Pros: Great amp models, plenty of options, price.
Cons: Connection to PC required for real deep editing of patches (but well worth it).
Fender’s always been known for their instruments and amps. With their new Mustang Floor model, they could become the “go-to” for multi-FX units. This is essentially one of their Mustang amplifiers, minus the power amp section and speaker. It’s a pretty decent size for a floor mounted multi-FX unit, with steel construction and beefy switches. Two rails protect the editing buttons and display from any wayward feet. A very solid-feeling expression pedal is mounted at the end. There are plenty of inputs and outputs for a variety of configurations. With the headphone out and 1/8″ aux input, this also works great in home/bedroom applications, as well as for live use.
The sounds are great, from vintage to modern. Fender really nails their own amps, and delivers very good versions of so many others: Vox, Mesa/Boogie, Marshall. The ability to edit the configurations, like running a Vox-like amp into a 4×12 cabinet, really opens up the abilities to digitally re-create a rig that could be difficult, if not impossible, to reproduce in reality. The effects selection is excellent, from traditional spring reverbs to filter effects and pitch shifting. The ability to place the effects before the amp, as you would with stomp boxes, or after, like in a studio setting, really gives total control of the signal chain to the player.
The stock presets are good, and offer a great starting point to many tones. Editing via the LCD screen is easy and the controls are simple, but like most multi-FX units, can be a bit difficult. It’s much easier though to connect it (via USB) to a computer with Fender’s FUSE editing software, to really get into deep editing. The interface is pretty simple, and offers up a much more visual experience in the editing of sounds.
Overall, it’s a great unit, with an excellent selection of amps and effects. It’s about time a company known for amps introduces a multi-FX unit that raises the bar with its amp modeling section.
- 12 amp models, 37 effects, 100 onboard presets
- Dual XLR and dual 1/4″ line outputs with level control
- Onboard chromatic tuner
- Fender FUSE software
- Ableton Live 8 Fender Edition included