ATTN: Fender Stratocaster Players!
You already play a Strat – what about the right amp to go with it?
Quick Links To Our Best Fender Stratocaster Amp Recommendations
- Fender Deluxe Reverb Guitar Amps – OUR TOP CHOICE because the tone with a Stratocaster guitar is unmatched and my number one pick!
- Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker – Great choice for blues guitar players and musicians who want top guitar tones.
- Peavey Classic 30 – Perfect for rock and blues with a vintage vibe.
- Vox AC15 – Amazing classic British tone and sounds.
- Fender Super-Sonic 22 – Super versatile with great clean and overdriven tones.
The following good buyers guide will point you towards the right amp for your situation, so you can start rocking the stage as soon as possible.
- Quick Links To Our Best Fender Stratocaster Amp Recommendations
- Our Fender Strat Guitar Amplifiers Reviews:
- Pairing An Amp With A Stratocaster
- Best Guitar Amps For Strats Conclusion
Our Fender Strat Guitar Amplifiers Reviews:
Fender Deluxe Reverb Guitar Amps
The ’65 Deluxe Reverb from Fender needs no introduction. Whenever somebody mentions a Fender amp, this is the model that immediately springs to mind. It has a reasonably small headroom of twenty-two watts, as well as 6V6 power valves – which produce extremely clear tones. This amp is loved for its’ punchy character and is great for gigging, particularly with its’ tube driven, vibrant reverb circuit. While it is advertised as ‘vibrato’, the ’65 Deluxe Reverb does have a tremolo channel that is valve powered. This produces the unmistakable warble that Fender is known for.
The 65 Deluxe Reverb will suit country, blues or rock guitarists, because it is moderately powered and can be cranked up in the studio or for live shows. It uses far less power than the bigger Twin Reverb model, and the overdrive is harmonic even at quite low volumes. The thick, punchy guitar tones evident on lots of legendary recordings, from Abbey Road to Memphis, emanated from the Deluxe Reverb amp. This model also has a couple of 12AT7 tubes, a 5AR4 rectifier tube, four 12AX7 preamp tubes, dual channels (vibrato and normal), and a twelve inch eight ohm Jensen C12K speaker. In addition, it has a two button reverb footswitch and vibrato on/off, a silver grille cloth and a vinyl black textured covering.
- Great for rock.
- Reliable, durable, sounds great on its own and with pedals.
- Lack of effects loop means you will have to run any effect through your guitars signal chain. Some players don’t like this idea. It’s possible to use an external effects box with a “send” and “return” jacks in place of an effects loop.
Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker
The Bluesbreaker does not simply reproduce the authentic blues sound from 1960’s Britain. Rather, it invented it in the first place. Many people refer to this period of blues music as the best ever for the electric guitar. Eric Clapton used this amp, which produces thirty watts of valve based brilliance through two twelve inch Celestion Greenbacks. The tremolo effect can be controlled with a footswitch and delivers the famous sixties vibe sound.
Undoubtedly, the Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker has a lovely tone and is suitable for any local venue. When you play with this amp, you will feel like a guitar legend yourself. The amp is named after John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, who Eric Clapton played with in 1966. The intoxicating sound of this influential blues group secured the Marshall 1962’s place in history. The Bluesbreaker’s famous clean sustain and output/stage compression is largely achieved with GZ34 valve rectification. The JTM45 Marshall amp has similar tones to this as well, although the speakers of Bluesbreaker enhance its’ sonic qualities.
- Terrific distortion.
- Solid build quality.
- Nice EQ and gain control for shaping tone and feel of distortion.
Peavey Classic 30
The Classic 30 from Peavey is a straightforward, stripped back amplifier with a vintage style. This amp is built into a 1×12 inch combo, and is perfect for gigging musicians who travel regularly and want to maintain a small rig size. With its’ all tube poweramp and preamp circuit, the Peavey Classic 30 can transition from dirty crunch to crystal cleans – ideal for rock and blues. The tones are nicely distributed over a couple of channels, which are operated by a shared reverb and EQ — with separate controls for volume.
On the first channel there is one volume control, which is programmed at the optimum input gain. This means that you get as much clean headroom as possible from this compact amp. The second channel features a post and pre gain section, which enables you to produce the crunchy, dirty tones that everyone loves.
This amp retains an attractive vintage look, thanks to its’ silver faceplate and lacquered tweed finish. Although this does not make the tone sound any better, it does appear stunning on stage. With a pristine channel and thirty watts of power, you will find it easy to perform on stages of all sizes.
- Great sound that is perfect for rock and blues.
- The amp has a classic look with a wooden cabinet.
- Price is too high for a beginner.
The Custom Series VOX AC15 combo amplifier has a couple of different channels; Top Boost and Normal. Each channel comes with a specific volume control, and Top Boost has bass and treble tone controls too. This selection of controls and channel pairing allows you to produce classic tones easily, or create your own unique sound.
The AC15 features the classic tremolo effect, which can take your guitar playing to the next level. The tremolo’s depth and speed can be adjusted, to produce the exact sound you want. In addition, this amp has a genuine spring reverb, so you can inject your playing with a lovely warm spaciousness.
Better still, due to the footswitch connectivity on the AC15, you can operate the effects while playing with separate footswitches. Two EL84 tubes and three preamp 12AX7 tubes give the amp its’ amazing valve tone. Fifteen watts of power are driven by these valves through the twelve inch G12M Celestion Greenback speaker. This delivers all the wonderful tones to your eardrums for maximum impact.
- Great for beginners.
- Has a clean sound and a nice solid tone.
- Pretty simple amplifier to use.
- Not very versatile.
Fender Super-Sonic 22
The Fender Super-Sonic 22 is a highly versatile valve amplifier. It can produce smoldering high gains and vibrant cleans, making it ideal for modern musicians who require an amplifier that works with sonic material. A great choice for professional guitarists, the Fender Super-Sonic 22 shares similarities with the Fender Deluxe Reverb (mentioned above). It has twenty-two watts of headroom and 6V6 power tubes, as well as some more contemporary touches that make it stand out.
Even though it retains its’ distinctive traditional style that makes Fender amps instantly identifiable, the Fender Super-Sonic 22 is deceptively modern – thanks to its’ range of EQ controls and two flexible channels. Where the ‘Burn’ channel gets down and dirty with saturated, eloquent high gain tones; the ‘Vintage’ channel delivers those glistering, unmistakable Fender cleans.
The effects loop on the Super-Sonic 22 is a further innovative feature. The time based and modulation effects of this amp make it extremely usable, and it can function as a perfect pedal platform. Moreover, it comes complete with a twelve inch Fender/Eminence designed ‘Lightning Bolt’ speaker. This speaker is only included on the Super-Sonic models, and its’ original design creates outstandingly clear tones and a balanced response.
- Good cleans.
- Nice sparkling top end that’s not too harsh or bright.
- Nice and warm sounding at lower volumes with the tone knob on 3 or 4 (no ear fatigue).
- No sharp, brittle sounds from this amp. Maybe some minor breakup but never any harshness on higher volumes.
- Low end is a little loose and undefined but this may be due to the speakers in this model, may not be all Super Sonics.
Pairing An Amp With A Stratocaster
When you are trying to choose a specific amplifier to plug your Fender Strat into, there are actually a few things to keep in mind.
Determine Amp Power
The first thing you want to take into consideration is the power of the amplifier. You are going to want to look for a Fender Stratocaster amplifier that offers the right amount of power needed for where you are going to be using the amp. This will allow you to have plenty of volume without distortion and it also helps with achieving a tone that sounds warm and full.
Determine Amp Playability
Believe it or not, the playability of the amp is a big factor in which one you choose. There are several things that you should consider when determining if you get a great amp to use with your Stratocaster.
Does the amp have a good clean sound? Can this be achieved by simply backing off on the volume knob? If so, then that will work well for where you are going to be using this amp.
If it is not possible to achieve a clean sound just by backing off on the volume, then you want to go with an amp that has a lower wattage rating. This will make it easier to get the sound that you are looking for.
Determine Amp EQ Options
Not only do you want to have an amp with good clean sound, but also one with a good amount of output that will allow you to cut through the mix in your studio recordings. There are a few different EQ options that you could find with an amp.
A pre-amp EQ is something that will have more of an effect at shaping the sound on the way in, and not really have any effect on shaping the sound on the way out. You can find a pre-amp section on your amp where this control will be available.
Consider The Speaker Size
The size of the speaker in the amp can also have an effect on the sound that you are going to hear when using your Strat. For example, a smaller 12 inch speaker will give you a clearer and brighter sound as opposed to a larger 15 inch speaker. This is going to be something that you will want to take into consideration so that you can get the tone that works best for where you are going to be using it.
Best Guitar Amps For Strats Conclusion
This above guide will give you a solid point of reference, when searching for the best amplifier for Stratocaster guitars. The Fender Stratocaster is an incredibly versatile instrument. Based on the amplifier you connect it to, it can fulfill the requirements of virtually any musician. The models that are mentioned above represent a range of approaches, and will make the guitar sound unique when compared to one another. Consider what features you regard to be most important, from the amps we have listed, and make your choice based on that. It is difficult to go wrong with a Stratocaster, and all the amps mentioned have amazing features that will make your playing sound fantastic.
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