#1
You might be asking "why?", when you see my signature, so I'll explain:

I was looking for a compact workhorse amp for band rehearsals and those gigs in country pubs which are so small a Vox AC30 might just be too big to fit around a basic set of drums and cymbals, and are located several miles along the most extraordinarily bumpy dirt track that makes damage to valves in transit a legitimate concern... Oh, the joys of being a working musician in Herefordshire



It's a Fender Stage 112 SE, maybe 1990s/possibly early 2000s? Don't really know/care - basic transistor combo, 160 watts RMS, twin channel with reverb. Looks like your typical crappy practice amp with a shiny Fender logo slapped on it, but in actual fact it's a good quality USA made amp... I first used one of these in a local rehearsal studio about 2 years ago, and decided I'd get myself one if I could find one at the right price. Last week, one showed up in a local music shop so I thought... Why not?

Here's the mandatory review:

The clean channel is kind of Jazz Chorus like with a bit of a Fender flavour. Has a mid shift button which seems to push the mid control into a lower range. It's a very delicate, hi-fidelity clean tone with immaculate transient reproduction and the EQ has a very wide range of filtering. This would be a great channel for running a lot of effects into because it's almost a blank canvas to build upon.

The overdrive channel is the thing that surprised me - There is none of that buzz/fizz that plagues a lot of solid state overdrive channels. It does have a bit of a tendency towards shrillness at certain settings, but that shrillness can be tamed quite easily with a bit of careful equalisation, and when dialed in competently, can actually create some rock solid crunch tones as well as some nicely defined sustaining lead tones. It didn't take me long to find a certain kind of sweet spot where I could get some really usable rhythm and lead sounds by simply adjusting the volume knob on the guitar, which actually works very well with this amp.

Additional features include an accutronics reverb unit, 2 button footswitch for channel/reverb switching, an FX loop, and a line output. Extension cab output on the back, too. The speaker is a "fender special design" speaker of some description - no idea about the specs, but it seems like a pretty good speaker - it doesn't sound like a wet fart at higher volumes like the speakers you often get in small SS combos nowadays.

To conclude - This amp produces a nice range of solid and usable tones which are very ordinary and unremarkable, but blend in with a live band very easily. It may not have any of the touch sensitivity or lush harmonics you get from a nice tube amp, but it does a good enough job of projecting an acceptable sound that fits in where it needs to, and that makes it good enough for what I intend to use it for - so I'm happy with it. This is one of those situations where "good enough" literally means "good enough"
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#3
Quote by Blompcube

I was looking for a compact workhorse amp for band rehearsals and those gigs in country pubs which are so small a Vox AC30 might just be too big to fit around a basic set of drums and cymbals, and are located several miles along the most extraordinarily bumpy dirt track that makes damage to valves in transit a legitimate concern... Oh, the joys of being a working musician in Herefordshire


So...leave the Lamborghini at home?

I saw a picture of your groupies on your band bus...
Hereford Heifers On The High Boy.

#5
Quote by dspellman
So...leave the Lamborghini at home?

I saw a picture of your groupies on your band bus...
Hereford Heifers On The High Boy.



i call #2.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



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#6
Quote by dspellman
So...leave the Lamborghini at home?

Not really. It's more like, save the Lamborghini for track days at donington, silverstone, brands hatch etc. and use the scabby old Toyota for the everyday things like driving to rehearsals and gigs.

I do play in theatres, social clubs, ballrooms, colleges and occasionally outdoor events (weather permitting, obviously ), with proper stages as well - so the AC30 is going to get used for those types of gigs. And for studio work, too.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#7
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i call #2.

that's gross, those girls aren't even from cleveland.


congrats blomp!
#8
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i call #2.

her dad doesn't let her date outside of the family tho.........


HNAD sounds like you found the perfect beater amp for you

I wasn't aware that country music was very popular outside of the US and Australia
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
Last edited by Robbgnarly at Mar 23, 2016,
#9
How much did you pay for it?

Quote by Robbgnarly
I wasn't aware that country music was very popular outside of the US and Australia

It's nowhere near as popular here as the US, think some of the older folks like it but they're mostly into blues rock. Lots of younger people like it as well but it's kind of seen as a joke. We used to play 'The George Strait' game at uni - you put on a George Strait song none of you have heard before and place bets as to where the title will appear in the lyrics. It's actually an incredibly easy game.
#11
Quote by Robbgnarly
I wasn't aware that country music was very popular outside of the US and Australia

By "country pubs" I mean these little 'ye olde' pubs which are dotted all over the countryside like medieval truck stops - nothing to do with country music

This type of place:

Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#12
i'm picturing a midieval truck stop.

monte python meets larry the cable guy comes to mind.
#13
Quote by trashedlostfdup
i call #2.


That's fair. I'll take the other 3.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#14
Quote by Blompcube
By "country pubs" I mean these little 'ye olde' pubs which are dotted all over the countryside like medieval truck stops - nothing to do with country music

This type of place:


OK I gotcha
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#15
Us country is not country anymore, I went to the Houston Rodeo this year, which is one of the biggest places for country music and for the most part the acts were what I would've classified hard rock or alternative 10 years ago. The only difference was their singers were meowling, but that's also not unheard of (Eddie Vedder, Alice in Chains,etc.).

BTW - I have almost that same amp, Princeton 112, great cleans, decent overdrive for Fender, loud 60 watt solid state, great verb. It even doubled as bass amp for 2 years with the speaker holding up.
Last edited by diabolical at Mar 23, 2016,
#16
Quote by diabolical
BTW - I have almost that same amp, Princeton 112, great cleans, decent overdrive for Fender, loud 60 watt solid state, great verb. It even doubled as bass amp for 2 years with the speaker holding up.

I think it was actually a Princeton 112 I used in the rehearsal room a couple of years back, now that you mention it. this sounds about the same as the amp I remember so I just assumed it was the same thing. The difference might only be the power amp wattage, tbh.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#17
Quote by diabolical
Us country is not country anymore, I went to the Houston Rodeo this year, which is one of the biggest places for country music and for the most part the acts were what I would've classified hard rock or alternative 10 years ago. The only difference was their singers were meowling, but that's also not unheard of (Eddie Vedder, Alice in Chains,etc.).

I wouldn't put it quite into hardrock territory, it is more power pop with a twang

Vedder and the likes used the Yarl
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#18
Just bumping this to provide a sound clip of this amp being used live - played a gig with it on saturday at the local blues club - tiny stage again, had to have it stacked up haphazardly on top of the bass rig due to limited space - Here's a slide solo that was captured by the mixing engineer.

This is my 1973 Gibson SG standard, with a brass slide, direct into the Fender - no pedals, just a little bit of the onboard reverb which is barely audible in this mix.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI0OJLQto-c
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#20
Quote by gregs1020
that sounded great blomp! great tones.

Thanks. I think that recording actually did the tone some justice, which is not something people usually say when sharing tones

To make a point about the potentially ear splitting brightness of the overdrive channel - I had the tone control for the bridge pickup turned down to 5, and it still sounds pretty bright with a lot of presence, even with a very dark sounding input signal from the guitar.

This seems like a general criticism of Fender overdrive channels that has nothing to do with it being solid state, and I also think it's a bit misunderstood.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp