If you’re a musician, you know full well that a different amp can make all the difference in how your instrument sounds. With Fender’s latest, that comes down to your phone.
It probably goes without saying that different instruments tend to sound different between players, and the same is true between the hardware they plug that instrument into. Electric instruments aren’t typically loud enough until you plug them into an amplifier, so if you’re in a band, you generally shop around until you find an amp you like the sound (and price of), much like the instrument itself.
Each amp can and should sound different, exuding some sort of personality when played, and that usually comes down to the technology inside and the craft with which it was built.
But Fender has a different approach, and with a new model, will let you customise an amp using an app.
Yes, there really is an app for that, as Fender launches the Mustang GTX series of amps, guitar amplifiers that can talk to either an iOS or Android device and change the sound of the amp using Bluetooth and the Fender Tone app. It’s a concept that supports over 10,000 amplifier sounds, providing what Fender calls a “greatest hits” list of electric guitar tones.
There are two Mustang GTX amps that support this app connection, with the 50 watt Mustang GTX50 providing a 50 watt combo tune and digital amplifier, this one made more for the stage than a practice amp, with volume and support for up to 200 onboard presets. Bigger again, there’s a 100 watt model with more power in the Mustang GTX100, which the company says is durable and “gig-ready”. You know, when we’re all out of lockdown and bands are back to gigging once more.
The concept behind these Mustang GTX amps is that they emulate the styles of amp from the past, and are an evolution of models Fender has released in the past in the Cyber Twin and GDEC.
As modelling amps, the personality and tonality of the amps borrows a page from other amps, meaning you can change the sound of what you’re playing from the amp level, potentially opening up the sound of what a single instrument can do, simply by using your phone, or even just using the preset controls on the top of the amplifier itself.
That’s specifically for guitars, but bassists can find a similar concept in the Rumble Studio range of bass amps, which use the same Fender Tone amp to tweak the sound of a bass amplifier, emulating classic models from Fender’s lineup.
There are other features, too, such as effects built in, and the ability to use the amplifiers to stream music to, thanks to that support for Bluetooth.
In Australia, the Fender Mustang GTX range is heading to music stores from $749, with the app available in the respective stores for iOS and Android now.