Fender Hot Rod options: Deluxe, Deville or Michael Landau?

BerkshireDuncan

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Posts
548
Age
59
Location
Oxford, UK
I'm the sole guitarist in a Classic Soul (Motown, Stax, etc) cover band- with bass, drums and keys.

Not too much lead work and I play pretty clean.. my retro Boss separates board has Tuner, Blues Driver, Compressor.. into one (or two ABY'd on occasion) Roland Blues Cube Hot 30w. I'm pretty happy with the set up, I like the responsiveness, sound, simplicity and also the portability.

BUT.. my (Pro) tutor is suggesting a Hot Rod is what I need to REALLY enhance and flatter my single coil, clean sounds in a way I've never experienced before. Sounds good, no?

I've sold a couple of guitars, so happy to go new at £900-1100, but which..?

I'm told the 2 x 12" Landau is a major step above, but I was drawn to the 1 x 12" Deluxe weightwise- and I don't need 60w as we have our own PA / Sound Engineer for gigs.

Suggestions and thoughts are very welcome- and appreciated. TIA
 

uriah1

Telefied
Gold Supporter
Joined
Feb 12, 2011
Posts
26,690
Location
Around
I couldn’t tell from stage but I saw Los Lobos with a back line of deville or hot rods at a show and it was great. !
 

backalleyblues

Friend of Leo's
Silver Supporter
Joined
Nov 5, 2006
Posts
3,412
Location
Jacksonville, FL, USA
Never played the Landau (or even seen one in a store!) but I would guess you would be really happy with the Deluxe-the 2-12 Deville sounds essentially the same but a bit bigger with more spread to the sound. That said the HRDX is more than enough to cover that gig, I don’t think I ever had mine up past 3 on the volume!

Another thought would be to look at the Tonemaster series-price wise that’s in your range, and quite a bit lighter too, especially the Deluxe. Lots to like in that amp line...

Franc Robert
 

Les H

Tele-Holic
Joined
Jun 2, 2018
Posts
859
Location
Kansas
I had a Hot Rod Deluxe 17-18 years ago. I always thought it was a very good sounding amp, clean channel anyway. I always thought the weight of it was very manageable also.

I've always pretty much been the sole guitarist in every band I have been in (Country bands). My biggest complaint with the Hot Rod Dlx was it seemed too thin to my ears and I had troubles hearing myself in the context of a band. I needed something that could fill more space and I ended up with a PV Classic 50 at that time and it had a fuller sound.

Part of me would like to try another Hot Rod Dlx or a 212 Deville again. When I had my HRDlx I was playing with a very heavy handed drummer and he could have been the leading contributor to my issue of not hearing myself.

I personally liked the clean sound of my HRDlx much better than a Twin Reverb Reissue I eventually picked along the way.
 

BerkshireDuncan

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Posts
548
Age
59
Location
Oxford, UK
I had a Hot Rod Deluxe 17-18 years ago. I always thought it was a very good sounding amp, clean channel anyway. I always thought the weight of it was very manageable also.

I've always pretty much been the sole guitarist in every band I have been in (Country bands). My biggest complaint with the Hot Rod Dlx was it seemed too thin to my ears and I had troubles hearing myself in the context of a band. I needed something that could fill more space and I ended up with a PV Classic 50 at that time and it had a fuller sound.

Part of me would like to try another Hot Rod Dlx or a 212 Deville again. When I had my HRDlx I was playing with a very heavy handed drummer and he could have been the leading contributor to my issue of not hearing myself.

I personally liked the clean sound of my HRDlx much better than a Twin Reverb Reissue I eventually picked along the way.

Thanks- good stuff. Our drummer has a nice light touch, so..
 

Tonechest

TDPRI Member
Gold Supporter
Joined
Aug 13, 2021
Posts
14
Age
42
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Love the Devilles! I had a HotRod Deville 4x10 I gigged as main amp back when UK pub gigs were still a thing!
Endless headroom, sparkly cleans and being it was 4x10 the midrange is unique; the 2x12 is its own beast and the whole line were often overlooked because of how good the deluxe fits into a mix.
Went and bought another recently, but this time a Blues Deville , slightly different voicing.
Comparing it to the Jnr and Deluxe, the richness and wall of sound from the devilles is something to experience! (They dont have a master volume though, but you can find aftermarket solutions that arent expensive)

As you're UK based like me, how much headroom are you hoping to use realistically; not trying to put a dampner on things but the "too loud" police are ripe in UK venues. My friend just gigged where they insisted no amps on stage...
2x12 will give you the spread without compromising the volume, so thats a good advantage to the Deluxe as well.

Landau Deville gets my vote, that will be a special amp.
 

Titch

TDPRI Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Posts
42
Location
Newcastle England
I use a De Luxe and it's certainly loud enough for pub gigs, I've gigged it both mic'd & un mic'd and didn't have any problem with volume.
I would agree with "Tonechest" that the 2x12 will give you a little more spread but i think you'll have more than enough volume for most situations.
 

Silverface

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
10,045
Age
69
Location
Lawndale CA
The Hot Rod Series re on o the most-repaired newer amps in the tech shop I consult with and do specialty work for. They also on't have the greatest tone "out of the box" IMO - they need to be "dialed in" by your tech to complement your guitar(s) and playing style, which can include very likely tube changes, possible speaker changes (hard to tell until nw ones are broken in), a rebias - and if you buy used, anything 15 years old/older will need the filter and bias caps replaced.

Like a guitar, an amp should have a "setup" done for each player. Off-the-shelf production level guitars leave the factory with medium-high action, nut slots cut shallow, pickups that need height and/or polepiece adjustment and neck relief set at an "average" depth. Then the player can have his tech adjust the relief, pickup details and *lower* the action/recut nut slots to optimize the guitar for th player's technique & style. New - or newly purchased used amps - need to be dialed in for the player as well.

But "Hot Rods" are very commonly in tech shops for repairs due to overheating - broken traces are extremely common.

If your drummer has a light touch, though, I don't understand the recommendation. Tube amps need to be run close to the top of their headroom for optimum tone and response to pick attack, and with any of the Hot Rod series that is going to be *loud*! If you're not miked and playing larger venues one *might* work - but for usual club work virtually every player I know is using much lower output amps - i.e. Deluxe Reverbs and similar amps re about the loudest amps used.(and has more than one if they play different size venues).

Most +/- 40 watt Fender amps (power output is not always a good guide to "volume", but Fenders are fairly consistent assuming average stock speakers) will sound thin run at 3-4, and any higher will be too loud for most clubs. Dirt pedals don't compensate for a thin sounding amp.

I'd probably opt for something with lower output and higher reliability depending on the playing environment in a new amp - and I'd be very cautious of used ones, especially older ones and/or ones that have had a lot of use.

Just some things you may wish to consider.
 

BerkshireDuncan

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Posts
548
Age
59
Location
Oxford, UK
Thanks All.. my choice would be the Deville Landau 2 x 12, but I'm just not sure I need 60w and 24kgs.
We keep the levels sensible on stage, and with our own PA, headroom isn't really an issue.
60w is more volume than I'll ever need- and however impressive the sound, heavy amps do tend to get left at home once the honeymoon period's over.
 

Steve Holt

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 29, 2016
Posts
3,176
Location
Kansas
I've had the Hot Rod Deluxe for a few years and really like it. Though I've never gigged it. If you ask me the Deluxe is plenty of power for most situations, unless you really need to kick out some sound.
 

jfgesquire

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 23, 2018
Posts
2,456
Age
55
Location
Lake View
I just picked up (in the eastern half of the US) a limited Hot Rod Deluxe that was used, but in new condition, with plastic still on the pedal and logo plate. It was 40% below list.

The limited editions may have different speakers from the base model as standard and may be to your liking. Look around.

Mine was the Tweed LE via Guitar Center.

I haven’t played out yet, but my son’s band mate (LP Standard) used it last week for practice next to a MIM Classic Strat through a Peavey 6505 and it mixed very well.
 

mjcyates

Tele-Holic
Ad Free Member
Joined
May 4, 2010
Posts
779
Age
58
Location
Louisville, KY
But "Hot Rods" are very commonly in tech shops for repairs due to overheating - broken traces are extremely common.

Very true but I think in the newer models some of those issues have been addressed. I have an older made in USA Hot Rod Deluxe. I did all of the normal reliability mods as well as a few tone mods. Great sounding amp. Regarding the original post both the 1x12 Deluxe and the 2x12 Landau will sound very good (clean channel that is). Both will be adequate for what you need. Just a matter of how much you want to lug around.
 

Silverface

Doctor of Teleocity
Ad Free Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Posts
10,045
Age
69
Location
Lawndale CA
ery true but I think in the newer models some of those issues have been addressed.

I did hear that and most of the problems are with amps 7 or 8 years old & older. VERY thin traces in areas of high heat, and adding microfans really doesn't help - it's just a design glitch.
 

Maguchi

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Posts
2,159
Location
Lalaland
I'm the sole guitarist in a Classic Soul (Motown, Stax, etc) cover band- with bass, drums and keys.

Not too much lead work and I play pretty clean.. my retro Boss separates board has Tuner, Blues Driver, Compressor.. into one (or two ABY'd on occasion) Roland Blues Cube Hot 30w. I'm pretty happy with the set up, I like the responsiveness, sound, simplicity and also the portability.

BUT.. my (Pro) tutor is suggesting a Hot Rod is what I need to REALLY enhance and flatter my single coil, clean sounds in a way I've never experienced before. Sounds good, no?

I've sold a couple of guitars, so happy to go new at £900-1100, but which..?

I'm told the 2 x 12" Landau is a major step above, but I was drawn to the 1 x 12" Deluxe weightwise- and I don't need 60w as we have our own PA / Sound Engineer for gigs.

Suggestions and thoughts are very welcome- and appreciated. TIA
My favorite is the Fender Blues Deluxe 40 watt 1x12" all tube combo. Can be had new for 9 bones American, maybe a bit more across the pond. The Blues Deluxe is similar to the Hot Rod Deluxe but just seems to be a better sound somehow. I've played through both extensively, but don't ask me what's the difference because I haven't been able to compare them side to side.

https://www.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/vintage-pro-tube/blues-deluxe-reissue/2232200000.html
 

BerkshireDuncan

Tele-Holic
Joined
Sep 27, 2020
Posts
548
Age
59
Location
Oxford, UK
GetAttachmentThumbnail

Well.. due to AAS impatience, and a twitchy eBay finger I ended up with both of these! A used, but minty Blues Deluxe Reissue and a similar Hot Rod Deluxe III- both with pedals and covers for £825.00 the pair.
 

T Prior

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Mar 17, 2003
Posts
7,500
Location
Charlotte NC
Good choices ! Great amps ! A couple of things in response that I happen to know first hand ! :) LOL

I have owned and played 40 watt HRD's since they first hit the market I think in '96 or '97. They are great ALL purpose amps. I think I have had 4 including an original issue BD.

OK, Why 60 watts, the 40 watt rated HRD and BD are just a tad low on headroom, the 60 Watt Deville's fix that. Tubes and speakers help a tad but the 60 watt Deville is the answer if headroom is in short supply. I now have a 2 x 12 HR Deville. Yep its heavier but it is a true performer.

Service issues- ( I am a retired tech)

CONS

Taking the circuit bd out is a bummer, we have to remove every pot from the control panel and be VERY cautious with connectors and cables.

The PC bd quality is , well, not great . Extreme soldering skills are required or you will destroy a trace or two. Especially for a CAP JOB.

The power resistors ( TWO) on many of these amps are sitting right on the PC bd which allows for burning the PC BD. IF they are sitting on the PC bd they need to be removed and raised , you need new ones as the leads on the originals are too short.

Don't try to do those fancy AMP upgrades if you are NOT skilled with an Iron.

PRO'S

We can perform regular maintenance ( provided the amp isn't dead) without removing the PC bd.

Cap JOBS can be done with a very LO variable wattage iron by piggy backing to the existing cap leads. Cut them out and leave the leads. A quality tech can do this NO problem. Same with those two POWER resistors.

Amp bias can be set in moments as the Test Point access is right there on the lower left side.

MORE

the original issue BD does not have an external speaker out. BUT, the Output Trans is the same, it has all of the impedance leads. When I did these upgrades we didn't drill out the chassis and add an ext speaker out, I wired a small box , placed it in the rear bottom of the cab with a 4 ohm/8 ohm switch and the ext speaker jack. It was less invasive than working on the chassis.


Overall the 40 watt offering , HRD or BD, is an amazing universal duty amp, its a great performer.

2 x 6L6 amps deliver.
 
Last edited:




Top