NAMM 2024: The idea of Fender's accessories announcements don't exactly get the pulses racing every January, compared to the thrills of guitar amps, pedals and guitar launches. But consider this: unlike those seemingly more exciting prospects, accessories are usually something most of us might need, rather than want. So do we need an amp stand?
I'm going to say yes, and Fender has a beauty to offer in 2024 – along with some very nifty guitar stands. I know, you're not convinced but amp stands are useful. Actually, I'm going to go further – an amp stand might be a game-changer for you.
Where did the idea come from that a combo amp should point at the back of your legs? If you're one of the crazy old-school hooligans that still has stage sound and needs to hear their guitar amp behind them – I know it seems crazy right – why would flat on the floor ever be the optimum positioning? Surely an angled wedge idea idea directing the sound towards the ear is the way to go. Well, that's where the amp stand comes in. It wants to put things right.
At one stage I was shoving my gig bag under the front of my combo to tilt it up. Sometimes I'd source some form of plastic chair to balance the amp on, but then the sound was just hitting the tops of my legs. You see, I'd always struggled to hear my own guitar live and in rehearsal – being a singer-guitarist was really the root of the monitoring challenges for me. I'd overcompensate with treble, harsh mids and, worst of all, volume. I'd see people grimace on and offstage, but that may have been my playing… never mind them, we need to feel comfortable with our sound as players. Angling the cab started to remedy that obstacle for me. But why didn't I just Google 'amp stand' sooner?
They remain a strange accessory, lurking in the shadows – sometimes eliciting laughter from those who somehow think an amp stand is 'uncool' and overdoing a rig. But Fender doesn't just want you to just consider owning an amp stand with its new Deluxe wooden offering; in wants you to cherish and invest in the concept. By invest, I mean spending more than you could possibly imagine an amp stand costing – that's $299.99 / £285.99 / €329 in this case.
It's a bold move, but so was the Broadcaster once upon a time. And this is a good-looking amp stand!
The price isn't the only sobering realisation here though. By Fender's own admission, this is Gear Furniture. You don't take furniture to gigs. So this is an amp stand designed for the home, and that makes the outlay more palatable – you might even justify it to your family: 'It's not gear – it's home furnishing'. It might just work!
'The Fender Deluxe Wooden Amp Stand features a mid-century modern design and is built tough enough to withstand the largest combo amps,' says Fender. So far, so reassuring. 'The integrated drawer allows for storage and organisation of essential accessories keeping pedals, cables and power supplies off the floor.' Ok now we're talking - this is a whole home guitar furniture solution!
But we need a matching guitar stand…
As you'll see, Fender doesn't just want to take the amp stand into a new era of lifestyle accessories though, it wants to do the same for guitar stands too. And I think I like the three-guitar offering the most because like many of us, I'm constantly struggling to find places to store guitars. These designs tackle that while looking – and making your guitars look – good!
This approach is a continuation of the single wooden guitar stands we've seen more and more of in the market as brands realise people need want guitars to fit in with their homes in an aesthetically pleasing way. And Fender has one of those in its new Deluxe line-up too.
My hope is Fender will expand the options to lighter woods for more choice. In the meantime, the new stands will be available from February.