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tube amp question

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Wes Inman
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582


I always worry that I will make the HRD sound like the "perfect" amp.
It is not. You have to work with it to get the best tone just like any other amp. I have owned mine about 4 years now and know it pretty good.

The funny thing is, I went to the music store to buy me a nice Marshall stack. I had a fist full of money. I was all excited. And once there I played through a few Marshalls.

But I saw this Fender display on the other side of the room. They had a Hot Rod there. I had heard of it and was just a little curious. So I grabbed a Strat off the wall and fired it up! Wow! that sounds nice! It was so warm and full sounding. I played it for about 45 minutes.

Well, I walked out with that HRD. And I still love this amp and will never sell it.

But it is not perfect. It has a BIG boomy bass. I have found you have to keep bass down below 5. Also, treble can be harsh. So I usually keep that between 5-6.

This amp loves Mids. You can turn Mid up to 12 and it will cut through anything. You can be on a stage with 5 other guitar players and you will be able to hear the HRD clearly. No mush here.

Two things I wish this amp had:

1) I wish it had seperate tone controls for the Clean and Drive channels. My DSL401 has that. 3 points for Marshall! :D

2) I wish the footswitch turned Reverb on and off. It doesn't, so you dial Reverb in. You either have it on a song or you don't. Of course you can walk over to the amp and adjust it during a song.

Some claim the HRD has way too much Reverb. They say you can't turn it above 2. Well then, DON'T TURN IT ABOVE 2! Sheesh. But I disagree anyway. This thing has a fabulous Reverb. Turn it up and you are in true Surf Heaven. I mean, you can get that real D-ick Dale tone. I love that sound.

The reverb on my Marshall DSL401 is the worst I've ever heard. Really. It stinks. Jim Marshall should have also got the scematics for Fender reverb when he used the Bassman design for his first amps.

What I love about the HRD:


Man, if you do get a chance to turn this amp up, it is awesome. It starts to go wild. You can walk up to this amp and get unreal feedback. Bend your Whammy bar on your Strat and you will be Hendrix!!

Also, when cranked this amp has fantastic sustain. You can hold one note forever!

See, I'm gettin' all excited just talking about it! But really, crank this amp and it is pretty unbelieveable how great it sounds. That is when you will know just how good this amp is.

But get ready. The cops are gonna be knockin' on your door in a few minutes. 8)

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 265
Topic starter  

wes i know how good this amp sounds, i played it at the store. its heaven everytime i play it.

i love to grab a strat and do little wing, or lenny.

plus i have an american strat so it will be twice as nice.

how does this react with pedals? do you run it through the effects loop?

im planning on getting a tube screamer just for this.

and even playing on low volumes, the amp sounds amazing. in my opinion

a lot of people her have been telling me to get the Vox AC whatever. i tryed one, its not thatgreat. i really did not enjoy it. but i seem to enjoy the hot rod deluxe every time.

since i got a $750 dollar budget, my dad suggested i get a hot rod deville.

however i told him that i dont really need a amp like that.

"Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 16


I don't know if anyone else will agree with me, but whenever i want a clean channel boost, I just use my volume pedal on my tube amp. I primarily use an OLD sears 6 speaker tube amp, and when i want the boost, I just crank on my volume pedal a bit. I normally don't get the same distortion/saturation that i do when i crank the amp.

Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2892

im planning on getting a tube screamer just for this.

My tube screamer (TS-5) makes my HRD sing! To me, it's a HUGE volume booster.

I also have a DigiTech RP200 and the effects them selves sound great through the amp but, you can't beat a single pedal for the original charactoristics of what it was made for.

Through Bob at Eurotubes, I bought the 6L6's (I think, it was a long time ago....It's the "high gain" package) pre-amp tubes to take out some of the "bottom end" and it did work. Next steps are bias'ing it and an antenuator.

Wes Inman
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5582


The HRD and Deville are basically the same amp. The HRD is 40 watts, the Deville 60 watts. The biggest difference however is the Deville is either 2 X 12 or 4 X 10 speakers.

I have read many reviews on the Deville, and most say the 4 X 10 has the better tone.

Probably the only downside to the Deville is that it is a little bulky to carry around. It is not that it is heavier, but it is taller than the HRD. A few complain about that.

But carrying any amp is never fun. :D

I do not think the Deville would necessarily have more clean headroom than the HRD. The HRD has a 50 watt speaker. The Deville has 30 watt speakers. So, it might even break up a little sooner.

Because the HRD has such a good clean channel, it is very good with effects pedals. I have tried effects through the effects loop, but I prefer to run them into the instrument inputs.

I do like to run a Volume pedal through the effects loop. I think this is different (I am not a techie) than running it before the amp. Before the amp you are decreasing the input signal to the Pre-Amp. But in the effects loop you are decreasing the output of the Pre-Amp into the Power Amp.

How is that different??

Well, if you've ever played with distortion and turned your guitar volume down, you notice it cleans up. And a Volume pedal before the amp does the same thing.

But with the Volume pedal through the effects loop, you are still getting the full input from a distortion pedal or your guitar. So it doesn't clean up, it just gets quieter, but you still have the distortion.

Did that make sense? Anyway, I've experimented, and I think a Volume pedal is best through the loop.

Generally, most say you should run distortions before the Pre-Amp and modulation effects (chorus, phase, delay, etc...) after (through the loop).

But I run everything in front of the amp (except Volume pedal).

You can't go wrong with either amp.

Let us know what you get. We want a sound clip too!


If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

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