Let’s get ready to Rumble.
The Fender Rumble 40 in the red corner (sorry but we couldn’t help ourselves!), is part of an affordable range of no-nonsense bass amplifiers. This is an updated version of the Rumble series and has both improved sound and functionality.
Since Fender has a long and established history in making both affordable and high-end amplifiers, we can reasonably anticipate something good from the latest ground-up designed addition to their family. So, let’s get this Fender Rumble 40 review underway and see what it has to say for itself…
Build Quality & Design
Let’s dive in straight away by saying it’s always nice to see a company that backs their product with a five year no quibble transferable guarantee. That alone gives us a very good indication of how this amplifier is built.
Fender as a whole has a good reputation for the build quality of their amplifiers, and we see nothing in the way the Fender Rumble 40 is constructed to suggest otherwise. We accept that it’s not made in the US, like so many things today it’s made in the far east, but never the less this is a well screwed together piece of kit.
There’s nothing other than classic fender looks and design cues here. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And thankfully, they have taken heed of this saying.
The front grille is their normal design and can be removed, if need be, though we can’t really see why you would want to. The control knobs are also standard Fender, though these ones do feel a little cheap. We’d have liked to see something a little bit more substantial feeling here.
Otherwise, all good.
The control panel sits on top of the amp and is nice and simple. The only input on the control panel is for your bass, and that is to the far left. All the controls are an off white color and have a kind of vintage vibe. The controls are both easy to operate, and they’re also labeled very clearly. Even the most long-sited players should be fine reading these.
The first control knob is for gain. This is immediately followed by three push-in switches, which give you the option of shaping your sound to bright, contour, or vintage tones. We’ll look more closely at how that affects the tone a little later.
What’s more, for those wanting to seriously rock out, there’s an overdrive button, which can be adjusted for drive and level. When you engage the overdrive button, a red light comes on to remind you of the fact. That’s a pretty good idea.
The next section of controls is for the amp’s EQ section, and here we have; bass, low mid, high mid, and treble.
All nice and straight forward and that is your lot. Nothing complicated.
Features & Specifications
The Fender Rumble 40 weighs in at 18lbs and its dimensions are 12” x 16.5” x 16.5”. That’s pretty light-weight and compact and makes it easy to carry around. There’s no doubt about it; this is a great size and weight to use for smaller gigs and take around to practice rooms.
It’s a solid-state amplifier with a ten-inch speaker and a total output of 40 watts. If 40 watts is either too much or too little for your needs, don’t worry. Fender have you covered here. They have a total of nine different versions of the Rumble. Blimey, that’s a lot!
The range starts with a small 15-watt amp equipped with an 8” speaker and continues right the way up to a massive 500 watts amp equipped with a pair of ten-inch speakers and a compression horn.
At the back of the Fender is the AC connection. This is thankfully of the kettle-style plug-in design. We say ‘thankfully’ because they allow for much easier repairs of broken cables and make it much easier to run longer mains extensions. The rear also has an XLR line out input for your microphone. What’s more, there is an input for your microphone and an auxiliary input for your electronic device.
It’s obviously great to see the auxiliary input to allow you to jam along to your favorite tracks. However, it might have been nice to also see Bluetooth connectivity here. So many amplifiers and music devices now have it.
Well, it’s plenty loud enough for a small room, bedroom, or studio. It’s most likely loud enough for a small venue if you intend doing some gigging. If you’re thinking of taking it to somewhere larger than that, then it’s probably not going to be loud enough.
Well, the good news is that the Fender Rumble 40 sounds great. Firstly, once you get the Rumble fully cranked, happily, you don’t lose any significant amount of clarity. This couldn’t be said for the old Rumble models and also can’t be said for a lot of bass amps of around this size and price.
Also, the overall sound is nice and punchy, and even at higher volumes, it remains that way. It has plenty of low end and can accurately represent a low E. The mids are precise, and there’s some good top end too. What’s more, as if that’s not enough, there’s plenty of growl on tap.
For a small and inexpensive bass amp, the overall quality of sound is good.
There’s plenty of options to model your sound with the Fender Rumble 40. To start with, there are three switches for sound-shaping. In the bright setting, the amp does experience a treble bump. It not huge, but enough to make a difference, we like it. In the contour setting, the amp does exactly what you’d expect and scoops out the mids.
The vintage setting is a little more difficult to explain. It sounds a little warmer, a little less precise like it’s trying to replicate the tube amps of old. While the EQ knobs allow for standard tonal shaping, and they do their job well.
Finally, the overdrive circuit will certainly give you plenty of dirt. For this kind of money, the overdriven bass sound is not bad at all, certainly better than we’d anticipated. However, just don’t expect the same kind of quality that you’d get from a dedicated pedal.
If you like the on-board overdrive, there’s a footswitch available to change channels. It’s not included in the price, but it’s not expensive. For the price, we think it’s worth having.
All in all, there’s plenty of options on the Fender Rumble 40 to easily dial in a sound to suit your style of playing.
Well played Fender.
Fender Rumble 40 Pros & Cons
- There’s some good tonal shaping available.
- XLR input.
- It has a five-years transferable warranty.
- No Bluetooth.
If you can’t quite decide as to whether the Rumble 40 is the right amp for you, it’s worth checking out our reviews of the Best Guitar Amplifiers Under 250 dollars, the Best Solid State Amps, the Best Modeling Amps, the Best Portable Amplifiers, and the Best Tube Amps currently available.
The bottom line is that the Fender Rumble 40 is a good sounding bass amplifier given its size and price.
This is a highly affordable little amp that givers plenty of good sound quality and volume for smaller rooms or venues. The Fender Rumble 40 is ideal for musicians who regularly need to carry their amps with them. This is because it’s not only lightweight, but it’s also sturdy, and it also has that five-years Fender warranty for peace of mind.
The Fender Rumble 40 is a nice full sounding amplifier that, at low and medium volume, is almost indistinguishable from some of the bigger amps in the range. This little amp punches well above its weight and puts up a hard fight against the opposition.