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Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV Amp Review: Performance Test

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.*

amp closeup photo with article title text

If you’re thinking about getting the popular Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV, you will definitely enjoy today’s review! I had the pleasure to use that amp on several occasions and I feel like I’m in a good spot to share my thoughts with you. Undoubtedly, it’s a really special tube amp, but is it actually worth it?

Absolutely! Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV is one of the best tube amps available on the market right now. It offers an access to a wide selection of tones and it works particularly great as a gigging amp. Although it’s expensive, it’s definitely worth the money.

Let’s dive deeper with research to find out what makes this amp so special. I’ll also tell you a bit more about my experience with this amp and we’ll investigate if there are any better alternatives out there.

Specs & Pricing

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

One of the best and most popular 40-Watt tube amps made by this legendary brand! Awesome quality – what else is there to say? See prices below.

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Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV features 40-Watt power and a 12″ speaker made by the legendary British brand called Celestion. What’s interesting the amp features a surprisingly lightweight pine cabinet. Fender used to build amps like that back in the ’50s and ’60s – this material makes the amp more resonant.

What’s important, the amp has a built-in spring reverb, which is perfect for playing surf or indie rock. In addition, the manufacturer decided to modify the preamp circuitry to significantly improve the overdrive. This small modification adds a lot of punch, so lovers of overdrive should be really happy with that.

It is also worth mentioning that the Hot Rod Deluxe IV looks very classy and vintage from the outside. There is something really cool about that simple, old-school design. What’s more, the amp features unique ivory pointer knobs, which also look and feel very retro.

When it comes to pricing, it’s not cheap. In fact, it’s a bit more expensive than similar amps offered by competitors such as VOX, Peavey or Orange. Still, considering how good the quality of that amp is, it’s definitely worth the money.

Personally, I don’t think that it’s either overpriced or underpriced. The best gear used by professional musicians almost always costs a lot. And since this is the top shelf of amps, the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV may seem a bit pricey. Still, it’s definitely one of the best tube amps out there!

Here’s the official demo – make sure to check it out.

My Experience With Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

As I mentioned earlier, I had the chance to use that amp on several occasions throughout my journey as a guitarist. I was always particularly amazed of the clean sounds that this amp produces. Same with the overdrive.

Out of my experience, a lot of tube amps on the market tend to have amazing cleans, but they are still not exactly perfect when it comes to overdrive. This problem usually occurs in cheaper tube amps. But the Hot Rod Deluxe IV sounds awesome on both channels, even without any pedals.

fender amp logo closeup

Speaking of pedals – this amp takes them very well. I’ve seen a lot of amps that start to suck once you start adding a chain of guitar effects, but in this case this problem doesn’t exist. Whether you want to use an aggressive distortion or a spacey reverb, you can be sure that the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV will handle it perfectly.

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

One of the best and most popular 40-Watt tube amps made by this legendary brand! Awesome quality – what else is there to say? See prices below.

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Who Is It For?

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV will be ideal for anyone who’s looking for a reliable and high-quality tube amp suitable for gigs and studio recordings. The overall reputation of this amp indicates that it’s a solid piece of gear and it won’t leave you disappointed.

Of course, it’s also suitable for all-level musicians. Nevertheless, I think that only the more advanced guitarists will be able to use the full potential of this amp. If you’re just starting out, you probably don’t need to spend that amount of money on a tube and you just need a basic amp to practice at home.

Nevertheless, if you have the budget for it, it will also be an amazing first amp that will inspire you to practice more and more.

Here’s an another demo.

Disadvantages Of Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

Of course, no amp is perfect and in this case there’s a few things that may be considered as disadvantages.

Firstly, the amp has all the controls on the top. Personally, I prefer amps with controls on the side – it just makes it much easier to use. Some people will most likely don’t see any difference, but the truth is that it can be really annoying.

Although the amp is versatile and it features a good overdrive, it may not be the best choice for heavier music. If you’re into metal, you should be aware that this is not the best amp for playing that kind of music.

Lastly, some people reported issues with the input jack – it seems that it’s not that durable. Although stuff like that may happen in any other amp, it seems that the quality of a few minor parts of this amp could be a bit better.

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you don’t like the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV, don’t worry! There’s a few really good alternatives out there. And in fact, some of them are actually even cheaper.

Firstly, I highly recommend checking out the legendary Peavey Classic 30. This tube amp has a really nice clean channel and decent vintage-sounding overdrive. It may not be as good as the Hot Rod, but it will still be a great and affordable choice for a lot of guitarists. In addition, it also has that cool vintage look.

Peavey Classic 30

One of the coolest and most interesting 30-Watt tube amps available on the market. See full specs and price below.

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Another option is Bugera V22 Infinium – a really good and powerful amp suitable for a lot of different genres. Again, this is a bit more affordable option and it should be more than enough for a lot of musicians.

Both Peavey Classic 30 and Bugera V22 Infinium will also be perfect for playing gigs and even studio recordings. So if you’re not sure about the Hot Rod, these two amps are definitely worth checking out.

FAQ

Where is Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV made?

The amp is currently manufactured in Fender’s factory in Mexico.

Is there a headphone jack?

No, unfortunately this tube amp doesn’t offer the headphone jack.

Is Hot Rod Deluxe IV loud enough to get over a drummer?

Absolutely! This is a really loud amp and it can easily be louder than any (even heavy-hitting) drummer.

What tubes does a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe use?

Fender decided to use three 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6 power tubes.

Summary

As you can see, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV is a really unique tube amp. If you’re looking for a reliable guitar amplifier suitable for studio recordings and playing gigs, this is definitely one of the best options out there. I highly recommend checking it out.

What do you think about this amp? Do you think that there are better tube amps out there? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think!

Thanks for checking out today’s review, hopefully it was helpful! If you enjoyed this article, here’s a few more articles that you may like too:

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