class a b

A supremely versatile two-channel pedal platform.

Players who like pedals will love Fender’s new Hot Rod DeVille ML 212, a 60-watt, 6L6-powered 2x12 combo designed in collaboration with session ace Michael Landau. Design changes to satisfy Landau’s predilections make this a very different DeVille—and a fantastic platform for effects.

Hot Rod DeVille ML is part of Fender’s “Inspired By” series, a product family based on real-world modifications to Fender gear by pro players. Landau, a tone colorist, used a stock DeVille for years as a canvas for his pedals. But to Landau, master volume controls sound “artificial.” He’s also no fan of channel switching, contending that an EQ setting for one channel doesn’t always work for a second channel using the same tone circuit. So instead of switching between two channels, the ML 212 enables switching between two volume settings on a single channel.

Read MoreShow less

Photo 1

Can you turn a vintage Fender Vibrolux Reverb into a mini Super Reverb?

This month I've decided to forgo answering a question—not that I don't have plenty, and thank you for that, loyal readers. Instead we'll explore a mod to a blackface Fender Vibrolux Reverb and the thinking behind it. It's an easy and completely reversible that yields what I consider to be a more versatile amp.

Read MoreShow less

Improved reverb and scalable power make an Orange stalwart more versatile than ever.

Orange amplifiers have long attracted the worship of high gain freaks. Yes, the amps’ show-stealing visuals make them objects of desire among a wide cross section of players (not to mention great stage dressing), but it’s the massive, gooey crunch that keeps heavy players crawling to Orange like ants to the sugar jar.

In 2003 Orange launched their Rockerverb series—versatile dual-channel heads with reverb and effect loops. The third incarnation, reviewed here, is the 50-watt Rockerverb MKIII, a muscular mid-powered head with improved reverb and scalable power.

Read MoreShow less