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  1. #1
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    Default Hot Rod De-Luxe iv.

    Have any of you fellow forumites had any experience with the Hot Rod De-Luxe iv ? I'm thinking of replacing my ageing Rivera Clubster as it's been in to the tech's twice this year and it's costing money everytime, so i need something that's portable and has decent clean volume at gig levels and after a bit of internet and dealer research it seems to fit the bill, the only downside I can see is that it'll have to miked up at gigs as the Rivera has a line out and the Fender doesn't.
    As an aside I bought a Roland Blues Cube Artist 80W combo, it lasted a total of four gigs, it went totally silent mid gig on the fourth one.
    I've since returned it and took a refund rather than the dealer give me a replacement Roland, it's an unfortunate thing but it's put me off solid state amps (i do have a cyber twin but that's a different beast) OK any mass produced electronic/mechanical items will have a failure rate but I expected it to last more than two weekends!! usually Roland products are pretty reliable but this one wasn't.
    Anyway rant over about the Roland amp any thoughts about the Hot Rod would be appreciated
    Cheers
    Titch

  2. #2
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    Hi Titch,

    I haven't played the version 4 but the HRDLX is a hard working gigging amp that adorns plenty of stages worldwide. The amps sound great but the Hot Rods all suffer from a few design flaws, which if rectified early on, make them a very reliable choice.

    Specifically, the mains transformer often needs setting to the correct UK voltage of 240 volts (most European models are set to 230 volts). This affects the bias of the valves (low mains voltage means the HT of the valves runs high), so the bias should be checked once the wires from the transformer are reconfigured (the plug-in leads just need swapping about). The other big design issue is the 16 volt switching circuit, which uses a couple of ceramic power resistors. These live on the motherboard and often overheat, causing damage to the board and nearby components. Get a Tech to replace these so they sit higher off the board where the heat can dissipate better. The filter caps are also not the best quality and can leak early on. While a Tech is replacing the power resistors, it's worth getting the filter caps swapped out too for higher spec components.

    Your amp will then be a reliable workhorse.

    And if you want to add a line-out, fit one of these: https://www.ratvalveamps.com/dummy-load
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    Thank you for your reply and sound (no pun intended!) advice Captain Bb I shall be looking into it this coming week. The dummy load box looks interesting,I intended to buy a Sennheiser 609 or 906 to use with the amp as it's flat fronted and doesn't take up a lot of space and is less likely to get any bleed from the kit or keyboards but having a line out is much more convenient and less problematic so I'll be looking into that as well.
    Once again many thanks.
    Cheers Titch

  4. #4
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    Where are you located Titch?
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

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    Hi Titch, welcome to FenderTalk! I hope you get it all sussed out soon, we all need dependable gear. While you're looking at options, take a look at the Radial JDX 48 Reactor Guitar Amp Direct Box. I use one of these, and for the price of a decent microphone you can get great tone every night without having to fuss with bleed over or mic positions.
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    My location Captain Bb is in the North East of England, I've had a slight change of plan. a good friend of mine was selling a Blues De Luxe so I gave it whirl and bought it so hopefully that's me sorted for the next year or so amp wise.
    Once again thank you all for the helpful replies.

  7. #7
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    The Blues Deluxe is my favourite of the Hot Rods. Good buy!

    I'd still get those power resistors and filter caps checked though.

    If needed, just PM me your postal address and I'll send you a set of replacements for that amp.
    Last edited by Captain Bb; 12-12-2018 at 05:33 PM.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

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    That's a very kind offer and if need be I'll take you up on it, as it happens I've not had a chance to do anything with it this week as other commitments have got in the way but hopefully next week I'll have a chance to give it a work out and use it for the weekends gigs.

  9. #9
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    No problem - just give me a shout if you need them.

    If you get a chance, just pop the back panel off the amp at some point (with it unplugged) and check out the motherboard where those power resistors are located. Don't touch anything, just look for any brown staining/burning.

    This is what you're looking for: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaLN5MSnPTg
    Last edited by Captain Bb; 12-15-2018 at 12:27 PM.
    I'm a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

  10. #10
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    I thought I had heard that Fender has now raised those resistors off of the circuit board on their newer production amps. As for the bad filter caps, Illinois Capacitors had some problems in the late 90s/early 00s. Unfortunately, the bad reputation has stuck with them. Yet millions of amps have been built with these caps since then with no problems. Just make sure you replace them after about 10 years as you should with any filter caps. That being said, I still believe that these amps (Hot Rod and Blues deluxe) are great sounding, reliable amps.

    I watched that video and it pretty much shows exactly what happened to my 95 blues deluxe. It's been a very reliable amp and I never had any problems with it in 20 years. However, when I read about the overheating power resistors I decided to check on mine. Lo and behold, the board was fully discoloured under the power resistors and around the diode so I decided to send it in to my tech. There he found that the resistors had gotten so hot that they lifted the tracks off of the board and also damaged the tracks around the diode. I figured that while he was in there rebuilding the circuit board in this area, I'd have him change the filter caps and a add a bias adjustment circuit.

    The amp is good as new and now sounds better since I finally got the tubes properly biased. At least the newer amps now come with the bias adjustment circuit.

    You didn't say if this was an original or re-issue that you purchased. Either way, just have the caps replaced and if they haven't yet been modified, have the resistors replaced and raised off of the PCB. Then sit back and enjoy your BD.



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    Last edited by infant; 12-16-2018 at 10:43 AM.

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