Super-Sonic 112 Combo review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (10 votes)
Fender: Super-Sonic 112 Combo

Price paid: $ 1100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 8
The amp really is an experience to play. The clean amp models sound authentic; that Vintage Fender tube tone comes through beautifully (and that's not a superlative I use lightly in an unbiased review). I play a Fender American Strat and an American Tele through this amp. The Supersonic was clearly made to suit these guitars, as the Vibrolux mixed with the Tele's tone is superb. The clean settings are perfect for my bluesy playing style. As for the gain, the EQ and dual gain knobs can be adjusted to fit a plethora of styles. On max settings, I can get that grunge/hard rock sound I enjoy, and on lower settings, one can even get an Eric Johnson like sustain. However, metalheads may want to give other amps a look, as the Supersonic can't provide the distortion (without separate effects) to appease many. Another small quirk I have with the amp is it's volume. Even at 65 watts, this amp is very loud. Anything past five is almost ear splitting, and is not necessary unless playing moderate sized venues. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, but the Supersonic's Burn channel tends to sound nicer at higher volume settings, meaning that if one wants to practice with the amp is the garage, getting that perfect burn tone may really annoy the neighbors. Though the actual sound is beautiful, the reverb excellent, and the tonal possibilities impressive, these problems are enough to dock some points off the review.

Overall Impression — 8
For the blues rock style I enjoy playing, this amp really offers it all for me. The impressive reverb and Fender tube tone insured I was happy with the amp. That it compliments my Strat so excellently is just a bonus. Fender offers the amp in both an Oxblood Blonde and a "Black Pepper" cosmetic treatment, of which I own the blonde, and even the cosmetic treatment is top notch and representational of the guitarist's style. The Supersonic is the only tube amp I own (though a Mesa Boogie 5:50 is readily available at my school) and I'm happy with the purchase. Compared to the Marshall's I tired and the similar priced Mesa, I found the Fender best suited my style and needs for the price. Though I occasionally wish for a little more kick to the gain, or a way to quiet it down a tad, this amp has worked well for me and I certainly recommend it to you.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've owned the amp for quite a while without any problem or hassle. I've read on other sites that people have had problems with the amplifier, though from personal experience I can't say I agree with them. This amp has functioned beautifully from the day I bought it (it was even a floor model for a week or so before I purchased it). I had a minor problem with the foot pedal's button sticking in place, but Fender quickly addressed the problem and I received a replacement that is yet to fail me. I've used the amp for practice in the garage, jamming with other musicians, and playing small to mid sized venues. Though it's heavy to tote around, knowing I have a piece of equipment that functions as it should makes up for it.

Features — 9
In 2006, Fender introduced the Supersonic 112 combo all tube amp into the market. Based on the earlier Prosonic model, the Supersonic is an excellent amp that allows players many different options tonally without sacrificing anything players love about the Vintage models. The Supersonic has a dual clean channels, one based on the Fender 1965 Vibrolux and the other based on the 1965 Bassman (both are selectable via included footswitch). Both the Bassman and Vibrolux setting feature dual EQ for more tonal possibilities as well as that classic Fender reverb that these amps are known for. The Burn channel (also selectable via footswitch) provides the player with dual gain knobs for all types of styles, as well as four EQ settings and a separate volume knob. That the Supersonic offers so many tonal possibilites with only nine knobs is icing on the cake. An effects loop is also included (once again, selectable via the footswitch).

13 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i really like this amp. especially because it's 60 watts. most nice fender amps are really low wattage which makes them difficult to use live, but this one actually has some power behind it.
    I have had this amp for almost 3 years. I can get any sound out of it I want except for retardedly hi-gain metal, which i don't want anyway. Best amp out there imo.
    Fender amps are really really good, fat sounding and not too pricy.
    This is a great amp, I would personally compare it to a more vintage sounding version of the peavey Jsx
    I just got a blonde supersonic it rocks i play it through a Boss SD-1 distortion (sometimes) and it sounds amazing!
    Great sounding amp. My only complaint would be the cardboard back grill that offers almost no protection for the tubes, I replaced mine with a steel grill.
    I bought my Big Muff (Tone Wicker model) and American Tele into a store to play one of these, and dear god, that tone. I was unsurprisingly impressed by the clean tones I got, especially playing Fender through Fender, but what I was really taken aback by is how well the 112 responded to the Muff, because I've heard so much about Fender Twins and such having trouble with fuzzboxes and/or distortion pedals etc. That certainly wasn't the case here, excellent doom tones for Boris, Electric Wizard, Sleep and the like. You're right about that volume, I tell you, I didn't even have it past 1 on the clean channel and it was already louder than my Marshall 100-watt solid state at 5.
    I had one of these and sold it to fund purchasing a Super Sonic Twin when they first came out. I love the Twin but I've missed the 112 many times. I agree with the statement about volume - it's really loud by the time you get any overdrive out of the amp but there's something about the sound I get from this this amp I have to have. I found one within my budget and tomorrow it should be mine. When I get one again I won't be parting with it.
    As unreliable as Craigslist purchases tend to be this one came through and I'm now once again a Super Sonic 112 owner. Playing this side by side with my Super Sonic Twin I'm amazed at the similarity in tone. The Vibrolux emulation covers Zeppelin to Skynyrd quite nicely and the Bassman setting gets me into Eagles territory. The Twin has some nice features including the ability to drop the power to 25 watts but this 112 is a great sounding amp. The volume is a bit of a challenge though - it's just below 3 and it's almost too loud for a practice setting. All the same the weight and size make this the clear choice for a gigging amp over the Twin in just about every venue.
    I traded a Gibson Les Paul for mine (another great craigslist deal!) and it's my favorite amp I own so far. The volume thing is so annoying, way too loud to play in my condo, but that's what my lower wattage amps are for! This thing just shines at the bars and clubs where my 3-piece blues band performs, and I regularly get compliments on my tone. I plan on using this amp forever