Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III Review

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III 40-Watt 1x12-Inch Guitar Combo Amplifier Review

The item we are about to present you with needs little introduction – it’s the world’s most popular, and arguably most famous tube amp of all time – the one and only Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III.

Known as a top-notch item that delivers an amazing value for the money, this guitar amplifier combines the company’s distinctive tube sound, ripping components, and an affordable price tag. We highly recommend getting a bit more acquainted with this dude, so check out our full Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III review below.

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Features Icon


The amp features 40 watts of full-on tube amp tone. The figure pretty much hits the soft spot between the massive power needed for large venues and the smaller amps, meaning that you will get enough volume to cover your needs for the majority of venues, but still pay way less money that you’d have to cough up for a 100 watt stack.

The sound is delivered through a single 12 inch Celestion G12P-80 speaker. The amp features two separate channels, and also sports a set of 6L6 tubes and a highly versatile 12AX7 tube preamp, along with the iconic Fender spring reverb and an effects loop. The product utilizes a total of 8 “chicken head” knobs for various tonal adjustments, including Volume, Drive, Treble, Middle, Bass, Master, Reverb, and Presence.

Sound icon


Classic tube stuff – very natural, very organic, very warm, crispy and roaring. The clean stuff comes off with an incredible punch and clarity, while the overdrive mode delivers a strong roar that is perfect for hard rock, blues, jazz, and even a pinch of classic heavy metal vibe. All the frequencies are properly covered, ensuring you get a rich low end without a bass overload, a punchy middle section and a bright and clear treble sound.

This is a tube amp, and much like any amp of its kind, it works best when pushed a bit harder, or cranked to 11 if you like. When things are heated, the amp just gets cracking, allowing you to squeeze out the best tones right on the stage. That is also why tube amps are generally not considered best options for house practice, but what is most important is that this thing delivers when needed.

Pros-reviewWhat we like

We won’t hide it – we love this amp. It’s one of the classics and you cannot truly hate it the same way you cannot truly hate a Clapton classic or a staple Led Zeppelin song. But specifically, we like the sound quality, we like the classic rock and blues vibe, we like the casing, the distinctive front grill, the durability and reliability.

Finally, we like the price, as we think this is one of the lowest prices to get this amount of power and sound quality. This sound usually costs well over $1000, making this deal a solid bargain.

Cons-ReviewWhat we don’t like

Reviews usually aren’t complete without a few low points, but we really can’t complain here that much. Sure, the price is not exactly for everyone’s pocket. Although the item offers an amazing value for money, that money isn’t exactly pocket change either. But for that money, this is the best possible investment you can make if the listed features match your needs.

Also, if your needs are beyond classic heavy metal in terms of heaviness, you might want to skip this one. Not that it won’t deliver or do a solid job if mixed with proper pedals, it’s just that there are better deals for the real heavy stuff. For the blues wailers, classic rockers and hard ‘n’ heavy folks, on the other hand, this is the amp they’ve been looking for.

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III – Conclusion

So, if the specs, description, and overall sound and vibe are fitting your tastes and needs, we wholeheartedly recommend checking out the Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III. It is definitely one of the best tube amps on the market within the specified budget range, size and power.

It’s a classic Fender and one of the reasons why the company has maintained its reputation as one of the most renowned manufacturers of music gear and instruments in the world. Enrich your sonic world today, get yourself a Fender.

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