Leo Fender is recognised as the most significant developer of electric guitars worldwide, but he was also mainly responsible for the invention of guitar amplifiers. Leo’s amplifiers, which have been produced by his eponymous company since the early 1950s, may have established the standard for all others to follow; today, dozens of companies still base their designs on vintage Fender circuits.
Nearly 70 years later, Fender amps are still in high demand. The firm continues to push the envelope with its contemporary digital amps while also offering a handful of timeless valve-powered classics in their portfolio. But with so many options, it might be challenging to distinguish between some of their amplifiers.
A number of the most recognisable and well-known amplifiers in the guitar industry were produced by Fender. Whether it’s their Hot Rods, Bassmans, or Deluxe Reverbs, Fender has produced a number of models that have pleased a large number of professional musicians as well as, of course, some of the biggest stars in music.
Despite Fender’s enviably broad amp selection, it’s fair to say that the majority of their amps are rather simple to distinguish acoustically. Fender guitar amps are renowned for delivering a lot of volume in addition to their typical bright-sounding, high-headroom clean tones. However, it is these distinguishing features that have made Fender amps so well-liked, particularly with blues and country musicians.
Fender ’64 Princeton Reverb
- 12-watt 1-channel All-tube 1x10" Guitar Combo Amplifier with Reverb Tremolo
Let’s go all out and agree that this hand-wired custom reissue is the best Princeton available right now if you can accept the idea that the Princeton Reverb is very probably the best tube amp combo for studio work – and most gigs, provided Animal isn’t sitting at the drum kit. It isn’t cheap, but neither are antique substitutes, and this has no miles on the odometer.
The structure is well-known. It has a single channel, two inputs, and volume, bass, treble, and reverb controls (along with speed and intensity dials to set the tremolo). It has a drive tone that’s raucous and delicious and bright, glittering cleans with that elastic musicality that sound like the pinnacle of Fender tone, but if you want more saturated sounds, you’ll need an extra drive box.
It has a reassuringly excellent build. Even if the design is outdated, the simplicity is still refreshing, and it also works well with pedals. Savoured neatly, however, there is a purity to its tone; position a high-quality microphone in front of it, in a space with good acoustics, and you’ll have an enduring guitar tone. This is the Best Fender Amps in 2023.
Fender Blues Junior IV
- 15 Watts
- Celestion 12" A-Type speaker
- Preamp circuit modified for increased fullness
The Blues Junior is a consistent best-seller for good reason. It is reasonably priced, suitably powered, and offers absolutely exceptional, tube-driven Fender tones. It was introduced in 1995 and has a straightforward single-channel setup with controls for volume, treble, middle, bass, master volume, and reverb that are as simple as a chicken’s head. It also has a very clever Fat switch that does just what it says, adding some tubbiness and meat to the bones.
The particle board cabinet that houses the single 12″ Celestion A-Type speaker performs a fantastic job of reproducing the clean Fender spank and, when turned up, the scorching, bright overdrive. The Blues Junior does have some heat that can be enhanced with your preferred dirt box, but it is not a high-gain amp—that is not a quality Fender tube amps have. If you don’t require a lot of headroom, the Blues Junior does make a good pedal base.
It is known for its emphasis on blues tones. There are many sweet spots to be found, whether used with a Strat and a Tube Screamer or a Les Paul and a boost. You may clean up the nasty drive it produces using your guitar’s volume control by driving it hard. But it’s more than simply a blues amp. Rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, and classic rock are all easily within its purview. The reverb is also quite lovely.
Fender ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb
- The addition of reverb and tremolo to both channels give this amplifier a vintage vibe with a modern twist
- The Bassman tone stack on the "custom" channel gives modern players greater tonal flexibility with pedals
- A more distinctively rock 'n' roll flavor is delivered by a 12" Celestion G12V-70 speaker
The Deluxe Reverb would undoubtedly be one of the most frequently cited responses if you polled a thousand guitarists to find out which Fender tube combo was their favourite. It may even come in first place. It’s an amp for most seasons, equally at home with Nashville twang and gritty ’70s US rock. It’s adequately powerful, has exquisite cleans, and a nice, glittering growl when dimmed.
The real deal is this Silverface reissue. With its silver and turquoise control panel, matching grille cloth, and aluminium drip edge trim, it pays homage to Fender’s CBS-era amplifiers. However, it updates the response by reducing negative feedback to activate that filthy overdrive a little early. Hand-wired tube sockets and Schumacher transformers created specifically for this amplifier are found within.
Each of the Custom and Vintage channels has two instrument inputs. With only volume, bass, and treble controls, the Custom channel is a little more basic. However, if you’re in a position to crank up the level, it produces a wonderful, chewy overdrive that will delight rock musicians. In the meantime, tremolo and spring reverb will give your sound a genuinely musical feeling of depth and movement. The Deluxe Reverb, quintessentially American and quintessentially Fender, is nevertheless as current and alluring as ever in the best fender guitar amp.
Fender Mustang LT25
- 25-watt combo amplifier
- Single 8” Fender Special Design guitar speaker
- Wooden cabinet
Fender has hit a home run with the Mustang LT25. Nothing in this place is dislikeable. This digital modelling amp is a great first amp for novices because it’s not only straightforward to use and reasonably priced, but it also packs a tonne of unique tones into its small, portable frame.
Actually, learning about its 20 amp models will be a blast for players of all skill levels. You can choose between dialling in some fire-breathing high-gain tone that will help you move beyond Modern Metal Guitar 101 or accessing the stereotypical Fender cleans—those slender mids with the heavy bottom and strong treble.
If you ever have a brilliant musical idea, you can record it on the LT25 by connecting it through USB to your computer. There is also an integrated tuner and a headphone output in case you feel like practising late at night.
Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb
- Massive digital processing is used to faithfully Modeling the circuitry and 22-Watt power output of an original Twin reverb amplifier
- Uses a high-performance 100-Watt digital power amp to achieve the headroom and dynamic range of a real vintage Deluxe tube amp
- Jensen n-12k neodymium speaker
The tube-driven Fender Twin Reverb is a wonderful instrument. It has become to clean electric guitar tones what Roger Federer has been to tennis over the years. Touring artists who want their Strat to stay glassy even when it’s loud enough to be heard above the dummer’s cymbals frequently choose it because of its sufficient power and headroom. Additionally, it has incredible reverb, making it a difficult pedal platform to rival.
However, the Twin Reverb can be quite loud and heavy, let’s face it. What if there was another option, one with power scaling and a light build, one that didn’t cause the soul to depart the body when you reached the foot of the stairway at your neighbourhood venue? There is because of the Tone Master series’ digital modelling technology. Lifting a Tone Master Twin Reverb will make musicians of a specific era feel like Lou Ferrigno. It’s amazing.
And once they hook into one, things will start to get very eerie. Uncannily similar to the tube-driven original is the Tone Master Twin Reverb. There is still more headroom than on an aircraft carrier, and yet you can adjust the Tone Master’s response to your playing environment owing to a five-way power attenuator. A balanced XLR output and two excellent cabinet simulations are also included for recording and direct use.