Powerful new acoustic amp has smart, easy-to-use features and rich tone.
by Teja Gerken
November 16, 2015
Ever since introducing its original Tweed amps in the early 1950s, Fender has been a leader in guitar amplification. Classic models such as the Deluxe, Princeton, and Twin Reverb, and newer additions such as the Pro Junior and Hot Rod make electric guitarists swoon. These amps are standard equipment on stages, in studios, and in practice rooms the world over. And while Fender’s acoustic amps aren’t quite as iconic as their vacuum tube–powered electric guitar amps, the company’s acclaimed Acoustasonic line has included a wide range of desirable models over the years.
Recently, Fender expanded its acoustic instrument amp line by introducing the Acoustic SFX (a 160-watt amp with special stereo speakers) and the Acoustic Pro, which we recently had a chance to check out.
The Fender Acoustic Pro is a medium-size amp, housed in a unusual-looking enclosure with a shaped plywood back and smooth, brown grille. With its natural wood appearance, the Acoustic Pro looks right at home among acoustic instruments, and Fender made sure that the amp is rugged enough to accompany them on the road.
The user-friendly design of the Acoustic Pro includes two identical channels (each with a combined ¼-inch and XLR input for use with instruments or microphones) with stripped-down, practical features. Each channel includes controls for volume and reverb, as well as a three-band EQ with tunable mids and a phase-reversal switch. The amp also has two mini-jacks for an Aux In and a headphone output (which mutes the speaker). The back of the amp is home to an XLR DI output, an effect loop (using two ¼-inch jacks), and a jack for an optional footswitch, and the Acoustic Pro’s simple kickstand is a nice, stage-smart touch.
We tried the Acoustic Pro with a Custom Shop Martin OM (equipped with an L.R. Baggs Dual Source pickup system) and a Collings MT-2 mandolin with an L.R. Baggs Radius pickup installed. In both cases, the amp produced a fat, warm sound and its reverb was pleasing. We also felt that the tunable mid control helped make the mandolin sound more natural than it did without any EQ processing.
Overall, the Acoustic Pro is a great addition to the field of acoustic amps. With its full sound, user-friendly character, and striking look, the amp is guaranteed to find a home with many acoustic guitarists.
Specs: Solid-state acoustic instrument combo amp. 200 watts. 12-inch speaker and one-inch compression driver. Two channels, each with controls for volume, reverb, and four-band EQ (with tunable mids). Phase-reversal switches. ¼-inch and XLR combo inputs. DI output. Effect loop. Footswitch jack. Universal 100–240 volt operation. 27 lbs. $999.99 (street). fender.com
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