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Check you tubes
The Fender Hot Rod Deluxe is a tube amp with a built in pre-amp--which makes the Hot Rod Deluxe a very portable and modern take on the tube amp. However, if you have tubes, you still can have tube problems. Tubes made of glass can break. If you see broken glass, your troubleshooting is done; your problem is a broken tube. More likely, a tube will get blown from turning multiple switches on and off at the same time, which is something you should never do with any amp. Symptoms of a blown tube are crackling, buzzing and a flat-sounding amp. It's highly recommended to have a spare tube on you at all times so that you can troubleshoot which tube is the culprit.
Internal and External Plug
A common problem that's almost exclusive to the Hot Rod Deluxe is loss of volume with the amp. In theory, there are probably a million things that could cause loss of volume--including a blown tube. However, most commonly with this particular Fender model, people easily confuse the internal and external jacks. This can happen just by showing up at venue and plugging the speaker cable into the internal jack when you know that speaker cables are supposed to go into the external jack. The preamp on the Hot Rod Deluxe is set up differently than most models, so people commonly get this backwards. It's a simple fix and doesn't cause any damage to your amp.
More Basic Problems
If your reverb isn't working, your amp sounds muddy or flat--or you have problems getting all of your channels working and you already know it's not a blown tube--there are few more things you can check. When people are in a hurry, they often don't plug things in properly. Loose connections can cause all of the aforementioned problems, and then some. It's worth the extra time to ensure your amp is set up properly, especially if you want to avoid future problems such as blown fuses or tubes.
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