For over fifty years, Fender guitar amps have been widely sought after due to their reliability and the powerful sound they produce. In addition to these qualities, fender amps have a rich tone and touch-sensitive dynamics.
It is, therefore, not surprising that fender amplifiers have been a part of most professional performances and recordings for many decades.
The Fender Blues Deluxe and the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe are two of the many fender guitar amplifiers we have today. Over the years, different models of these two electric guitar amps have been released by Fender.
However, for this article, I will focus on the latest versions of these valve amps, i.e., the Blues Deluxe Reissue and the Hot Rod Deluxe IV.
|Attribute||Blues Deluxe Reissue||Hot Rod Deluxe IV|
|Price||Check Out the Current Price on Amazon||Check Out the Current Price on Amazon|
|Number of Channels||2 (Normal, Drive)||3 (Normal, Drive, More Drive)|
|Total Power||40W||40 W|
|Speaker Size||1 x 12”||1 x 12”|
|Preamp Tubes||3 x 12AX7||3 x 12AX7|
|Power-Amp Tubes||2 x 6L6||2 X 6L6|
|Rectifier||Solid State||Solid State|
|Effects||Yes (Reverb)||Yes (Reverb)|
|EQ||3-band||3 – band EQ|
|Inputs||2 x ¼” (instrument) 1 x ¼” (power amp in)||2 x ¼” (standard, -6dB)|
|Outputs||1 x ¼” (preamp out)||2 x ¼” (parallel, one internal speaker)|
|Footswitch I/O||1 x ¼” (channel, effects)||1 x 1/4”(channel, drive)|
|Footswitch Included||Yes (2-button footswitch)||Yes (2-button footswitch)|
|Dimension (H x W x D)”||(18.75 x 23.5 x 10.44)”||(18.75 x 23.5 x 10.44)”|
|Weight||45 lbs||41 lbs|
Similarities Between the Fender Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe
To start with, both guitar amplifiers have the same design and shape. Apart from this similarity in design and shape, the Blues Deluxe and the Hot Rod Deluxe come with the same cabinet dimension or size.
Aside from the design and size, both tube amps have the same number of preamp and power-amp tubes.
Also, both the Fender Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe have the same number of EQ controls in them. They both have a 3-Band EQ. These EQ controls are; Treble, Mids, and Bass.
Furthermore, both devices come with a Master volume, a Bright switch, a two-button footswitch, and a drive volume. They also have a spring reverb and presence control.
To cut everything short, the Hot Rod Deluxe IV and the Blues Deluxe Reissue have the same number and type of controls.
The master volume enables you to regulate the volume or loudness of the amp, while the bright switch functions by allowing more treble to enter the sound at lower volumes when it is activated. The presence control functions by boosting the upper-mid and treble frequencies.
Another point is that both amps have two channels in common as well. These channels are the drive and normal channels. You can select any of these channel settings using the two-button footswitch that comes with the amp.
Lastly, these two guitar amplifiers by Fender come with 12-inch speakers driven by the same power rating of 40W. This power rating is enough to drive the amps at volumes loud enough to be heard above the drummer.
Differences between the Fender Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe
Although there are lots of similarities between these two amps, there are lots of differences as well. Let’s take a look at the differences between the Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe.
The difference in design is one of the main distinguishing features that exist between the Blues Deluxe and the Hot Rod Deluxe.
The Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue spots a sharp and vintage-styled tweed-colored cabinet that is made out of particle board material. This Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue has a distinct brown and gold colored grille cloth.
To complement this tweed-colored design, this guitar amp is also designed to have a mirrored chrome/silvery control panel.
On the other hand, the Hot Rod Deluxe has a black colored cabinet that is made out of a lightweight pine material. Due to this lightweight pine material that is used to make the cabinet, the Hot Rod Deluxe is relatively lighter than the Blues Deluxe.
Just like the Blues Deluxe, the Hot Rod Deluxe also comes with a grille cloth. However, the grille cloth of the Hot Rod Deluxe is silver, which is responsible for giving it a classic Fender look.
In addition, the Hot Rod Deluxe comes with knobs that are ivory pointed.
Number of Channels
The number of channels you can find on the Blues Deluxe Reissue and the Hot Rod Deluxe IV are not the same. The Blues Deluxe Reissue comes with two channels. These are the Normal and Drive channels. These channels are perfect for country, classic blues, and rock-style tunes and music.
However, aside from these two channels, I have mentioned that the Hot Rod Deluxe IV comes with one more channel than the Blues Deluxe Reissue’s two channels.
What this means is that, unlike the Blues Deluxe, which comes with two channels, the Hot Rod Deluxe comes with three channels. This third channel is known as More Drive.
The presence of this third channel in the Hot Rod Deluxe IV expands the amplifier’s capability to switch to different levels of distortion.
Tonal Output Differences
I’m sure you’re reading this article because you want to know how these two amps compare when it comes to their tone and the sound they produce
The Blues Deluxe and Hot Rod Deluxe IV both produce clean tones. However, their tonal difference becomes audible when you increase the gain until it starts getting overdriven or distorted.
The sound produced by the Blues Deluxe Reissue is characteristically smoother and warmer, even at maximum gain than that of the Hot Rod Deluxe IV.
On the other hand, the tone produced by the Hot Rod Deluxe is relatively harsher, more aggressive, and has more high frequencies than that of the Blues Deluxe. The clean channel of the Hot Rod Deluxe is noticeably much brighter and clearer as well.
And because the Hot Rod Deluxe tone sounds brighter, they appear to sound much louder than the tone of the Blues Deluxe as well.
The More Drive channel of the Hot Rod Deluxe is for those looking for extreme distortion on their guitar signal.
Check out this excellent comparison demo of the Fender Blues Deluxe and the Hot Rod Deluxe.
Type of Speakers
As I mentioned earlier in this article, these two guitar amplifiers come with 12-inch sized speakers. However, the type of speakers found in them is not the same. Thus, the type of speakers found in both guitar amplifiers is another difference that exists between the two.
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe comes equipped with a Celestion 12″ A-Type Speaker.
If you are a fan of speakers, then this Celestion speaker needs little to no introduction whatsoever to you. Celestion speakers are one of the best speakers you can get in a guitar amplifier.
This can be attributed to the fact that; they are able to produce a sound that perfectly highlights the distinct rock n roll flavor present in the tone that is played.
On the other hand, the Blues Deluxe guitar amplifier comes with a 12″ eminence special design speaker. This eminence special design speaker delivers versatile performance and tonal output.
Which One Should You Buy? My Opinion
These two guitar amplifiers by Fender are so similar that if you do not have enough knowledge and experience using fender amplifiers, you may assume straight away that they function exactly the same.
I’d recommend the Fender Blues Deluxe if you’re looking for a much more versatile amp. They sound beautiful and have a character that you wouldn’t get on the Hot Rod Deluxe.
And another great thing about the Fender Blues Deluxe is that they work extremely well with guitar pedals. They sound great and are able to project guitar pedal sounds quite well.
And another reason you may want to go for the Fender Blues Deluxe is that if you are in search of a Fender guitar amplifier whose sound and looks take you on a trip down memory lane to Fender’s original era, you should go in for the Blues Deluxe.
However, personally, I’d go for the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. And here are my reasons.
My primary reason for choosing the Hot Rod Deluxe over the Blues Deluxe is because the Hot Rod Deluxe is built to have a modified preamp circuitry that delivers sound with greater clarity and tonal definition.
Due to this, even when the preamp circuitry of the Hot Rod Deluxe IV is overdriven, it produces sound with a greater note definition and articulation.
Its spring reverb sounds sweeter and smoother than the Blue Deluxe as well. Though the Blue Deluxe is an impressive specimen, it cannot match the Hot Rod Deluxe in these areas.
In addition, the Hot Rod Deluxe produces a loud and authentic tone due to its Celestion A-type speaker driven by a pair of 6L6 power tubes. This Celestion speaker has smooth highs and a well-rounded response that provides a solid tonal and sonic foundation for your music.
Another point to add is that the pine speaker cabinet of the Hot Rod makes it more resonant.
Finally, unlike the Blues Deluxe, which has only two channels, the three versatile channels of the Hot Rod Deluxe, i.e., the Normal, Drive, and More Drive settings, provide you with a solid foundation for an unlimited range of tones, even without using any pedal.
All these make the Hot Rod Deluxe guitar amplifier extremely compatible with guitar pedals. Thus, it functions incredibly well with effects pedals and serves as a perfect platform for guitar effects to shine and influence the final tone of guitars.
The Fender Blues Deluxe Amplifier and the Hot Rod Deluxe are two valve amps that produce authentic sound outputs and tones. When it comes to tone classification, the Fender Blues Deluxe can simply be termed a Hot Rod Deluxe with a warmer tone.
Both guitar amplifiers enable you to craft your sound according to your own playing signature. Their price falls within the budget of mid-range guitar amplifiers as well. Thus, you can acquire any of the two for either stage performance or practice purposes.