Here’s a query from Ray Clough, who wants to know what amp can replicate the classic cleans of a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe at quieter levels.
Ray: “I wonder if you can offer my poor, tired ears some advice? I’ve owned a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for a couple of years now. It’s a really great amp for the money, but while I love its lovely big chiming clean sound, it’s just too damn loud! I’ve lost count of the times my bandmates have told me to turn down in practice (when the amp is only on two), and I’ve fallen out with at least five soundmen this year! Not to mention my poor neighbours.
“The amp seems to go from inaudible to deafeningly loud within the slightest turn of the volume knob. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great-sounding amp, but it’s just not working for me at home, in the practice room and at the small pub gigs we play. Can you recommend any alternatives that will give me a similar, big classic Fender-style clean sound with lots of bottom-end and great reverb without breaking the bank?”
What you’ve got there is a common complaint, Ray – the Hot Rod Deluxe is a cracking amp, but it can be hard to tame for small gigs, and certainly in a home environment! If you like your big, high-headroom Fender clean sounds then the obvious place to start is another Fender – the Deluxe Reverb. Fender’s ’65 Deluxe Reverb is a great amp for the money, or if you want something a bit more fancy, check out the hand-wired ’64 Custom Deluxe Reverb.
Alternatively, you could buy an attenuator for your Hot Rod. If you’re feeling brave you can even build one yourself – click here to find out how to do it.
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