Fender have just showcased two brand new members of their ‘modified vintage’ series. Among the three matinees in this series is the Fender Deluxe VM…
This combo has arguably taken its influences from the Vibro Champ XD showing us how well a hybrid valve vs. solid state set-up can work. With two 12AX7 tubes in the pre amp and two 6L6’s in the power amp this little 40 watt is beasty for its compact/portable size. There are two separate channels – a non-master volume channel with volume, treble and bass controls. Then in comes the drive channel for heavier stuff, sporting gain, volume, treble, mid and bass controls.
The little Fender also pushes its digital signal processing unit (DSP) to the forefront of this amps numerous endearing features. With reverb, delay and chrous/vibrato having separate LED operation lights, so while keeping its classic Twin Reverb looks it has moved with the times, making the amp easier to use. However, what would have been good to see would be this on/off function for the separate effects on the footswitch. I suppose you can’t have everything while trying to keep the price down.
The confident clean tone says Fender all over it. The subtle tube-tone really comes into its own and gives a huge amount of headroom around 7-9 on the volume channel. The solid state circuitry boosts its presence while retaining that digital basis all players want in their effects loop. The drive channel is extremely versatile with its huge tonal range, capable of delivering light crunch to a heavy thickened edge fuzz. Classic!
A fantastic little practise amp, capable of being turned into a monster with its dual speaker output options. A serious combo at an affordable price, finally!
The Fender Deluxe VM retails at £660.