Top 5 Best Fender Amps 2020:
- Fender Champion 40 – Best Overall
- Fender Frontman 10G – Best Contender
- Fender Mustang LT-25 – Most Affordable
- Fender ’65 Twin Reverb – Best For Professionals
- Fender Mustang GT 100 – Most Versatile
You can’t speak about Rock ‘N’ Roll without mentioning the Fender company. Fender electric guitars and amplifiers have been there from the beginning of Rock ‘N’ Roll, and are just as popular today.
Unfortunately, picking the right one for your needs can be quite tricky if you’re new to the world of guitar amps.
Should you buy a tube amp or a solid-state one?
Or maybe you should get the most of both worlds with a modeling amp?
These are just a few questions that will come up when you start browsing. Thankfully, this article will teach you what to look for when buying the best Fender amp for your needs as well as showcase the most popular models on the current market.
So, let’s jump right into it!
What Are Fender Guitar Amps And What To Look For When Buying One
If you’re new to the world of electric guitar amplifiers or are just reading this article so you can buy one as a gift, you’re probably don’t know much about what they are and how they work.
So, let’s begin this guide by explaining what a guitar amp is and how it works.
A guitar amplifier, or simply amp, is an electronic device that boosts the weak electrical signal from your guitar’s pickup so that it can produce a louder sound through a loudspeaker.
All guitar amplifiers work on this principle, no matter the manufacturer.
The only thing that differs between the different brands is the all-important tone. Fender amps are well known for delivering clean sound best suited for soft genres like blues, country, jazz, and sometimes hard rock. This is why some people regard fender amps as one of the goto choices for beginners since they emphasize clean playing.
So, if you’re looking for a guitar amp that delivers more aggressive sound, you should look for amps from other manufacturers. For those of you that are still interested in buying a fender amp, it’s time to cover things you should consider before buying one.
1. A Combo Amp Or Head And Cabinet?
The answer to this question is pretty simple, and it mostly depends on the size of the venue you’re planning to play.
- For a small club or hall, a combo amp is more than enough to cover your needs. Today’s combined amps are more than well-equipped to deliver the power you need to be heard in most small to midsize venues.
- Now, if you’re planning on filling an entire stadium or an open space, you should definitely go for a head (standalone) amp. This type of amp will give you enough sonic power to be heard all the way in the back lines of an enormous auditorium. That is if you have enough loudspeakers.
To summarize, if you’re planning on playing your guitar at home or at small venues, you should go for a combo amp. And, if you’re thinking about playing big venues, you should go for a standalone amplifier.
2. Tube Or Solid-State Amp?
- Solid-state amps produce superior and clean power at a much more affordable price than a vacuum tube amps.
- Today, there aren’t many tube amps because the number of manufacturers that make vacuum tubes is considerably smaller than 60 years ago.
- This is why you will often find combo amps that have a vacuum tube preamp that creates that famous Fender tone and a solid-state power amp.
- Most professionals still tend to pick tube amps over solid-state ones because of the sound, but that attitude is slowly changing.
- In the end, you should choose an amp based on the tone it produces. Don’t let others pressure you into buying a more expensive tube amp whose sound you don’t like.
3. Modeling Amps
Like we mentioned before, modeling amps offer the best of two worlds. Not only that, but they’re also available in a wide range of prices. Today, you can get anything from an essential practice amp to a high-end combo amp that’ll produce any sound you want.
- This type of guitar amplifier can provide you with everything you need, from clean rhythm tones to an overdrive fest along. Most modeling amps also come with many effects such as reverb, chorus, phase, and many others.
- Furthermore, modeling amps free you from the constraints of having to make do with a particular model’s tonal range. With a decent digital signal processor, you can make your 2 x 12″ Fender modeling amp sound like a vintage 1 x 10″ tweed or a modern 4 x 12″ stack.
- Of course, there are always purists that don’t consider modeling amps that viable and that only a 1959 Bassman can produce 1959 Bassman sound. Of course, most of us can’t afford a vintage 1959 Bassman, which is why we rely on modeling amps.
If you’re a newbie guitar player, we recommend you go for a modeling amp since it will give you more room for experimentation. Once you become more experienced, you will be able to determine which type of amp works best for you.
4. What About Speakers?
When it comes to amp speakers, it all boils down to the size.
- Smaller speakers can produce higher frequencies than larger speakers. This is why smaller speakers are referred to as tweeters, while bigger speakers are referred to as woofers.
- So, for instance, a 10-inch speaker will produce a better “top-end” sound thana 15-inch speaker. This means that a smaller speaker will produce better high-frequency sounds than a prominent speaker and vice versa.
- There is more to sound than just speakers. You also have to consider the cabinet. There are two types of cabinets, open-backed and closed-backed. So, for instance, a 4 x 10″ open-back Fender Bassman will sound differently than a 2 x 12″ closed-back Fender Bassman.
- If you like playing Blues, you should go for an open-back amp since it can produce a wide range of tones from soothing to searing. And if you want a more aggressive hard rock sound, you should go for a head amp plugged into one or two 4 x 12″ closed-back cabinets.
This covers everything you need to know about what you should consider before buying a Fender amp.
5 Best Fender Amps In 2020: Detailed Reviews
Now it’s time to take a look at our selection of top 5 best Fender amps you can find on today’s market, so let’s jump right into it!
Fender Champion 40 is one of the most affordable ways of getting that classic Fender sound. This electric guitar amplifier features a 12-inch loudspeaker that can deliver up to 40 Watts of power.
Fender Champion 40, certainly isn’t the most powerful amp out there. Still, it’s more than capable of holding on its own in small venues or for rehearsals.
Even though it’s quite affordable, the Fender Champion features two channels: clean and drive. So long as you’re not a one-trick pony, this amp will give you much versatility.
You’ll also be pleased to know that the Fender Champion comes with a couple of built-in effects you can play with. You can use the FX knob to switch between the effects and the FX level knob to set the intensity.
There are also knobs for controlling the master volume, channel volume, gain, and the 2-Band EQ. This is pretty much standard for an entry-level amp from Fender.
Champion 40’s sound is as close you will get to a traditional Vintage Fender. The drive channel isn’t bad at all, especially after a few fine adjustments.
The Fender Champion 40 will make you feel like you own a vintage amp. Even the design resembles the old-school Fender amps. What this amp lacks in power output it makes up in versatility. This is why you should definitely give this one a try.
- Inbuilt effects
- Vintage Fender Tone
- Clean sound
- Only 2-band EQ
The Fender Frontman 10G amp has been around for quite a few years now, and it looks like it’s well ahead of the competition when you take a look at its wattage and price point.
The Frontman features a single custom 6-inch speaker that’s capable of delivering incredibly clear sound. Unfortunately, since this is only a 10-watt amp, you won’t be able to use it to play at venues. However, you will find it quite useful when you want to practice but don’t want to disturb your neighbors.
One it comes to effects, you can’t expect much from such a small amp. This is why the Fender Frontman features only one effect, the overdrive. Even though the stock sound is quite bluesy, we like the addition of the overdrive effect because it allows you to make this amp chug.
Of course, besides the overdrive, you do have other controls. The Frontman also features treble and bass control knobs, as well as the master volume knob.
Like we mentioned before, the Fender Frontman delivers incredibly rich and clan sound, no matter how you adjust the tone. This is because the closed-back design gives the bass more richness and warmth, especially when you’re playing with no effects.
The Frontman G10 certainly won’t be able to blast a full venue. Still, it will become invaluable when you want to practice without disturbing half of your neighborhood.
- Extremely affordable
- Rich and warm sound
- Classic Fender grille
- Not too powerful
- Only one effect
Thanks to its color LCD display and an extensive list of presets, the Fender Mustang LT25 is one of the best amps for beginner guitar players.
Even though the Mustang LT25 outputs only 25 Watts of power, this combo amp still has a lot to offer in other departments. For instance, it features an inbuilt USB interface that allows you to record.
What’s even cooler is the amp selection feature. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can choose between twenty types of amps. Most of these amps are emulated after the Fender amps, but that still opens a whole new world of possibilities.
The Fender Mustang LT25 features 50 presets in total and 25 effects. This means it will be quite a while after you try out every single possible combination.
The LT25 also comes with a chromatic tuner, which is a big plus in our eyes. We don’t like those cheap clip-on tuners because they’re quite unreliable and break incredibly fast.
The only thing we would like to see improved is the speaker and the number of available channels. The LT25 features a single 8-inch speaker and one channel you can use, leaving a lot to be desired.
The one thing that really surprised us is the build quality. The Mustang LT25 is anything but flimsy. It features a robust wood enclosure that offers incredible clarity and richness of sound.
Whether you want to play clean country or fuzzy stoner-rock, the Fender Mustang LT25 has got you covered. This is one of the best combo amps out there, and there are very few reasons why you shouldn’t get one today!
- 20 different amp sounds
- 25 effects
- Built-in chromatic tuner
- A bit complicated to learn
The only reason why we put the legendary Fender ’65 Twin Reverb amp on the fourth place on our list is because of its incredibly steep price. We do get that you can’t have quality without paying extra, but we’re sure most of you don’t have the thousand dollars plus required to purchase this piece of equipment.
The steep price aside, if you’re looking for raw power, a vintage Fender sound, and premium overdrive potential, you will hardly find a better amp than the Fender ’65 Twin Reverb combo amp.
The Twin Reverb features two 12-inch Jensen C-12K speakers. When combined, these speakers can output 85 watts of pure power and premium sound quality.
Another reason why this amp is so popular is its superior note separation. This is why the Twin Reverb is a goto amp for many professional blues, country, jazz, and hard rock guitarists.
This combo amp has two channels, clean and drive. Both of these channels have standard 3-band EQ controls. However, the overdrive channel also features the classic Fender tube spring reverb with control knobs for reverb, speed, and intensity.
The Fender ’65 Twin Reverb combo amp is by no means a practice amp and is more suited for live performance. Even though you can play it at home with the volume knob turned down to 2, that completely defeats its purpose.
We recommend you get this amp if you’re a professional or a semiprofessional that’s already making a living out of playing music. If you’re a beginner or a student, you should consider one of the amps we showcased before.
- 85 Watts of vacuum tube power
- 3-Band EQ
- Extremely expensive
- Not well suited for beginners
If the Twin Reverb was way too expensive for your budget, but you’re still looking for sheer power, the Fender Mustang GT 100 might be the right amp for you.
This beefy modeling amp might take up a lot of space. Still, it also delivers 100 Watts of sheer sonic power thanks to its 12-inch Celestion Special Design speaker.
The coolest thing about this guitar amp is the Bluetooth LE support. You can use the GT 100 in combination with the Fender Tone app to edit effects in just a few seconds. And the range of supported amps is nothing short of incredible.
You can make this amp sound like the Blackface, the Basman, and even the tweed champ. In addition to this, there are also quite a few artist presets you can try out. You can even customize these presets and give them your own spin.
In addition to all this, the Fender Mustang GT 100 is incredibly easy to master. Even though it might be a bit too pricey for some, the GT 100 is worth every penny of its price. Not only will you be able to play venues with it, but you’ll also be able to practice at home or with your band.
- Inbuilt Bluetooth
- 100 Watt of sonic power
- Impressive amp library
- A bit pricey
- Fuzzy sound clarity on heavily overdriven tones
All of the amps we reviewed above have something to offer you, be you a beginner or a professional musician.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly amp that can still deliver enough sonic power and clarity to an entire venue, go for a Fender Champion 40.
If you’re on a low budget and looking for an amp that offers the best bang for the buck, look no further than the Frontman 10.
And if you want an amp that offers both a decent sound output and quite a bit of versatility, go for a Fender Mustang LT25.
Of course, don’t let our opinions influence you too much. At the end of the day, you should choose the amp that you think sounds best to you. We hope the information we provided you with will help you make an informed decision.