When playing a guitar in a large concert hall, it calls for the amplification of the guitar sound. This will compel you to connect the guitar to the amp using a guitar cable. A guitar amplifier generally refers to an electronic piece of equipment which is manufactured with the capability of strengthening weak electrical signals produced by the guitar. The amp picks the electrical signal from the pickup of an acoustic guitar, a bass guitar, or an electric guitar. This electrical signal is then amplified by a fender amp in order to produce sound through a selection of long-range or alternatively short-range loudspeakers.
In the electronic appliances market, there exist a variety of guitar amps; these amps vary in the size of their ranges and the ratings of power. Moreover, apart from amplifying the sound of a guitar, guitar amps have a unique ability of modifying the tone of instruments. This is achieved through either emphasizing a given frequency or de-emphasizing it by adjusting the equalizer controls. The equalizer control has similar functionality features as that of a treble knobs and bass. For the guitarist, it’s crucial to be aware of the fact that electric guitar’s selection of an amp and the corresponding amp setting is determined by their choice of sound and the signature tone.
Our major focus in this article review is to look at four major series of the fender amps. When the term fender amp is mentioned, it brings back the memory of the founder and pioneer behind these great guitar amplifiers. His name was Leo Fender who amazingly began the process of making guitar amplifiers even before he ventured into guitar making. The K & F models were manufactured between the years 1945 to 1946 and are considered to be the first amplifier models to be made (Gagliano, 2007). Let’s now look at these 4 fender amps series extensively:
Fender Twin Reverb Guitar Combo Amp
The `65 twin reverb amp is a live evidence of the amazing superiority and long lasting capabilities of the fender series of amplifiers. The `65 twin reverb amp has been able to showcase itself as an outstanding amp and a brand of recognition among the Fender guitar combo amps in the last 40 to 50 years period. The first series of this amp was featured in a live music concert back in the year 1954. Ever since, this amp has been in an unstoppable rise featuring in all manner of concerts; including secular, cultural and religious concerts. This fender amp proves its versatility potential because of its multipurpose capabilities. It can be used for vocal training, keyboard playing, playing an electronic violin, it can be used for bass, and it also features in accordion and a variety of electric musical instrument.
Features of the Fender Twin Reverb Guitar Combo Amp
- The fender `65 twin reverb is fitted with Jensen speakers of 2 ×12“ specifications
- The amp operates at 85 watts into 4 ohms
- It is fitted with a 2 button footswitch
- Both a reverb and a tremolo are fitted on the amp
- It has amazing legs which can be tilted back
- The fender `65 twin reverb gives ideal American classic which indisputably makes it to be considered a true reissue of meticulous
- It also has an amazing 2 channel installation of vintage
- 4 Groove Tube 6L6 output tubes
- 85-watts of all tube , fat and clean tone
- Two 12AT7 preamp tubes
- Four 12AX7 preamp tubes
- It is also duo channeled
What we liked about the Fender Twin Reverb Guitar Combo Amp
- It is very appealing and nice to the eyes
- The fender twin reverb guitar combo amp is very simple and basic to use. No complex procedures inhibit you from setting it
- It gives you the ability to play it on two channels at a go. This is a unique feature which makes it very outstanding
- The fender twin reverb guitar combo amp has a superb sound projection. It produces a sound which is characterized with very fine clarity, and the volume produced is both light and high.
What we did not like about the Fender Twin Reverb Guitar Combo Amp
- It is not easily portable as compared to other fender amps. This implies that it may give you a hard time to move it from one location to another and thus will call for an extra person or even people to help you move it.
- At times it may prove to be difficult to obtain the right sound quality from this amp. However, this varies with where you are playing the amp. For instance, this amp is not recommended for a small hall or your house. This is because its 85 watts power output is too loud for such tiny rooms. In order to realize clarity in sound production by this amp, you have no option but to increase the volume to a higher level.
- It also has a lower power output in some situation for concert halls. This makes it unsuitable for rehearsal and doing gigs when using either the horns or the acoustic drums. The tone it produces may just be bad for instance when its volume is cranked to the maximum power level and the amp placed against the wall, put on the floor or located at the corner.
- Other limitation of this amp is that not all of them built as combo amps are uniform in tone production. You can get some which are endowed with very good quality of both the bass and the tone. Alternatively, other fender amps are characterized with cheap quality and have lower frequencies. There are some of these amps which operate on the bass speakers while another faction operates with the guitar speakers which have been sealed in cabinets. This is an element of not being uniform yet it’s the same guitar amp.
- The cheapest of this amp does not have the ability to be cranked without resulting into the flubbing issues, distortion of the sound or fracking out.
The Fender Champion Guitar Amp
The fender champion guitar amp is an indisputable versatile amp and very simple to use. It is characterized with outstanding features which will give you a breath taking experience. These features gives you the privilege of listening to very clear tones and shifting from one music genre to another is a simple task. It gives you an unforgettable experience of listening to several genres of music which include jazz music, British music style, metal and Blackface. This is achieved through the process of toggling in between channels through a suitable footswitch.
Features of the Fender Champion Guitar Amp
- The fender champion guitar has a superb feature of a five- position amp voice knob with settings installation similar to the tweed , the British and even Metal
- In contains splendid onboard effects such as the reverb effect, the tremolo effect, the effect of delay and many other effects. This is attributed to the built-in FX
- It has a powerful three-band EQ
- It has the ability of producing 100 watts of power
- It is fitted with a dual 12 inch Fender special design speakers
- This amps allows you to listen to a wide variety of musical genres , effects and tones
- It operates on solid state ; dual channel amp
- It has 1/8- inch auxiliary input and a headphone output
What We Liked About the Fender Champion Guitar Amp
- It is one of the most suitable amps for practice or boosting guitar playing skills by the guitar beginners.
- The fender champion guitar amp can be acquired at a relatively cheaper price in comparison to other fender amps. With $500, you will be able to acquire this powerful amp and it gives you the surety of high quality and good value.
- It has very powerful speakers which give amazingly loud volumes
- This amp gives you an easy time to toggle between the channels through a footswitch
- It’s multipurpose and can as well be used for jamming, live performances and concerts, and when recording part-time videos
What We Did Not Like About This Amp
- This amp is not fitted with an external speaker jack. This implies that no satellite loudspeakers can be connected to the amp which is disadvantageous more so in situation involving very large concert and performance halls.
- At times it’s a nightmare to use this amp when exposed to electronic instruments producing electrical signals because it is easily affected by other electrical signals.
The Fender Champion 20 Watt Electric Guitar Amp
The fender champion 20 guitar combo amps will offer you a lifetime experience of a classic fender tone.
Features of This Amp
- It is a one channel amp and equipped with selectable amp voicing option
- It has a 20-watt solid state combo amp together with 1 × 8 inch Fender special design speakers
- It includes several effects such as reverb and chorus etc.
- The delay time and the tremolo speed of this amp can easily be set with TAP button
- It also includes 1 ×1/4 inch of instrument input; 1 ×1/8 inch stereo aux input which is used together with the media player; and 1 ×1/8 “ stereo headphone jack.
What We Liked About This Amp
- This amp gives you the privilege of choice of any tone you want to hear because of its selectable voicing capability. This makes it to be one of the most favorite amps for practicing guitar playing.
- It is a versatile amp and very simple to use. It can play several tones and thus it’s compatible with playing any style of guitar
- It has several ranges of features which in return gives you a great value for your money.
What We Did Not Like About the Amp
- The amp has simple effects controls which have a limiting effect on the combinations.
Fender Rumble Bass Combo Amp
This amp is a perfect choice for low-end thump. It is equipped with 15“ speaker system which is single and gives a power of 200 watts. It offers you a mixture of both the blend control system and the gain control fitted in the overdrive region. It stands out as an ideal and perfect match for doing practices in guitar playing. Alternatively it is also a preferential choice when it comes to rehearsing; it suits both a stage and studio environment. This is attributed to its 200 watt power output production of very fine tones and its easiness to be used.
Features of the Fender Rumble Bass Comb Amp
- It produces 200 watts of power which gives it the ability to withstand performance in large concert halls.
- The 15 inch fender speaker produces a very meaningful bottom end plus a compression tweeter fitted with an on or off switch
- It has a footswitch which gives it more aggression
- This fender amp is single channel
- It has the aux input system
- The headphone output mechanism is also one of its features which enable the amp to be easily connected to satellite loudspeakers.
- It has an XLR output system
- The FX feature
What We Liked About This Amp
- It is a versatile amp since it can be used in a verity of settings since it is well suited for playing in both a studio and on the stage; it can also be used for rehearsals and practice activities
- It is very simple to use it and no high level of technical knowhow is actually needed to have it running
- It delivers very powerful tones which are a perfect match for any gig
In the following segment, we want to now have a deep look into the tips for a great guitar amp tone.
It is a common problem that one time during your guitar playing experiences, you feel so bored and irritated by the inability of your guitar amp to meet the expectations of your needs. This will usually give you the desire of seeking for an alternative and better guitar amp. However, before you settle on a different and better guitar amp you need to have good information and well familiarized to the guitar amp that you want to acquire or else you stand to be disappointed yet again.
For instance you have to be aware of which guitar amp well suits your style of music genre and also the tone. You also have to be adequately informed if the error is a fault on the guitar amp or is a fault of the guitar amp tone. I have come up with an elaborate guitar amp tone guide that will help you so much on how to realize an amazing guitar amp tone:
Make sure you put into use the effects loop of your guitar amp
However, this will only be applicable to guitar amps that are installed with the effect loop. Therefore be sure to have a thorough check at the back of your guitar amp to ascertain if both the send and the return are in place. Alternatively you can try to check out for the FX LOOP mark indication.
If it is indicated, then you are well to go. This is because this effect is a very pivotal element of a guitar amp. In case it’s missing don’t worry but if you get an opportunity consider acquiring or upgrading to a new guitar amp with loops effects installed.
The significance of the effects loop is to enable you or give you the privilege of putting several of your guitar pedals. This is after the distortion of your guitar amp. Just as we have those guitar pedals which will sound better be it they are placed after the distortion pedal rather than before the distortion pedal, similarly we have a number of guitar pedals which when placed in the effects loop of the guitar amp will sound very much better. An example of pedals which will give you an amazing sound is the reverb or the delay pedals when placed in the effects loop of your guitar amp.
Basing on the loop effects to the guitar amp, I urge you to consider putting some guitar pedals into the effects loop of the guitar amp apart from constantly placing them in the front of the guitar amp. You may just realize the sound that you have been seeking for so long.
Consider Getting New Strings for Tone Perfection
Any tendency of tedious and dead tone after a relatively long time of use of your guitar amp yet at the begging that was not the kind of sound it was producing may just be proof that your strings most likely are worn out and not your guitar amp being defective.
As you continue using your guitar, the strings are subjected to wear and tear and thus they are slowly worn out. This is a normal phenomenon and you should not be shocked just that the process is not an immediate occurrence thing but rather happens progressively that you may not even be able to realize the change in the tone of your guitar. You will only be able to realize a very big difference in tone when you install a new set of strings. Therefore even as you proceed with playing of your guitar make it a fundamental consideration to regularly change the set of your guitar strings lest you imagine your guitar amp is spoilt.
The right time of changing your guitar set of strings is not specific to every guitarist. The level of your frequency in playing the guitar is what determines how often you will be changing your strings. Some guitarists may change as soon as a couple of weeks, others within a month and even a number of months. However, I will urge you to make sure that you always clean you strings after playing the guitar. This helps to get rid of the oil from your fingers from interfering with the functioning of your guitar strings. Use the right guitar cleaning kit and not just any rag of cloth.
Shift Your Guitar Amp Location
The place where your guitar amp is located is a gravitas element in determining the tone produced by your guitar more so when playing in an enclosed and relatively small room like your resting room. If you put your guitar amp on a table definitely it won’t sound similar to one placed on the floor. If the amp is place near the wall and facing it then be sure the sound will be totally different from an amp facing away from the wall.
Therefore I recommend you to always identify the best spot where you are going to locate your guitar amp then you will be able to get that good tone that you want. The worst locations of your amp is putting it down on the floor and face it towards the wall. Therefore avoid this as much as possible as far as getting a good tone is your concern. You can also go ahead and buy a guitar amp stand so that you need not put your guitar amp on the floor.
Reduce the Gain Power to Attain Clarity of the Tone
Many guitarists do think that cranking up the gain control when trying out the distortion pedal gives a good tone, but that is not the real thing. Cranking the gain up completely only results into saturation of the tone. The highly raised volumes and the highly cranked gain will well suit only if you are playing big power chords. But if you dare play something different with it, then be assured of messy sound. The characteristic of the tone becoming wash after distortion is attributed to cranking the gain so high. However, as soon as you consider playing the guitar in the accompaniment of a band or with a track backing you; be assured of getting rid of the distortion noise.
If you consider reducing the gain, you will realize improvement in clarity. In fact to get a clear tone you have to proceed with reducing the gain till you attain that clarity level you desire. Even though its indisputable that cranking the gain up will give you a super high sustain and also saturation which is fun, but also in order to improve your tone then you should consider a little bit of rolling the gain back.
Do Not Give Into the Recommendations of the Guitar Settings
With improved technology and digitalization, it will only take you a second to browse and get guitar amp setting suggestions in the web. You will be able to obtain several journals, magazines, articles and blogs with distinctive opinions of guitar amp setting. My opinion is that do not buy into the suggestions of these various systems of information.
This is because we have different brands and models of guitar amps with different setting recommendations. Therefore you cannot use a given setting recommendation for the inappropriate guitar amp. I will suggest to you to stick to the menu settings specifications that you are given at the music store.
Ensure Proper Use of the Pickups
The beginners get it tough to settle on the right pickups in their guitar playing experience. The realization of a good and a bad tone is also subject to the pickup choice. You have to be familiar with the best pickup choice to be used in a given playing event. Some guitarist may deep into their pockets to purchase a new guitar amp having in mind that the reason behind the poor tone production is because of a faulty guitar amp. This may not just be the situation always. At times wrong choice of the pickup is the sole problem behind the poor tone production. Henceforth, for you to produce the best tone quality then you have to understand and know the right pickup for the music genre you are playing. This calls for experimentation and exercises so as the get the right pickups for you tone.
Having looked at this, what is it that you should now consider before buying a guitar amp? Certainly there are several pivotal factors that you should put into consideration before buying a guitar amp. You just don’t get up and buy a guitar amp simply because you feel like getting one. The following are some of the most fundamental aspects that you ought to have in mind before buying yourself a guitar amp:
Confirm the Knobs by Having Them Twisted
The new guitar amp should enable you to select the sound you want with a lot of easiness and quick enough. Determine the relational interaction of the tone controls by adjusting them. If you get it hard to select the right knob, then chances are you may never be able to select the same tone after buying the guitar amp.
Pay Greater Attention to the Speakers
The speakers are one of the most fundamental components of a guitar amp yet majority of the guitar amp buyers don’t consider this. Different guitar amps are designed with different speaker models. These speaker models do vary in their tonal output and in most cases the larger the speaker, the higher the power wattage. Something important also to consider on your speaker is that make sure it is cabined since this will increase its sound out put compared to when it is left not cabined.
The Size of the Guitar Amp
When it comes to the size of the guitar amp, you have to consider where you are going to use the guitar amp. For instance a 200-watt amp is not suitable for using in the house because its sound output is just too much for a house setting and use. Alternatively while performing in a big concert hall you cannot settle on a 20-wat guitar amp since it cannot produce high level of sound. Therefore, always consider where you going to use the amp before you can buy it. In your own house for instance you can get a 10-watt amp, in the studio you can do with a 30-watt where as in the concert hall you have to settle on 100 plus watt guitar amp.
You should consider carrying your guitar to the music store when you are going to buy a guitar amp. You cannot use someone else’s guitar yet you do not own that guitar. Bringing your own guitar to the store gives you the opportunity to select the best choice by you connecting the guitar to the amp and testing it out. If you don’t do this chances are you may just pick the wrong amp for your guitar.
Several countries in the world still consider tube technology as contemporary technological invention in guitar amp manufacturing. However, there is more advanced technological invention and improvement. The emergence of both the digital amp and the solid-state amp has been a game changer in the guitar amp market. These pair of technological improvement offers an outstanding tone and they are relatively inexpensive to maintain. However, despite of these two entering into the market many people around the globe still believe in the tube tone technology to be the standard set.
Look At the Number of Channels on an Amp
When it comes to guitarists who play many different tones, I recommend them to consider getting a multichannel guitar amp. For those who are aimed at settling on a clear and fine sound plus a well distorted sound then the best choice for you is a one with between two to three channels. However, you ought to make sure that the amp is able to provide you with the EQ control system on every single and independent channel.