Monday, October 20, 2008
Fender Hot Rod Deluxe
I think it's about time to run through a few amps again. I did a whole week of amps here on the site and it seemed to get quite a few responses, so, since no one else is sending me stories, and I've told most of my guitar stories, we'll go with amps.
I saw this one listed on Craig's List and I was jonesin' for a new amp. It's a pretty standard Fender Hot Rod Deluxe and it was made in the USA the first year of production. A guy had bought it in 1996 (I believe that's the correct year) and put it in his living room and played it about once a month. He had a cover for it and it basically looked brand new. I went over to check it out and he couldn't turn it up much because he had a toddler asleep. So, not only did he not play it much, he didn't play it over about volume level .5 or so. It had the original footswitch and was just a really sweet amp.
These Hot Rod amps from Fender are great sounding stock amps in my opinion and I'm sure you can download about a gazillion mods and tweaks from the internets and I'm sure you could upgrade the speaker(s) and the tubes and you could even hire a cool guy with a Stevie Ray Vaughn hat on to make it sound just like Texas. But you know what? It sounds pretty darn good just how it is and, for the money, that's a good deal.
Not everyone can spend an extra $600 on a used $350 amp.
Now the downside of this amp, and the reason the guy who originally owned it sold it, and the reason I eventually sold it is that they are just too much amp for most of us home guitarists. I don't gig electrically any more (though I do play lots of acoustic gigs...who woulda thought?), so I don't need a whole heck of a lot of amp. I've got my Blues Junior which is really a scaled back version of this Hot Rod Deluxe when it comes down to it. That's pretty much what I did...I sold the Hot Rod Deluxe and downsized to the Blues Junior. I'm pretty sure that if I had an electric gig I could actually do the gig with the Junior mic'd in the PA. I've got some friends that tour and they have three guitarists in the band and they each tour with Blues Juniors and their own distinct pedal boards and they save a ton of room in the van, they save their backs each night hauling gear, and they sound great.
Anyway, the Hot Rod Deluxe is a great amp if you need lots of power and have a strong back. Cranked up to 11 it sounds fantastic.
You can hear this amp on my MySpace page, click on the song Gone Long Gone and (after the intro) all the lead guitar work was done by the great Dave Quillen using this amp and a Nash Telecaster I have profiled elsewhere here on the ol' blog. One take Dave.