Question about Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Guitar Combo Amplifier

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No clean tone - no volume

I can't get a clean tone and there is very little volume on the drive channel. I can still get some reverb but little. The tubes are all plugged in and they all appear to be working but whether they are working correctly I don't know. I don't use the drive channel so its like not having an amp!!

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First thing I'd check is if the valves / tubes are plugged in properly (it doesn't take much to loosen them) Unplug the amp then take out all of the valves and put them back in again.

If that doesn't work, try swapping the preamp valves (the little ones) around (let them cool down first) that'll tell you if one of them is worn.

Failing that I'd try cleaning the gain and volume pots with some switch cleaner, and if that didn't work I'd bite the bullet and buy a new set of valves.

Hope that helps

Posted on May 28, 2009

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I've told my Frontman 65r has a real reverb tank (accutronics). But it's almost imperceptible, even with the reverb knob at 10. Is that normal? Also, mid scoop for the drive channel and treble/bass for the...


The reverb should be quite strong. I would first look at the reverb volume pot R42 which is a 50K pot. I would also check the voltages on the test points near U4 (TLO-72 op amp tp13 and tp14) which amplifies the signal coming out of the box. It is possible the box has low power levels as well.
The problem is going to be around that section of the board if it isn't a dirty or dead(ish) pot.


The reverb should be noticeable enough to be annoying ;-]

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I have a Fender 2x12 Hot Rod Deville. The clean channel seems to be working fine but the overdrive channel is not. I have to turn it up all the way in oder to get just a little bit of sound. So that...


For the Drive channel you need to use the Drive control AND the MASTER volume control. When the Drive channel is active, the Channel Indicator lamp should be RED indicating the Drive Channel is active. The Drive control knob is used to adjust the preamp volume and distortion level of the Drive Channel. This gives you a clue as to what to check if adjusting the controls doesn't work -- the preamp tubes. Having said that, ONLY try to check these tubes with the amp OFF! Never stick your hand up into the chassis of a live amp. It could be lethal. Your preamp tubes are the ones farthest from where the power cord enters the chassis. They have a rubber like stabilizer on them. They have a tendency to wiggle loose, which is part of the reason for the stabilizer. Again, if you're not familiar with the insides...stay out and get an amp tech to help you.

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Amp is little used and now the reverb is not working. It is never moved from the room where I play.


There are only TWO op-amps and the tank involved with the reverb. Both of those are in one IC chip labeled "U2". It is a TL072.

Pin 1 of that chip is the output to the tank and pin 7 is the inout of the reverb control pot that then goes into the power amp.

They resistively mix the delayed reverb signal with the straight signal at the input of the power amp.

I assume you have turned up the reverb control which is just a volume control for the signal going through the tank.

There are so few parts involved with this that a failure is really rare.

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My fender hotrod deluxe still produces some sound with the volume at 0, no sound at about 1.5, then regular volume control on up. I know the clean channel sounded better before this problem started. I've...


There are FOUR controls that affect the volume of signals going through plus the tone controlling ones.
and your
You used the word "volume". Based on the schematic, and assuming you are talking about the control labeled "Volume" and not reverb, master or drive, I can give some hints.

OFTEN the resistance element in pots MAY have a bit of overtravel which can act like your unit, but USUALLY not as far upscale as yours appears..

If the control you are refering to is not the "Volume" but one of the others, then there are other things to look at.

The action you describe would be one of probablly an inverse signal leaking through and when you go up to 1.5 you are actually cancelling the leakage.

I SUSPECT you may have a cracked circuit board in the vicinity of the input jacks that is leaking the inverse phase of the input past the input triode tube stage.

Board cracks OFTEN occur near input jacks because people trip over cords... (save yourself by running cord through a handle before plugging in the plug)

This should be easy to find. Connect an audio generator to the input and use a scope to find the problem. Without a scope, use a capacitor to "ground out" suspected signal paths.

On the schematic they show a resistor (10 ohms) from ground near the input to the pot bracket. I have personally SEEN capacitive coupling to pot brackets feeding into the amps from this source sending in stray signals.

If this is connected to other equipment, a ground loop could cause problem, so test with nothing but the guitar connected.

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Your amp has two channels - "normal" and "drive." When you are on the normal channel, the "volume" knob controls your gain. In the "drive" channel, the drive knob controls your gain. In both channels, the "master" knob limits how loud the amp will get.

Most likely, you are on the drive channel, so the volume knob will have no effect. Try pushing the "channel select" switch. You should notice the channel indicator lamp (next to the drive knob) turn off. When it is off, you are in the normal mode. Yellow = drive, and red = "more drive."

Experiment with different settings to get a variety of tones.

To get the most out of this amp, try reading the manual, available online here:
http://www.fender.com/support/manuals/pdfs/manuals_elec/guitarpdf/Hot_Rod_Deluxe.pdf

Have fun - it's a great amp.

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