Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by zoemunchkinpro, Mar 5, 2006.
What is the opinion on the Fender Hot Rod Deville... I'm thinking of buying one...
I've only demoed the Hot Rod series amps. I've tried the 2x12 version. The Clean side is your "Fender" clean sound. The overdrive channel takes some getting used to. It has a a solid-state boosting and mid-scooping feature called "More Drive." It's been on the Hot Rod amps for years, but I don't like it. I'd stick to the regular OD channel.
I had a HR Deville 2x12. I didn't care for that amp. I like the Kustom Coupe much, much better. I also think the Peavey Valveking is a much better buy. The clean is decent and the OD smokes the HR. Just my opinion.
The clean channel is as good as it gets. I have A/Bd it with EVERYTHING, including 3 original Dumbles, a Trainwreck express. It easily surpassed them. I also A/B it with all of my vintage Fenders, and it is their equal. The Bassman LTD and SRRI are two more you should look at. The HR Deville even hangs right there with my Brunos, the best sounding amps I have ever played. The dirty channel is not that good though. Use a Fulldrive II and you have world class tone. :AOK I have the 4/10. Play several of them, because like all amps, they do vary a bit.
I'd say just go down to your local GC and fire on up. I rather like them. I havn't bought one yet but that's due finance issues more than anything.
sucks... the breakup is horrible on the clean. the od is useless. In the past I've had the 2x12 and 4 10. crap.
Ill do some clips for all to hear.
Do some clips. I don't give a rat's ass. The amp isn't to my standards. Like I said earlier, that was my opinion.
Before this becomes a "brand war," remember that what guitar, pickups, technique, and amp settings all have an effect on the tone and where/how the amp breaks up.
Now, the Hot Rod isn't my thing either, but that amp does have something to offer. All it takes is finding the "sweet spots." From noodling in the stores, I can't really find them. However, I'm guessing guys who've played Fender amps for a long time can dial it in quickly.
I'll agree that the "More Drive" is useless, but the amp overall can be decent with the right guitar and settings.
Go to GC and try the Crate "Palomino". Much better IMHO.
I look forward to it.
I don't. hehehehehe
I really like mine a lot... after going through a lot of other amps, including a TopHat Ambassador 50 and a Fargen Bordeaux 80, I'm back with the DeVille as my higher-powered amp (Electrosonic as my lower powered). I haven't had any reliabilty problems, save one in the 1st month of ownership (one cold solder joint) that the store I bought it from repaired for free... and that was in 1998. I don't use the gain side of the amp at all, because I have it EQ'd for the clean channel. Takes pedals better than anything I've tried so far (better than the GT Soul-O 45 which I also had). I replaced the tubes with JJ 6L6's and JJ ECC83S's, so maybe that's why my results may differ from the next guy's, and my breakup on the 'clean' channel, when it DOES break up, is very pleasant and mellow.
If you want to feel more love (and fistfighting), check out this older Hot Rod thread:
Where I'm coming from: I used to own another 4 x 10" amp that I LOVED (Ampeg VT-22) and for over a year I lusted after the Hot Rod DeVille 410.
I went into this with eyes open. I played it in the music store and thought it was just wonderful. I bought one. I am not knocking it, it is a great amp, but I've played with my band and a jam band with it and though I admire it still a lot, we aren't getting along as good as I had hoped.
When I played mine in the store, while waiting for the salesguy so I could negotiate, I plugged into a Bassman RI LTD. There wasa slight problem with the bassman in the showroom (I've since played it more extensively and the problem hasn't returned...I wonder, it might have been the tubes and they replaced them, I'll ask when I go to buy it)...it made some nasty screeches now and then, BUT...I should have payed attention more...but I had tunnel vision because I so wanted that DeVille. I saw the Bassman as less desireable because it didn't have en effects loop and no reverb. I also played it at lower volumes, BUT...it was like the proverbial "blanket being lifted" for me when I went back and plugged into the DeVille again. It isn't that the DeVille sounded bad, it is a really nice sounding amp...I got nice breakup on the clean pretty early (vol around 3)...but it isn't a clean-clean. My Carvin MTS3212 IS a clean clean...all the way up til speaker distortion. But the DeVille had a nice "round" clean breakup not very far up the volume. Still...if I had been more objective, the Bassman has that something "extra" in it. I also wanted two-channels I thought. So I gonored that really...to me, the Bassman sounded better, and bought the DeVille.
There are some great sounds in it, but a couple of real drawbacks too.
1) The cleans aren't that clean. Mine is completely stock, no tube changes, speaker changes, or even bias changes. The cleans break up in a nice way early.
2) The OD channels. Many HATE the OD on this amp. I don't use heavy OD and I found it just fine. Liked it a lot in fact. Problem is, the difference between Drive and "More Drive" to me makes it unusable. I can set either one, but the level difference makes it impossible to just switch between them, and cannot be adjusted without turning down guitar or vol pedal, and then the OD sounds different.
3) I think the numb-nuts of the year award ought to go to Fender for what they did (and didn't do) with the reverb. For one thing, the biggest for me, they include a footpedal and the REVERB IS NOT FOOTSWITCHABLE! I can't turn it off from the footswitch. Not only that, you can't turn it off at all. You can only turn it's volume/mix down to zero.
Again, this is stock...the reverb knob is idiotic..you really can't put it past about 3, and from 2-3 it makes a HUGE difference in "wash" and how buried the guitar gets. This means, if you have a solo or song even where you want some reverb, then want it off, then on again...you are out of luck. You will never be able to just turn the knob to some "favorite setting" you have to be hearing it to do it.
4) The EQ controls aren't that good, effective. PResence works well, and makes a huge difference in sound. The Bass knob though...almost does nothing. There is a super-easy mod, I would do to it, but I am selling it (yeah...you guessed it, I'm going for the Bassman. Found out the base tone is more important than reverb...can always get a pedal and it is true that the Basmans' cabinet makes reverb not necessary...has it's own sort of, and the effects loop became less important to me.
So basically, the DeVille is a good amp. Lots of people I respect are getting fantastic sounds out of it. I find it hard to get the sound I want out of it consistently. I hate the reverb setup, the reverb itself sounds okay, not fantastic but good. The cleans can get some great sounds, the OD too, but I could have done without the More Drive. I wish they'd just dropped that and made reverb footswitchable.
The Effects loop is nice, works fine. Small thing...the metal plate (with white lettering no less) for the console where the knobs are...impossible to see without "shading" by putting your hand behind it. I don't like the order of the knobs either, is not logical to me, but that is a bagatelle.
In short, I think I will be much happier with the Bassman LTD, but I am not knocking the DeVille (except for the things I mentioned) and know it is a good amp which can sound great in the right hands. And I have been going from loving it to just thinking it is pretty good and back again. I just keep pining for the Bassman, and can't keep both..
So while I think Heritage (the one I quoted) could learn a little dipløomacy, I don't think the amp sucks, but I can understand for him it was not a good amp.
SO, the original poster needs to think about what they think is important. And I would really suggest trying out a Bassman RI LTD at the same time as the Hot Rod. IF effects-loop is important to you...DeVille, if you want built in reverb, and just keep it on all the time, DeVille. But if you are going to mostly use it clean, don't need reverb or are fine with a pedal (EBS Dynaverb is a great pedal....effects loop OR on input) the Bassman I think has better tone and more variation in tone.
And I couldn't get close to THAT sound with my DeVille even after extensive tweaking of tone controls.
You are getting them anyway.
hate it hate it hate it. I used to have one, and thought it was great simply because i hadn't tried anything else. The OD channels are useless so it's basically a clean amp that breaks up. If you want clean get a twin. If you want versatility there are so many options.
The plus side is that its a cheap amp. Also, I've seen a lot of bands use this amp live. I've seen it sound amazing and i've seen it sound like ****. I guess the player really matters.
So, you hated it because of the EQ? The overdrive sounds? Reliability? The cleans? Doesn't work for your style of music?
I'm all for people not liking it (I can totally see why), I just like it when people say WHY they hated it... I think it will help out the person who started this thread more.
If a great amp overdrive OR sparkling, bright cleans are what you're looking for, I agree, this isn't the amp. I find the Drive channel a bit harsh, and don't like the shared EQ concept. And it doesn't have the cutting brightness of a Twin (even w/ the treble and presence knobs dozened)... it's definately a more mellow sounding amp although I agree it can be a bit bass heavy at times.
But it works for me and that's what matters, right? I'm sure the people I sold all my Fenders, Riveras and boutiques to are just as happy with them as I am with the DeVille...
...all amps have their shortcomings, it's finding the amp with the shortcomings that don't bother or affect you and your style.
I had a 2x12 and the clean channel was excellent on it. However, like most other people, I just couldn't get the drive channel to sound good. I thought it was decent at first, but as time passed, I got more and more frustrated with trying to dial in a decent sound. Part of this is becuase the EQ is shared by both channels, so what sounds good on one channel, might not sound good on the other. Also, the distortion just isn't really clear enough when playing leads. It's too gritty and harsh at times. I'd definitly recommend trying one first to see if it's for you since some people either love or hate them.
I think that it is worth checking out. Bang for buck really comes in to play. All you need is a good pedal on the clean channel and you are set.
I used one last year on tour when I was too lazy to unload my Komet out of the trailer. The guitar amp that was there was a Deville. I hooked up my pedalboard in front and had good tone all night.
The 4x10 DeVille is a fine amp and happens to be a great deal. I have a 1996 DeVille that I've been playing for 10 years now and there's no way I'm going to sell it. I bought it for the clean channel alone, and personally, I like the "Drive" channel when set under 4 or 5.
Guitarists are an interesting breed. I have some nice amps, including a 1x12 Carr Mercury and a 1x12 Swart Atomic Space Tone. These amps are incredible, offer tone and dynamics that you cannot realistically compare to a mass-produced amp like the 4x10 Hot Rod DeVille.
The DeVille offers a very accomodating clean channel which sounds great (with aftermarket power and preamp tubes), is a good foundation for you're pedal board and is plenty loud for gigging in a variety of situations.
I also like to run the DeVille out to an additional 8ohm 2x12 extension cabinet for extra whomp, so the speaker extension is welcomed as well.
Compare the DeVille to other 700-800.00 mass produced amps. Don't compare it to you're 2,500.00 boutique combo amp.