Stage 185 Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 01/27/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Stage 185
This amp was definitely made for Stratocasters, especially for Blues and Classic Rock players, although if you play Metal, you'll need a effects processor or some type of Distortion pedal because the Gain on this is not really suited for that genre of music.
 Sound: 10
 Overall Impression: 10
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 9.8 
 Reviewer rating:
 10 
 Users rating:
 9.6 
 Votes:
 26 
review (1) pictures (2) 5 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Stage 185 Reviewed by: jeffo46, on january 27, 2012
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: Mine is a USA made, 1989 model which has the Red Knobs. It's a 3 channel amp which consists of Clean, Gain, and Boost and is rated at a very powerful 150 watts. I do believe that these were among Fender's first attempts in the Solid State amp market back in the 1980's but wer, the 1st sucessful. It also comes with a 3 button footswitch and has a headphone jack, line out, ext speaker jack, and weighs in at around 50 or so lbs, which for a 12" single speaker combo, is quite heavy. // 10

Sound: This amp was definitely made for Stratocasters, especially for Blues and Classic Rock players, although if you play Metal, you'll need a effects processor or some type of Distortion pedal because the Gain on this is not really suited for that genre of music. The Clean on this, is the best that I have ever heard in 37 years of playing and is IMO, the true definition of the classic Fender sound that we've all come to love. I could play through this channel all day without using any effects at all. The Reverb is top notch and rings through. The Gain is suited as I said, for Blues & Classic Rock such as AC/DC & Led Zeppelin but does take a bit of tweaking to get to that sound. Once you do though, it's worth the effort because it's clear and clean with some of the best sustain I've ever heard. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I got this in a trade just last week through Craig's List. I swapped a Crate GX-65 for it and the previous owner told me that the footswitch and 1st input had some issues and weren't working properly. I said hell with it, I'd take the chance. I immediately took the chassis apart and blew out the dust that was in it along with tightening up all of the input jacks after which I sprayed some WD-40 in them as well. I also did the same with the footswitch as well. Once I did all of that, it was as if I had gotten a brand new amp because it was running fine with absolutely no issues at all and has been ever since. A little TLC can go a long way y' know. I'm sure that this will last a long time with the proper care now. // 10

Overall Impression: I absolutely love this frigging amp and would kill if anyone tried to steal it or damage it in any way. I kid you not. In 37 years of playing, I've used Marshalls, Crates and to a extent, some Fenders such as the FM and Frontman series and this one blows them all away as far as solid state is concerned. Considering what I traded for it, I definitely got the better end of the deal and for 150 watts, I'm sure that this would blow the smoke off of just about any amp around. If you ever see one of these for sale and have the chance to get it, go for it, you won't regret it. // 10

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