If you’re thinking about which Fender tub-based combo amp you should buy, there are quite a few options you there for you to choose from. The first step to choosing the best Fender amp is to know exactly what you expect to do with your amp.
Choosing the best Fender amp?
In this article, we shall cover guitar combo amplifiers that use valves. Combo amplifiers are well-equipped to deliver the amplification that you need for performing on small stages, or in club halls, local dates, etc. However, if you’re planning on performing in larger venues (such as a large hall/ auditorium), then you should try to get a decent stack amplifier. The next thing you need to consider is your amp wattage.
If you’ll be gigging in bars on practicing at home, any small amp within 10 watts should do the trick. For parties, clubs, or large bars, you might need 40-50 watts of power. For stage performances and large halls, 100 watts is the recommended amplifier wattage. After deciding on the wattage, you need to focus on the type of valve that is used inside your tube amp.
Tube amps perform best when pushed into clipping range, and the type of valve that is used in the circuits will determine the quality of sound that you get, especially when the amp is pushed to its limits. The 6L6 power tubes offer better roundness, clarity, and punch in comparison to an EL34 which boasts tight lows, sparkling highs, and a great midrange. EL84 have a lower power output, but offer much better harmonic distortion and smoothness, and are quite similar to the 6V6’s, which are more bluesy with low-frequency fullness.
If you’re ready to buy the perfect Fender combo amp for your guitar, check out this list, it contains some of the most widely used Fender amp models, and they are listed in the order of cheapest to costliest.
Fender Guitar Amplifier – Frontman 10G ElectricPro: Has a compact 10 W design, overdrive switch
Con: Sound gets distorted at higher power levels
The Frontman 10G is a compact 10 W tube combo amplifier designed for guitars. It will boost your sound without adding any artificial coloration or distortion, but as the boost levels get higher the 10 W power limit of this super cheap amp begins to show. Nevertheless, it is one of the cheapest tube amps that Fender has to offer, and it is a combo amp too. The closed-back design allows for heavier bass, and there is a 1/8” headphone jack for silent practice at home.
Fender Champion 100 Electric Guitar AmplifierPro: 100 W rating, dual 12” speakers, closed back design
Con: Cabinet build quality is not the best and LED light seems dim and flimsy
With the 100 W of power and dual 12” speakers that are mounted in a closed back design, you’ll be able to get sharp, clear, and punchy sound at all presets, along with plenty of deep basses. Just use the auxiliary input jack to plug in your mp3 player, and practice silently with the 1/8” headphone output jack. The footswitch allows you to toggle between clean and mean 100 W settings during a live performance. There are also built-in special effects such as digital reverb, chorus, delay, etc.
Fender Rumble 200 v3 Bass Combo AmplifierPro: Class-D 200 W amp, ported speaker enclosure
Con: The audio output can get distorted at high wattage levels
Well, if you’re in the market for a Fender amp that will allow you to play comfortably at home without waking up everyone within 100 yards, and want the amp to perform in small venues and church halls, then this is worth a try. Inside this beast, a 200 W class-D amplifier is paired with two 12” speakers that are mounted inside a woody, ported enclosure. The wooden box delivers amazing treble and a warm, natural tone, while the 200 W of power gives you plenty of headroom to play with. There is a 1/8” output so you can practice silently on your headphones at home, as well as an aux input for connecting an mp3 player.
Fender Guitar Combo Amplifier – Hot Rod Deluxe III 40-Watt 1×12-InchPro: 40 W mean power, powerful bass and lots of custom presets
Con: No 1/8” outputs for connecting headphones
Featuring a 40-watt single 12” speaker combo, this 52-pound Fender combo tube amp is an amazing addition to the arsenal of any gigging guitar artist. The amp is loud and clear, without any signs of unwanted coloring in the sound or distortion, even at the highest sound levels. It utilizes 6L6 valves that are renowned for their low-end headroom response, as well as a versatile 12AX7 tube preamp. If you wish a little more soundstage coverage and fullness, you can easily add in a matching 112 enclosure.
Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue 40-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Combo AmpPro: 40 W single 12” speaker combo, amazing overdrive tonal performance
Con: Plastic shaft on potentiometer tends to vibrate at higher frequencies
Just like the Hot Rod Deluxe III, the Blues Deluxe boasts 6L6 tube valves for greater audio clarity and packs tons of trebles in the midrange along with plenty of basses. The 12” combo speakers are placed in a ported enclosure and sound great, with a full and bright tone that is characteristic of 6L6 audio valves. Some of the units also come with EL84’s, but those are quite similar to the 6L6’s in terms of soundstage and tonal response, except for the fact that the EL84’s tend to be a tad bit louder.
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 212 III 60-Watt 2×12-Inch Guitar Combo AmpPro: 60 W, dual 12” combo speakers (Celestion G12P)
Con: Lets off a low hum at certain frequencies
The Fender Hot Rod Deville 212 III packs a lot of punch on the low-medium range of frequencies, and its dual 12” speakers deliver as well as you would expect from a Fender product of this price. It is perfect for small-medium sized venues, and the size is neither too big nor too large which makes it perfect for small-time gigging artists who are constantly on the move. Bass is deep and not at all overpowering, while the depth and reverb can easily be adjusted by tweaking a few knobs.
Fender Hot Rod DeVille 410 III 60-Watt 4×10-Inch Guitar Combo AmpPro: 60 W quad 10” speaker combo results in wider soundstage with well-defined highs and lows
Con: Lacks audio output when compared to similarly priced 60 W Fender amps
The 60 Watts of audio power really shines when you play styles like metal, rock, blues rock, etc. Treble is absolutely rock steady in the upper midranges, and the quad 10” speaker make this an absolute beast for playing all types of music genres, although it really does shine in rock and metal. The high and low ends of the audio spectrum are evenly distributed among the 4 speakers, resulting in a bright and full sound output, with a pretty wide soundstage.
Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb 22-Watt 1×12-Inch Guitar Combo AmpPro: 22 W of clean uncompressed power, with plenty of room to overdrive
Con: No dust cover or tilt back legs
This is basically the Deville 410, except for the slight boost in power (60 W to 65W), and the change from a quad 10” speaker configuration to a single 12” configuration that is much better for delivering thick, chunky sound at the low-mid range. The amplifier runs on 22 W of uncompressed true power, and its 6L6 tubes are perfect for low-end clipping, which makes this an excellent amp for going into overdrive. The Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb should be perfect for small-medium venues.
Fender Vintage Modified 68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb Tube Guitar AmpPro: Twin Celestion 10” TEN 30 speakers with aggressive low end and powerful lower midrange
Con: Some units come with cheaply made speaker plugs
With its twin Celestion TEN 30 speakers, the Vibrolux screams with the power of a dual 12” setup, despite having only two 10” speakers in a ported setup. The preamp is fitted with 12AX7 tubes that deliver natural sounding, full tunes with a wide and bright low-upper midrange. There are plenty of effects that you can simulate on this amplifier, and it is designed to be used for rock, blues, and metal music. Jazz and pop players will be able to make the sound more shallow or deep by tweaking the depth settings, and the distortion stays low even when the amplifier goes into overdrive.
Fender ’65 Super Reverb 45-Watt 4×10-Inch Guitar Combo AmpPro: 45 W of pure and clean, uncompressed power, quad 10” Celestion speakers
Con: No dust covers, begins to growl past 6 or 7
If budget is not a concern, and you want the absolute best Fender amp that money can buy, you should go for the ’65 Super Reverb amplifier from Fender. It is loud, powerful, clear, distortion-free, and packs a ton of bass in the low end, with plenty of treble and shimmer in the mid-high ranges. Its quad 10” Celestion speakers split up the various tonal ranges between themselves, resulting in an audiophile grade sound experience which is good enough for professional grade studio recording and excels in small venue live performances. There is plenty of room for overdriving the amp, thanks to the 45 of pure power that you have to play with.