The re-issued Fender Blues Deluxe provides sturdy reliability, making it a solid amp to take on the road, or anywhere for that matter.
Fender’s Blues Deluxe 40-Watt 1×12” combo amp from their 2018 Hot Rod Series showed up like a tweed dream. Modeled after the 1993 Fender Tweed series, it looks as good as it sounds. This amp is like an old ’50s Fender Deluxe upgraded with a two-button channel switching pedal, a built in adjustable reverb unit, and a more defined overall punch due to technological improvements in the overall circuitry. The price point is fair, considering the quality and longevity, coming in at around $700-$800.
Can you really modernize a classic without entirely changing it?
Don’t fret, Fender didn’t get too extra with the modifications and upgrades. The re-issue truly felt like a cleaned up classic. I was grateful for the altered open back panel, keeping components (tubes, and electronics) easy to access, yet more tucked away—lessening the chances of breaking a tube or other sensitive components while transporting.
This particular model, an original in the late ’50s, was noted for its clear warm tones, but also its less than perfect valve systems and tubes. This is one of the main improvements I noticed: new and improved valve work, zero hum, and hiss—perfect circuits! There is also the distinct benefit of having two channels (each with a three-band EQ) to work with, giving us a lot of wiggle room when it comes to tone without the addition of pedals. As this amp was crafted to maintain its clean, yet warm and lush vibe at high volume, I found it hard to get that classic breakup any rocker is constantly searching for at lower volumes. However, overdriven, I found a bit of feedback and breakup when the main volume and gain were staged ever so perfectly, at a super high volume.
How big of an amp does one need?
Boasting 40 watts of power, the Blues Deluxe Hot Rod amp is definitely on par, if not more than enough for what the majority of gigging guitarists need for live performances and amplified situations. This amp can move air with its beefy low end and still provide crystal clear tones on the upper end at very loud volumes. With dual power tubes, top of the line Eminence speakers, and that classic quality Fender craftsmanship, this is a solid amp to take on the road, or anywhere for that matter. The “Modern Classic” provides sturdy reliability, while still accessing that sweet spot that is so unique to its vintage predecessor.