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MF MD HG Ask Our Gearheads 07-08-14

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Black 

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#H12889000001000
Best Seller

Overview

  • All tube preamp and 40W power section
  • 3 band EQ
  • Presence control
Description & Specs
  • MSRP:
    $999.99
  • Your Savings:
    - $270.00
  • Your Price:
    $72999
1 Used From $642.39

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Fender

A ready-to-gig amp with true tube tone.

The ever-popular 40W Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, equipped with a 12" Celestion speaker, may be the world standard for gigging guitarists. With bottom-end headroom characteristic of 6L6 tubes and a versatile all-12AX7 tube preamp, the Hot Rod Deluxe III amp offers luscious Fender spring reverb, an effects loop and more.

If you want to add a little output, fullness, and stage coverage, you can even add a matching 1x12 extension enclosure to your Hot Rod Deluxe III.

The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III amp also packs these upgrades over previous models: easy-view black control panel with front-reading text, new badge, streamlined footswitch, graduated volume and treble pot tapers, tighter overdrive and a Celestion G12P-80 speaker.

Features

  • All tube preamp and 40W power section
  • 3 band EQ
  • Presence control
  • 1-12" special design Celestion speaker
  • 3 channels from clean to more drive
  • Built-in spring reverb
  • Extension speaker jack
  • Input for included 2-button 3-function footswitch

Enjoy this compact gig-worthy amp. Order today!

 

Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Specifications:

  • Amplifier Type: Tube
  • Output Power: 40W
  • Speaker: 1-12" Celestion® G12P-80, 8 ohm Speaker
  • Output Impedance: 4 or 8 ohms
  • Preamp Tubes: 3 x 12AX7
  • Power Tubes: 2 x 6L6
  • Rectifier: Solid State Rectifier
  • Inputs: Two
  • Channels: Three Selectable Channels (Normal, Drive and More Drive)
  • Controls: Presence, Reverb, Master Volume, Middle, Bass, Treble, Drive Select Switch, Drive Volume, Bright Switch
  • Effects: Spring Reverb
  • Effects Loop: Effects Loop (Preamp Out, Power Amp In)
  • Speaker Jack: Extension Speaker Jack
  • Amp Covering/Grille Cloth: Black Textured Vinyl Covering with Blackface Style Black/Silver Grille Cloth
  • Height: 18.75" (47.6 cm)
  • Width: 23.5" (59.7 cm)
  • Depth: 10.5" (26.7 cm)
  • Weight: 45 lbs (20.41 kg)
  • Footswitch: 2-Button, 3-Function Footswitch Included
  • Cover: Amplifier Cover Included
  • Unique Features: Independent Gain and Master Controls in Drive Channel, Bright Switch, Effects Loop, Reverb, External Speaker
  • Jack, 2-Button 3-Function Footswitch for Channel Select, Drive Select and "More Drive" Select, Chrome Panel,
  • Vintage Pointer Knobs, Internal Variable Bias Control
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
FenderHot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
4.2

(based on 31 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

78%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Warm / comfy (7)
  • Excellent sound (6)
  • Easy to use (5)
  • Good power output (5)
  • Portable (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Performances (6)
    • Home studio (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (7)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Tough to beat!

    I purchased my hot rod deluxe in January of '99 and have been using it ever since. I have owned several fender amps over the years in addition to playing through GK, Marshall,...Read complete review

    I purchased my hot rod deluxe in January of '99 and have been using it ever since. I have owned several fender amps over the years in addition to playing through GK, Marshall, peavey, vox, line 6, sunn, and likely a few more that have been lost in the haze of 46 years of playing. It is simply the best tone for the money. Period. I replaced the tubes after 7 or 8 years with groove tubes- matched duet of power tubes and matched triplet of pre amp tubes and it is still going strong. It seems like it does not really care what instrument is plugged into it- strats, teles,, steinberger, Parker, PRS, les Paul.... It seems to love them all. I am on my 4th foot switch as I tend to use it quite a bit when gigging, and have gigged steadily with this amp since purchase. I looked at so many others before buying this, and was motivated to write this review when considering replacing it with something a bit lighter as it is getting harder and harder for this old man to heft it into my trunk several times a month. The more I look at the other options available, the more I come to appreciate what this amp does. It delivers the classic fender sound, on command, every time. There is a reason these amps are still in production, still sought after, and still in use by scores of musicians. If I had to complain, it would be the lack of that killer classic fender tremolo, but that was remedied with a pedal. While I feel the second channel/ overdrive on this model is a tad harsh, I understand fender has tamed it on the current models. I can't say that I have had any other piece of gear hold up as well as this amp has. Last summer I did an outdoor gig where it was 113 degrees at load in, and 102 at load out (at midnight no less) and it performed flawlessly. And that was not the only gig in adverse conditions it has done in the past 13 years. Beginner or pro, this amp is indeed tough to beat.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    HRD Built Poorly

    Bought a Fender HRD III and was excited about the sound for the price. Less than 45 days later it started buzzing really loud. Thought I did my research by looking at reviews on...Read complete review

    Bought a Fender HRD III and was excited about the sound for the price. Less than 45 days later it started buzzing really loud. Thought I did my research by looking at reviews on sales web sites. Turns out the problem I have is very widespread. Search for Hot Rod Deluxe Issues on Google. The quality of the amp is very poor and I am very dissapointed in Fender for even releasing such a low quality amp.

    Reviewed by 31 customers

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    (0 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Watch the Warranty

    By DCM

    from Walled Lake, Mi.

    About Me Novice

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          I bought this amp last November. I used it since then, maybe 3 hours as I am taking acoustic lessons. My instructor was looking at amps so he checked mine out and noticed the channel select for overdrive worked in such a way that the lights functioned but - no sound. I took it to an authorized Fender Repairman and got a call a few days later. Very expensive. I figured it was a tube and new tubes were not covered but had no idea it would cost that much. I wrote customer service. Here is what I got:

          I'm sorry to hear that you had trouble with your amplifier. Unfortunately tubes can be somewhat fragile by nature and with shipping hundreds of miles sometimes these components can fail. These are also considered regular maintenance items and that is why the tube warranty is 90 days from date of purchase because if you have a tube with an issue in the way it was manufactured it will usually show itself pretty early. The 5 year warranty period covers internal electronic issues that are not generally user serviceable.

          Typically we or the servicer may suggest checking the tubes by moving there placement around and see if the issue follows and you can narrow it down but it doesn't seem like that was the case here.

          I told the guy exactly the circumstances to no avail. He offered to send me a tube. I will certainly never purchase another Fender amp. Pure ignorance. They obviously do not value my business.

          Comment on this review

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Most practical amp for most players

          By grimster

          from Arkansas

          About Me Experienced

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Excellent Sound
          • Good Warmth

          Cons

          • Handle Needs Improving

          Best Uses

          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

          I have the version of this amp with the emerald green tolex and the Eminence Patriot Cannabis Rex speaker. I prefer Eminence to Celestion.

          This amp is the most practical amp for a gigging musician, regardless of the speaker that comes with it. It is tough and has perfect tone for a wide range of styles. The 40 watts is plenty for most in-door gigs and can get quite loud in small venues.

          My only complaint is the rubber "dog bone" handle has broken twice in less than two years. However, it is a relatively quick and inexpensive fix. I keep an extra handle just in case.

          I should also point out that when I first received mine from MusiciansFriend, there was a problem with the speaker. Fortunately I noticed this only days after receiving the amp. MF quickly replaced the amp at no additional charge to me. Great customer service!

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          VERY NICE CLEAN CHANNEL

          By Johnny

          from Virginia

          About Me Novice

          Ask me a question

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                I have an older USA model. Bought it used and it seems to have held up well over time, looks good and works well. The clean channel is one of the best I have heard. It's very warm and responds very well to pick attack, you can play soft and when you hit the strings hard it snaps to attention. One of the only flaws is that it produces a little too much bass, you have to keep the bass setting dialed back to a lower setting than most amps or your top strings sound almost like a bass guitar. "Drive" and "More Drive" channels are not bad, very useable, but they come up short if you are used to Marshall distortion like I am, after all Marshall is the king of overdrive in my book. I bought this thing mostly for the cleans and I am definitely not disappointed. I'm a zombie at work today, stayed up a little too late because I didn't want to put my guitar down.

                Comment on this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Works Hard

                By TURBO LES PAUL MAN

                from ST.LOUIS

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Good Warmth
                • Portable
                • Powerful

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Amateur Recording
                  • Events
                  • Performances

                  Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                  I've had mine for around 7 years and this thing still works hard. I leave it in the trunk of my car year round. I let it warm up a minute or two before a gig and this thing still works great. The tone isn't the best you can buy, but is the best you can get for the price. I use no pedals except a wah that has a bit of a boost and this thing rocks hard. I've played a lot of blues solos on this thing.
                  I use a les paul and gig regularly and this thing holds up. It is loud too. If for some reason you are getting drowned out just slap a mic on it and you're fine. You can manipulate the tone to cover about any style of music. (probably not enough gain for anything heavier than Black Sabbath)

                  Comment on this review

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Everthing I need

                  By Pharaoh

                  from Middletown, NJ

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Excellent Sound
                  • Good Warmth
                  • Portable
                  • Powerful

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home Studio
                    • Performances

                    Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                    This amp gives me the full range of sounds to compliment my playing style, from clean to as much distortion as need. I can go from crystal clean to overdriven with no, or just the right change in volume. Or, if I need a dirty rythm sound the More Drive button is perfect for soloing.

                    Comment on this review

                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Amp!!!!

                    By Elliott Mazur

                    from Kennett Square,PA

                    About Me Experienced

                    Ask me a question

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Excellent Sound
                    • Good Warmth
                    • Powerful

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Studio
                      • Jamming
                      • Performances
                      • Small Venue Events

                      Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                      My friend has this amp and it is a joy to play through every time. Good sound quality, nice warmth, and very easy to use. The only downside to this amp is it's weight. It's not the easiest amp to transport, but when you use it, it makes it all worth it. Everything sounds like god when played through this amp. Highly recommended!

                      Comment on this review

                      (13 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      1.0

                      HRD Built Poorly

                      By Bob

                      from Muscatine, IA

                      About Me Experienced

                      Pros

                      • Excellent Sound
                      • Good Warmth

                      Cons

                      • Always In The Shop
                      • Quality

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                        Bought a Fender HRD III and was excited about the sound for the price. Less than 45 days later it started buzzing really loud. Thought I did my research by looking at reviews on sales web sites. Turns out the problem I have is very widespread. Search for Hot Rod Deluxe Issues on Google. The quality of the amp is very poor and I am very dissapointed in Fender for even releasing such a low quality amp.

                        Comment on this review

                        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        4.0

                        Great clean, so-so overdrive.

                        By Matt Eichenlaub

                        from Huntington, WV

                        About Me Experienced

                        Ask me a question

                        Pros

                        • Good Warmth
                        • Powerful

                        Cons

                        • 1 Eq 2 Channels
                        • Drive Channel Issues
                        • Muddy When Distorted

                        Best Uses

                        • Amateur Recording
                        • Home Studio
                        • Performances

                        Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                        First and foremost, I will put it out there that you should likely change the tubes ASAP. Groove Tubes are notorious for short life-spans, and they're generaly not very complimentary to your sound.

                        Overall, I enjoy this amp. It's my first tube amp, and I did quite a bit of research before I purchased. Probably my favorite feature is the effects loop. The amp takes pedals pretty decently. I tend to use two Blues Drivers side by side and a volume boost, and occasionally some delay and other effects. This is because I am not a fan of the Drive/More Drive channel.

                        The problem I have is that it's either too thin or too flabby. I can sometimes coax a decent alt rock distortion from it, but switching between it and the clean channel is rough because you really need to change the EQ drastically between the two. This is due to the way everything was wired up at the factory. I won't be going into the details of that, though. All I will say is that I would've liked to see separate EQ for the normal and drive channels. For this reason, I use pedals on this amp.

                        If you need clean, and you need it loud, that's where this amp shines the most. The amp overall has a dark sound to it. You honestly have a lot more bass in this machine than you'll ever need. At the same time, the high-end is very sharp. The amp has no trouble cutting through the mix whether distorted or clean. The additional Presence control is nice to have when you need to speak with just a bit more authority.

                        I've used this amp in many scenarios over the last year since I've owned it. Mostly pop-punk, funk, and hard rock. It's most effective when clean. Turn it up to around 6 or 7, roll back your guitar's volume knob, and you have very warm backing guitar sounds. Crank that knob back up, and you can get some serious screaming, full-bodied leads.

                        Two inputs is nice. Input 1 is a good bit hotter and brighter than input 2, which is very dark. If you have active pickups, you'll wanna use input 2 more often than not, I'd think. Normal/Bright switch is nice. Give you a quick way to adjust to a bright or dead venue until you catch a break to make more thorough adjustments.

                        All in all, a great purchase. It's versatile if you know how to adjust everything. Get new tubes.

                        Comment on this review

                        (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Tough to beat!

                        By Oldenkrusty

                        from Austin tx

                        About Me Experienced

                        Ask me a question

                        Pros

                        • Easy To Use
                        • Excellent Sound
                        • Good Warmth
                        • Portable
                        • Powerful
                        • Reliabe

                        Cons

                        • No Tremolo

                        Best Uses

                        • Performances

                        Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                        I purchased my hot rod deluxe in January of '99 and have been using it ever since. I have owned several fender amps over the years in addition to playing through GK, Marshall, peavey, vox, line 6, sunn, and likely a few more that have been lost in the haze of 46 years of playing. It is simply the best tone for the money. Period. I replaced the tubes after 7 or 8 years with groove tubes- matched duet of power tubes and matched triplet of pre amp tubes and it is still going strong. It seems like it does not really care what instrument is plugged into it- strats, teles,, steinberger, Parker, PRS, les Paul.... It seems to love them all. I am on my 4th foot switch as I tend to use it quite a bit when gigging, and have gigged steadily with this amp since purchase. I looked at so many others before buying this, and was motivated to write this review when considering replacing it with something a bit lighter as it is getting harder and harder for this old man to heft it into my trunk several times a month. The more I look at the other options available, the more I come to appreciate what this amp does. It delivers the classic fender sound, on command, every time. There is a reason these amps are still in production, still sought after, and still in use by scores of musicians. If I had to complain, it would be the lack of that killer classic fender tremolo, but that was remedied with a pedal. While I feel the second channel/ overdrive on this model is a tad harsh, I understand fender has tamed it on the current models. I can't say that I have had any other piece of gear hold up as well as this amp has. Last summer I did an outdoor gig where it was 113 degrees at load in, and 102 at load out (at midnight no less) and it performed flawlessly. And that was not the only gig in adverse conditions it has done in the past 13 years. Beginner or pro, this amp is indeed tough to beat.

                        Comment on this review

                        (12 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        A Workhorse Amp

                        By atomicdog

                        from Petaluma CA

                        Comments about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

                        My HRD has sat in my garage for 13 years, usually uncovered, getting damp and dirty, but always ready to deliver when that red pilot light goes on (well, almost always ready. But you have to change the oil and tires on that F150 every once in a while to keep it humming and don't forget to replace that timing chain somewhere doen the road).

                        This is a rock-solid, time-tested product that has won the respect of musicians of evey stripe.

                        I'm buying a second one this week.
                        I've owned a HRD for the past 13 years. It's been in the shop and a couple of modifications as well. Remember that this is not a boutique amp, it's not a Mazerati--rather, it's like the Ford F150 pick up of guitar amps.

                        It's diverse and well-suited for rock, metal, blues, country, jazz and anything else you want to throw at it. It can produce warm blues tones at low volume or screaming harmonics when you play it loud. It has drive and more drive and those are serious drive channels--you really won't need a distortion pedal with an HRD (hey, unless you want to go crazy--have at it).

                        But there are reasons why this is the best-selling tube amp of all time. It's a workhorse, baby!
                        Fender cuts a few corners to keep this amp relatively affordable. The reverb and drive channelsshare circuitry, so when both are engaged the signal is fluctuating rapidly between the two. That can go south, as it did on my amp (it tarted cutting out). A Fender approved repair guy fixed that overnight and added a cheap modification Never had that problem a again.

                        The input jacks are soldered directly to the circuit board and after years of pluging in, they can come loose. It's an easy fix and, again, an easy and cheap upgrade.

                        The shell is pretty solid and can take a lot of abuse but after a few years of my son and his friends playing grindcore on the HRD, things got lose and started to rattle. That's not really easy to fix for some reason, but it's manageable.

                        The original tubes lasted for a decade. I upgraded to some old Sylvania 6L6s and added amazing harmonics.

                        The fact is, this is an amp that has a lot of strong qualities and responds well to modifications (if you want to throw another $200 or $30 into it, you can easily bring it up to boutique quality. Fromel Electronics sells mod kit s for the HRD that are highly recommended)
                        I've owned plenty of other tube amps, including Vox and Peavy. The Fender HRD has lots of power, a killer drive channel, and a much tighter, tougher sound than a Peavy Delta Blues or Classic 30, for instance.

                        I'd say that pound for pound (and dollar for dollar) you can't match this classic guitar amp.

                        Comment on this review

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