Fender “Rumble” Amplifier History

by linnin, edited by Scott

October 7, 2014

original post on Fender’s bass amplifier forum

1995 — The the Beginning

The very first Fender Rumble was a 300 watt all-tube tone-monster in blonde from Fender’s Custom Shop. Available from 1995-98.

2003 — Original Solid-State Rumble

The first solid state Fender Rumble bass amps were released in July of 2003. They were all value priced combos: 15 watt 1x8, 25 watt 1x10, 60 watt 1x12, and 100 watt 1x15. These were covered in the black carpeting popular at that time along with black metal protective grills along with unique ‘Fender Bass Amplification’ badging for a modern industrial look. Both the 60 & 100 shared the same four band active EQ that gave the Rumble line its reputation for excellent tone. The entire line proved to be very rugged and solidly reliable. Sales were strong.

The Rumble 100 2x10 combo was released in 2006, and was produced concurrently with the 100 1x15 combo.

V. 1 amps:

2010 — Rumble v. 2

The second generation (or version 2) of Rumble combos were released Jan 15, 2010, at Winter NAMM. They were: 15 watt 1x8, 30 watt 1x10, 75 watt 1x12, 150 watt 1x15, and 350 watt 2x10. Gone was the black carpet covering and new was a textured black vinyl covering with bright metal corner hardware. The black metal grill along with the ‘Fender Bass Amplification’ badging was retained.

The new 30 and 75 combos were ‘kickback’ monitor style designs that were great for personal practice. [Linnin’s] first Rumble was a 75 that I still have and use daily. I also used it to play out in an electric bass & guitar jazz duo. Some listeners were openly shocked to hear such deep, rich, and clear room filling tone from a Fender Rumble 75.

The Rumble 150 and 350 were the first to be D-class powered. The Rumble 150 and 75 shared the same four band EQ section, while the Rumble 350 had a unique fully parametric midrange. All three shared a brand new blendable Overdrive circuit that was very musically pleasing as it distorted on the even harmonics just like tubes. It proved to be very versatile.

The Rumble 150 combo became a run-away best seller. They were plenty loud enough for a jam band and for playing out in your typical bar. They sounded great too and soon had the reputation for being nearly ‘teenager proof’. Known for their solid reliability and rugged build quality along with gig-worthy tone, sound quality, and volume, the Rumble 150 went on to become the best-selling bass combo worldwide.

The Rumble 350 was and still is a powerhouse of a 2x10 combo that proved to the bass playing world that Fender Rumbles were serious contenders for professionals. Rumble 350 and 150 heads were officially announced on Jan 13, 2011 along with the brand new Rumble 410, 112 Neo, and 2x8 Neo cabinets. The 350 head on top of the new 4 ohm 410 cab were an unbeatable combination at just $700. Yes, they sold well. The Rumble 410 cab proved to be exceedingly popular and sold hand-over-fist as its reputation for exceptional sonic quality soared.

All this happy success amidst the economic backdrop of ‘The Great Recession’ that still grips part of our economy today even though it is officially over as far as the stock market is concerned.

V. 2 amps:

2014 — Rumble v. 3

Fender announced their new version 3 Rumble line on Jan. 24, 2014, at Winter NAMM with much fanfare. They now look like Fender‘s traditional “silver-face” Fender amps with the recognized Fender script logo, albeit a flat, tinny rendition of that logo. They are lighter and come in different wattage ratings, Fender continuing to define how hard they can push the speakers and the ICEpower modules. The 200 watt and 500 watt power amps are pretty much the same as the v.2 150 and 350 watt units, just driven harder.

The new Fender Rumbles are selling faster than Fender can make them due to great acceptance, and demand by bass players worldwide. Make no mistake Fender Rumbles are the worldwide market leaders in their price range and beyond.

V. 3 amps: