Fender Rumble v3 40 - First Impressions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by el_cody_loco, Jul 13, 2014.


  1. el_cody_loco

    el_cody_loco

    Feb 13, 2013
    Just got this in a trade with a good buddy of mine. Swell guy. Anyway, since there's not a lot about these online yet, I figured I'd help someone else decide if this is what they need.

    --Aesthetics--
    Right out the gate, I noticed this thing is LIGHT. Like, woah. It feels like it's empty. I love that, and so does my back! The knobs feel somewhat hefty, but definitely not heavy duty amp knobs. Good for the price range though. The speaker grill is cheap, and when the amp arrived, the Fender logo was bent. I took it off, and I'm trying to bend it back, but I'm not going to be heart broken if I can't get it straight. The jacks were all solid, not loose at all (I was expecting to have to fix this, but turns out it's solid).

    --Tone/Controls--
    The tone isn't so revolutionary, compared to the previous generation of Fender Rumble amps. The tone is basic, nothing to write home about. The 4-band EQ allows for good tonal shaping though, and there are 4 more buttons on the amp to utilize:

    BRIGHT: gives the amp a little treble bump. Not bad, not amazing. Works though, I like it.

    CONTOUR: scoops the mids. Need I say more?

    VINTAGE: this one is hard to explain. It makes the amp get a little gritty around the edges, it's not as pristine. It's almost like a fake tube amp sound. Sounds ok no complaints. Hard to utilize though.

    OVERDRIVE: with this switch on, the GAIN and LEVEL knobs are activated. The overdrive isn't too shabby, honestly. For under $200, you're gonna be happy with the OD.

    --Volume--
    This thing is loud, good enough for a small gig or practice, but this is where it helps to have an XLR and PHONES output. This won't cut it for a large bar, maybe a small one though. Kick ass sound though! Hey, if the other Rumble amps are this good, I may save up for the 500 combo. Good sound, and as volume increases, you don't lose the note-to-note clarity that I associate with my last Rumble (30W model from the last run).

    --Misc. Controls--
    Let's go over these real quick:

    XLR: good, ran it straight from the amp into my USB port, and it sounds pretty clear. Not bad at all. It doesn't mute the amp when plugged in (for those who care).

    HEADPHONE: This is the nicest surprise out of the entire amplifier. When you plug in the headphones, the amp is silenced and the sound through the headphones is FANTASTIC! I didn't think I'd like it this much, but I do. Good sound, you can really get a feel for how you sound when you play. Don't think it'd be useful for recording directly from this, but to each their own.

    AUXILIARY: the auxiliary output is good, but there's no volume setting for it. The volume control comes from the source of the sound. I plugged my MP3 in, and the thing was LOUD... because the volume on the MP3 is loud. I would have liked an additional volume knob for the auxiliary, just to tame the sound without having to fiddle with another device, but what it does right, it just does right. Can't complain beyond that.

    --Overall--
    I highly recommend this, and honestly, the 15 and 25W models of the v3 Rumble don't have nearly as many features as the 40W and above. Save a little extra cash and get the 40W, and go bigger if you can. I'm very happy with it, honestly. If there's one thing I could change, I would change the position of the headphone and auxiliary output from the backside to the top. Other than that, for under $200, this is a godsend. I'll be using this PLENTY for practice and small performances.

    Sorry, I'm not one who reviews things often, so I apologize if the reviews kinda lame. Also, forgive me for the low picture quality. My camera's dead and my phone camera makes everything look fuzzy.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    chupacerveza likes this.
  3. The whole review is great, but the "Overall" section really hits home. I also have and have reviewed this amp. http://www.talkbass.com/threads/fender-rumble-40-review.1075870/ I recently found a Rumble 40 displayed right next to a Rumble 25. I couldn't believe how much more the 25 weighs!!! Therefore, your suggestion to find a way to purchase the 40 is spot on! For what I do and where I play, this seems to be as much amp as I'll ever need. I'm glad you like yours.

    That said, if I knew that the online store I bought mine from would give me six months same as cash, I just might have bought the 100. ;)
     
    chupacerveza and Linnin like this.
  4. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I just played a Rumble 40 and also a 100 yesterday. I liked them both and was very favorably impressed with the new front end/pre-amp. The 100 has just a slightly larger footprint wihile being a few inches taller + 4 more lbs. I can see why the 100 is so popular! The only tonal differences were the differences in woofer, with the 12" Eminence clearly sounding better. You can pick any of the D-Class Rumbles from 40 all the way to 500 and come out a winner. You just can't loose :thumbsup:
     
  5. Nice review! Could you say a little more about the tone? Deep, punchy, aggressive mids, smoothness, etc? When you play the lower 2 strings, are the notes more or less the same volume or are a few of them louder than the others?
     
    Linnin likes this.
  6. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    I know you're addressing the OP/Reviewer, and I was hoping he would come back to answer, or that maybe Orangeclawhammer would. I only played through the Rumble 40 for some 10-15 minutes. Plenty deep. It had no problem whatsoever in accurately producing a low E. I was playing with the channel and master at half volume. Nice and punchy. I was playing my 2012 Fender American Standard Jazz strung in rounds. Plenty of growl available. Mids can be dialed right on up there, and can be as aggressive as you want to be. Low mids are voiced at 280Hz while the high mids are 1.2KHz. + or - 12db. With all tone controls at 0 boost/cut and no shape buttons engaged the tone is very even and smooth. All notes played were even in volume. I've never played any quality bass amp that wasn't. So if you're experiencing uneven note volumes on your bass, I would suspect an instrument or string problem rather than an amplifier issue.
     
    chupacerveza, Yahboy and AstroSonic like this.
  7. Unfortunately, I really don't know what alot of these adjectives. I have been able to get several different sounds that I like, but the best I could do was to say that a given tone reminded me of A classic Jack Bruce or John Entwistle tone. I have not noticed any difference between the volume between different strings except for the E string seeming to be louder that the others, but since I've noticed that with every combination of basses/amps I've ever tried, I chalked it up to my hearing. Other than that, Linnin says it better than I ever could.

     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  8. I have played through a number of small combos with a variety of instruments and have found that most have a strong upper bass peak. This provides a sense of bass from a small cab with a relatively large driver. It also causes notes with a fundamental or second harmonic 'in' the peak to sound louder than the others and to have relatively poor articulation. A little bass peaking can add warmth and bloom to the notes. I was hopeful that Fender had done the latter. I found the Rumble 100 v3 to have surprising depth and to be warm and bloomy but still pretty articulate. I was curious about the '40' because that is the point at which you get the good preamp and I need a small, light weight and capable rig for small gigs. I'll have to get to the local GC to check the '40' out.
     
  9. DavidBassista

    DavidBassista

    May 21, 2014
    NYC
    Hey AstroSonic - did you get a chance to try 40W out? I'm thinking of getting one if GC will price match at $180. I need a cheap portable practice amp that sounds halfway decent. Sadly my 1966 B-15 is in another State... :)
     
  10. I have not yet checked out the '40', but will get the chance in about 2 weeks, when I plan to visit the local GC (about 100 miles away). I have tried the 100 (12") and 200 (15"), and they are very competitive at anywhere near those price points. I expect that the 40 will perform similarly, just less deep and less loud. If I like what I hear, that may be it. I may end up building a compact 1x8 or 1x10 (Faital?) to use with a micro head. A light weight, one piece solution would be nice though.
     
    chupacerveza likes this.
  11. DavidBassista

    DavidBassista

    May 21, 2014
    NYC
    I played one in a GC the other day but there was so much ambient noise around me that it was pointless to get a feel for its sound. It did seem loud, and it really is lightweight - which is my main interest in it, that and price. Looks well built for under $200. I think I'm just gonna get it. I sold my Bassman TV Ten yesterday and just need a cheap apartment amp.
     
    chupacerveza, AstroSonic and Linnin like this.
  12. DavidBassista

    DavidBassista

    May 21, 2014
    NYC
    Astro - I got the Rumble 40 yesterday. GC price matched a 179.99 price from some online dealer I found and printed off. They used to be pretty easy to get to knock off 10-15 percent, but with their new management change they are very strict and mostly non-negotiable.

    I can only give a limited first impression of the amp as I haven't played it a ton, but the main thing to note about it is its weight. And it's cost. These were the two reasons I bought it. I needed and amp for a transient graduate school living style. I sold my Bassman TV 10 the other day because I couldn't justify keeping a nice amp like that since I'm no longer in a band. I sold it for $525 and bought the Rumble for $180. The bassman sounded really good, but I already have a B-15 and a B100r so I didn't need another good sounding vintage style amp.

    With respect to the Rumble 40s' sound, I would say that it's OK. It's acceptable. It seem loud for 40 watt and has a good amount of low end. Comparing it to another 10" Fender bass amp - the TV 10, there is really no comparison. The TV 10 really sings. It's smooth, and round sounding. The Rumble 40 is not as warm and harmonic. But it gets the job done. Maybe the speaker will break in and it will sound a little better, but it's fine.

    I have a question for you. I have an EC Vibro-Champ guitar amp. It's a hand wired tube amp by Fender based on the 57 Champ circuit. It's 5 watts into a 4 ohm Weber 8" speaker. I have played bass through it and despite not having much low end it sound really good especially when you start to get just a little bit of tube compression. The Rumble 40 has an 8 ohm speaker. I was thinking that it would be cool to tap the speaker on the Rumble and plug it into the Vibro-Champ which has a 1/4 jack to plug in an external speaker. My question is can I do this, or does the fact that the Rumble is 8 ohms cause a problem? I would love to hear the Rumble cab being powered by a little 5 watt tube amp.

    Thanks.
     
    AstroSonic likes this.
  13. I have never actually heard a TV-10, but always heard it described much as you did. Your impression is much the same as mine regarding the Rumble 100 and 200. Breakin can make quite an improvement in tone. The bass usually comes first, with the mids and highs requiring about 4x as much time.

    You can hook up the rumble 8 ohm speaker to the Champ without hurting anything, but the mismatch will cause a reduction in power delivery. Well worth a try.

    Thanks for getting back on this, and good luck with the Rumble-Champ!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
    DavidBassista likes this.
  14. scotch

    scotch It's not rocket science!

    Nov 12, 2006
    Albany, NY USA
    Please see Profile for Endorsement disclosures
    I just picked up a Rumble 40 today after some extensive online research. I was just looking for a small, good sounding & decent looking practice amp for the living room. Just something that doesn't look like a Star Trek prop. Some eq and an aux in were my only "must haves".

    It's probably fair to say that I'm a "Tube Amp Snob". I just know that I'm picky about tone and feel & that 9 times out of 10, tube amps make me happier. My only other solid state amp is an Aguilar ToneHammer (used in my home studio, recording, small local gigs, and as a back-up head). I'm pretty shocked at how this little Fender sounds! Great tone, full deep voice and light as a feather!

    I don't think i could gig with it, but it's an admirable piece of engineering for under $200! It's a keeper.
     
    jwindham, WesW, jbassbob and 2 others like this.
  15. I hooked up with a group of 'acoustic' players, and decided to get a rig appropriate to the task. I wanted a light, compact combo - low profile hardware - but with enough amplification capability to handle small venues. After considerable research and auditions, I picked up a Fender Rumble 40 V3. I was very impressed by the fit and finish. The EQ is versatile and easy to use, and the electronics are quiet (virtually silent) - at least for MI amplification. Cranking up the treble at high volume settings or using the overdrive does add audible hiss, but its inaudible when playing. The sound, out of the box, was unremarkable. I broke it in with some energetic, wide band music, checking the tone every couple of hours, until the tone had stabilized - it took about 12 hours total. The tone was much improved, with deeper bass, decent treble extension (almost sweet), and a remarkable midrange presence. It was capable of surprisingly high spl's, with minimal cone excursion, even with moderate bass boost. However, bass was mainly harmonic below B (on the E string): by A it was audibly all harmonic. The attack and sustain on E string notes was odd, not natural (attack seemed blunted and sustain was short). And, notes on the D and G strings just did not sound quite right. I seriously thought about returning it, but decided that it had enough positive aspects that I could 'work' with it.

    I tried sealing the cab - the result was much deeper bass, with nice punch and with a natural attack and sustain. However, the maximum volume was limited by cone excursion that had increased substantially relative to the stock ported design.

    I tried using just one port (there are 2). This was almost as extended as the the sealed cab, but I preferred the bass tone with one port. It had enough fundamental to lend some sense of power, down to G. Attack and sustain were natural. again, maximum volume level was limited to substantially below that of the stock cab (2 port) due to excursion.

    Honestly, the sealed and single port configurations have merit - the choice is strictly personal preference.

    Lastly, I noticed that the height and width dimensions of the cab (interior) were the same (15 1/4 inches), and the driver was located in the center of the baffle board. This is a formula for building strong standing waves. I lined the back, one side and the bottom. Suddenly the tone of the upper notes was more open and natural - almost a night and day difference. This also seemed to improve the bass growl. Unfortunately, it also killed the midrange presence that I liked and also seemed to take some life out of the sound. The presence and most of the 'life' were largely restored by removing the lining from the back panel.

    I am now using the amp with one port, and with lining on one side and the bottom. I really like the tone, and the volume capability is sufficient for practice and small venues - at least so far. You can hear the driver strain when you push the excursion (with bass boost and high volume), so it's easy to avoid overdriving it.

    That's all IMO and IME. YMMV Some (perhaps most) may find the amp to be fine (even great) stock (no doubt, Fender has put considerable effort into fine tuning this design). The acoustic players commented positively on the tone - after the mods. And I really enjoyed the ease of carrying my bass (cased, with cords) in one hand and the amp in the other.
     
  16. Well it didn't take long to decide that I couldn't live within the rather tight excursion limits of the stock driver in the cab tuned with one port (described in the post above). I like the amp and cab a lot. The amplifier is clean and surprisingly transparent. The onset of clipping is gradual, and, early on, is usable. The cab is well built and has sufficient internal volume to allow some good 10 inch drivers to perform at their best in the bass. After much review and modeling, I chose the Eminence S2010. I tried out (played through) 3 different alignments (cab tunings): high tuned and mildly peaked; medium tuned and flat, and low tuned (EBS). My preference was for the medium tuned alignment (57 Hz: F3 56Hz). Bass is non-peaked, but strong and surprisingly authoritative. It does not sound like a small combo. It has a strong fundamental down to G, but still quite present to F#, with F and E being overwhelmingly harmonic. The entire range is smoother and more articulate than the stock driver. The improvement is almost 'night and day'. This combo is now in a whole different class. It also plays substantially louder (greater driver sensitivity), and actually weighs about 1 1/2 pounds less.
     
  17. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Yeah Baby! I stuffed an Eminence S2012 neo into my Rumble 75 a couple of years ago and am totally pleased. I lined my cab acoustic foam. Did you do the same, AstroSonic?
     
  18. I used Acoustastuff (from Parts Express), and auditioned lining options ranging from minimal to fully lined and preferred the tone with lining on the back, one side and the bottom. With the stock driver, I preferred lining on one side and the bottom. Lining the back pretty much killed the great mids presence of the stock driver.
     
    honeyiscool and Linnin like this.
  19. davidchampoux

    davidchampoux Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2008
    Funny enough, I own both the 40 and 100 (v3, of course) and prefer the tone of the 40! Sounds more open to me. The 100, with its 12", sounds a bit beefier, but also boxier, and with less top end compared to the 10".
     
    bassman74 and Dash Lashes like this.
  20. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Actually I've found the 12" eminence woofer in the Rumble 100 combo to have better highs than the 10" Rumble 40. If you hear any 'boxiness' you just need to pull the woofer and line the box. I am a firm believer in proper lining with good quality acoustically engineered foam.
     
    Dash Lashes likes this.
  21. Primary

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