While the vast majority of us would always love to buy the best of the best for everything when it comes to our guitar gear, the realists amongst us understand that this isn’t always possible. So, what do you do when you need good quality equipment, but don’t have the budget for high end stuff
In our roundup of the best acoustic amplifiers, we discovered that the Fender Acoustastonic 40 delivers incredible performance at an extremely attractive price, uniquely positioning it to fit the needs of both working musicians on a tighter budget.
In this KillerGuitarRigs Review we got hands on with the Acoustasonic 40 for a more in depth look at its build quality, features, and overall performance. This was our top pick in our roundup of the best acoustic guitar amps, so if you’ve been in the market for a high performance acoustic amp at a price to suit all budgets, you’re definitely going to want to keep on reading.
Fender Acoustasonic 40: Who Is This For?
The Fender Acoustasonic 40 is a fantastic acoustic amplifier that works well for a wide range of players. From those who want a louder practice amp, or those taking their first steps into live performance, through to working musicians who need solid performance at a reasonable price point.
Its XLR functionality makes it a great choice for those looking to sing and play at the same time, too. It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to transport, which is really handy for anybody who needs to take their amp out and about.
Appearance / Features / Controls
Aesthetically speaking, it’s very similar to the Fender Acoustasonic 15, another compact acoustic combo amp we recently reviewed. It’s a classic looking model with a brown Tolex covering, a black grille cloth, and the iconic ‘70s style Fender logo.
Considering it has more than double the power of the Acoustasonic 15, the 40 watt version is a true featherweight, weighing in at a tiny 16.5lb. This makes it one of the most portable gig ready acoustic amps on the market.
As you’d expect of a 40 watt Fender amp at this size (and price point!) it’s a solid state model, which gives it enough oomph to be heard across any crowded coffee shop, restaurant, or small bar setting.
If you’re planning to play a larger venue, and you don’t think the 40 watts will cut it, there is a balanced line out on the rear that will allow you to connect it directly to a PA or FOH.
It had 2 channels with individual inputs. The inputs themselves were 1/4” instrument jack-XLR dynamic mic combos, which adds even more versatility to this amp. Each of the inputs has its own 3 band EQ, volume control, and digital hall reverb.
For speakers, it was loaded with a pair of special design 6.5” full range whizzer cones. If you’re used to electric guitar amps, you might think that these speakers seem small, but they’re voice perfectly for acoustic and vocal tones.
Performance / Sound
The Fender Acoustasonic 40 was seriously one of the most impressive amps we’ve had the pleasure of having on the test bench.Performance-wise it delivered far beyond what we’d expected of it based on its modest price point. It doesn’t color acoustic tone, and really lets the natural character of the guitar you’re playing shine through.
Despite using smaller speakers, it performed well across the entire frequency range. With direct input, the bass response was superb, and handled dreadnought and jumbo guitars easily without becoming muddy.
In the mid range it was tight and fantastically composed, even with quick changes in attack and playing style. As for the top end, there was plenty of sparkle, although this was most evident when playing smaller bodied guitars like parlor models.
Across the entire volume range it retained consistent tone, which is great news for anybody who’s planning to use their amp for both practice and gigging.
Vocal performance was just as strong – we found it retained its clarity both when used as a standalone unit for vocals, and also when running a guitar and singing simultaneously. We also loved that it had individual 3 band EQ on each channel – this let us really dial the amp in properly for different singers and different guitars.
The aux in port allowed us to play along with backing tracks, which is something players who want to gig with this amp will definitely appreciate.
Other Amps to Consider
It’s hard not to love the Acoustasonic 40, but at the same time, it’s also worth considering some of the other great options on the market before making your choice. We’ve highlighted a couple of our favorites below if you’d like to check out some alternative acoustic amp options before making your purchase.
The Blackstar Acoustic:Core 30 is an outstanding choice for anybody looking for a sleek looking acoustic amp with a wide range of features as well as accurate vocal and instrument representation. It’s a 2 channel model with independent EQ, gain and FX, and is footswitchable, too, making it a good option if you’re planning to play any live gigs.
The Bugera AC60 is a real hidden gem when it comes to acoustic amps. With an impressive 60 watts of power on tap, it’s another great option for anybody who is looking to perform live with their acoustic amp. It features 2 independent channels, with both XLR and instrument inputs, and incredibly, even boasts 48v phantom power, allowing you to use condenser mics without additional power supplies. Topping things off, it features a built in multi FX processor, giving a huge range of tones from just one compact unit.
Final Thoughts on the Fender Acoustasonic 40
In all, we found the Fender Acoustasonic 40 to be a phenomenal performer. We couldn’t find much of any fault with it. Of course, it didn’t look as premium as something like a Boss Acoustic Singer or a Fishman Loudbox, but if aesthetics aren’t your concern, you’ll ;ove this amp. Overall build quality was great, and the tones far surpassed expectations.
It was packed with the kind of features working musicians need, making it a great investment for anybody looking to start gigging on a budget. It’s easy to get great tones from, so beginners won’t have to work too hard, and at the same time, it still provides enough in the way of adjustment options for more experienced players to squeeze out more performance.
We highly recommend this amp, for any acoustic player looking for a lightweight, compact amp with gig-ready performance on a tighter budget.