The best compact amp pedal is available at its lowest price for Cyber Monday: why the Universal Audio UAFX Dream '65 is worth the investment

Universal Audio Dream '65 pedal
(Image credit: Universal Audio / Future)

I've spent 2023 playing and reviewing more amp modelling pedals than I ever thought possible – the market is ballooning right now, and with that has come an arms race to provide the best tube amp tone emulations. But the Universal Audio UAFX Dream '65 has remained my favourite so far, I go back to it time and time again as a benchmark for amp pedal – and it's now over $100 off RRP at Thomann, $80 off at Guitar Center and Sweetwater, plus £50 off at Andertons to make it one of the best value guitar gear investments you'll find in this year's Cyber Monday guitar deals, or at any other time. 

UAFX Dream '65: £345/$399, now £279/$289

UAFX Dream '65: £345/$399, now £279/$289
The greatest showcase of what digital emulation can offer for classic tube amp tones, the Universal UAFX Dream offers incredible flexibility for your pedalboard in recording, live and home use. Now it's hit its lowest price ever at Thomann. 

As the best emulation of arguably the best guitar amp of all time, it's already in a strong position but UA knocked it out of the park in the way it's delivered a 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb with greater flexibility than the real thing. It's not just a brilliant platform amp for your pedals, but a go-to source for recording and it's packed with useful features. That's why I gave it such a glowing review and added it to our guide to the best guitar amps available right now. 


(Image credit: Future)

Universal Audio is serious about authenticity, and it understands the heritage of the Deluxe Reverb; that's why there are not just six-speaker emulations drawing from the amp's history, but three boost modes that integrate two of the most iconic mods that were done to pro players' amps to boost mids and gain. But that's not all.

You'll get the finest vibrato spring reverb emulation outside of Fender here; this reverb drips like the real thing, and that's not easy to pull off in the digital realm. And both can be assigned to be footswitchable via the UAFX Control mobile app. 

Universal Audio UAFX Guitar Amp Emulators

(Image credit: Universal Audio)

Unlike a reissue Fender Deluxe Reverb, it doesn't cost $1,600 or upset my neighbours as well as my credit card balance

That flexibility continues with the way you can assign the footswitches in the pedal's Live and Preset modes. I set the Dream '65 up so I have two channels, each with different boosts and speaker emulations. You simply can't do this kind of thing in the analogue realm and I'm consistently wowed by the touch sensitivity and breakup tones this pedal delivers when I use it at home, for recording and in live situations. It just delivers every time. And unlike a reissue Fender Deluxe Reverb, it doesn't cost $1,600 or upset my neighbours as well as my credit card balance. 

It showcases just how far digital modelling has come to give players flexibility and access to tones that would cost four figures if you wanted to buy a real Fender Deluxe Reverb amp, let alone a modded one. I have to remind myself it's not a real Deluxe '65 amp because it certainly sounds and feels like one. 

And it's now an ever more compelling deal because of the usability it offers as the foundation for a great pedalboard rig – plug into your DAW, FRFR cab or PA and get incredible tones. 

The Dream '65 launched at £345 / $399 / €399 in 2022 and at $289/£279/€319 Thomann are currently offering the pedal at a comparatively cheaper price than other retailers' deals:

Andertons in the UK have it at £299, so does Gear4music. In the US Musician's Friend,  Guitar Center as well as  Sweetwater currently has it with off $80 for $319 which is also a great price.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.