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Old March 12th, 2013, 03:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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rediscovering my HRD!

I've had my hot rod deluxe for about 5 years now and for the most part it's done the trick. I'm not too fond of the touchy volume or its brittle reverb sound, but other than that I can't really complain.

I mostly play clean so it was ok for me just to rely on a nice OD or distortion pedal when I wanted some dirt. I tried the drive channel early on and didn't really like it so I never used it.

Today I decided to see what it would be like to keep the drive fairly low and crank the master..... wow! What a great tone! I can't believe I've missed out on it for so long! I feel like an idiot, but its kind of like having a new amp which is cool.

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Old March 12th, 2013, 03:34 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I bought one in the 90's for road work and it just was not any good for that at all at that time. I ended up selling it to a young kid who had talked to me at an outdoor charity gig, and he loved the tone. So I basically gave it to him, and picked up a 65 TRRI. Then I got sick of the weight of that amp and I picked up another HRD.
I went on Ebay and there was a mod kil on there that took care of all of the sound issues on the amp, except the reverb. I use reverb very little so that didn't matter. I just keep a 2 sec delay on and it works fine.
I am not kidding you that the few little mods that were done made the amp just come alive. It's not in the same level as a Matchless or a DR. Z but it is very musical and for the money it is well worth it.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 04:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow, very cool, I've been meaning to check into that, its nice to hear your recommendation! There's definitely a lot of love for these and I know people have said that doing a tube swap or speaker change has made a big difference as well but I'd like to try the mod first.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 04:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by garytelecastor View Post
I bought one in the 90's for road work and it just was not any good for that at all at that time. I ended up selling it to a young kid who had talked to me at an outdoor charity gig, and he loved the tone. So I basically gave it to him, and picked up a 65 TRRI. Then I got sick of the weight of that amp and I picked up another HRD.
I went on Ebay and there was a mod kil on there that took care of all of the sound issues on the amp, except the reverb. I use reverb very little so that didn't matter. I just keep a 2 sec delay on and it works fine.
I am not kidding you that the few little mods that were done made the amp just come alive. It's not in the same level as a Matchless or a DR. Z but it is very musical and for the money it is well worth it.
Was that the "Fromel" mod kit? That has worked for me very well. I also changed the speaker to a Weber, but it was mainly the Fromel modification which made the amp much more useable.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 05:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How involved was the mod / long did it take? I just read through the eBay listing and it seems like there's quite a few things to swap out. I've done a faire share of soldering, etc. so I'm not worried about the work, just wondering how much of it there is.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 08:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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How involved was the mod / long did it take? I just read through the eBay listing and it seems like there's quite a few things to swap out. I've done a faire share of soldering, etc. so I'm not worried about the work, just wondering how much of it there is.
I had the Fromel kit (no affilliation) installed by my tech who charged me for an hour and told me it was a straightforward operation. Then again, I had done him some favours and he may not have charged me for his actual time.
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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TeleToTheRain View Post
I've had my hot rod deluxe for about 5 years now and for the most part it's done the trick. I'm not too fond of the touchy volume or its brittle reverb sound, but other than that I can't really complain.

I mostly play clean so it was ok for me just to rely on a nice OD or distortion pedal when I wanted some dirt. I tried the drive channel early on and didn't really like it so I never used it.

Today I decided to see what it would be like to keep the drive fairly low and crank the master..... wow! What a great tone! I can't believe I've missed out on it for so long! I feel like an idiot, but its kind of like having a new amp which is cool.


The only change I would recommend you doing first is this...put a 12AY7 preamp tube in V1, which is the small tube located right next to the right side wall (if you are looking from the rear of the amp)

This will fix your volume problem and give you a much wider sweep of the volume dial all the way up to 12, without the amp sounding nervous and frazzled with all the break up...much more usable. Your gain channel, will remain the same. You can find a good 12AY7 preamp tube for about $20. US dollars. I run this tube, in my Deluxe and Deville 212...before you spend a lot of Cash on further mods, you should give this a try first, and see if it satisfies your playin needs

Deluxe with the 12AY7 tube


Deville with 12AY7 tube
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Old March 12th, 2013, 10:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I did the same thing- 12ay7. I now can actually turn the volume knob up past 2. :)
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Old March 14th, 2013, 04:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've done a ton of modding to my HRDX and the 2 biggest tone improvements would be to do some tube and speaker swapping.
I like a good old RCA 12ax7 in V1, 12AT7 for PI tube and a WGS G12C/S speaker.
Go to this sight for some helpful info if you plan to start modding the circuit.
http://www.justinholton.com/hotrod/
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Old March 15th, 2013, 10:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I did a Fromel mod on my HRD a couple months ago. The kit itself is an easy job if you have any experience at all. The PITA is getting the board in and out of the chassis. Be very careful on re-assembly. I gooched the bright switch on re-entry, and I still have no idea how it happened.

I've been busy lately, but when I get back to it I'll try a speaker and some better tubes. I also like the idea of the lower gain preamp tube.
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