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Fender Vintage Modified Deluxe VM Amp : Review

Fender deluxe VM Pedal

The new Vintage Modified Series is born to give, to Fender enthusiasts, a more portable and compact version of the Hot Rod Deluxe and Deluxe Reverb models. The Combo solution, with a 12" speaker, is the choice, that can be shared, in my opinion, considering the compact size that only a 12" speaker allows. In addition to this, an all tube pre section and some very common effects, including Reverb, Chorus and Delay. Sure, someone will turn up his nose, thinking to onboard base effects than usual Boss pedals or better, like me, a fabulous Lexicon. But we must say: this amp is born with the idea of giving to the guitarist a compact, transportable and complete instrument, with all the necessary in order to insert the guitar jack and beginning to play. From this point of view, this Fender product is what such a guitarist needs. Clearly, in a more comfortable situation, like in studio or in a live context, maybe more professional than playing with friends, i prefer the classic setup, with my effects inserted in the Loop. De gustibus! The 4 valves, 2 12AX7 for the pre and 2 6L6 for the power amp, make the Deluxe VM remarkably flexible, and produce an optimal sound, that can space from Blackface-style clean tones (a legend), to drive sounds, much manageable, thanks to the various onboard controls, including a beautiful Gain post-EQ.

General features

Fender Deluxe VM back

2 12AX7, one for the pre drive and the other one for the reversal phase. They make their duty. The 2 power valves (6L6), "load" well the output sound on the excellent Celestion G12P80 speaker. The clean tone of this Combo is very good, in the best Fender tradition, with a beautiful pre-gain control that gives you extensive possibilities to modify it. Good the distortion that, thanks also to the post-gain EQ, can easily vary from Blues to Rock .

DSP

It is equipped with a DSP on-board. The available effects are those necessary for a minimal setup. A reverb, chorus/vibrato with frequency, depth and mixing controls, and a delay with the possibility to control the Time and the number of the repetitions. For fast playing it's ok, but in other situations, no thanks, i prefer mine pedals and my Lexicon, which I love more of my girl. I could never renounce to it.

Equalization

It is equipped with a good EQ section, with controls that answer well and allow to move up, with a relative facility, from clean sounds, clear and crystalline, to overdrives, aggressive and very blew up.

Footswitch

It is equipped with a 4-button switch, to control the on/off Drive, Reverb, Delay and Chorus.

Introduction on the Market

It has been introduced on the Market in the month of January 2009, for the NAMM 2009, with others 2 Vintage Modified Series models: The Band-Master VM and the Band-Master VM 212 enclosure.

Conclusions

Fender aim was to give to the guitarist what he needs for a fast, transportable and compact setup, the class of the legendary Deluxe, beginning from the Red Hot Series, the Vintage sound of all-tube amps and some effects for plugging into and playing quickly. The result, we say it immediately, was obtained. Obviously, the considerations made at the beginning of our review are still valid. For a fast context, the DSP on-board is practical and comfortable, but in a more professional context, studio or live, the number of the available effects and, first of all, the base controls, turn out limitative and rather insufficient. The sound is good. The tone is a quality tone. The 4 valves work well and the many available controls, both on the gain (pre and post) and in the equalization section, allow an optimal flexibility, also thanks to the excellent G12P80 Celestion. The price of 940 Euros is proportioned to the quality assembly, of good level, and to the general quality of the Fender Deluxe VM.

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