Researching replacement amp for HRD

61Ephramite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
316
I don't know if I will let go of my '99 Fender HRD, for sentimental reasons I guess, but I'm hearing a need for a different sound. I've tweaked this amp with tone stack mod, reverb mod, tube swaps, and a Jensen C12N. I gave up on the Drive channel and use as a clean platform primarily and the cleans are very nice. The amp is in great shape so selling shouldn't be too hard.

That all said, I'm intrigued by the chime of EL84 amps. I've had a Blues Jr and added some mods there as well, but sold it after not hearing what I wanted. I like the sound of Vox, but the idea of Chinese build is less than inviting. Non Chinese versions are out of my price range. How well would a Peavey C30 do by comparison? Other ideas anyone has would be of help. Nice cleans a major plus and any useable drive/gain would be great.

Just exploring possibilites here. The sell of the Hot Rod would need to finance any purchase, so I realize something used is most likely. Ideas anyone and thanks for your help.
 

The Funk

Member
Messages
4,549
Peavey C30's have been around for a long time for a reason. They are great amps. More midrange in the clean sound than a HRD, and a much much much better overdrive sound. A versatile workhorse of an amp. I'd take one over a HRD for pretty much anything.
 

61Ephramite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
316
I've read a lot of less than great reports about the Blue Marvel speaker in the C30 and from what I've heard while playing one, they're just OK. I have an Eminence Private Jack, 16 ohm in a closet that could replace the BM. Would that be too much midrange on the clean side?
 

AD1982

Senior Member
Messages
904
I think the HRD is an upgrade from the C30. Like the previous poster mentioned, the Blue Marvel speaker is terrible. Shrill in the highs, farty in the lows. I've never bonded with one in either one of my past Peavey Classic amps.

It's seems you'd like an American-made amp with a good drive channel. I'd look for a used VHT Pittbull 45 or a Mesa Studio Caliber/F30/Express 25. Both have killer cleans and rocking drive channel for under $750.
 

61Ephramite

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
316
Good drives out of an amp as opposed to pedals only is a desirable thing but my first thought was the chime of a Vox like amp. I've been playing Fender amps since '99 so maybe I'm just looking for something different. I'm still a big Fender fan, loving my '59 Bassman LTD and have ideas about a Deluxe Reverb, but I'm intrigued about the Vox sound. My problem is cash. What would be available for any change would have to come from the HRD being sold [$450.00 or so]. So a Dr. Z, Matchless, Bad Cat, boutique amp is out of reach. Cheaper options may leave only a chinese version or the like. I worked in Music Instrument for 10 years and saw the less than desirable components, wiring, and quality of most of those types, so I'd rather stay away, even if that means I'm intrigued and still play the HRD.
 

Stormin

Tele's and Plexis
Messages
4,115
If you're used to the sound of a "traditional" Fender clean (the HRD is def in that camp), you may find that EL84 type amps don't give you a base tone that you'll be happy with.

I've tried 6 different EL84 amps, but I seem to get tired of each of them after a few weeks and it's back to the Fender camp. I WANT to love them, but I've sold every Dr Z, Matchless, BadCat and Vox I've bought.

What has worked for me, is the chime of a NMV Marshall, run clean. To me, the JTM45 and Bluesbreaker have one of the harmonically richest clean tones I've ever heard. They are also 6L6 based platforms.
 

teleman55

Member
Messages
3,587
Classic 30 is a good amp. May or may not suit you. You need to try one somewhere. Even though it's chinese, bugara makes some nice stuff too. I know what works for me. I'm a Fender amp guy, mainly a SF Deluxe Reverb for the past 8 years or so, lotta gigs. Use pedals in front. But for something else, I've been using a 30W EL84 amp a lot lately and I really like it. I've been using a Crate V30. USA made, 30W 4 el84 1x12 combo. Great chimey cleans and great amp drive too. And it was cheap. $169. These amps have been known to have some issues sometimes but mine's been fine so far travelling around. I'm a little more careful with it than with the old Fender. They made a white version of this amp called a V32 Palomino. Had one of those before. Same amp, same factory in Yellville, AR. Same sound, but that one was more noisy so I sold it. Can't have noisy on stage. I don't think that is a matter of V30 or V32, just finding the right one. They later had offshore ones made, don't know about those but mine is great, totally stock (except of course not the original tubes, these need new power tubes yearly). Some came with tonetubby speakers, some with celestion. Mine has the celestion. Not a noted speaker (70/80) but sounds fine in this amp. I guess it has it's own sound, but hear some Vox, Marshall, Ampeg and Fender in it. Great amp. No kidding.
 

Mike9

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,959
Why not send your HRD chassis to Jim Price at Omega for his mod package? He does great work for a great price.
 

MogwaiBoy

Member
Messages
3,734
How about keep the HRD (I love their predictably good cleantone) and save up for one of those newer Vox AC4's with 12 inch speakers.
 




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