Disclaimer: all information on this page have been carried together from the internet or are result of personal experience and have NOT been verified by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
I want to point out that this article is especially dealing with the Hot Rod Deluxe. Not his „bigger brother“ the Hot Rod Deville.
To sum up at least:
Both amps use the exact same printed circuit board, preamp, reverb, effects loop and phase inverter. The only but utterly significant difference is the power supply and amount of speakers as the Deville comes with two 12“ or even four 10“.
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe (HRD condensed) has become Fenders most sold amp since it has been introduced in 1995. So I guess it’s fair to call this little all-tube mono combo guitar amplifier a modern classic.
Before we get into the several generations, limited editions and FSRs (Fender Special Runs) there are a few basic specs that have remained throughout the years:
- 3 channels (Clean, Drive, More Drive)
- Bass – Middle – Treble EQ
- Spring Reverb
- 12“ speaker at 8 Ohm
- 40 Watt
- 3x 12AX7 Tube preamp section
- 2x 6L6 power section
- solid state rectifier
HOT ROD DELUXE
The standard model comes covered in a black Tolex with silver-thread grille cloth with a plate on the upper front saying „Fender Deluxe“. Built in California from 1995 to somewhen in 2002 / 2003 the moniker F.A.T. can be found. This stands for Fender American Tube.
It comes with a specially designed Eminence Legend 125 speaker ex factory.
HOT ROD DELUXE II
This one’s tricky to determine. Honestly I’m not even sure if HRD II is the official description though you stumble upon it several times on the web.
Furthermore not much has changed (still black Tolex / silver-thread grille / plate with „Fender Deluxe“ Eminence Legend speaker) BUT the production of this series moved to Mexiko in mid 2002 so the moniker F.A.T. has been dropped.
Dating this model from 2002 to 2010 is pure assumption.
HOT ROD DELUXE III
In 2010 an official update of the amp has been released. The speaker is now a Celestion G12P-80, the front badge changed from „Fender Deluxe“ to just „Fender“, the overdrive has been „tightened“ and the control penal became black.
Tolex and grille haven’t changed.
This is the series that is produced until present.
THE LIMITED EDITIONS
Throughout the years Fender put out several limited editions, signature series and so called „Fender Special Runs“, meaning: these are commissioned by individual dealers and have been built to their specifications.
If I’m not mistaken, what varies from edition to edition is the just the look and the speaker. I did my best to gather all available information to give you an overlook of what Fender did here.
HRD White Lightning (2006 – 2007)
white Tolex / black grille – Celestion G12 Century Vintage speakers – badge with „Fender Deluxe“
HRD Texas Red (2008)
red Tolex / blonde grille – badge with „Fender Deluxe“
HRD Emerald Green (2008 / run of 800)
emerald green Tolex / oxblood grille – Celestion Vintage 30 speakers – badge with „Fender Deluxe“
HRD Orange Racing Stripe (2008)
polished wood lacquered orange with two black stripes / black grille – Celestion Vintage 30 speakers – badge with „Fender Deluxe“
HRD Bluesman (2009 / run of 500)
blue Tolex / silver grille – Celestion Vintage 30 speakers – badge with „Fender Deluxe“
HRD Emerald Isle (2016)
emerald green Tolex / oxblood grille – Eminence Cannabis Rex speakers – badge with „Fender“
WHAT WE HAVE IN STOCK
Taking the given hints / ignoring the serial number what we’re looking at here is a „post 2002 / pre 2010“ model that unofficially goes by the appendix „MKII“.
But after all a Hot Rod Deluxe is what it is: pretty much the Stratocaster of combos.