Fender Hot Rod Deluxe V3 Amplifier –
Review. – 28/11/2016
An evolution from the original Blues Deluxe the Hot Rod Deluxe
(HRDX) packs a 40 watt powerhouse into a small footprint 1
x 12 combo that is ready to gig anywhere from small pubs to
In its version three iteration, the HRDX has had several improvements
over previous generations, such as a black control panel to
avoid reflections in bright light, an upgraded speaker and
a tapered volume control. This last upgrade allows for a more
gradual progression in volume as opposed to previously where
one is nothing and two is blowing your ears off as found on
some Fender models.
With an understated look covered in black tolex
and a black/silver grille, the HRDX looks very much like the
Blues Juniors bigger brother. Powering the preamp are three
12AX7 preamp tubes, whilst two 6L6 power tubes run the power
stage. The rectification is solid state.
The amp has two inputs, one standard and a second for guitars
with hot pickups, and three channels, clean, drive and more
drive, the last two are selectable by a footswitch.
A proper spring reverb tank is fitted to provide a lush feeling
to those clean surf sounds or long overdriven solos.
Also should you wish to connect your time based effects outside
of your main pedalboard an effects loop is provided.
Finally an extension speaker jack allows the connection of external
speaker cabinets. A fitted amplifier cover and footswitch
are included as standard.
Fit & Finish.
This product is definitely well built and designed to withstand
heavy use whether in the studio or on stage. Millions of these
units have been sold and are in use worldwide with a great
As you would expect the HRDX does a very warm and clean tone
in the first channel, add a little reverb and it becomes lush
and fluid. It is very responsive to your picking and dynamics
on your guitar. The clean channel also can be a great platform
for those wishing to use pedals for their distortion/overdrive
Moving on to the overdrive channel this has said to be tweaked
for this new model. The overdrive seems tight and well-rounded
whilst letting the sound of your original guitar through,
suitable for blues and rock, switch to more drive and the
amp goes wild taking you into hard rock territory.
I have so far tried the HDRX with a Telecaster with single coils,
a Music Man with Humbuckers, and a Les Paul with P90s and
all fared well on this amp. When playing in a live situation
the amp was more than powerful enough to deal with a medium
size venue without any problems.
A well-built all rounded amplifier suitable for many applications.
By Ernest H Slade