An Amplifier for All Genres
Fender is one of the world’s most renowned instrument manufacturers. There is no denying the massive impact Fender has had on music.
Renowned artists like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, among countless others, wielded a Fender Stratocaster guitar, as well as Geddy Lee from Rush playing a Fender Jazz bass. Their newest edition to the Rumble line of bass combo amplifiers is their 40-Watt v3 amplifier.
Fender has a reputation for making some of the most durable bass amps and guitar amps. Although their bass amps tend to sometimes sound not as good at high volumes.
So, let’s take an in-depth look and find out what’s on offer with the Fender Rumble 40 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier…
Design-wise, there isn’t much to write home about. Fender keeps things simple and clean, as with most Fender products. There is a vintage feel to the design, which resonates through most of what Fender does.
The amp feels sturdy and should handle anything thrown at it at home or on the road. It’s also quite light for its size, which makes carrying it around easy. As a result, it is one of the best portable bass amps available.
Ins and Outs…
The 10” inch speaker is on the smaller side, but the amp is still able to offer great depth and warmth. It also produces a considerable amount of punchiness, which we found lacking from the 25W variant.
Packaged nicely with the amp is an aux-in for headphones. It’s also larger than its smaller companion, the 25W. Although they look similar, there are added controls. As a result, it is one of the best practice bass amps around.
The main reason people buy this amp is due to its versatility. The amp has built-in EQ switches, which change the profile of the sound coming through the amp. There are a few nice options.
- Contour switch (alters the mid-tones of the sound).
- Vintage (makes the tone warmer).
- Bright (increases the high-end frequencies).
Once activated, the knobs enable you to further hone in on a tone you like. This gives you complete control over the tone of the instrument. Therefore, this is one of the most versatile bass amps on the market.
The control layout is a bit odd. The master control changes the volume of the amp, and the gain now only controls the base level of gain. There is also an overdrive circuit, which has drive and level controls.
There is an Aux-input and a headphone-out port. There is also an XLR line-out for stage and recording use. This makes it easy to quickly plug the amp directly into a PA system. Yes, 40W will most likely not be loud enough to do any serious gigs. But if you use the XLR-out, you would be able to run the amp through a louder PA system.
Starting with the sound, we were surprised by how well the overdrive sounded on the system. Having an overdrive on a bass amp isn’t a normal feature, but a welcome one, to say the least. There is also a separate foot-switch that you can buy that will control this circuit if you want to switch over to it hands-free.
Cranking the gain turned the humble, low bass to a roaring fuzz machine. Similar to the distorted bass found on Muse songs. This means you most likely won’t even need an overdrive pedal with this amp if you prefer some fuzzy bass tones.
It doesn’t sound as full or warm as an actual overdrive pedal. But after playing around with the tone settings and settling on a warmer vintage tone, we were pretty happy with the result. Therefore, this may be one of the best bass amps with overdrive.
Tweaking your tone…
Speaking about that vintage sound. The three tones on offer here are all stellar and add a lot of depth to your bass tone. Our favorite was the vintage sound. It’s warm and full of depth, emulating a tube amp.
The bright setting boosted the high end, which can come in handy in certain situations but won’t be a regular for us. Although, if you play some wicked bass solos, it might be useful.
Lastly, the contour setting scooped the mid-range frequencies out, leaving you with the low and high-end frequencies. This results in a less than full-sounding bass, which might be great if you have a lot of low riffing guitars, but other than that, we won’t be using it much.
Something to keep in mind…
The biggest issue with a lot of Fender amps is when you play them loudly. With high gains and volumes, the amps seem to struggle quite a bit, sounding thin and tinny or distorting too much.
Fender Rumble 40 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier – Pros and Cons
- Three excellent tones to choose from.
- Overdrive circuit built-in.
- Lightweight and sturdy.
- When playing at high volumes, they don’t sound good.
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Fender Rumble 40 v3 Bass Combo Amplifier – Final Thoughts
If you are a Fender-supporting and die-hard fan, then we can highly recommend the Rumble 40 v3 amp. It has a lot of great tones and is well-suited to most situations. However, it does struggle a bit when the gain is turned up, but if you hook it up to a PA system, you will find yourself pleasantly surprised at its gigging ability.
However, if you are thinking about other options, one of the best bass amp brands is Ampeg. Their BA-110 series has similar specifications with 40W output and a 10-inch speaker with a basic EQ.
Until next time, may the music make you move.