Egnater Renegade 212 65W 2×12 Tube Guitar Combo Amp

Egnater Renegade 212 65W 2x12 Tube Guitar Combo AmpA 2X12 dual-channel combo that offers both “Tweed” and “British” voicing.

Egnater’s Renegade is an impressive product. The engineering that went into this amplifier shows a great deal of thought. I actually believe that guitarists were involved in the design of the amp! : – )

It’s a two-channel design with the classic approach: Clean and Overdriven. Each one has its own three-band EQ, as well as “Tight” and “Bright” switches, which help to alter the overall high/low end. Each channel also has its own low-wattage switch, allowing you to push the amp harder and enjoy more power-tube saturation. The mix of power-tubes is what really knocked my socks off. The Renegade comes with a complement of both 6L6s and EL34 tubes. The ability to toggle between a classic “California / Tweed” or “British” voice is a pretty big deal. So far, everything I’ve mentioned can be selected via the footswitch, as can the Reverb.

I think the speakers are worth noting.. There is a Celestion Vintage-30 and a 12″ Elite-80 Speaker “by Celestion”. It’s a somewhat odd mix, but it works. The main thing is that the Vintage-30 is great for glassy highs, combined with a creamy mid-hump.

When using the clean channel, the Renegade is capable of shimmering / glassy tones. The drive channel yields plenty of grit, but can be tamed, which, I think, is an important factor. Between the two channels there aren’t too many sounds that elude this amp. I don’t think it will fare well for those who spend their time playing Metal as it’s just not that kind of amp. But for Blues, Rock, Pop, Country and similar styles, the Egnater Renegade 212 is a top-shelf boutique-ish combo with a lot to offer.

Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue 40W 1×12 Combo Amp

Fender Blues Deluxe ReissueWant tweed? you got it. The Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue is a classic remake of the “Deluxe” amp that pretty much delivers as promised.

There is not too much mystery here: Fender’s Blues Deluxe Reissue is for Blues players. Of course there is a range of styles that could work fine, but in my opinion, Fender targeted Blues players. Aesthetically, this amp is what most will like: that classic “tweed” look. Sonically, it is mostly a clean amp that plays well with drive pedals.

The clean channel is super clean. If you want any grit, you’ll need to step on your favorite overdrive. It does lack bottom a bit, but for the most part, it’s not too bad, and the “bright” switch does add a nice sparkle to the top end. And the drive channel offers more gain. It won’t exactly put you into “shred” territory, but it is a notch above the clean channel. Both channels are footswitchable, and the drive channel has independent gain and master volume.

At 40 watts, there is enough power here for most rehearsal situations, but you might struggle when going head-to-head with a Marshall or other 100-watt amplifiers. The effects loop is a great feature that you don’t always find in a combo of this size.

Seems like the average price of this amp on all the big online sites is $769. That is definitely not a “budget” amplifier. But as it is in the sub-$1,000 range, you have to wonder: “where did they cut costs?” In my opinion, it’s the speaker. Any time I see something silly like: “Eminence special-design speaker,” I think to myself: “ok, they cut a deal with Eminence for some cheapo model. Also, I believe this model is assembled in Mexico, which is another way in which Fender was able to “pass the savings onto you” : – )

Overall, I’d say that the Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue 40W 1×12″ Combo Amp is a good choice for Blues, Pop, Funk, old-school R&B or Country. This is definitely not for heavy Rock, or Metal.

Line 6 Vetta II Combo Guitar Amplifier

Line 6 Vetta II
Line 6 Vetta II

As digital modeling amplifiers go, the Line 6 Vetta II is at the head of the class.

This amplifier is extremely well designed, well made and sounds fantastic. At 150 Watts, there is more than enough volume and headroom. Whether you plan to use the Vetta II for live performance or recording, the feature set provides plenty of tools that allow you to sculpt your sound as you wish.

The Vetta II is literally two amplifiers in one. At first glance, one might say: “Well, it’s just a stereo amplifier”, and this is true. But more importantly, it is designed so that you can have two completely different sounds going on at once. Of course, you’d probably choose two sounds that are somewhat alike, but in theory, you could have a clean Fender Twin sound and a cranked Marshall Plexi tone combined into one. The combined sounds become one named and saved preset. This is amazing. Just imagine all the possibilities.

Not only does the Vetta II have over 70 classic amp models, but over 80 classic stomp box models as well. It would take you a very long time to run through all the possible combination. Taking things even further, there are 28 cabinet models. Even though this amp has two 12″ speakers, you can choose a 4×10″ cabinet model, or an open-back 2X12″ cabinet model. the end result is that you completely re-think the standard amplifier model and see the Vetta II as more of a tone shaping tool.

Now that you have your tone worked out, you can move on to post-signal processing. Yes, the Vetta II includes studio-grade post processing models that allow you to fine tune your sound as if it were being put through a studio mixing board. There are 64 factory presets and 64 user presets, so you have build a nice library of your own sounds for later recall. There is also an input for a Line 6 Variax guitar, just in case you are using one. While the price tag might be a bit high, this Line 6 Vetta II is simply a world-class piece of guitar engineering and definitely worth a look before you make your final purchase.