I was recently in the market for a practice amp to play around the house. My main purpose for the amp is to have something to play around with that won’t bother my wife or my neighbors too much. Thus, my search involved checking out amps in the 5, 15, and 30 watt ranges. Also, I wanted something that would offer a little extra fun for practicing. Many of the modern practice amps have quite a bit to offer. For example, the Vox Valvetronix amps come with quite a few effects built into the amp, and they also provide amp modeling for quite a few types of amps. As a result, the Vox amps were among my top choices for a practice amp.
However, during my search, I tried out the Fender G-DEC amps and came away very impressed. Like the Valvetronix amps, the G-DEC offers many different tonal varieties through amp modeling and a lot of built-in effects. The thing that sets the G-DEC series apart from most other practice amps is that the G-DEC includes a series of bass and drum loops that you can play along with. This was intriguing to me because I rarely get a chance to play with other players, especially drummers. You can even change the pitch of the bass backing track to match whatever key you want to play in.
In addition to the backing tracks, there are 50 preset sounds to choose from covering all styles of music, from jazz to reggae to metal. In total, the Fender G-DEC provides 17 amp types, 29 effects, 10 reverbs, a built-in tuner, as well as the ability to pick and choose to create your own unique sounds. There’s even a phrase sampler that you can use to create your own guitar loops to play along with.
After considering all of the options, as you’ve probably guess by now, I ultimately decided to get the G-DEC based on its myriad capabilities, and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. I purchased the 15-watt version, but a 30-watt model is also available for those with the need for more power. Furthermore, there’s a Fender G-DEC Junior model that is 15 watts and provides a simpler user interface, albeit at the cost of some functionality.
All in all, I’m very pleased with my decision to purchase the G-DEC. I’ve had the amp for about a month now, and it is every bit as versatile and fun to play as I hoped it would be. If you’re in the market for a practice amp, you can’t go wrong with the Fender G-DEC.
That looks like a fun little amp. I’m interested to know how the “jamming” capabilities work out for ya. I’ve heard that you can plug in an MP3 player as well into the G-DECs, so that you can loop songs from the player. I’ve been wanting to check that out, so that I can recommend it for a “playalong” amp. I have free playalongs at IG BLOG, and I’m always looking for different ways to use playalongs and let folks know. Let me know if you’ve tried the MP3 player connection and how the sound of the MP3 player reproduces. I am not ever sure what kind of connection it is.
I tried the Vox Valvetronix once and it is a really nice modeling amp, but you’re right that it doesn’t have the “jamming” capabilities of the G-DEC.
IG, it is certainly a fun little amp! The amp does support the ability to plug in an mp3 player or a cd player, but I have not tried that functionality yet.
It has RCA input jacks on the back of the amp, so I suspect that it’s fairly easy to work with, assuming you have some way of connecting RCA jacks to the mp3 player. I don’t see any reason why your playalongs wouldn’t work. Since I don’t have an RCA-dock connector for the iPod, I don’t have the ability right now to connect my iPod to the amp, so I can’t really test that functionality out.
If I get a chance to try out the input capabilities of the amp, then I’ll let you know. I’m still knew to the amp, so I’m still learning about the features, but the basic features work great so far, and getting starting with some jam tracks is very easy.
Cool! You’ll need a connector that has two RCA inputs on one side and a 1/8” stereo plug on the other (to get into the iPod), which are easy to find. Have fun bro!