Over the weekend, and after a few years of owning it, I finally replaced the original speaker on my Hot Rod Deluxe with an Eminence Red Coat “The Governor.” I had already replaced the original tubes and had some other mods done to the amp to smooth out the drive channel, but there was always something missing, and that turned out to be the speaker. What a difference that has made! I feel like my Hot Rod is now no longer a Padawan but a true Jedi. 🙂
The Hot Rod was my very first tube amp, and when I bought it, I just loved the sound, but as time wore on and as I played some really great amps, my love for the amp faded, and while I’d use it for some applications, it just didn’t have a sound that I considered to be first class. With the new speaker, it is now – in my opinion – a first class sounding amp. The cleans are gorgeous and the overdrive tone is nice and open, but well-defined, with no flabby bottom end. I’m in love again! Now with my Aracom VRX22, I’ve got two great amps!
Here’s a clip I put together while playing around this evening that demonstrates how gorgeous the clean tones are:
I used my Strat for the rhythm part – amazingly in the middle pickup, which I’m really starting to love – and did the simple solo with my Prestige Guitars Heritage Elite with both pickups with about 60/40 mix of bridge and neck, respectively. The reverb you hear in the solo is the spring reverb in the Hot Rod. I have to say that Fender does reverb right. 🙂
After having my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe for a few years now, I finally decided to swap the stock speaker for an Eminence Red Coat “The Governor,” which is a moderately-priced ceramic speaker. What’s difference now? The Hot Rod Deluxe is a very mid-rangy amp in the first place, but at higher gain, the tone became a little flabby. In fact, when I knew I was going to play at gig volumes I had to dial down the bass to about 9 or 10 o’clock, and set the mid and high around 3pm to get a more crisp sound. I was able to alleviate a bit of that flabbiness with better tubes than the stock Groove Tubes, but I always suspected that the speaker had a lot to do with the flabby bottom end. I don’t know why I waited to do this simple, simple modification. It literally took 10 minutes to swap it out.
So why the Eminence Governor? Mainly because I wanted a nice mid-range focused speaker that had a smooth bottom end, and slightly sparkly highs. I had also played the Governor in a couple of different amps, and was really impressed with its brighter voicing. Here’s a frequency response chart for the Governor:
As you can see from the chart, the bottom end portion of the curve is a nice, smooth line. In the mid-range, the frequency response is fairly complex, then in the highs, you get some nice peaks in the 2-3 kHz range, finished off with some subtle motes above 10 kHz. The tone in the amp reflects this well. The bottom end is there, and very tame, and the mid- and high-freq response creates a gorgeous, and spacious tone. I’ll probably have some clips in the next few days, but here are clips directly off the Eminence site:
All in all, this has got to be the most significant improvement to my Hot Rod’s tone!