Talk me into buying a Hot Rod Deluxe

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by jtbleeker, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. jtbleeker

    jtbleeker Member

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    I'm currently running a Blues Jr, but I'm looking for a bit more versatility. How does the HRD stack up against other channel switchers in its price bracket?

    The sounds I'm looking for are:

    1: good jazzy twin tones
    2: good clean platform for ambient guitar
    3: good edge of breakup tones for blues and lighter rock
    4: Manchester Orchestra style crunch that the HRD is known for.

    How does it rate to you guys? are there better alternatives? Hit me with your success/horror stories and your thoughts about their sound! :D
     
  2. Hugh_s

    Hugh_s Member

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  3. Lilsam

    Lilsam Supporting Member

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  4. effectsman

    effectsman Supporting Member

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    They make a great clean pedal platform!
     
  5. playthecray

    playthecray Member

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    I would not use the HRD Deluxe as a channel switcher. As indicated the clean channel will serve as a nice pedal platform.
     
  6. e???

    e??? Member

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    Yes for the first two. But don't rely on it for overdrive. That channel sucks (overdrive channel), everyone agrees on this. The clean channel (plug into the 2nd input) is beautiful. 30 minutes ago I was at willies guitars (high end guitar shop), and realized after playing the new magnatones, carrs, vintage blackfaces, etc... that the 2nd input clean channel on a hot rod deluxe rides up high with any of them, especially the first version hot rod deluxe. I wouldn't say this about any other amp that is around that price range, and I hate devilles, blues jr.'s, 65drris n such. Get yourself an overdrive pedal that you like, and you'll be miles ahead. But don't take my word for it, go try a first version, use the clean channel, and plug into the second input. It's not going to be a popular opinion around here, but that's cuz guys like me who have spent thousands on an amp don't like to admit that an amp you can get for $500 used is just as cool...
     
  7. whackystrings

    whackystrings Member

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    Go to a decent, used Twin Reverb and make it everything you want...with pedals...the onboard reverb is great, though. I can find well-kept Twins on craigslist for $100-300 more than I see some HRDs on craigslist. The only major strike against the Twin is its weight although if that is what I wanted, I wouldn't let that sway me and my 6'1 height and healthy back.
     
  8. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I don't agree with the others. It's not the greatest amp in the world, but they're not nearly as bad as people like to say they are. The latest model is even pretty good. Not super high gain, but very smooth overdrive. I don't think I'd pay the 7+ bills they go for new, but they're pretty cheap used, and if you can get one under $400, it's a decent amp. I've gigged them and used them as part of a back line a few times and been happy. They're a huge step up from the Blues Junior.
     
  9. winterblu

    winterblu Supporting Member

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    I'd go with a used Twin or possibly a Prosonic. The Prosonic has great cleans as well as a killer dirt channel if you need it.
    I personally didn't think much of the HRD.
     
  10. jtbleeker

    jtbleeker Member

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    Care to elaborate? lol :p
     
  11. jtbleeker

    jtbleeker Member

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    also before we get too far I want to say that any boutique amp is out of the question, my budget is around 600 max, so no /13 or matchless for me lol
     
  12. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    Used an HRD for the first seven years of playing. Loved it. It's a great amp - a loud, great sounding pedal platform with reverb. Sure, the overdrive channels are not the best (I'm not sure I ever even brought the foot switch to a show), but with that amp it's all about clean pedal platform. It excels at that, and is cheap and portable to boot. It's truly going to be your best bet in your price range. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.
     
  13. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I have had quite a few amps (boutique as well) and all of them are gone, my Blues Deluxe is still here.

    Great amp after a speaker swap. Even with the stock speaker a good clean platform, and this is what more or less ALL Fenders are.

    Don't expect the gain channel to sound like a Boogie, it won't. But it is voiced differently and is VERY usable with the right speaker.

    This is an amp that I would always buy and know that I will get some good and usable sounds. Gig ready, robust... this is a work horse!

    Mesa praise their reverbs, and their are OK, but to be honest, the reverb on my 3 times cheaper BD sounded BETTER than on my Lonestar, Maverick, Nomad.... or at least at the same level.
     
  14. Rumble5

    Rumble5 Member

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    The Blues Deluxe is a better amp IMO.
     
  15. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    I bought a Fromel modded one and loved it, once I replaced a fried resister. Tried different speakers and the best sounding to me was a Pure64 SSll, and JJ tubes sound great in it. I sold it to a friend and consider him fortunate, for his first tube amp. It's a loud amp but still sounds good at lower volumes.

    There are a few weak links that are quite easily remedied, such as the input jacks soldered to the main pcb. Earlier ones had cheap jacks that tended to crack with moderately rugged use. The new ones use better Neutrik jacks which will hold up better but are still soldered to the main board. A simple remedy is to solder in flying leads, which are included in even the basic Fromel mod kit.

    I think they sound too stiff when stock, without better speaker and tubes. As others mentioned, the clean channel is its strength. Bought used in the $450 range should leave enough for those upgrades to stay at or under your $600 price. You don't need the kit to bring it up to snuff, a decent tech could handle the leads and better jacks, you can replace the speaker and tubes.
     
  16. e???

    e??? Member

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    Yeah prosonics and twins are great amps, but good luck trying to get them from your apartment to your car without having to call someone else. I'd have em both if I could, but seeing as I don't play many outdoor shows with 300+ people, I can't see the point. Even if I did, soundsystems these days work, and I'd mic an hrd for the same effect. Or a champ if I had too. Same as any club these days, they mic everything. ..
     
  17. david(j)

    david(j) Supporting Member

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    Big +1.

    I love mine. The mkiii series has a decent drive section. It still sounds like a fender overdrive, but it way better than the mki I used to own. Cleans are stellar. I haven't had the urge to swap speakers yet. My McCarty sounds awesome on the od channel...or fantastic clean with pedals.

    Fwiw, I have a couple other great sounding amps, and I play the hrd often and am very happy with the tones.
     
  18. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    Since it is heavy, too loud to be functional, does not have a very useable drive tone, I say go for it... Should be able to buy one for $500 and sell it for $250

    Mostly sarcastic... But a HRD just doesn't seem like an effective choice when there are so many options out there in a similar price range.
     
  19. zryder

    zryder Member

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    Like everyone’s saying, it’s a good pedal platform. Pretty loud too.

    But if you have a 1
    st gen like I do, stay away from the OD channel.
     
  20. IndyMead

    IndyMead Member

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    Yes to 1 and 2. No to 3 and 4. One good drive pedal solves 3 and 4 though.

    I've happily played a HR Deville for 10 years now. These amps have a tremendous clean sound and take pedals so well that I think they're hard to beat for a lot of players. For players now a days, I think the fact that they take pedals so well is a big deal. You can morph your sound into pretty much anything you want (or really close to it) with a couple nice drive pedals. Unless you have a very specific sound in mind I think this versatility is a great thing to have.
     

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