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Fender Hot Rod Deluxe vs 1973 Vibrolux Reverb

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe vs 1973 Vibrolux Reverb
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Comparing a version II made in mexico hot rod deluxe and an all original 1973 vibrolux reverb – Played with a Strat – No effects. My personal opinion between the two… The Vibrolux has a clear, more organic vintage sound that is more “in your face” and personal with a stiffer/quicker response to your playing (less sag); while the Hot Rod Deluxe has a nice solid ambient clean sound that is more scooped in the midrange and has more sag – It’s not as “up close”. I love them both for their different tones. If I could choose one without price being an issue, I’d go vintage vibrolux. I do prefer the hot rod DEVILLE over the hot rod deluxe though, because I like the push of two 12’s.


34 thoughts on “Fender Hot Rod Deluxe vs 1973 Vibrolux Reverb

  1. Scrap those hot rod deluxes unless you don’t like good, Fender Tone. They’re one trick ponies and only good for making noise.

  2. $350 is a killer deal. Your playing by the way is quite beautiful kind of an ambient blues thing. keep picking and good luck to you

  3. HR Deluxe for me, difference between night and day imo

  4. are you fucking kidding me? you can make sing an hot’s not stuff that anybody can do

  5. HRD…………………………ALL DAY.

  6. Nice demo.. well done…. vibrolux all day

  7. that vibrolux sounds like a dream.

  8. I also have an HRdeluxe version2: good fender-clean but a bit “bland sound”, not so focused and punchy. I’d try a vibrolux or a deluxe rvb 65/68

  9. Hey!
    What kind of tubes do you have in your Hot rod deluxe?

  10. I’m a huge fan of the HR series and have vintage gear also! VINTAGE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER… may be nostalgic in a cool sense… but not always better! Here is a case between “Modern Fender” tone and “Vintage Fender” tone. I like the modern Fender tone. IMO….. The HRD sounds better than the Vibrolux. Performance wise alone…. the HRD plays louder, has a higher clean head room, has more overall volume/stage presence, & has better Reverb… who cares if its SS… it still sounds better! The amp’s design pushes more mids than the Vibrolux. (You can evev hear it in this vid) IMO….That’s Super important… Especially in a band setting.. No mids… no one hears you above the mix. The stomping ground for a HRD is Country, Jazz & Blues (even classic rock) A lot of nay sayers of the HRD forget that’s what this amp was designed to play (NOT hard rock or metal) The HRD is also great for single coil guitars… big mids = thick full bodied single notes! Fender designed the HR series wanting to make an amp series with more mids than their vintage line. Makes sense…. One of the few honest HRD critique out there…. The dirt! It can make guitars with PAF’s sound muddy. To my ears the HRD dirt is partial to single coils & this makes sense to me… “after all Fender guitars are about 99% single coil in nature” Seems obvious Fender would design the dirt on a HRD to suit single coil guitars… (Super Sonics have a similar complaint about its dirt channel) Last… HRD gets a bad rap from “vintage neophytes” usually till the put up their beloved amp next to one. (In person its UH? I didn’t know HRD’s sounded like that?…yet Over the Internet… they’ll say that amp is garbage.) “Vintage neophytes” also like to slag the HRD’s modern construction as unreliable. Sure PTP is easier to work on than PCB’s HOWEVER….. For a PCB design that’s unreliable and fragile…. SURE ARE A lot of the HRD built in the mid 1990’s still working.. with 1995 being the first year… that’s 21 years ago/// that’s a long time!

  11. Nice playing

  12. can you please tell me what you are playing?
    cant get enough of it

  13. never understood the hipe around these old fender amps. i prefer the HRD WAY MORE.

  14. nice playing

  15. Both sound beautiful.

  16. Man the Vibrolux sounds great!

  17. Vibrolux is the clear winner, it has a compressed sound that is perfect for a strat

  18. the vibrolux is more 3 dimensional and cleaner. The Deluxe is beefy but it sounds like the presence on a Marshall all the way up. It doesn’t sound like a Marshall, but it has the pronounced mids.

  19. who’s the idiot that didn’t like this . Beautiful playing and great demo . remember guitar players….give credit where credit is do.GREAT JOB !

  20. There is a certain chime in o to h Vibro lux, where as the Ho Rod, is super clean.

  21. Brandon, wonderful playing! I too prefer the Vibrolux (w/o cost consideration…) I am close to picking up a HRD and this video made me very excited about getting that amp!
    Thanks, TY

  22. The difference is definitely noticable. I also love my hot rod deluxe but man that vibrolux has a beautiful warm and lively sound.

  23. HRD !!

  24. hot rod deluxe sounds like its under a pile of blankets next to the vibrolux

  25. yo man cheers for that comparrison 🙂 im thinking of getting a vibro for myself
    whats that song you are playing? super nice!

  26. That was a relaxing video, I almost fell a sheep. Make another one that’s about two hours long, and it will be in my favorites. Thanks for the soothing guitar work. Both amp sound great, but the Vibrolux is somewhat better.

  27. Vibro sounds dope!

  28. I’m trying to get my blackface twin to sound as clear as the vibrolux how do I do it? My twin sounds muffled it is a vintage 67 I pulled a speaker tho, too heavy to lug around. Speaker is a Jensen c12k any tips?

  29. hey Brandon which strat are you using? im looking for that tone.

  30. I actually prefer the HRD. How does it compare to a peavey classic 30?

  31. Although I thought this comparison was very well made, it’s kinda unfair to each other to compare a 12″ speaker to a pair of 10″ speakers. Not that one of them is any better, but just different. 2×10 tends to open the mids more and 1×12 usually delivers a fullier sound, which I think is the case here. Awesome video anyways! Just my 2c

  32. Aren’t the HRD amps with EL 34’s? I like the Vibroluxe clean sound but the crunch of the hot rod is nice and thick.

  33. With all due respect to the Vibrolux, which is awesome, I prefer the Hot Rod Deluxe. JMHO

  34. Thanks for the demo 🙂

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