I originally purchased my Hot Rod Deluxe to get that vintage Fender distortion but I never realized how truly versatile this little but loud amp is. There is a reason this is a number one selling amp!
When I first received my Hot Rod Deluxe I was amazed how much was packed into the cabinet, this was obvious by the 45 pound box I dragged off my porch. I opened up the manual but I didn’t last long before I plugged the amp in. Upon setting up my Telecaster to input 1 I decided to go through the clean channel first. I figured 3 would be a nice, soft volume to begin with. I was wrong, 3 was nice and loud plus this amp goes to 12! It was obvious early on my tonal possibilities and gigging needs would be met with this amp.
My only other amp background at the time was a Marshall half stack, and I find it a blessing to not have to drag down a friend to help me carry an amp into a gig. Instead, with guitar in one hand and my Hot Rod Deluxe in the other I am there in one trip. Also, the famous Fender clean is something that has to be heard to be believed. I am still amazed that I can get sparkling top, clear midrange and a beefy bottom on a clean channel. I love the vintage fender overdrive and I always find myself using the more drive function which quickly doubles your gain. If you are looking to explore even more possibilities I would recommend using the clean and adding pedals in front of the amp. The bright switch is another option to add some more high top without being harsh and making your ears bleed. The EQ (Hi, Mid, Low) are great for sculpting your sound. You will find the changes to be clean and subtle, meaning you can’t get a bad sound out of this amp.
The cover is a sharp addition and the foot switch is as durable as any out there. Four years later I have never had a problem and still love my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.