The geniuses at Fender Laboratories have been working on a next-generation guitar amplifier for the everyday guitar player. Something that could be simple, but advanced enough to go where no consumer practice amplifier has ever gone before. A lot of work has gone into the next generation Fender amp and it’s finally ready. Say hello to the new Fender G-DEC guitar amplifier.
- An electric guitar
- 1″ inch male amp cable
The Fender G-DEC: A Next-Generation Guitar Amplifier
Every guitar player wants a little more out of their practice amp – especially when it comes to features and sound quality. The Fender G-DEC practice amp is the first of it’s kind. The G-DEC (pronounced deck) is much more than just a guitar amplifier. It’s a Guitar Digital Entertainment Center (G-DEC), which as it’s name implies, has a variety of features unavailable in most guitar amps.
Fender G-DEC Amplifier Sound & Presets
You’ll immediately hear the sound potential of this Fender amp right after you strum your first note. The variety of sound presets available in this Fender amp range from heavy metal to country. There are 50 in total. The presets make it very easy to quickly get the sound you are looking for when you are composing a song or just playing along with your iPod. The G-DEC also has plenty of built-in effects. Everything from a Peter Frampton “wah-wah” sound to several types of distortion is all included.
In addition to all the effects and presets, the G-DEC also features a full catalog of synthesized instrument loops. Just pick a preset for your guitar sound and the instruments loops will match that style. The speed of the instrument loops can be modified if you need to speed up or slow things down. Also, the 50 user presets can be customized if you feel like messing around with your own settings.
NERD NOTE: While Fender maintains extensive production facilities across the world, its highest quality models are manufactured in the factory in Corona, California (USA).
G-DEC Fender Amp Controls
The Fender G-DEC is very easy to use and only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to figure out. Since the menu knobs and display make it intuitive, there’s really no need to study the tiny 15-page manual that comes with this Fender amp.
Built-In Guitar Tuner & Aux Input
The G-DEC looks like your average practice amp, but its digital interface hints at something more. One of the most useful options of the G-DEC is the built-in digital tuner. I love not having to disconnect my guitar from the amplifier when I need to tune a couple of strings. When the tuner is activated, the guitar sound is cut from the speaker. This way you can quickly tune your guitar and not piss off your audience or bandmates.
Another cool feature of the G-DEC Fender amplifier is the 2nd guitar input. This way you can jam along with a friend using the same amplifier. You can also use the AUX input to plug in a CD, MP3 player, iPod or even a microphone.
Fender Amp Firmware Updates
The midi “in” and “out” ports can also be used to update your G-DEC’s firmware or add more presets from the Internet or from other G-DEC amps (the downloaded presets are saved in the user presets).
Fender G-DEC: Additional Features
There are so many great features in this Fender amp that it’s hard to cover them all in this review. Here are some of the highlights.
- A modeling amp, which can sound like any of 17 different amplifiers
- A digital effects processor containing 29 effects (many in stereo) so you can add reverb, phasing, flanging, wah, etc.
- An on-board General MIDI synthesizer with MIDI In and Out jacks on the front panel
- 50 factory presets and 50 user-definable presets
- A 14-second phrase sampler, so you can record licks and practice against them
- Auxiliary input for CD, iPod or mp3 player
- Phones jack can be used with stereo headphones or as a stereo Line Out jack
- Second input jack on the rear panel
- Chromatic tuner
Minor Things That We Didn’t Like With The G-DEC Fender Amplifier
The Fender G-DEC is a great product but it’s not perfect. There’s annoying “humming-sound” produced by the amplifier in almost all presets (if volume, distortion, and gain are on high) and an inability to connect a pedal or footswitch keeps me from giving it a 5-star rating. Some of these issues were corrected by Fender with the release of the Fender G-DEC 30 (a 30-watt version of the G-DEC) and the bass version of the amplifier called the Fender B-DEC.
But all things considered, the Fender G-DEC is a great inexpensive practice guitar amp (~$250) that’s small enough to fit in any living room, bedroom, or home studio. It even comes with a shoulder strap for easy transport to band practice (16 lbs or 7.27kg). However, the G-DEC is still just a practice amplifier. If you are thinking about getting an amp for live performances, then you should consider something bigger.