Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV 40W – The best choice for gigs

Powerful on stage and affordable in price, Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV 40W is the fourth generation of the brand’s popular series. Many musicians choose this amplifier for its strong and clean sound on stage. The price is yet another reason to purchase Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV. 

The Rod Hot Deluxe series has been around since the mid-90s. The amps have amassed colossal popularity due to two features. First, the amps enjoy the quality associated with Fender. Second, unlike the brand’s other creations, they are more affordable.

Fender HOT ROD DELUXE IV guitar amp

We’ve seen reviews from experienced musicians suggesting this gear to the beginners and intermediate players. We second that opinion. As mentioned above, the amp does some great job on stage in mid venues.

However, for this very reason, you should use it cautiously for home practice. 40 watts is the power you can’t underestimate. Now, let’s take a closer look at the gear.

Specifications

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV is a tube combo amplifier with 40W power. One of its main differences from the predecessors is the selection of speakers. One 12 Celestion A-type has significantly improved sound making it clearer.

The amplifier has five tubes. Three 12AX7 are for the preamp and two 6l6 are for the power amp. What’s notable, is that the gear has a solid-state rectifier. This feature makes it more reliable in the long-run and more responsive while performing.

The amplifier has three channels (normal, drive, and more drive). The rear of the amp isn’t fully covered so you can easily see the inside. It’s made for better sound production.

The amp goes with a two-button footswitch, two inputs (normal and -6dB), and a dust cover.

Controls Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV

Let’s now take a closer look at the control panel:

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV 40W control panel

BUTTONS

  • Channel Select switches between Normal, Drive and More Drive
  • Normal Bright empowers high notes
  • More Drive provides more gain to Drive channel

KNOBS

Volume: Use it to control the volume for the Normal Channel. Hot Rod Deluxe can be very noisy so try to tune it carefully.

Drive: Increase the volume and boost overdrive at the Drive channel. 

EQ knobs:

These are standard controls for high, low, and middle pitches respectively:

  • Treble
  • Bass
  • Middle

Master: This knob increases the volume and boosts overdrive at the More Drive channel. 

Reverb: Use it to enrich your sound with Fender’s signature spring reverberation. Many guitarists love it for its smooth and rich tone.

Presence: Available only on some Fender models, presence transforms upper mids and trebles. Unlike most sound-shaping controls it works in the amp section rather than the preamp. Use it to boost your higher notes and make them sound livelier.

IN/OUTPUTS

  • Inputs 1,2 
  • Preamp Out & Power Amp In are used to connect effects processors, another amps, or equipment for recording.
  • Foot Switch input is used to connect the respective gear. The latter has two buttons to select channels and add more drive.

SWITCHES

  • Standby enables you to save electricity but keep your tubes ready for the performance
  • On/Off

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV Design

The overall minimalist look of Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV gets you back to the 90s. The pine case is covered with black textured vinyl attached with metal rivets. The device has a signature holder and silverish grille cloth.

Although ivory-colored chicken head knobs are a bit out of the 90s aesthetics they are great from the UX standpoint. By a single look at your control panel in low light, you can easily tell your present settings and adjust them quicker.

The amp is lighter than its predecessors but it’s still rather heavy (18.59 kg or 41 lbs). It’s also rather big (47.6 x 59.7 x 26.7 cm or 18.75 x 23.5 x 10.5 in). That’s something you should keep in mind while transporting it to your next big gig.

Performance

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV design

Due to the amp’s powerful midrange, you can hear Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV both in the front seat and at the back. The overdriven notes are distinctly articulated and defined, the new feature of the fourth generation. And on top of it all, the highs are mellow and the lows are robust.

The Hot Rod series is especially renowned for its reverbs. The Deluxe IV in particular is appraised for its smooth sound even when you get all your settings at max.

Overall, with three channels and so many controls at your disposal, you can play a wide range of genres on this amplifier. The normal channel provided a very clean tone perfect for jazz. The Drive channel has a very rich bluesy sound while More Drive distorts it to the point of punk.

 

Summary

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe IV 40W is a great amplifier for aspiring musicians who make their first appearances on stage as well as more experienced performers. It produces well-articulated and powerful sound at gigs and can be tweaked for quieter home practice. 

The quality of the amp is exceptional especially compared to its mid-range price. That’s why we highly recommend it to many guitarists.

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