When making a choice is too hard, the best way to decide the problem is to go back to some classical devices. Especially that now they are available in all price categories and sizes.
Back in 1946 Fender Music has revolutionized the whole industry with just one invention. Precision Bass guitar, however, wasn`t Fender`s only great idea. Stratocasters and Telecasters were successful as well.
Since those times a lot has changed. Fender has been growing exponentially, launching hundreds of new product lines and uniting manufacturers under its` brand. Both professional players and beginners appreciate production of this manufacturer.
Today we`ll take a look at something, that people do not usually talk much about – Fender`s amplifier. Although the product isn`t really famous, I find the price/quality ratio superb. Therefore, let me introduce Fender Acoustasonic 40 – compact classical guitar amplifier.
I will start telling about this device with describing what it is like from the physical point of view. Although such things as size, weight and material do not seem really important at first, knowing them will help a lot while planning your studio and transportation aspects.
Fender Acoustasonic weighs 17 pounds (which is around 7.5 kilograms). Unless you know how much professional amplifiers weigh, this might look like a lot, but it is really compact and portable in comparison to other pieces of equipment. Especially that this model has a convenient built-in handle.
The amplifier is 7’’ * 15’’ * 11.5’’ inches (which is 178 * 381 * 292 millimeters). This is by far the smallest amplifier, I`ve ever met. Theoretically you can fit it in a huge backpack, but I`d rather recommend to simply carry it around, using the handle.
The Material (and design)
Although this is a rather cheap device, the body is made out of plywood, not plastic. On one hand, it sits in hands much more comfortable and is a bit more durable, surviving hits. On the other, I strongly recommend to keep it aside from water, as the wetness can completely ruin the construction.
It`s also quite important to mention the design of this one. Unlike many other amplifiers, it`s not just a boring black one. Acoustasonic 40 has a really stylish combination of brown, red and black colors.
Now, that you know, how it looks like and how it feels, let us talk about the technical features of Fender`s amplifier. Here are the most important of them:
6’’ Speaker with Whizzer Cone
While being not the most powerful thing in the World by itself, Fender`s 6’’ speaker has a whizzer cone on it. It is attached directly to the voice coils, which noticeably improves the quality of sound.
Built-in reverberation option
Adding a little reverb to the sound is always good. Acoustasonic 40 allows to do it without using any extra equipment. On-board equipment can add some vintage effects.
XLR and ¼ inputs
¼ input, in case you don`t know, is used for connecting microphones. Therefore, it is possible to use Acoustasonic 40 as an amplifier for small performances. Don`t expect a lot though, as the power is limited.
The time has come to take a look at this small thing in action. I didn`t expect much from the device of this price range, so I was not disappointed. On the other hand, there was nothing way too outstanding as well.
- Overall quality of sound. I would rate the sound as 7 out of 10. It could have been better, but all lows and mids sound OK. Highs are a little bit dull, but, as I`ve already mentioned, the overall quality is OK.
- Good power and adjust-ability for home studio. 6.5 Watt of power is good enough for practicing by yourself at an average-sized room. The number of adjustments… Well, I would say that it is basic, which is perfectly enough for a mediocre player or a learner.
- Loudness. Since I`ve first seen this amplifier, I understood, that it will not produce super loud sound. Well, it didn`t indeed. I would rate the volume ratio 5 out of 10 maybe.
Overall lack of adjust-ability. Although you can adjust basic stuff, you`ll not be able to make some sound calibration on professional level. Not a huge disadvantage for a beginner though.
Tip: With that being said, I can surely name Fender Acoustasonic 40 a nice amplifier for a beginner and a home-player. It is suitable for learning and practicing, probably for making small performances at family meetings, but if you are looking for bigger stage performances, you`ll definitely need more powerful amplifier.
- Lightweight and compact
- Loud for size
- Bass not comparable to Acoustasonic Junior
- Quality of materials
BlackStar Fly 3
Black star’s FLY 3 is an innovative, 3 Watt, mini amp with big TONE. The patented ISF circuit gives you unlimited adjustment over the characteristics of your tone and takes you from the USA to the UK and anywhere in-between. This combines with the ‘tape’ delay to give you the best sounding, fun to play mini amp available. An MP3/Line In socket allows you to connect your FLY 3 to an MP3 player, mobile phone, laptop or tablet and jam along to tracks. The FLY 3 can also be powered by batteries, enabling you the get ‘the sound in your head’ wherever you go!
- Refer the user manual below for troubleshooting
- Digital ‘tape’ delay effect; Patented ISF (Infinite Shape Feature)
- MP3/Line In for jamming along or listening to music
- Build Quality
- Value for money
- Dc Adaptor Not Included
- Plastic case
Peavey Max 158
The Max 158 bass amp is a 15 watt 1×8″ combo practice amp loaded with features. Features include 1/4″ input, Volume with Transtube distortion boost and psyco-acoustic low end enhancement. The Max 158 also features a 3 band EQ, chromatic tuner and 1/8″ jacks for phones output and aux input. The Max 158 also includes patented Peavey DDT speaker protection.
- 20 watts (rms) into 4 ohms
- Low, Mid, and High EQ controls
- Volume control with Transtube distortion boost
- Psycho-acoustic low end enhancement
- 8 inch speaker
- Good for practice
- Quality of sound
- Maybe: the horn won’t give shimmering highs
- Quality of materials
Summing Things Up
It`s not the classical conclusion. You`ll find here the most important moments of the article, so that you could remember things about Fender Acoustasonic 40.
- Fender is an old company, producing lots of equipment. Although the amplifiers are not the thing Fender is known for, their quality is pretty good.
- Acoustasonic 40 is a compact and reliable amplifier, which can be easily carried around. It is not the most powerful thing in the World, but it is a bang-for-a-buck for beginners and home studio type of players.
- There are more powerful, but less balanced models available at this price range.
This was it for this amplifier. I would only like to remind, that practicing is more important, than choosing an equipment, so rather spend time playing the guitar, than picking an amplifier.