Price paid: £ 363
Purchased from: HW Music
Ease of Use — 8
I'm quite simplistic in the gear that I prefer to use, so this amp is ideal for my tastes as it's very intuitive and easily laid out. The four band EQ is especially user friendly, it even features small notches on the center point of each nob so it's extremely easy to test out the amp with a flat EQ if you so wish. So you really don't need the manual that it comes with in order to function it. However the manual does include wiring diagrams and such which I imagine would be useful if you needed to so some serious maintenance work.
Sound — 9
The Fender Rumble V3 is the most recent incarnation of Fender's Rumble line of bass amps and honestly it's one of the best and most versatile bass amplifiers I've used. I spent a while searching for a good bass amp as I was aiming to spend about £400 on a decent amp to cover any genre that I may have to play, my main ones being metal and folk but I also dabble in funk bass techniques. I've not been able find a sound yet that this amp can't do, bearing in mind I've had this amp for over a year now. The three tone buttons are really what brings the most out of this amp, using a combination of them with the four band EQ you really can get any sound you need, personally I tend to EQ with less bass and more treble with the mids building up and then I use the bright and contour buttons to add to that. Which gives me a really thick bass tones, which is ideal for the majority of the bands I work with (the main two being rap metal and folk). This amp can cope with any bass you use with it really, my main two are a Fender Deedee Ramone P-bass and a Retrovibe Vantage 4 which both have very different pickup configurations (the latter featuring a large MM style pick up in the bridge that I tend to use more)and thus have very different outputs, but this is where the gain control of the amp comes in extremely handy as it makes it extremely simple to modify your input level dependent on the instrument. The amp also features an overdrive section which does take a lot of the "neatness" out of your tone but is a great option to have, and sounds amazing with my Morley Bad Horsey 2 Wah.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I'd completely trust this amp in any live scenario, especially seeing as it's solid state I don't have to worry about any valves going during a gig. I really can't say anything negative about the build quality of the amp, which really is what you'd expect from a company like Fender. There is literally nothing that would make me fear for this amplifiers durability and if i ever need to upgrade Fender make an extension cabinet for it so I wouldn't even need to buy a new amplifier. I can't imagine really needing a back up for this amp in a live situation, however if i reached a situation where I was touring I probably would invest in a second amp just for safety.
Overall Impression — 7
I tried out a lot of different companies before settling on this amp (mainly Orange, Ashdown and Ampeg) and this was definitely the strongest out of all of them. It really gave the impression that it can cut through a lot of noise, which it can, however I do wish it came with the foot switch for the overdrive as it would make life a lot easier but that really is a minor complaint. I would definitely, and often do, recommend this amp to anyone looking for a bass amp as it's alot of value for the money. another upside of this amp is the weight, for a 200 watt 1x15 combo it only weighs about 15kg which is incredibly light for the size (about half the weight of other combos this size) and makes transporting it a lot easier that with larger amps.