitar controls a lot , and I play fairly loud, which makes the perceived volume difference when boosting almost disappear, power amp compression evens out the levels.

basic M- or V-style circuit - read vintage Marshall or Vox, short'n simple signal path, no channel switching, loops or other modern brainfarts. :p
these usually take boosts a lot better than current complex designs

but ymmv, of course,
Rhino

The Marvels are also built by Eminence afaik. Mine served me just fine on stage, with a Sennheiser 409.
Don't forget, the original cab is lousy particle board to begin with ...
When recording, an open back birch ply 212 loaded with a Gold and an old H30/55 is a killer combination, but don't forget to phase align the mics properly !
Thanks for the explanations and tips.

Great feedback, guys, I appreciate that.
 
M

Member 1963

IMO the fender is the more pure clean, but the peavey may take pedals better simply because the clean is NOT as pure and dynamic as the fender. Fender cleans are usually very dynamic like that and you hit them too hard and it can do what you described. So in a way, the peavey's lack of tone quality/dynamics allow the pedals to hit it and make what amounts to compression much like if you hit an already dirty channel with a pedal. I would think if you put a compressor in your pedal chain to limit large peaks the fender might just sound better than the peavey. I use amp overdrive so i'm not big on pedals. But there was a time i used a few thru a clean amp and without exception the more pure and clean like a fender the amp was the better. One of the best ever was a Groove tubes solo 75 amp who's clean was real pure and pristine like a fender but more compressed so i never had that problem. Il;d use a rat thru the clean channel and the tone i got was fantastic. Again, a compressor may do what you want into the fender and i would be the end result would be better then the peavey. I've had 3 peavey classics and the clean tone i felt was average at best. By the way, GT made a smaller amp ay back that was designed specifically as a pedal platform. I think it was 45 watts as opposed to the solo 75's 75 watts. If you ever see one might be worth checking out, tho they are very rare. https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/anybody-use-a-groove-tubes-soul-o-45.351315/
 




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