Purchased from: Gak.co.uk
Sound — 9
I use a Vintage Metal Axxe and a Fender Precision bass through this amp. The Precision's a passive, and the Axxe is an active bass. I don't play slap very often (but I can, and the amp sounds great for pure slap and pop). I've got a hellova lot of tones out of this amp, although when I first got this amp I was frustrated how I'd piddle around with the EQ for hours and only end up with a mock replica of Iron Maiden's 'machinegun' tone. However, now I've got to know my low mids from high mids and familiarised myself with this amp, it's holding up well. I've got different tones out of this, but they're not as diverse as one'd expect - plenty enough for your average bassist though. I even tried playing my guitar (Epiphone Explorer Gothic) through this, and while it doesn't sound great, it certainly doesn't sound horrible. Once I'd plugged my Boss RP200 into the FX loop, it sounded quite good, even though everything was still set to bass settings. Volume. The amp's loud enough for nearly any task (it could probably eat up your average gig, but for larger ones you may want some more power), and even at the highest volume only the most minimal distortion can be heard.
Overall Impression — 9
I'm primarily a bassist in a metal band, but I've covered for someone in a punk band before with this amp and it fit perfectly, even though their bassist assured me I'd need his amp (which was a 200W). I've been a bassist for about a year and a half now, but I've been playing guitar for about two years, and I have a half-stack for that. Back to the Rumble, I don't think there's anything which surprised me about the amp, I'd researched it quite thoroughly before buying it. If someone stole this amp, I'd definetely buy it again, but not without trying to recover my current one and mutilating the thief while I was at it. The only gripe I really have about this amp are the plastic input jacks, but at this price it's pretty much inevitable. Those 6 little pulsating LEDs really make up for it though, I've seen a clip of my band rehearsing in dark light and the pulsing reds really stand out and look good. I was comparing this amp to a Peavey Max 115 and a Laney HCM160B, and I even placed an order for the Peavey, but then decided I'd rather have the lights in place of the HyperVent (and the Rumble's 100 Watts over the Max's 60), and switched orders. Being a Fender, I don't really expect it to go wrong at all, except for the knob issues I mentioned earlier. Nonetheless, it's a great amp, and I highly recommend it to anybody looking for a cheap but sound amp.
Reliability & Durability — 7
This amp's really hardy. I was transporting it in the back of a van when my buddy's practice 15-watt amp fell off the top shelf after a particularly nasty bump in the road, the Rumble simply suffered a small crack in one of the plastic corners, whereas the other amp (I won't name and shame) suffered a massive gash running down its body. Needless to say, it didn't work afterwards. As for sound, I've had this amp for the best part of 6 months and it hasn't broken down on me once. The only problem I had with it was that its EQ sometimes took a few seconds to respond, but the problem's seemed to iron itself out now. I always have a backup amp at a gig, but I think this amp could hold its own without another amp in stock. However, as someone else said, the EQ knobs feel a bit weak. They certainly do their job well and haven't broken off yet, but I have a feeling that after another year or so, I'll be complaining about how something's fallen off.
Features — 10
This amp was made in 2004, so I'd expect its features to be quite up-to-scratch. Being an affordable amp, I wasn't expecting too much out of it, and I thought this true when I saw how it came in a box. However, once I'd taken it out and plugged it in, my views changed immediately. The pulsing red light (it doesn't flash, contrary to popular belief), can keep me entertained for hours, and the EQ settings can really help me change my tone quickly. I play a mix of rock and metal, with some jazz thrown in too, and I can change from a heavy bass tone to a light backing in a couple of minutes. The amp even has an active/passive pickup selector, allowing for emphasis of different settings on the EQ, and a mid scoop button for slapping/popping. The amp only has a single input channel (I found this odd, after having spent time around similar class Peavey amps which have a High Gain and Low Gain input), but makes up for this by having an effects loop. CD in is also present, but I've never really needed to use this - the feature's there, however, for anybody Who does need to use it. A headphone jack's also present as per usual, and it also has a 3-pin XLR line out with its own level, which I found quite surprising. There's a Ground Lift feature which removes contact with one of the pins, I've never had to use this but again, it's there for anybody Who does. This amp's my main practice and jamming amp, and I think it could even hold its own in a gig. 100 Watts of power is plenty enough for me, and it even sounds fine when I play songs through the main input. There's one point worth mentioning, if you live in a small terraced house or a block of flats, don't turn the bass past 5 on the EQ, I live in a semi-detached house and my room's walls are 3 inches thick, but you can feel the bass from the other side of the house when it's up to full. There's not much else to mention, except for the fact that it weighs a fair amount. So, if you're a small person or not very strong, you'll struggle with moving this amp around. A way around this is to fit castors onto the amp. Size-wise, the amp is quite big, but that's mainly to accomodate the speaker, it's not overly large in any way. Other than that, the amp's great. It even has a tweeter, although I'm not sure if I've ever seen it in use.