Fender’s tube amps are some of the simplest and straight forward designs you can find. Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III is one that comes to mind. A quick glance quickly reveals why it is one of the most capable guitar amps you can currently get for just under $1000.
Even though most industry giants have well saturated tube amp segments in their offer, Fender’s gear is a bit unique. First of all, they have chosen to stick with vintage designs, both inside and out. The kind of amps you can get now are not so different from those that were available half a century ago. Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III is one of the best examples. In terms of controls, you are looking at two channels, a full three-band EQ, a reverb and presence control among other stuff. Although it might look overwhelming at first, Fender has labeled everything very clearly and intuitively. It generally doesn’t take long to dial in that vintage sound many choose this amp for. We also have to mention the footswitch port as well as the preamp out port. These features definitely expand the versatility of what feels like a simple amp.
When you pop the hood, you will find a set of three 12AX7 tubes in the preamp stage and two 6L6 in the power stage. Combined, these offer some 60 Watts of pure, hot rodded power. Sound is delivered through a set of two 12″ Celestion G12P-80 speakers which are rated at 8 Ohms. Even though rectification is done using a solid state rectifier, all three channels Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III offers sound great. Speaking of which, you have the clean, Drive and More Drive at your disposal. As you can probably guess, the latter two represent various levels of distortion and overdrive. On top of that, there is your classic Fender spring reverb. The amp comes with an effects loop, making it easy to use for those with extensive pedalboards. Overall build quality is rock solid, just like you would expect from Fender.
Now that we have covered all of the raw info, it is time to touch upon the absolute best thing about Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III, its sound. What Fender has managed to do is create an amp that offers those classic vintage cleans, combined with vintage overdrive and a more modern distortion. You could say that it is among the most versatile tube amps out of the box, especially if you are after that classic rock sound. Combine all of that with a 60 Watt output and you are looking at a serious tool. If that is not enough, you can always find a 4 Ohm speaker cab and extend the capabilities of this combo even further. Compared to a large number of modern tube amps, Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III comes across as a breath of fresh air.
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III is by far one of the most impressive things to be released by this legendary brand. The sound it offers, combined with its versatility make it a great tool to have at your disposal. This is even more true if you’re after vintage tone.