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Revisited the Fender Deluxe/DeVille today, I was pleasantly surprised!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Burstbucker, May 21, 2011.

  1. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    I had a Hot Rod DeVille 4x10 back in the late 90's and foolishly sold it to get a Line 6 AX2, DOH!!!!

    After that honeymoon was all over and done with, I bought a Peavey Classic 50 4x10, back then, I found the C50's distortion channel better then the DeVille's.

    But then I went and sold off the C50 and got many other amps throughout the years, a mid 60s Fender Bassman piggy back combo, a mid 60s Vibrolux I think it was, a mid-80s Marshall JCM800 half stack, a JCM2000 DSL half stack.

    But now I only have a mid-70s Twin Reverb that's been modded back close to blackface specs and has a pair of Weber 12" California speakers in it(sounds great, big bold spanky Fender clean!), and a 1970 Traynor YBA-1 BassMaster 50W head and 1x12 Peavey cab with a 12" Sheffield speaker(great clean sounds until it gets past 12 o'clock and then you have old AC/DC crunch!).

    I'm thinking about getting a third amp, so I've been reading like a madman and going out and trying out various amps at the music stores.

    I've tried out a bunch of Mesa combos and while they're pretty good, they are pretty darned pricey IMHO. I also tried out some H&K Statesman amps and while they sounded good, I'm a bit leery of their build quality and they too are a bit on the pricey side.

    This morning I spotted a HotRod Deluxe III and it was already in standby mode, so I thought to myself, well this is a waste of time but what the hell. So, I plugged in and was kind of set back at the sounds that I was getting. Really decent cleans and the dirt channel even sounded good!

    I kinda looked down at that little amp, after all, it's not a super-expensive amp and won't win any points with gear snobs but it's a good lesson in trying to get past preconceived notions about gear and tones.

    It's like tone is an ever moving target, every day my perception of tone seems to shift. So, with that in mind, I think that my next amp might be a Hot Rod Deluxe or a Hot Rod DeVille. Weird!!!

    I think that Fender did a pretty decent job of dialing in this new series of Hot Rod amps, I don't think that I was getting distorted tones this good from my HR DeVille way back 12 or 13 years ago. Good job Fender!

    So, I'm now going to try to figure out whether to go with this HR Deluxe III or a HR DeVille III, and if a DeVille III rocks my boat a bit more, will it be a 4x10 or a 2x12? Decisions, decisions, hhmmmmmmmm.........

    And how about the Blues Deluxe reissue? They don't have this one or the DeVilles in the store here, just a HR Deluxe. I'd like to try them all and really do a proper comparison shootout.

    This is good news, that I've found amps that sound great, are well built and are quite a bit cheaper then other brands. I could buy 2 HR Deluxes for the same price as a Mesa Boogie Express 5:50

    The Mesa 5:50 is a pretty nice little amp but I think that I like the HR Deluxe just as much, if not more. And the Fender is only half the price!

    Anybody here fans of these new Fender amps and do you have any opinions on what I've just said? Please chime in if you like.
     
  2. Full Monty

    Full Monty Member

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    If the DeVille gives you something you haven't already got at a price point you're totally happy with then it's a no-brainer really. I was a bit surprised by your comment regarding the H&K amps since mine has proved bomb-proof since I bought it a couple of years back. Still, if the price is a bit steep then that's a moot point. :)
     
  3. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    The only reason I commented on the H&K was because I felt that the little lighted push-buttons on the front might not hold up over the long term. They stick out rather prominently and seem a bit flimsy. I've just got a gut feeling that they might be a source of trouble down the road.

    I'm sure it's a fine amp, they sounded good, that's for sure but they were a few hundred bucks more then comparable Hot Rod amps. Also, both H&K Statesman amps in this store had nicks in the Tolex. One was brand new and the other was a used one out of their rental dept(this one had it's little "Statesman" badge on the grille cloth hanging on by only one side and was flopped over). It seemed to me that the Tolex on the Fenders was tougher then the H&K and would tolerate more abuse.

    I don't know, I just felt that the Fender Hot Rods gave as good a tone as the more expensive amps and was the better bargain. It's easy to convince ourselves that we have a great tone after buying a fancy, expensive amp but that honeymoon usually doesn't last forever. I'm now going back in the direction of more affordable amps and that's a good thing, especially for my wallet!
     
  4. freaksho

    freaksho Member

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    i hope you are enjoying your new job at Fender.

    ;)j/k
     
  5. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    I swear I'm not a shill for Fender!:D

    But I was a bit surprised at the end of this amp round-up that I was just as happy with the HRD as the other amps, most of them costing twice as much. I'm a gear whore, so these cheaper amps allow for the buying of even more stuff!;)
     
  6. dnauhei

    dnauhei Member

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    Try an Egnator Tweaker first. I bought an HRDIII. Then two weeks later, too late to return the Fender, I found the Tweaker. HRDIII went on CL. Tweaker is here for the long haul.
     
  7. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    Unfortunately, there's nobody selling Egnator amps around here, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to do some reading up on those puppies too.
     
  8. Full Monty

    Full Monty Member

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    You and me both on the latter point! I'm presuming you're in the US because here in the UK the HR DeVille sits in the same price range as the H&Ks and the Marshall's.

    .
     
  9. Burstbucker

    Burstbucker Member

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    Actually, I'm in Atlantic Canada, I can't speak for all models of Fender amps out there but the Hot Rod combos are a fair bit cheaper then Marshalls, H&K and Mesa Boogie combos.

    And when I plugged into that HR Deluxe today, I was surprised that I liked it as much as I did.

    I've read comments about the Hot Rod amps not being reliable but I can't imagine that they're built any worse then most other modern day amps.

    Most brands go pretty much all PCB with the tube(valve) sockets soldered directly to the board. Even pricey Marshalls and Mesa Boogies have PCBs with ribbon cable flying from board to board. Is the Hot Rod really built all that much more cheaply then those amps?

    Maybe since they've sold tons of Hot Rod amps, there have also been more complaints but it might just be due to the fact that there's so many of these amps out there in circulation.
     
  10. slogger

    slogger Member

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    :aok
    I love my Blues deville HotRod 410! Why these amps get very little appreciation (around here) is beyond me. A while back I posted that a local GC susidiary was selling their floor model BD HR 410 for cheap in order to make room for the III series. The cork sniffers on the board just crapped all over the thread:nuts saying that there were far superior amps out there for the same amount of cash.

    The clean tones on these amps are beautiful, rich and warm- I don't mess with the gain channels though, Thats what I have dirt pedals for :)
     

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