Fender Blues Deluxe Tube Combo Amp Review

The Fender Blues Deluxe is a 40-watt dual-channel combo amp. This new reissue of the Hot Rod series of 1993 has extended its capabilities. The line of the early nineties itself was basically a new rendition of the Deluxe model amps of the original 1950s that influenced the music of an entire generation.

It brought classic retro looks and 'more drive' with it when the Hot Rod version came on to the market. Some, however, felt that their analog counterparts lacked tone credibility, and the circuitry was, admittedly, a little more constrained. In one powerful little box, this reissue blends the best features of the Hot Rod and the Deluxe amps. It provides additional drive, but the extra circuitry characteristics are brought back.

With a tweed cabinet style in a vibrant yet creamy hue, the new Blues Deluxe sports the same retro good looks. It also has a heavy-duty ply, solid-construction standard, and a genuine lacquered cloth cover. It's a little lighter than the original (45lbs) models, which makes taking on the road more practical. For better dispersion, the cab has an angled front and a robust, CE certified grille made of steel.

With top-mounted chicken-head pointer-style dials sitting on a retro chrome tray, the Blues Deluxe is user-friendly. For vintage versus overdrive, you can choose between the dual channels; they have different gain and master controls. The retro channel has a vibrant switch for high-output humbucking instruments, which is fantastic news.

This helps to highlight the treble tones with the dual-coil pickup that can get messy. With a presence filter, each channel has your usual 3-band equalization. It also serves-up an effects loop built into it with Fender's popular spring reverb.

The Blues Deluxe offers a fat, buttery tubular-warmth with the notorious heavily-driven 'All-American' Hot Rod tones. The tone, exclusively built for the series, is pumped via an Eminence speaker.

Just the right amount of the circuitry has been refined; it has gotten rid of the troublesome old-school buzz, but the dirtier character it was known for has not completely destroyed. The new 3 x 12AX7 tube preamps have been combined to give the output a heated drive with 2x 6L6 power tubes.

For a 40-watt option, this combo amp packs an actual punch. There's decent headroom, at the 7/8 stage, with the break-up beginning to creep in. At low volume levels, this provides great warmth and visibility and helps it to really open up when cranked. Since this combo amplifier is flexible, it is suitable for a variety of uses, be it solo bedroom rehearsal, jamming with others, or as a backline.

The tone is remarkable. Some combinations of Fender simply don't live up to the hype, but the Blues Deluxe is well called and ideally compliments the genre. Generally, we wouldn't suggest anything less than 50-watts for gigs. For gritty blues, this amplifier is very sweet. For smaller venues, it'll be perfect. But for greater stage use, it can be used with a mic.

For fast channel selection and stomping effects on and off the fly, it comes with a two channel foot-switch. It has the output of a quarter-inch preamp.

Fender Blues Deluxe

Summary

The Blues Deluxe is a wonderful version of a new twist of the original retro Deluxe amps that comes courtesy of their Hot Rod variant from the mid-nineties. It has two channels; one for an authentic retro sound and a second that gives the unmistakable feel of the 'More Push' channel - a channel once celebrated by the Hot Rod.

It's very well-produced. When it comes to tailoring the sounds, the circuitry offers more innovative choices. The sound emanating from this 40-watt compact amp is quite impressive.

The tubes for power are top-notch. To make your humbuckers shine, it has a bright switch. Sleazy and gutsy, the push makes it idyllic for dirty blues styles to play. The gain and master dials have a flexible amplifier. To play low-key with a clean channel, it has just enough headroom.

Pros

+ Combo Amp dual-channel.
+ Strong tubes for performance.
+ Front Bent.
+ The sturdy grille.
+ Aesthetics retro.
+ 2 foot-switch channel (included).
+ Speaker's Eminence.
+ With Fender spring reverb, built-in effects loop.
+ Circuitry Refined.
+ Priced competitively.

Cons

- It's super gritty with a style that's highly concentrated on the drive side of stuff. With the retro channel and a fat analog influenced pedal, you could find yourself better off playing clean.

Why We Like It

This is a beautifully built and well-executed marriage of two of the best-loved amplifiers from Fender with some of the most sought-after features. One is a retro classic and the other is a sleek beast that is meatier.

It tackles all of their flaws and incorporates some outstanding qualities that make it a gritty blues amplifier. It offers some deluxe characteristics to sculpt your tone with, as the name implies.