Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Modifications
The Hot Rod Deluxe is the best selling tube amp of all time, it sounds good and is pretty reliable, other than a couple common problems. After these mods your amp will sound fantastic and be more reliable. The classic Fender tone is released through these changes. The flabby bottom darkness is gone, what you get is full warm classic tone with nice top end sparkle.
Additionally, the recap kit upgrades every tone-critical electrolytic cap in the circuit with high quality and ARS Nichicon electrolytic caps. All the capacitors in this kit were specially chosen for great tone, reliability, and accurate fit in your Hot Rod Deluxe.
Included in these kits are all the components necessary to to get your amp in top shape and the detailed instructions to make the changes easy. If you have a basic understanding of electronics and soldering skills you can do these mods in a couple of hours. The kits available are the Complete, Recap, and Supreme kits. The Supreme Kit includes both the Complete kit and the Recap kit.
"Have us Install" price includes parts and labor. We will bill you return shipping upon installation completion and which will be comparable to the cost of shipping it in. You can view USPS Parcel Select shipping rates HERE . Since we're located in the Pacific Northwest you can calculate shipping cost by how many zones it crosses to reach us from where you ship it from.
*Recently we have made the decision to switch from F&T capacitors to ARS capacitors. ARS capacitors outperform F&T capacitors with a lower ESR, a higher temperature rating of 105c and is located locally in Los Angeles, CA. Feel free to contact us with any questions about this change that you may have.
These Mod kits work on all Hot Rod Deluxe, Hot Rod Deluxe III & Hot Rod Deluxe George Benson Models
We also offer Mercury Magnetics transformers to unlock even more of the potential tone of these amps. Click here to see transformer options.
The Complete Kit includes:
Tone Stack - Get rid of that farty bottom, honky mids, and lack of clarity. High Quality WIMA Box Caps with corrected values for the Bass and Mid Cap and corrected value for the slope resistor. What about the Treble cap? replace the cheap ceramic cap with a high quality Silver Mica cap. The result is an amp that sounds huge and warm with nice top end sparkle, not dark and buried in the mix.
Twin Mod - Fix the mids on the amp and get rid of that flabby bottom. This mod enables you to take all the mids out of the tone allowing more flexibility and versatility. This is accomplished with just a short jumper wire but the result is far better control of your tone.
Brightness - Like to play at low volumes but find the amp too dark? The brightness mod adds sparkle to your tone at low volumes. As you turn your amp up the brightness mod loses its effect so the amp never sounds brittle at high volumes.
Power Stiffening - Doubles the capacitance in the first filter stage, this reduces hum and increases reserve power for solid bass and better transience for incisive picking, This mod gives the amp the extra torque it needs to push through strong when you are playing hard. This also takes some stress off the output transformer increasing its life span.
Lead Master Volume - Ever wonder why this amp gets extremely loud after you turn it up past 2. Fender uses a linear taper pot for the Master Volume when it should be an audio taper. This mod gives you usable control of the drive channel so you can get good tone without playing at stadium volume.
Power Resistors- Many problems with the Hot Rod Deluxe, especially the older ones are from the power resistors that control switching. Two new power resistors installed properly will avoid many problems down the road.
Plate Load Resistors - Replace all the plate load resistors with 1% 1/2 Metal Film resistors. This amp can develop a loud crackle/static that is caused by the plate load resistors. This mod fixes or prevents this problem and also upgrades the resistors for reliability and reduced hiss.
Reverb Mod - Why does the reverb in this amp become a complete wash after turning it up past 3 especially at low volumes? This mod makes the reverb more controllable, fuller, and more natural. This is an easy mod that is nothing more than clipping one wire but the result is amazing.
Global Master Volume Mod - Now included in both the Complete and Supreme mod kits is our Global Master Volume Mod. This mod allows the master volume to work on both the clean channel and the drive channel. You can now dial in your tone on the clean channel and dial down the master volume for more versatility at home, in the studio or on stage.
Switchcraft Input Jack - Your input jacks are soldered directly to the circuit board, apply some tension when the amp is plugged in and you could cause major damage to the circuit board in the amp. This mod gets rid of the wimpy plastic input jacks and replaces them with high quality metal switchcraft jacks that are panel mounted and NOT directly soldered to the circuit board. Included is a shoulder washer and isolation washer so the input jacks do not ground directly to the chassis and prevents ground loops. The jacks come with high quality, Teflon Coated, Silver Plated Solid Copper Core wire. The solder I use is Silver bearing. This is the same quality you will find in high end boutique amplifiers costing thousands of dollars. Newer Hot Rod Deluxe amps have a better quality Neutrik input jack which are better than the older amps but they are still attached directly to the PCB.
Proper Lead Dress - Take a look inside a boutique tube amp and you will see all the wires carefully twisted and placed for greatest reduction in oscillation and noise. The Hot Rod Deluxe has all the internal wires zip tied together. I give clear instructions on dressing the leads inside the amp for optimal performance, this results in lower noise and less chance for oscillation.
The Recap Kit includes
Replacements for all of the power filter and cathode bypass caps with high quality F&T and Nichicon caps. Older Hot Rods that are made in the USA are all getting due to have their filter caps replaced and many of the current Hot Rods made in Mexico are known to have leaky filter caps. The recap kit rectifies these issues.
The Supreme Kit includes both the "Recap Kit" & "Complete Kit"
*Just wanted to let you know that today I installed the Hot Rod Dlx "ultimate mod" kit I purchased from you on 19th Feb in my Hot Rod Dlx. The result has been, in a word, SENSATIONAL. The difference is like night and day. Installing these mods has taken a pretty decent mid price combo and raised it to the level of boutique quality tone.
*Your instructions were clear and concise, and the results spectacular. Bravo on a wonderful product"
The Global Master Volume Kit includes
Full color instructions and components to change the "Drive" channel to a clean channel with a selectable boost and allow the master volume to work on both clean and drive channels. The included 100k audio pot will allow for better control over the master volume knob that will now work on both channels. With this mod you can now dial in your tone on the clean channel and dial down the master volume for more versatility at home, in the studio or on stage.
The Global Master Volume mod kit can be purchased alone or is also now included in both our Complete and Supreme mod kits
"Hey guys, After having a chance to play around with the post mod amp, all I can say is
awesome! A good amp is now a great amp and a lot more useable. Best thirty
bucks I ever spent!" - Tom