The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe was introduced in 1995; it is typically considered one of the most popular tube amplifiers in the world. The Hot Rod Deluxe is especially sought after by blues and jazz players because of its warm, full and clean tone.
American Made Hot Rod Deluxe
In 1995 Fender's Ritchie Fliegler created the Hot Rod Deluxe in an attempt to revamp and improve on earlier Fender models such as the Blues DeVille and the Blues Deluxe. The results were successful -- in terms of sound quality, design and appearance -- according to musicians, listeners and critics. These initial Hot Rods were produced at Fender's California plant in Corona.
Mexican Made Hot Rod Deluxe
Fender moved production of the Hot Rod Deluxe to a plant in Mexico in 2002; the move was due to increased demand and a desire to cut production costs. Fender produced more amplifiers to meet the demands of consumers and musicians, and steps were taken to ensure that quality was not affected.
Differences Between American and Mexican Made Models
Fender uses the same electronic components in American and Mexican models; very few differences exist between the two versions of the Hot Rod Deluxe. Some musicians believe that tube amplifiers sound better with age, and seek out the older American models. This leads to more maintenance concerns and a lack of durability. Those looking for a new amplifier purchase the Mexican model, and sacrifice some sound quality for durability.