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Sound Quality

This is a good sounding amp. The Fender tweed and blackface models are excellent. The Vox model is decent. The Marshall and Boogie models aren't wonderful, but I bought this for the Fender sounds. The effects are great. Wish the levels wouldn't change so much when you turn effects on/off via MIDI commands. The audio glitches when switching between some presets. I play pop/rock using a Telecaster, G&L Legend, Parker Fly, Hamer Archtop GT P-90, Hamer Diablo and Danelectro 12 string. All of them sound great through this amp except for the Diablo (weird, because that is my best sounding guitar through my Trademark 60). The amp is plenty loud enough to stand up to my drummer, and he plays LOUD! Note that setting the amp's trim control correctly for each guitar is crucial. Unlike a conventional amp if the trim is too low then rolling off the guitar's volume can cause the amp to lose the signal entirely.


I've been able to crash the amp by using the front panel controls (e.g. just changing the noise gate setting with a certain compressor setting). The amp sometimes ignores MIDI commands, so remote control is not reliable enough to use on stage.


General Comments

Modelling amps are in their infancy and nobody has gotten it right yet. This amp sounds fine, but until the reliability and MIDI problems are fixed I won't recommend it. I'll hold on to it in hopes that Fender issues an upgraded operating system, but I'll ditch it if they don't fix it in a few months.


I've been playing nearly 30 years. My main guitar amp is a Tech 21 Trademark 60 (which works nicely when slaved to the Cyber-Deluxe). If the Cyber-Deluxe were lost or stolen I would get something else or just go back to my Trademark 60. I chose it over the Valvetronix (which has no MIDI implementation and can only be controlled by their lame proprietary foot pedal). I like the Valvetronix sounds slightly better.


LISTEN UP FENDER: Fix the tuner, fix the multiple sysex message crash, fix the level problems when switching effects in/out, fix the audio glitches when switching programs, make the tuner usable, get rid of the MIDI continuous controller "capture" kludge, debug the software so it is reliable and this amp will be a winner. Right now it is a work in progress.

Reviewer's Background

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