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Finally heard the difference between Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Deluxe

zeffbeff

Member
Messages
2,229
I own an older Hot Rod Deluxe, which I love. It's perfect for home use, gigging, recording demos. It's a workhorse.

I've played the much cooler-looking Blues Deluxe in stores, and it sounded very similar to the HRD. I figured it's just a tweed covering and that's it.

But then I recorded with a Blues Deluxe. Ran a Strat into it and cranked the master volume to maximum.

Wow.

There was THAT Tweed tone. It was very, very distinct, and extremely awesome.

So, if you have a chance to try out a Blues Deluxe, crank that mother up!
 

aleiberman

Member
Messages
332
Thanks, I am trying to figure out if i should by a blues deluxe, hot rod deluxe, or deluxe reverb.

I have owned a deluxe reverb and hot rod deluxe. But flipped them both to soon. I love the deluxe reverb but it just seems like it juat does vintage clean really well. I am tired of boutique style amps, and chasing vintage. I just need a versitle big sounding amp, mind you I play mainly at home. My 5w swart is great, but wanted some bigger tone. I dont care about the build quality as much anymore. I am not a gigging musician that cant have it die in the middle of a gig. If the amp breaks i get it fixed or move on.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,721
What are the differences between the Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Deluxe?

By Steve Dallman

The two are similar in some ways and quite different in others. The obvious differences are the drive channel and "more" drive. Both amps are sort of takes on a 59 Bassman according to Fender with the added drive, reverb and effects loop. That may be a stretch. "Normal" Fenders, such as 'black face' and 'silver face' Twins, Bandmasters, Bassmans, Deluxe Reverbs and the like have a gain stage, the tone stack (which introduces a lot of signal loss) and then a recovery gain stage. From there there will be a mixing stage for the channels and reverb and on to the power amp.

In the BD and HRD there are 2 gain stages preceding the tone stack. This helps create the blusier preamp breakup similar to a 59 Bassman. The tone stacks are sort of a cross between a 59 Bassman and a standard Fender. Next comes the drive stage. In the BD it is a rather anemic single tube stage. In the HRD both halves of V2 are used. In the BD there is half a tube unused. How much you like the distortion in either amp is really a matter of taste.

The first stages are classic Fender except the BD uses a 22uf cathode bias cap while the HR uses a larger 47uf, which will create a bit more low end.

Coupling cap next is .01BD Vs .022 in HRD. Still a little more low end in the HR. The bright switch in the BD is next. This is a non-standard Fender design, which bypasses a 100k resistor with a 750pf cap. As the 100k resistor is attached to the 250k-volume control, it is only effective in clean mode. The drive control in the HR is between the first and second stage.

The second stage is unbypassed in both amps. In the HR the bright switch is a .068 cathode bypass cap that is non-functioning in drive mode.

The tone stack follows the second stage. They are identical except the HR uses a 130k mid slope resistor, while the BD is 100k. This will create a little less low end in the HR.

The drive control precedes the 3rd stage in the BD, a standard Fender bypassed gain stage. The 3rd stage is used in both clean and drive in the BD.

In the HR the 3rd and 4th stages are used in drive only. This tube is unbypassed. In More drive a 1uf-bypass cap is switched in on the 3rd stage and a 22uf bypass cap is switched in on the 4th stage. (The 4th stage is not used in the BD, but is just waiting to be modded in.)

Note on bypassing. The gain in a tube stage is set by 3 components, the plate resistor, (typically 100k in Fenders, larger for more gain) the cathode resistor, (typically 1.5k in Fenders, smaller for more gain) and a bypass cap that bypasses the cathode resistor. The cathode cap is not always used but when it is, it will increase gain in different frequency ranges. 22uf will increase gain across the entire guitar spectrum. Smaller will only raise gain in higher frequencies.

The master for the drive channel follows in both amps. From there the amps are nearly identical, except the HR has somewhat fuller reverb due to the design of the reverb return. (The reverb circuit and the effects loop are solid state.) The HR has an extension speaker jack that uses the 4-ohm speaker tap on the output transformer. The BD has this tap but it is not used (but could be added by a tech.)

In general these amps are similar. The BD will not stay as clean at higher volumes due to the 3rd stage always being active. The HR has "improved" distortion (drive) with "more drive" added. The HR has fuller reverb and an extension speaker jack. Both are good designs with plenty of classic Fender tone.​
 

jimmyohio75

Member
Messages
5,536
I had a blues deluxe about 10 years ago but I had to flip it because the volume knob was impossible to control. It seemed like all the volume was between 1 and 3. Set at 1 the volume was fairly quiet but turning the volume knob just past 2-3 and it blew your head off. Did they ever fix this extreme volume issue on these amps?
 

zeffbeff

Member
Messages
2,229
Thanks, I am trying to figure out if i should by a blues deluxe, hot rod deluxe, or deluxe reverb.

I have owned a deluxe reverb and hot rod deluxe. But flipped them both to soon. I love the deluxe reverb but it just seems like it juat does vintage clean really well. I am tired of boutique style amps, and chasing vintage. I just need a versitle big sounding amp, mind you I play mainly at home. My 5w swart is great, but wanted some bigger tone. I dont care about the build quality as much anymore. I am not a gigging musician that cant have it die in the middle of a gig. If the amp breaks i get it fixed or move on.
Versatile and big sounding? Yeah, just get a HRD. It's perfect for your situation.
 

swiveltung

Senior Member
Messages
14,485
I havent had either, but listening from the audience, when I hear a BD and don't know what it is, I have to go up and see what the amp is... it sounds so good. Not so with the HRD.
 

Lef T

Member
Messages
6,251
I gigged a U.S. made BD for ten years,with nothing but a tube change.
Great amp.
Payed for itself over and over.
The only reason I parted with it was for something with more power.
A big jump though,considering I went to a Mesa Mark V.
 






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