If you’re looking for a mid-sized Fender electric guitar valve amp then the Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Deluxe are good choices to consider, but what is the difference between them?
Today I’ll be comparing the latest versions of both amplifiers so you can get an understanding of the tonal differences and the different specifications which set these amps apart.
The Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue has a 12” Eminence Special Design speaker and sounds warmer and smoother compared to the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV which has a Celestion 12″ A-Type speaker and extra drive channel. The Blues Deluxe Reissue has a tweed cabinet and the Hot Rod Deluxe IV has a black cabinet.
There have been a few iterations of the Hot Rod Deluxe and Blues Deluxe over the years. I’ll be looking at the two latest versions the Hot Rod Deluxe IV and Blues Deluxe Reissue in this comparison. Here is a table showing the specifications of both Fender amplifiers.
|Feature||Hot Rod Deluxe IV||Blues Deluxe Reissue|
|Speaker||Celestion 12″ A-Type||12” Eminence Special Design|
|Pre-Amp Tubes||3 x 12AX7||3 x 12AX7|
|Power-Amp Tubes||2 x 6L6||2 X 6L6|
|Rectifier||Solid State||Solid State|
|Channels||3 (Normal, Drive, More Drive)||2 (Normal, Drive)|
|EQ Controls||Treble, Mids, Bass, Presence||Treble, Mids, Bass, Presence|
|Other Controls||Master Volume, Drive Volume, Bright Switch||Master Volume, Drive Volume, Bright Switch|
|Cabinet Material||Pine||Particle Board|
|Grille Cloth||Silver||Brown and Gold|
|Height||18.75” (47.6 cm)||18.75” (47.6 cm)|
|Width||23.5” (59.7 cm)||23.5” (59.7 cm)|
|Depth||10.44” (26.5 cm)||10.44” (26.5 cm)|
|Weight||41 lbs (18.59 kg)||45 lbs (20.41 kg)|
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV and Blues Deluxe Reissue have the same power rating (40W), pre-amp tubes (3 x 12AX7), power-amp tubes (2 x 6L6) and rectifier, hence they sound very similar to one another.
However, the Hot Rod Deluxe IV has a Celestion 12″ A-Type speaker and the Blues Deluxe Reissue has a 12” Eminence Special Design speaker which affects the tone.
The clean tones on both amps sound very similar, however the driven tones sound a little bit different.
The Blues Deluxe Reissue sounds warmer and smoother in comparison to the Hot Rod Deluxe IV which sounds a bit colder and harsher on the drive channels. The Hot Rod also has a “more drive” channel to provide extra gain unlike the Blues Deluxe Reissue which has only two channels.
Check out this YouTube video where you can listen to the Hot Rod and Blues Deluxe being played back to back using the clean and drive channels.
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV has an additional channel called “more drive” compared to the Blues Deluxe Reissue which has only two channels (drive and normal). Aside from this, both amps have the same controls as follows;
- 3 Band EQ (bass, mids, treble)
- Master Volume
- Drive Volume
- Bright Switch
The bright switch when activated, allows more treble to pass through at lower volume settings. The presence control boosts the treble and upper-mid frequencies.
Both amps have a footswitch however the functionality varies slightly:
- Hot Rod Deluxe IV: the footswitch allows you to select one of the three channels
- Blues Deluxe Reissue: the footswitch allows you to select one of the two channels and turn the reverb on or off
These two amps look different due to their color and otherwise have the same shape and design.
- Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV: black cabinet and silver grille cloth
- Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue: tweed cabinet and brown/ gold cloth
Here are images to show the difference.
These images link to Amazon
As I mentioned at the start of the article, these amps are very similar in many ways. Here is a list of the key features they share:
- 3 x 12AX7 pre-amp tubes
- 2 x 6L6 power-amp tubes
- Solid state rectifier
- Same cabinet dimensions
- 12″ speaker size
Here are links to each amp on Guitar Center so you can check the current prices:
Considering more Fender amplifiers? Check out my complete guide to the Fender amp range to learn more about each model.