Ok, so they pretty much invented the analog guitar amplifier. They perfected it and pretty much any guitarist would agree that few are better. So, why they heck would anyone use a Fender digital modeling amplifier? …’cause it’s a great amp, that’s why.
I’ll admit that I really resisted this stuff, I really really did. In principal, it just goes against everything I believe in. But then again, when the “Frying Pan” guitar was first put out by Rickenbacker, I’m sure it was met with the same disdain. Same for the Solid body electric, the Flying-V, The Explorer, the Parker Fly, etc… So, I decided to lighten up and just enjoy the amplifier and there is a lot to enjoy.
They certainly start off on the right foot with two 12AX7 groove tubes. In fact, I think they did it just to shut me up. Probably not, but I like to think so. You really have to find humor in the fact that when you switch between pre-sets, the knobs actually turn so that they physically match the saved settings. This is a bit much, and it introduces more moving parts than need be, but then again, why not… nobody ha anything repaired anymore, you just throw it out. So, what the heck, ok, moving knobs.
The “artist-authored” presets is a very cool feature that features saved patches from such noted ax-masters as Gary Hoey and Greg Koch. This is certainly a time-saver if you want to get started right away with some classic sounds. As far as volume goes, at 130 watts, this thing is ridiculously loud. It’s modeled after a Twin Reverb, so naturally, loud loud loud. It’s full stereo, so the patches can involve some very cool twin channel effects such as stereo chorus or ping-pong delay. There is also a hum reduction feature, which helps to minimize that annoying 50/60Hz buzz. pretty cool stuff here. You will need a small army to transport the damn thing, but if you happen to have such resources or you plan to just leave it in the house, this is an amp worth checking out, the sounds are actually pretty good.