The Hot Rod Deluxe has been in production since 1996 and has gone through three different iterations before 2016. Each time they have updated the Hot Rod Deluxe to suit the needs of contemporary players better. With the Hot Rod Deluxe IV, three major changes have been made to serve contemporary players better:
Solid Pine Cabinet:
Getting a great tone starts with great materials. You can put the finest tube amp design into a poorly made cabinet, and you’ll hear all of that tone get squashed and choked by inferior craftsmanship. That’s why the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is now made out of a pine cabinet. It’s light in weight, and that resonates openly, making your amplifier perform at its very best.
Adjusted according to the needs of most contemporary players, the Hot Rod Deluxe IV has a tweaked preamp. The Hot Rod Deluxe has always operated as a three-channel amplifier. It has one channel for the signature cleans associated with fender amps, a drive channel that breaks up a bit quicker and a more drive channel for searing leads.
The new preamp design keeps the sparkling cleans you know and love from Fender amps. But it has modified its drive and more drive channels to have a warmer and smother crunch that tames some of the more aggressive sounds of the previous models.
New Design Features:
Previous models of the Hot Rod Deluxe featured a mirrored faceplate for the amplifier controls, reminiscent of the original Fender Tweed models. While these were aesthetically pleasing, their functionality was deeply reduced on stages with high-powered lighting systems because of the reflection of the light. With a brand new matte finish, this glare problem is now a thing of the past, and you can access and see your settings easily on stage so you can play your best.
The new spring reverb of the Hot Rod Deluxe IV makes it providing your records and live shows with some serious vibe and mojo even easier. Its tone has been made a little less bright with more of the range of reverb made useable. Even at the highest settings, you’ll still get great clarity as you approach peak surf.
New Celestion A-type speaker:
The new speaker in the Hot Rod Deluxe IV is a large departure from the Eminence Legend and Celestion G12P that used to be in the Hot Rod Deluxe. Voiced with an almost British tone, this speaker will give you a lot more crunchy jangle than you are used to from a Fender amp.
+ Tweaked preamp has smoother and creamier drive channels than former models
+ New Pine Cabinet is resonant and a big upgrade to this already great amp
+ Redesigned spring reverb
– 40w is a lot of amp. For those only playing small clubs, this may not suit your needs
– New Celestion Type A speaker may not be for those looking for those classic sparkly Fender cleans
– Even with its reduced weight, this amp might be a little too heavy for someone unconvinced by the superiority of tube amp designs.
Why We Like It
With its updated features, the Hot Rod Deluxe IV is quite an upgrade from previous models. It’s a versatile powerhouse that always feels familiar.