Seriously, this little amp put a big smile on my face within a couple of minutes of turning it on..
My immediate impression was "Sweet but Snappy". The FAB5 feels beautifully responsive and dynamic to play, and sounds better than an amp at this pricepoint has any right to. And the built-in power attenuation is an absolute winner - great tone and modest volume levels really can coexist. I had pretty much given up on that....
Having recently moved into an apartment, I suddenly found myself surrounded by neighbours who seem to be noise sensitive. Thanks to the FAB5, instead of sitting down to play my guitar and worrying about output decibels/neighbours etc, I can sit down to play whatever I feel like, whenever I feel like it. And I can focus totally on playing, and on how good my guitars really sound.
As far as setting the amp up, it's a doddle - simple controls that do exactly what they need to do. I quickly found that "Room" on the power attenuator, low Boost setting and about 3 on the Volume Knob puts me right into "the zone" - I'm getting loads of seriously satisfying tone at a totally neighbour-friendly volume level (and without feeling like I'm missing out on anything).
The thing is incredibly discriminating - the amount of detail and audio fidelity on tap are amazing. I've been playing an Anderson Strat, a Suhr Tele and a MusicMan Axis Supersport P90, and the amp is just so good at tracking pickup changes and at bringing out the personality of the particular instrument...
It plays beautifully with pedals - again, the amount of sonic detail makes it feel like you're playing through your favourite effects for the first time. There's an effortless, airy transparency that brings out the very best in modulation effects, and it handles overdrive pedals right up to Mesa Dual Recto type territory with total aplomb - all my drive pedals sound smooth and satisfying. It suddenly feels as though I'm playing through a new pedalboard - all this for the incredibly reasonable admission price of the FAB5.
I finished playing last night and wondered to myself "could it get any better?" and straight away the word "STEREO" flashed through my mind. These wonderful little amps put that dream well within reach, and to be able to have it at at apartment dweller levels is, well, incredible.
I'm waiting for my second FAB5 to arrive.....
Tim Keech |
21/01/2014 3:38 PM
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