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HR Deluxe tone - What to do?

3/22/1999 11:39 AM
Tom HR Deluxe tone - What to do?
Hi Folks,  
I have a hot rod deluxe I thought I liked at one time. Now, the more I play it, the more I hate it. The clean channel is pretty decent sounding but the lead channel leaves something to be desired. It's kind of spattery and fuzzy, but not "nice" fuzzy. I'd like to keep the amount of drive the amp is capable of, but I'd like to shape it so it's smoother and not so harsh. Anybody have any ideas for "re-toning" this thing before I start tearing it completely apart? I'm not afraid of PCB. I'm willing to work with it.  
Any comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated.
3/22/1999 7:35 PM
Steve A.

    Most of the Fender amps come with schematics these days so if you have one and can scan it, maybe we can all take a look at it and give you some ideas...  
Steve Ahola
3/22/1999 8:20 PM

I've been through the ringer trying to get a good tone out of my Blues Deluxe. You can start by putting in decent NOS tubes and rebias. I got a great tone out of the clean channel using Phillips 6L6WGB's - kind of a fat 'early breakup' sound. I gave up on the drive channel and used a fuzz box in front of the clean channel.  
With all the poo-pooing of the Blues/HR line, I was very happy with this amp....until the PT blew unexpectedly. Good sound, but unreliable.  
Of course, i don't recommend this, but I ended raping the PCB, and rewiring it to a simple, single BF style channel - no reverb, no channel switching and no effects loop, but a nice clean pure fender tone.
3/23/1999 9:00 AM
Dave -  
I have a duet of Svetlana 6L6 in there now. It was an improvement from the ones Fender put in. Not to mention the original bias setting: 18mA/tube. I know they do that to make the tubes last longer but, seriously!...  
Anyway, I rebiased @ 30mA and tone improved noticeably, but the "sputter" channel is driving me nuts!  
Unless I get some good tips from some pro on this site, I won't mind "raping" the PCB myself and convert to simple tweed or BF.  
Steve -  
Don't have a schem. perhaps someone on here might have one and could post.  
Thanks for your replies.
3/23/1999 9:50 AM

A guy posted on the Vintage Guitar - Amp BBS that he converted his BD to a tweed bandmaster circuit. He basically tossed out the PCB and installed a DIY board. I was thinking of trying this myself, using a 5E7 eyelet board from Weber for the circuit construction. The tricky part would be fitting the tube sockets on the oversized chassis holes once the PCB is gone.  
BTW, the PCB rape project that I did was not as easy as I thought it would be. The board mounted pots are a PAIN IN THE ASS to mess with.  
3/23/1999 11:20 AM
I could get a Hoffman board (or make one from one of his schems) as well, although I didn't think about the big socket holes being left behind after wripping out the PCB. Maybe a metal plate running along the back of the chassis could cover up what's there and then new holes could be re-drilled.  
On the rape job: did you reuse the original pots? ...I know what you mean. I've dismantled the PCB before to replace some resistors to carbon comp type. It didn't make much of a difference, so I put the old ones back.  
3/23/1999 2:28 PM

I had to use new pots for some of it.. I tried to switch some around to get the right values but the small pots couldn't take the heat of my soldering iron. Also, some of the values just weren't right for what was doing. It was a pain fitting them in there with the circuit board, but I got them in there. I used the standard size pots instead of the small ones.  
I don't know if they still ave some, but Jameco (?)Electronics had octal sockets available with a wider metal base. Its supposably just wide enough to get them onto the chassis. I ordered some a few months ago for future use because I was told they're in short supply. Haven't really checked to see if they'd work yet, though. The stock fender 9 pin sockets are supposed to just fit on the chassis.  
The metal plate might be a good idea. I've done that before using sheet metal on an old radio chassis.

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