Looking for my first Fender amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by lowendgenerator, Jul 23, 2006.


  1. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator Member

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    I really don't know a DRRI from a BFSR. My budget is around 500-600 bucks. I'm looking for something that will keep up with a full band. I have plenty of grit on tap with pedals, so something with headroom would be great. What should I look for?
     
  2. tweedcab

    tweedcab Supporting Member

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    If you have the grit covered with pedals then you CAN'T go wrong with a Hot Rod Deville. Either the 2x12 or 4x10 version depending on your frequency tastes. The clean channel kills and it is one of the best amps period in this price range regarding pedal friendliness. A real nice example will be in the $5-600 range and it will keep up with any band. It's quite loud with a great deal of headroom. The SRRI is also a very nice amp, but a little less headroom and a good used example is gonna be a little out of your range from the few selling prices I've seen.
     
  3. TS808

    TS808 Member

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    I agree, the Hot Rod Deville is a sweet amp but plenty loud. I used to own the 2 x 12 and loved it, but it was just too much amp for me. The clean tones and the reverb are excellent. Maybe the Hot Rod Deluxe at 40 watts may be enough for you.

    If you're going to use pedals and not the OD channel, the Blues Deluxe or Blues Devilles are great amps.
     
  4. Leonc

    Leonc Wild Gear Hearder Gold Supporting Member

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    Hot Rod Deville 4x10. You got the dirt covered with your pedals (its dirty channel is mediocre at best). This amp is about tremendous cleans. Very loud.
     
  5. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Hot Rod Deville is a great suggestion. You may also be able to find a silverface twin reverb near that price point. Plenty of power on tap for a lot of headroom, if you need less power, pull two tubes. Lots of killer Fenders available at that price point, but I would avoid the Deluxe if you want headroom.
     
  6. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator Member

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    I've been thinking about a Hot Rod Deville 4x10. A friend has one and it's awesome. Blows us off the stage with the volume at 3.

    The same friend told me I should look for a Super Reverb. What's the skinny with those? I really had no idea Fender amps were so complex and diverse until recently.
     
  7. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    You can find used DRRI's in your price range but from what you've said you're looking for, it's not the right amp. I had one and loved it but I don't think you'll be happy.

    I think a Super is probably going to be out of your price range. The Deville should do it for you. Heck, even a HR Deluxe should be fine. I've jammed with a guy who uses one sometimes and that thing is LOUD! I think the OD channel sounds like a turd but put a pedal in front of the clean channel and you'll be fine.

    Also, if your buddy has to keep his volume on 3 with the 4x10, you'll be able to push the HRD harder, drive the tubes into that sweet spot and still keep up.

    Good Luck
     
  8. myles111

    myles111 Member

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    In your price range the Fender Hot Rod series is a great way to go. I personally prefer the 1x12 Hot Rod Deluxe. It is the lightest, least pricy, but also to my ears the best sounding and most useful.
     
  9. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator Member

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    After a bit of reading at the Fender website, I think I'm more confused than before. Maybe I just have more questions. I really want to get this one right, I'm tired of buying on impulse and being remorseful of it later. In either case, I thank you all for your continued support and help.

    Here's a question; Besides 3 channels vs 2 channels, what is the difference between a Hot Rod series and the Blues series?
     
  10. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    SF Bassman. I'll go against the grain here and not recommend any of the Hot Rod series. Do yourself a favor and stay away. Go silver face and you'll be fine. You might even find an old Pro at that price, though they are going up. Bassman's are still around at good prices though.

    You may need to have some maintenance work done, but that's okay. Once set up correctly you'll have an excellent amp that you can use for a long, long time. They sound terrific and they'll maintain their value. Get a Hot Rod amp and in a year or two you may be looking to off it to some other sucker. And you'll loose money on it.
     
  11. ES350

    ES350 Member

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    Ditto---get a SF Bassman/Bandmaster head or a beat up Twin or Pro Reverb with no speakers and mismatched tubes, do some work on it. You'll thank us in five years...when the HRD you were gonna buy is in a dumpster somewhere.
     
  12. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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  13. lord preset

    lord preset Member

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    Mid-Later 70's Silverface Twin Reverb. You can still get these in decent working condition for around $600. They have the sucky master volume circuit that makes it hard to convert them to blackface specs if you care about such things but they still sound good as they are and have lots of clean headroom. Hot Rod Devilles and other modern Fender tube models can sound great, but they are made with printed circuit boards are not built to be maintained. The SF Twin will keep plugging along more or less forever with proper maintenance, and it will probably appreciate in value over time.
     
  14. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    As long as it isn't an ultra linear amp it is easy to black face it, or just mod it toward black face spec's. That kind of approach can turn out very nice. You don't neccesarilly have to try to go full black face with it, just a couple of simple mods can be real nice.

    And even the UL models are not total dogs as their reputation would have you believe. Their are some real possibilities with them too, and still better than a Hot Rod.

    JMO of course, YMMV, and all that. But it looks like I do have some company here. :cool:
     
  15. TS808

    TS808 Member

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    That's the only difference, the 3rd channel and the covering (tolex vs. tweed). I remember when Fender discontinued the Blues series and came out with the HR series...just added the "more drive" channel. I had a HR Deville 2 x12 and my brother had the Blues Deville 2 x 12. The drive channel on the HR sounded identical to the drive channel on the BD. The "more drive" just added some gain.

    These are great amps IMHO. Very loud, and I agree with another poster that the Deluxe is plenty loud.
     
  16. lowendgenerator

    lowendgenerator Member

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    Alright guys, your getting a little bit ahead of me here. I appreciate a good difference of opinion, but I would like to know why your opinion is low on the Hot Rods. There's gotta be more to it than a printed circuit. I'm not looking for something that needs fixing, at least not right now. And what is Blackface Spec?
     
  17. hasserl

    hasserl Member

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    It's not just pcb construction, which I don't have a problem with, it's low quality construction which leads to problems from cold solder joints and similiar issues. It's volume pots that act more like on/off switches than potentiometers. It's trying to make a single channel amp act like a multi channel amp using relays and transistors to switch different functions on/off. It's using opamps in the signal path to drive the fx loop and the reverb and other options like the More Drive (what a POS!). Combined they add up to an amp that deserves the low opinion.

    Compare it to a hand wired silver face and it's a no brainer IMO. The Hot Rod is like throwing your money away. The silver face is one of the best buys in the amp market. Get em while they're still obtainable for relatively low cost.

    Black face specs just refers to the circuits used in Fender amps from the early to mid 60's that had a black face plate. When the amps changed to using a silver face plate there were some circuit changes that went with it, some of which were not good, but some that were. Most people prefer the black face amps.

    Hope that helps
     
  18. guitar_rockin

    guitar_rockin Member

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    I was going to say that in your situation I don't think you would want to go with an older used amp that may need something fixed. If you have the money to buy an old Fender and put some money into it they are killer amps, but it's gonna be out of your price range. Just go with something newer that won't need money put into right away.

    I have a Hot Rod Deluxe and they are well worth the money. To me the HRDx is a single channel amp, I hardly ever switch to the drive channels. They just get to muddy at a gigging volume. Much better tones can come from using pedals through the clean channel. They take pedals very well, have a great clean channel and have plenty of power for just about any situation. The quality on them can be hit or miss sometimes but in 3 years the only thing needing replaced on mine were the tubes. I replaced the 6L6's with 6V6's to lower the power a bit. There are quite a few mods out there that can be done if you so choose. I wouldn't say the HRDx is great at any single thing, but it is good for many different styles.
     
  19. bjm007

    bjm007 Member

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    I would try a silver face DR... They are pretty much the same circuit as the BF DR's up until around '73
     
  20. VintageToneGuy

    VintageToneGuy Member

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    The Hotrods are great amps indeed, I had two but sold them cause when you turn up to 3 your toooooooooooooo loud in most cases. I fell in love with an old Silverface Bassman Ten. It is a 4 X10 combo with 70 watts. I retubed it and recovered it and it sounds real good. As a matter of fact, if you're interested in looking at it via pictures, it was recently listed on Ebay as a Pickup Only sale (but It didn't sell). Send me an email and I'll return a pic! (JccJr1961@aol.com)
     

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