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Review: Fender Rumble 100 V3

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What is it?

The Fender Rumble 100 V3 is an ultra-lightweight 1x12 bass combo that costs between £229 and £239 in the shops and online. 100w of power goes straight to the single speaker with no option of connecting an extra cab. It has an Aux-in, DI out and Headphone in. No tweeter.

Aesthetics and Ergonomics:

All the new Rumble gear looks awesome. Silver cloth facings, black tolex and cream knobs make it a real looker. Traditional strap handle is perfect for the job due to its lightweightness and is also in keeping with the vintage vibe. Chrome corners are reminiscent of Princeton and Reverb amps and work well. Haven't had it for long, but fit and finish seems good enough; knobs seem sturdy, tolex is well stuck down, the sockets are well affixed and the buttons have a satisfying and solid 'click'. Very easy to carry due to weight and is a good size. Smaller than the Markbass 1x12 combos and a similar size to most 1x12 cabs.

Performance and Tone Analysis:

So, 100w isn't a massive amount of power but I found it more than enough for a gig volume rehearsal with my blues trio. I had gain on half and volume on a third. Coped just fine and I'm sure there's more juice in the tank. I would happily gig this in most pubs. I have quite a low-bass frequency tone (the bass control is +/- 15dB @ 80hz which I turn completely off). However, as an experiment, I put the Bass EQ up to half and it really pushed it out at high volume with no sign of complaint. Not my tone, but definitely capable of producing those frequencies at volume. Low-Mid, Hi-Mid and treble make up the rest of the EQ. Very responsive and there's a lot of scope for experimentation.
It's got some parametric EQ's that you can kick in also and are pre-EQ so you can EQ them as you'd like. Bright, Contour and Vintage. Bright adds a little extra zing which was a little harsh to my ears, contour scoops it a little and vintage seems to boost the low-mids and, coupled with a gain boost, replicates a great motown-y, blues vibe. A little bass heavy for me though so I leave it off in a band setting, but sounds gorgeous when practicing at home solo.
In a band setting it works just fine. Sits in the mix nicely, slightly reminiscent of the Gallien Kreuger MB150s to my ears. The gain control is great for increasing the spread of harmonics and is really tuneful and musical. I have quite a robust finger style, and it seems to smooth everything out quite nicely.

Bad things:

1) There are obvious limitations when compared with other, much more powerful, 1x12 combos. It's good enough for small gigs and rehearsals but wouldn't like to try it in a bigger room without PA support.

2) The overdrive circuit sounds a little bland to me and there's no blend.

3) This combo would really have benefitted from having a wedge or tilt mechanism built in. Being so small, you'll obviously have issues hearing yourself properly unless it's raised off the ground or pointing at your head. However, being so light, you could easily buy a cheap amp stand to perch it on without any fear of it falling off or breaking the stand because of its weight.

4) There's no number markers on the knob. I'm not a fussy tone type of person, but some people really like knowing what their settings are! As it is, you just have to remember what your settings are and if they get adjusted in transit you'll just have to deal with it.

Conclusion:

I've used this for two full volume rehearsals and I think it's great. Lovely vintage looks, lovely vintage tone and at a lovely vintage price. If you've got a bigger budget, then you'd be silly not to get a MarkBass or AER or TecAmp combo. But if you're just after a small, good looking, good sounding combo for rehearsals, small gigs and home practice, it's ideal.

Cheers

Alex

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[quote name='Cosmo Valdemar' timestamp='1433447613' post='2791221']
A very timely review! I'm thinking of getting one of it's more powerful brothers. All the boxes are being ticked so far!
[/quote]

I can only add that I have more expensive Aguilar and Genz Benz rigs and the Rumble V3 gets the nod for the sound I'm after.

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A couple of other things I've noticed:

1) Effects loop but no blend!

2) Goes really loud! Took it to its first gig last night and it coped very well indeed. Easily kept up with the drummer and there's more on tap if needed.

3) Recorded with it using the DI out and it sounds great. Warm vintage tone in bags and the gain adds a pretty authentic grind when pushed.

Very happy with it and I'd recommend to anyone with a sub £250 budget.

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I know Im digging up an old thread here, but I'm quite interested in this combo.

 

To be honest, for my needs the Rumble 40v3 would probably suffice, but there isn't a massive hike in price for the 100 (like £40ish extra) 

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2 hours ago, Bonzo said:

I know Im digging up an old thread here, but I'm quite interested in this combo.

 

To be honest, for my needs the Rumble 40v3 would probably suffice, but there isn't a massive hike in price for the 100 (like £40ish extra) 

I've got one and love it. Great for practice and smaller gigs. Nice EQ section and well equipped to get a range of sounds. Light as a feather and goes pretty loud if you want. I'd like to try a 500 at a proper gig (if that ever happens again!).

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17 hours ago, Japhet said:

I've got one and love it. Great for practice and smaller gigs. Nice EQ section and well equipped to get a range of sounds. Light as a feather and goes pretty loud if you want. I'd like to try a 500 at a proper gig (if that ever happens again!).

I had the 500watt version and it was a great amp and I got it because at the time it was it had the most features for the lowest cost but tbh I think some of the eq choices are very odd like the treble being 10khz (treble control would be much more effective if they voiced it a bit lower) and the low mids being 280hz (have to be careful not too boost too much on the low mids otherwise the tone gets muddy) but to be fair despite the odd eq choices I always managed to get a decent tone from the amp and the built in overdrive and hf horn are really nice touces

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I bought the Rumble 100 during lockdown. I have a 500 for gigging but it was a bit too much for rehearsals, couldn’t turn up past 2. I thought the 100 would be fine for home practice and an extra light and easy lift for rehearsals... it’s way loud enough and the tone really suits me. Great amps.

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2 hours ago, shoulderpet said:

I had the 500watt version and it was a great amp and I got it because at the time it was it had the most features for the lowest cost but tbh I think some of the eq choices are very odd like the treble being 10khz (treble control would be much more effective if they voiced it a bit lower) and the low mids being 280hz (have to be careful not too boost too much on the low mids otherwise the tone gets muddy) but to be fair despite the odd eq choices I always managed to get a decent tone from the amp and the built in overdrive and hf horn are really nice touces

I guess those are the type of things that show up in a loud amp at gig volume but nothing you can't address with a bit of twiddling I'd imagine.

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3 hours ago, Japhet said:

I guess those are the type of things that show up in a loud amp at gig volume but nothing you can't address with a bit of twiddling I'd imagine.

Yeah I mean i always managed to get a decent tone but it almost seems like Fender did the eq section with the mindset of choosing the problem frequencies that you would often choose to cut, that being said the basic tone with everything flat was a decent useable tone 

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I have everything set flat... unless there’s some issue with the room.

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Love my Rumble 100. Had it about a year now, bought to use on small gigs and with an AEB in my acoustic duo. It’s been brilliant - great sounding combo with easy eq, small and so light! Works well with both my Washburn AB20 and also a Fender Kingman on acoustic gigs where I need just that bit more than the PA to hear myself properly. The compact dimensions mean it’s not in the way even in cafe gigs etc, and the built in DI is clean if you need to hook it up into the PA. Used it with my Jazz bitsa too, and again sounds ace and is loud enough for gigs with a 3 piece in the right setting I.e not with a crazy drummer. I got a cover for mine which is worth it to keep it looking new. All in all definitely a handy and useful combo at a good price.

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Good points: It's light, small, cheap (bought £165 secondhand), sounds great and loud enough to gig with, as long as your drummer is not an animal.

Bad points: I can't think of any bad points.

 

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Bought one yesterday!

Wonderful full tone and (for idiots like me) no confusing multi effects Id never use.

So far, so chuffed 👍

 

 

IMG_20201127_214943.jpg

PS Canvas artwork courtesy of the kids 😊

 

Edited by Bonzo
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