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

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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-...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

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!

SPECIFICATIONS

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

  • 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
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderHot Rod Deluxe III 40W 1x12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
4.1

(based on 55 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (29)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

81%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (23)
  • Good power output (23)
  • Excellent sound (22)
  • Warm / comfy (22)
  • Portable (17)

Cons

  • Poor sound quality (3)

Best Uses

  • Performances (24)
  • Amateur recording (14)
  • Home studio (13)
  • Professional recording (12)
  • Outdoor events / games (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (21), Professional musician (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Buy it used and mod it

Do not buy this amp new! These saturate the used market (generally too loud for most people) and you can find a great one for cheaper. This amp is an EXCELLENT base for...Read complete review

Do not buy this amp new! These saturate the used market (generally too loud for most people) and you can find a great one for cheaper. This amp is an EXCELLENT base for modification and can sound like a boutique amp if you have the experience and patience. I love this amp! I just don't love it stock... Here's what I recommend:

1) The stock speaker is thin - I bought a WGS G12C and I run a G12C/S through an extension cab. Improvements all around. More bass clarity and warmth. I hear Celestion Vintage 30s work well.
2) Use a 12AT7 in P3 tube. This really cleans up the output channel signal and gives you more control of the volume pot so it doesn't jump to super loud volumes as quickly.
3) Buy a mod kit like Fromel makes. Only do the work if you are talented at working on PCBs. The stock components are very fragile and cause many of the problems other people have with the amp. I had leaky filter caps and one of the box resistors failed. Fromel addresses all of these and adds an excellent tone stack. I did these mods and am blown away. I will never part with this amp because I am in tonal nirvana.
4) Last, and easily most important, BUY A NEW HANDLE RIGHT AWAY! Don't carry this EVER by the stock handle! Read the reviews on the handle! It is horrible that Fender ever made a 50lb amp with a hand I wouldn't trust on a bag of groceries.

Otherwise, it's a solidly-built cab with all the bones of a superb amp. For this price range new, don't buy it. There are better options.

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 55 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(17 of 21 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.

    (17 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Tough to beat!

    By Oldenkrusty

    from Austin tx

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    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.

    (16 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Hot Rod Deluxe has some problems.

    By Randy Burns

    from Texas

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

    The hot Rod Deluxe has some problems that will show up after playing a while. The amp gets so hot some of them will have to be repaired. Mine is not old at all the reverb quit and the drive and over drive quit. Get ready to take it to the sound shop. Just letting you know. Fault soidering on the board and input jacks. I wish I would have read the problems before I purchased it.

    (15 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    A Workhorse Amp

    By atomicdog

    from Petaluma CA

    See all my reviews

    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.

    (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Buy it used and mod it

    By CSPAYTON

    from CLEVELAND, OH

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Powerful

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording

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

      Do not buy this amp new! These saturate the used market (generally too loud for most people) and you can find a great one for cheaper. This amp is an EXCELLENT base for modification and can sound like a boutique amp if you have the experience and patience. I love this amp! I just don't love it stock... Here's what I recommend:

      1) The stock speaker is thin - I bought a WGS G12C and I run a G12C/S through an extension cab. Improvements all around. More bass clarity and warmth. I hear Celestion Vintage 30s work well.
      2) Use a 12AT7 in P3 tube. This really cleans up the output channel signal and gives you more control of the volume pot so it doesn't jump to super loud volumes as quickly.
      3) Buy a mod kit like Fromel makes. Only do the work if you are talented at working on PCBs. The stock components are very fragile and cause many of the problems other people have with the amp. I had leaky filter caps and one of the box resistors failed. Fromel addresses all of these and adds an excellent tone stack. I did these mods and am blown away. I will never part with this amp because I am in tonal nirvana.
      4) Last, and easily most important, BUY A NEW HANDLE RIGHT AWAY! Don't carry this EVER by the stock handle! Read the reviews on the handle! It is horrible that Fender ever made a 50lb amp with a hand I wouldn't trust on a bag of groceries.

      Otherwise, it's a solidly-built cab with all the bones of a superb amp. For this price range new, don't buy it. There are better options.

      (11 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Little Amp!

      By Stiffbassist

      from Charleston, SC

      See all my reviews

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

      Can't beat this little amp for quality, sound and features. Unless your playing really large venues, this is a great amp!
      This amp has everything you need to make a guitar sound great. Forget all the modeling gimmics. Give me a good tube amp raw sound any day! This amp lets you chose between that gorgeous Fender clean sound and two levels of overdrive with the footswitch. The reverb is excellent and don't forget the presence knob. It can really help define your sound.
      40 watts of tube power and a 12 inch speaker is more than enough for most small clubs. This little thing Rocks!
      Fender nailed it! Everything on this amp is first rate.
      I'd love to pay a little less than this for an amp this size, but it's a fair price for the quality of the amp.

      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great clean, so-so overdrive.

      By Mad Matt Ike

      from Tri-Sate Area, Ohio

      About Me Experienced

      See all my reviews

      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.

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Hot Rod Deluxe Combo Amp

      By VocalMann

      from MN

      See all my reviews

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

      This amp is great for players in the Jazz, Alt Rock, and CCM arenas but will also appeal to other players as well. I doubt players whose styles run toward rock and metal would be entirely satisfied with this amp. The cleans are great, as Fender cleans always are; and the dirty tones deliver as well. To my ears, this amp sounds better at lower gain levels (not to be confused with low volume levels - this amp has incredible headroom) and would make a great pedal platform. Would I recommend this amp to a friend or fellow players? Absolutely.
      The features on this amp are quite sufficient. There are a few things that would have been nice to include in the palette - such as tone controls for the clean channel and an easier access to the extension speaker jack, but both of those concerns are subjective. The controls on the drive channel are intuitive and provide an ample array of tonal colors. I personally prefer parralel effects loops, and this amp has a serial loop, but once again - that is a subjective preference. Strictly speaking, I believe this amp has a great set of features that will appeal to a broad range of players.
      I don't foresee any problems with cabinet weakness or things falling apart in general.
      This amp is priced competitively and I don't believe you could find many that are substantially better within the same price range.

      (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Wow - what an improvement over the previous HRD II model

      By Dave Therrien

      from NH

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

      What's not to love - rich tube tone, great clean and dirty channel, effects loop, 40W, 1x12 for good bottom.
      I've had them all - mesa's, egnaters, vox, and multiple fenders. The clean on these amps is why most people love them and buy them. But, unlike the old HRDII version which had the world's flabbiest dirty channel (unusable), both the Gain and More Gain settings on this amp really sound great for rock and for blues. I actually don't even run an overdrive pedal into it anymore - I just love the gain and more gain sound.
      So far so good - I've had it for 6 months and it's working really well.
      There are so many amps at this price that are junk. This amp is a keeper for me.

      (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great Amp

      By Jeff

      from Hammond, IN

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

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

      I have to wonder if those that say they don't like the distortion produced by this amp are really taking the time to dial in the bass, mid and treble to get the soound they want. I find it oozes great distorted tones. with my pedal board and the natural distortion this amp provides I can make it sound like any amp out there, bar none. As for clean tone, no one makes a better amp, in my opinion, than Fender when it comes to clean tones.
      I love this amp, it sounds great clean or distorted. Works very well with pedals also. I have been playing for more than 30 years and I run Gibsons, Fedners, PRS all through it. Single coils, P 90's and humm buckers all sound great. Tons controls need some tweeking depending on the guitar/pup beng used but that should be a given.
      No complaints, well built and a great value for thie buck!
      Really nice.

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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