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Fender Hot Rod Series amp question

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Marc Morfei, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    344
    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    I like the general tone of the Fender Hot Rod series amps. But I wish there was something in between the Blues Jr and the Blues Deluxe. The 15w from the BJ are plenty for me. But I wish it had the extra features and bigger cab of the BD. But the 40w in the BD is more than I need. For comparison, I have a Vox AC15 and it is a similar size/weight as the BD, but has only 15w. I think the AC15 is a perfect package - but I just prefer the Fender tone. Any advice? I had the BJ and liked it, but it was hindered by the small cab. Will I be able to live with the volume in the Blues Deluxe (does it still sound good at relatively low volume)? Or get a BJ and put it in a bigger cabinet? Or is there some other non-fender option I'm not thinking of (Peavey Delta Blues?). I know someone will suggest the Deluxe Reverb, but even the used ones I see are $800 and up, so that ain't gonna easily happen. Used BJs go for $400 or less, and used BDs for around $500.
     
  2. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    I did a few mods to my Blues Jr (and the obligatory speaker) and the most important mod I did was to build a bigger cabinet. I disagree with Billm in that regard, and only after having messed with this amp for such a long time. Upsize the cab first, then fiddle with the circuit. That stock speaker is really good, btw. It just needs to breath.
     
    TequilaCaster likes this.
  4. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    I put an audio taper volume knob on my Hot Rod Deville and it sounds really good at lower volumes. I wonder if the Deluxe has the same issue with the volume knob? If so it would be relatively easy to tame it and still have head room when you need it.

    By the way the issue is that it came stock with a linear pot. so, 2 was twice as loud as 1. That's no big deal but 3 is twice as loud as 2, and 4 is twice as loud as 5, etc. That's why you cant get it over about 3. An audio taper gradually rises over all the numbers at say 10% louder with each number.
     
  5. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    Everything I've heard about the HRD amps always includes "too loud." I wonder what an onboard attenuator would sound like in them. A real attenuator, not just another volume knob.
     
  6. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    I have done both. Actually replacing the volume pot is the only way it worked
     
  7. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    An attenuator with an internal speaker load on it? How was the tone?
     
  8. thegreatshocka

    thegreatshocka Tele-Meister

    258
    Nov 6, 2013
    Columbus, Ohio
    You can run 6V6's in Blues/HR Deluxes instead of the 6L6GC or 5881. I think it knocks the power down to mid 20 watts, you just need to rebias it. For long term use of 6V6's I think you just switch some resistors and then you're good to go.
     
  9. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    The tone was bad. It has been about 8 years so I cant really describe it other than that I was not happy. It really didn't sound any better than when I stuck a pot in the effects loop like those stupid boxes.
    This made all the difference in the world.
    https://www.tubesandmore.com/products/potentiometer-fender-1m-j-taper-control-snap

    The thing did just quit working and I tend to over complicate everything. When I looked up that pot to post I found this... So of course this is what I want to put it it now. :)
    https://www.fromelelectronics.com/products/hrdv-mods
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    344
    Feb 6, 2018
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hmmm. I know a little about carpentry. But nothing about electronics. That leads me to believe I can build a new cab for the BJ easier than I can do mods to the BD.
     
  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    Yep, replace the dimensions with the size you are looking for and there you have it:

    Champcab.jpg
    Note: Fender's baffle is actually 3/8 inch.

    Like I said, I chose the dims from a Fender Deluxe. I used plywood, but pine may or may not be better. (Remember, these are EL84s not 6V6s and I sorta think they benefit from the diffused tone. Pine is somewhat more articulate to my ears, but all this is very subtle).
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  12. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

    May 5, 2015
    Alaska
    Wait, you used something like this and the tone was bad?
    https://www.tedweber.com/minimass
     
  13. Clarkj734

    Clarkj734 Tele-Meister

    283
    Nov 24, 2015
    Bloomfield Hills, MI
    The answer could be...

    Hot Rod Dluxe + Eminence Maverick speaker.

    The Maverick has an attenuation function on the speaker that can knock quite a bit of dbs off. The tone is pretty consistent in my experience. You can lose a little top end, but nothing the treble pot can't offset.
     
  14. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    Simplest fix I ever found for the Hot Rod series all-or-nothing volume was to stick a volume pedal in the FX loop and turn it down. Just a tip for anyone reading. Doesn't help with the high volume it can hit, but it does make the volume much less touchy.

    I'd vote for the smaller amp, and upgrade the speaker. Letting tube circuits breathe usually sounds better than turning way down to appease the neighbors.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
    flyswatter likes this.
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    The Hot Rod Deluxe IV addresses the volume knob issue, as well as the tone of the gain channel, the reverb and (arguably) sub-par speaker in it's predecessors. Might want to check it out.

    But amps bigger than a BJR are clearly gigging amps and they don't always do that well at home volumes, if that is what you seek.
     
  16. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff TDPRI Member

    75
    Nov 6, 2018
    Australia
    The Vol issue was addressed in version III which has been out for many years. Ppl still banging on about something that was fixed almost 10 years ago.
    .
     
    MilwMark likes this.
  17. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff TDPRI Member

    75
    Nov 6, 2018
    Australia
    Well, I have a Blues Jr III (the red version with the Wizard spkr) and I have a HRDlx II that I've modded, and I just picked up a Peavey Classic 30.

    As you say, the Classic 30 falls right between the two and I've been really impressed with it. Nice clean tone and a great crunch. They also seem to be very cheap second hand.

    Now I'm looking for a Classic 50 4x10. Shud b great for when I need that bit extra.
    .
     
  18. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Godzone
    Bassbreaker series. The 18 is about where you want I would suspect.
     
  19. RoyalBaby

    RoyalBaby Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 23, 2013
    Birmingham, UK
    Lots of little boxes you can buy to put in the loop of a HRD that solves the volume leap issue and turn it into a useable low volume amp. I'd recommend the £20 Lion Tamer ( on Reverb) but presumably there are US built equivalents.
     
  20. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

    Is that getting into a DRRI territory, and a possible candidate for the OP?
     
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