Fender expands effects range with 6 new pedals
NAMM 2019: Early last year we got hands-on with what was effectively Fender’s first official foray into the effects pedal market. For 2019, Fender’s pedal line-up is set to grow with the addition of six new models aimed at ‘players looking to enhance their sound and expand their tone with a wide variety of expressive options’.
The pedals, designed in Southern California by in-house expert Stan Cotey and his team, are engineered for guitarists looking for stage-ready features in addition to Fender’s signature sound and style, including sleek exteriors which are built from durable anodized aluminum.
The pedal enclosures are built for heavy use, while switchable LED-backlit knobs ensure you can easily tweak settings from the studio to the stage.
Fender gives us a March ETA for the pedals and prices will range from £119 to £199.
Fender Downtown Express
The Downtown Express (£169) could be the only pedal you need for bass tone-shaping. On board you’ll find a compressor, 3-band EQ and overdrive, each independently switchable; or you can kill the signal completely when it comes to silent tuning.
The Direct Output makes it easy to integrate the Downtown Express into any performance situation – stage or studio. What’s more, for even greater control the Downtown Express includes a switch that lets you reorder the compressor and overdrive circuits to taste.
Fender Bubbler Chorus
If you’re looking to add a extra dimension to your guitar sound the Bubbler Chorus (£119) could be for you. This new iteration of that classic analogue sound injects new life and delivers new ways to shape your tone.
Switchable Slow and Fast speeds with independent Rate and Depth controls let players dial in the perfect sound for their music, while the Wave toggle switch enables you to select between traditional Sine and Triangle waveforms for added tweakability.
Elsewhere, the Sensitivity control enables modulation rate changes based on your playing dynamics.
Fender Lost Highway Phaser
The Lost Highway Phaser (£119) is designed to deliver powerful, flexible analogue phasing to your rig. Fast and slow speeds are switchable and each has its own independent Rate and Depth control. This enables you to shift from slow, moody phase shifting all the way to rapid and warped modulation.
Another cool feature, the Wave toggle switch, selects between Sine and Triangle waveforms, while switchable 4- and 8-stage phasing is on-hand to add extra resonance to the effect.
Once again, a Sensitivity control enables modulation rate changes based on your playing dynamics.
Fender MTG Tube Distortion
As we move to the pricier end of Fender’s pedal spectrum, we find the MTG Tube Distortion (£159). Co-designed with Bruce Egnater (of Egnater Amps), the pedal features an all-original Fender circuit.
Rather than trying to emulate the sound of tube breakup, Fender has opted to use actual vacuum tubes instead. To make this a reality, at the core of the pedal is a NOS (New Old Stock) American made 6205 preamp tube.
In terms of tweaking the sound, you’ll find 3-Band EQ with Tight control and switchable boost - with its own Level and Boost controls - making it easy to dial-in the sound in your head.
Fender’s lush Tremolo and Reverb amp effects are well documented and have inspired countless classic musicians in their time. With Fender’s Tre-Verb pedal (£199) those tones are a reality for everyone.
Included in the Tre-Verb are classic reverb voicings based on Fender’s renowned spring reverb units from 1963 and 1965 and multiple tremolo modes to help players get closer to their desired sound.
The pedal include a full suite of tone-shaping controls, including tap tempo to dial in the tremolo effect. In addition, stereo inputs and outputs ensure it’s easy to connect to any pedalboard or amp.
Fender The Pinwheel
If you don’t have the inclination to lug a rotary speaker to every gig, the Pinwheel pedal (£199) can help you achieve that classic sound in a much smaller package.
The Pinwheel serves up three different rotary speaker voices, including Fender’s own Vibratone effect. Switchable Slow and Fast speeds let players dial in the perfect sound for their music and you can add some extra texture courtesy of the on-board Overdrive, too.
Finally, the Sensitivity control can be used to open up modulation rate changes based on playing dynamics.
For more pedal news take a look at Fender.