Fender is making huge waves with their expanding line of premium stompbox effects. Each pedal is housed in an ultra-durable, anodized aluminum chassis and are all designed in-house by Fender engineers creating totally original Fender circuits.
Each pedal features an incredibly clean design, complete with LED-illuminated knobs for ease of use on stage. The zZounds crew got to sit down with the Fender Reflecting Pool delay/reverb, Trapper dual fuzz and the MTG: LA tube distortion and were blown away by the wealth of options and tones within the lineup.
Fender has seamlessly combined an array of delay and reverb types with the all-in-one, true-bypass, true-stereo Reflecting Pool. With the left side of the pedal controlling bypass and parameters of the reverb section and the right half controlling the delay section, with a tap switch in the middle. Both classic effects were designed by in-house by Fender, and are completely original.
You can craft your delay tone to the ideal setting with selector switches including “TYPE,” “SUBD,” (sub-delay) and “QUALITY.” The “TYPE” settings include the three delay models present on the Reflecting Pool and are self-explanatory. They include: a digital delay model, an analog delay model and a classic tape echo model.
All of these model algorithms are powered by Fender’s proprietary internal DSP. The “SUBD” controls the “sub-delay” balance as it relates to the main delay in terms of percentage (50%, 66% and 75%.) Quality is purely a fidelity control, where 1 is the highest fidelity possible. As you move from 2 to 3 the tone gets into a darker, more “vibey” realm.
On to the reverb side, which also includes a switch section labelled “TYPE” and “VARIATION.” Just like the delay side, “TYPE” selects which reverb model you’re currently controlling. The options include: hall, room and special. Special reverbs include shimmer-verb, modulated space reverb and a inverted reverb within the “VARIATION” selection switch. The Reflecting Pool is an elite option in the delay/reverb space and works well on-stage or in studio.
The Fender Trapper dual fuzz combines two unique fuzzes in one stompbox chassis. The “Fuzz 1” voicing is a traditional fuzz with octave-up function and “Fuzz 2” is a gated fuzz function that offers that incredibly gritty saturation with nearly infinite sustain. Both fuzzes are controllable with global “TONE” and “CONTOUR” knobs on the left side of the pedal.
The contour knob balances the tone from treble frequencies to bass frequencies sweeping from “shrill” to “woofy” tone. The Trapper is ideal for the musician needing that traditional fuzzy saturation but who also wants to experiment further with gated, glitchy fuzzes and high octaves.
Designed with legendary amp engineer Bruce Egnater, the Fender MTG:LA tube distortion pedal adds to Fender’s MTG line of pedals. This pedal features an on-board vacuum tube that runs at a high-voltage to preserve the “amp-like” dynamics within the pedal. Apart from the bypass switch, the pedal includes a boost which gives you increased drive, output level, or both, each of which are adjustable independently.
With its on-board tube, the MTG:LA reacts to your playing just like an amplifier would — for example, turning down your guitar’s volume knob cleans up the tone. The MTG:LA is a truly dynamic distortion pedal that responds nicely to pickup changes and by how much you dig into your guitar strings.
Fender has always focused on quality above all, and from the small appointments to the internal circuitry and the outer durable chassis, this line of pedals lives up to the Fender name.