The Unofficial

nothing to see here

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Owner's Guide!

About the Webmaster FAQ

Oh wow, is this
Justin Holton
, bringing back the content that was on the old Unofficial Fender Hot Rod Deluxe User's Guide?

No; it's his content, but I'm not Justin. His site used to be on (link does not work), and then he put it up on another address, (also doesn't work).

He seems to have abandoned this information, or at least in terms of keeping the content up on the web. who are you?

I don't think I like your tone. Mark Newcomb, Colorado-based web developer. Also guitar player and classically-trained pianist. I have had experience as a recording engineer and music teacher as well.

So I take it you have a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe yourself?

Yup. Here it is:

front of amp
Yes, I'm aware the grill cloth is a bit wavy. The grill cloth that came with the pine enclosure hasn't held up too well.
back of amp
Look closely and you'll see for a short time I experimented with an Eminence Cannabis Rex. Didn't quite do it for my heavy metal style.
handle up close
amp at an angle

It started out as a lacquered tweed version. I bought a custom pine cabinet enclosure for it from Carl's Custom Guitars, and while I had the thing apart, I switched out the stock speaker (Celestion G12P-80) for a Celestion Vintage 30. Sweetwater sent me a damaged one, but was good about exchanging it for a functional one.

installing speaker
inside of amp
front up close
Switching the front logo plate from the old tweed enclosure to the pine one required some careful prying off of the four small nails holding it on, and nailing them into the pine with a small hammer.

One complaint I have with the Hot Rod is that their distortion channel is a lackluster, pre hard-rock idea of guitar distortion. Here's a simple trick you can do to improve that...

engl savage 120 on top of fender hot rod

Bam! Just get an expensive boutique heavy metal head and use the Fender Hot Rod as a speaker cabinet. Actually, the Engl Savage's clean channel is excellent as well.

There's something I see in one of these articles that's wrong! Fix it!

*Slides chair back, raises hands up Conan O'Brien style* No. I'm not getting into that. How would I know that your information is correct, and Justin Holton's wasn't? I don't have the electrical engineering background to make that kind of judgement call, and I have absolutely no desire to be the referee. Use the information on this website at your own risk. Or feel free to dismiss this whole thing and click the back button; I don't care. This is strictly a "pet project" of mine that I've built and am keeping up on the web for fellow Hot Rod Deluxe enthusiasts.

Any way to contact you?

In this context of this site? No. Sorry, not really interested. My web portfolio site links to this page, but this site doesn't link back to it. If I'm sounding like an anti-social grouch, let me just provide you a screenshot of Justin Holton's original contact page:

justin pissed off

...yeah. Holy shit. The impression I get is that his site got hugely popular and he didn't want to deal with all of it, which is probably why he doesn't even host this information anymore. I can't say I blame him, and I don't really wish to get sucked into that either.

Legal disclaimer in effect throughout entire website's contents

Use of any and all information on any page of this site is at your own risk. If you have any doubts to your safety or to your amp, bring your amp to a qualified amp technician. I am not the author of the content in the how-to articles, or in the original faq. I disclaim any responsibility for injury, damage, loss of value or loss of gig.