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Are these Fender Deluxe amps the same? and other questions

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corbind
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I'm still confused about these amps. I went to the guitar shop late tonight and got there twenty minutes to close. That's not enough time to tune a guitar, plug in and enjoy so I just walked around looking at stuff.

Anyway, can someone bring some sanity to my mind. I see both of these Fender Deluxe 40w 1 x 12” amps

$577 Black outside with silver cloth:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/sid=040723162030067165153076157977/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/480510/

$500 Blonde outside with oxblood cloth:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/sid=040723162030067165153076157977/g=home/search/detail/base_pid/480862/

Can someone help me figure out why the black one is $77 more or why the blond one is that much less? Aren't they the EXACT same amps except the cover? They both have a channel foot switch and cover (I believe). So I'm trying to figure out the price differential.

Also, Has anyone bought these at Sam Ash or Guitar Center. If so, what could you get the price down to? The black one is going for $560 at Sam Ash. I don't see any blond ones anywhere.

For more fun in reading. Say I can get the Blonde one free shipping and not tax. Say I can get the one at Sam Ash for $550 + 40 tax = $490 which would you choose and why?

I may be able to pick one up right away and pay more and have (possible) customer service if something goes wrong and I would not have to ship it. If I buy online I'd have (I'd imagine little customer service) and would have to ship it to Fender for repair or have a local shop monkey with it. This will be my first “real” (read: tube) amp. I want something that is good, dependable, and I want to minimize screwups.

What the heck, I'm going even further since I'm a tube newb. If I used that amp say an hour a day how quickly do you think I'd have to replace the tubes (I think there are preamp and post tubes—I know very little about it). I'm trying to get an idea of the annual cost of replacing tubes so I can prepare for it. Also, I'll have to buy some spares incase some break.

Any answers out there? :?:

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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stock28
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How long will the tubes last? that depends. Some have to change tubes once a year, some amps have the same tubes for many years. At that rate of play they should last a long time though. I wouldn't worry too much about having replacement tubes handy though. Preamp tubes are plug and play. Power tubes on the other hand need to be matched pairs and usually require the amp be biased after installing. You can do this yourself but better left to the pros. Preamp tubes are pretty cheap, around ten bucks each. Power tubes are a bit more to very expensive, depending on what you want.


   
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Mike
 Mike
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As far as malfunctions go, if you bought it on-line. You would have to send it back to Fender. If you bought it at your local guitar shop, chances are they would send it back to Fender. So we are talking the same amount of time going without your new amp. But if I were you I'd go with the local shop.

I have not had any problems with mine.

And as far as the Black / Blonde thing goes. From what I read the Black gets a 4.5 rating with 3 channels and the Blonde gets a 4 rating with a 3 footswitchable channels. What the difference is........I have no idea.

I'm glad to see your still looking at the HRD's.


   
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corbind
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Yea, I'll be the freak who goes against the venerable marriage of Gibson guitars with Marshall amps. I don't know of only one player who uses that combo but he usually plays his Strat 90% of the time and seldom gets his LP out into his Twin Reverb. Barring him, I have not seen the Gibson into Fender combo.

I do love that clean sound. It is unreal. The couple of times I plugged in a SG into that amp at Sam Ash I was astonished it tamed the natural SG darkness. That's cool!

Glad to hear tubes won't make me go bankrupt. I kind feel bad I won't be able to get the HRDx over a volume of 2 without shattering pictures and lightbulbs. I'd love to really get those tubes to shine but I'll address that later with some power soak device.

A friend of mine, Mike (who owns that aforementioned Twin Reverb and a Peavey Classic 30), loves the Fender amps but he plays nothing dirty. I generally play clean unless it's a song like Young's Rockin' in the Free World, some Clash, or even AC/DC. I plan to let my floorboard pump up the overdrive/distortion on those types of songs albeit digital effects. I'm hoping the tube amp will “waffle” and make the sound more real. Yet I'm not an experienced player nor one who ever had a tube amp.

I thought about getting the Blues Jr. 15w 1 x 12. It's only 31 lbs as opposed to the Deluxe weighing in at 50 lbs. I think the Blues Jr. would break up quicker at a more reasonable volume level. But then we get into the fact that a 50 watt amp is only marginally louder than a 15 watt amp. On, and on, and on.

I may also regret (if I got a Blues Jr.) that is has a small reverb tank (like will it make a big difference?) and that it's a one channel puppy. The Deluxe is a three-channel workhorse but the reviews (and from what I heard when I played in the store) the more gain channel is weak. Anyway, I like the idea of having another channel. Yea, another $150 bucks more, but I'm thinking I can haul that 50 lb bad boy around and just think of the calories I'm burning. LOL Also, Mike mentioned he heard rattle in the Blues Jr. and did not in the HRDx. But maybe just his experience.

Okay, all you Fender amp freaks, come on out and talk about these amps. I'm here waiting for your experience and advice. I'll have 2/3 the cash next weekend and the rest to pop down on a good amp. I'm relying on my friends here at that GN forums to help me out. It's funny I'd balk at spending that much on speakers for my home stereo but I don't feel as bad for my guitar. I'm getting too close to playing guitar I think….

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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Wes Inman
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Dennis

First of all, I do not know why the Blonde model is cheaper. Perhaps they have too many and are just trying to move them. Just a guess. There is a HRD with a Jensen C12N speaker. Many claim this sounds better than the Eminence speaker. That HRD costs about $200 more. I have listened to sound clips, I like the Eminence better. It is brighter with more sparkle. Just my opinion.

I have not had any problems with my HRD whatsoever. Works just as good today as the day I bought it. Tubes last a lot longer than many people lead you to believe. My 1958 Premier amp still has the original tubes in it and works just fine. If you really crank a tube amp all the time, yeah, maybe you'll have to get new tubes in 2-3 years. If you play it normal, the tubes may last forever. I mean, remember when TV's had tubes in them? People play their TV night and day, and even in the old days TV's lasted an average of 10 years (my Dad used to own a TV repair shop when I was a kid).

I am so tired of people saying the Drive channels on the HRD are no good. The Hot Rod Deluxe came out in 1996 and is the #1 best selling tube amp of all time! Not #2 or #3, NUMBER ONE. Is that because it is a good sounding, gig worthy tube amp for under $600. YES. But there are cheaper amps. You can get a 40W Pignose for $235 brand new. The HRD is #1 because people plug their guitar into it and say Wow!, that sounds pretty darn good! I think the Drive channels are very good. But it is a tube amp. I think most of these people are expecting modern distortion. You are not going to get that with hardly any tube amp except maybe the Peavey 5150 with the 6 gain stages. You will get a more modern distortion with a Marshall or Mesa Boogie. But you'll never get as good a clean with Marshall, and the Mesa's cost $3000. Hell, you got $3000, go buy a Vox AC30 and you will have a fabulous amp. But for the price, the HRD is the best amp out there. That's why it is #1. I find it to be a very versatile amp. You just have to experiment with the tone, and gain settings. One thing people complain about the HRD that is legit is that the volume is too sensitive. That is true. But that has never stopped me from getting exactly the volume I wanted at home or at a gig. Plus, here is a remedy. Buy a volume pedal. You can get one for $25. Run the Volume pedal through the effects loop and you will have complete control over volume.
You can get a wide variety of Classic Rock distortion with the HRD. For modern distortion just use your effects processor. All my pedals sound very good through my HRD.

I love my Hot Rod Deluxe. I really do.

I'm bringing my HRD to the Riverside Jam nest week. I will let you experiment with it to your heart's content. I bet you'll like it.

Buy from your local dealer. I don't believe you get free shipping on heavy articles. Plus your local shop will probably have a local authorized Fender tech right there. The HRD comes with a 5 year warranty.

Anyway, the HRD would not be the best selling tube amp in the world if it was a piece of junk. That fact alone says it all.

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


   
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larro123
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I think the blonde and black are exactly the same amp, no idea why the price difference.

The channel switching is really great, I don't have to use my distortion pedal with the HRD, I just just use the HRD footswitch and the 1st (gain)channel. The "more gain" is usually a little too muddy for my needs but it's just a click away should I need it.

I bought my HRD from Guitar Center duiring one of their many "sales". I was disappointed to see that none of the Fender amps had been marked down for the sale but I had in hand a card I received in the mail for 10% off. That's about what I got. I paid $500. plus tax. I'm sure you could probably get that any time if you just ask.

Larry


   
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larro123
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I forgot to mention that I play a Les Paul through my HRD and it sounds great! Try it, you'll like it! :)


   
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Wes Inman
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larro123

You brought up something that I forgot to tell Dennis.

One thing I don't like about the HRD is that it only has one set of tone controls. This is pretty common for tube amps in this price range. So when you adjust the tone for the Clean channel you may not like the tone of the Drive channels. So, you have to compromise. I agree with larro, the More Drive channel seems to color the sound. Like larro, I enjoy the Drive channel more than More Drive. However More Drive is great for a solo. It has a big volume boost over Drive. So you can use Drive for a nice crunchy Rock rhythm sound, and then step on More Drive for the solo. A good EQ pedal would be nice for the HRD. This would give you the ability to get the tone you want with the Clean and Drive channels at all times.

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


   
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slothrob
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Those blonde Fender amps are a Musiciansfriend exclusive and seem to go up and down in price reletive to the standard ones. I think it's just marketing practice. I think the blonde ones look cool, but I bet they get quite dirty. That'll probably just make it look vintage quicker.
You could get around the single tone circuit problem somewhat by getting a equalizer pedal and using that to shape your overdrive.


   
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corbind
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Outstanding responses. :) Yea, I guess it just must be MF's marketing. I laugh because the blonde ones were like $40 or so more than the traditional black. Just wild stuff.

Wes, where have you seen the HRDx with the Jensen C12N? Is that an after-market mod? Hmmm, I don't know if my SG would be happy sounding even cleaner. I was amazed the regular HRDx could make it sound pretty.

Larry, glad to hear you play a Gibson through a Fender. That means there is hope for me. Was that recently you bargained the amp price down to $500? I'm the world's worst haggler so that's why I'm hoping to hear what GC or SA have sold them for.

SR, yea I figured the blonde one would get dirty faster but still it has some advantages. It's unique (don't see many of that color around) and it's much cheaper.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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Wes Inman
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Dennis

Just like any amp, many people experiment with different speakers in the HRD.

Last night I was looking on e-bay at HRD's. They had several that look to be in great condition for a low price. I know one was equipped with the Jensen C12N speaker and JJ Tubes as well. Those JJ tubes are highly recommended on the Unofficial Hot Rod Deluxe website. One had a Weber Blue Dog. Anyway, here is the link.

http://search.ebay.com/hot-rod-deluxe_Musical-Instruments_W0QQsofocusZbsQQsbrftogZ1QQfromZR10QQsacategoryZ619Q26catrefQ3DC6QQsotrZ2QQcoactionZcompareQQcopagenumZ1QQcoentrypageZsearch

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


   
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slothrob
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Yeah, Dennis, I like Blonde, and brown, and two-tone, and tweed and wine red (see the Traynor TCV40WR) amps the best. I think the black is practical (though the laquered tweed seems to last decades, and gets cooler looking with age) but the unique colors are distinctive. They look like you have an amp from the 40's or 50's, when rock was young. I guess the blonde will be more convincingly "vintage" with a bit of road dirt on it. And less expensive, no less.


   
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larro123
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Dennis,
Yes, it was just a few weeks ago when I got my HRD for $500. from Guitar Center in Marietta, GA.


   
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corbind
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Well, it's 4 hours to the end of the auction for that modified HRDx and there have been no bids. It's starting for $449 so I'm guessing it'll sell for $540. Wes, you said the original Eminence speaker sounded more sparkling so the Celestion would sound warmer/darker? My guitar is mid-range based so I wonder if that Celestion would be good for my guitar/rhythm playing. I usually leave the pickup selector in the middle between rhythm and lead. Nice to use both humbuckers. I still can't believe not one person bid on that amp yet…

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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Wes Inman
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Dennis,

Probably too late a response here. Many people claim the Jensen C12N is a great speaker for the HRD. That was the one I heard sound clips for. It is known to have a tighter bass and not as peaky highs as the Eminence.

I think you are talking about the Celestion 70/80. I have heard that is similar to the Jensen C12N.

The Jensen C12N was a very popular speaker in the 60's. Many people say it gives an amp vintage sound.

I don't really think you can go wrong with any of those HRD's. It is very versatile. You can get a lot of different tones by tweaking the tone knobs.
The same with Drive. You can get great crunch or turn the gain down and just use it like a clean boost.

I noticed several were in Illinois. Maybe you could save shipping and pick one up, if it's not too far.

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


   
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