Fender has launched its smartest amplifier ever, and a mobile app to control it

Famed instrument maker Fender has launched its smartest guitar amplifier ever, aiming to help those in search of classic vintage-tube amp tone, but don’t have the dough to buy the real thing.

An updated version of its popular Mustang GT line — among the best-selling products in the company’s seven-decade history — the new amplifiers feature both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality and can be controlled via the free Fender Tone app.

In addition to modeling the sounds of Fender’s most famed tube amps, many of which cost thousands of dollars, the app can add effects like reverb and tremolo, as well as many other outboard pedal sounds, and will even be able to choose where each pedal occurs in an effects chain. The amps can also serve as Bluetooth speakers, allowing musicians to play along with their favorite tracks.

Once a cool tone has been found, players can save and share their presets with friends via the Fender Tone app. This marks an unprecedented ability to dial in a specific tone, with users being able to model the sounds of their favorite musicians and recordings. Fender has already partnered with famed musicians to capture their ideal tones and share them with Mustang GT users. In addition, the internet connectivity means that the new Mustang GT line can receive firmware updates; in theory, the line will get improved modeling over time. 

“Fender Tone is the second release in Fender Digital’s suite of applications, and the first hardware companion application we have developed,” said Fender’s chief product officer, Ethan Kaplan. “It, alongside Fender Tune, aims to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. With artist-curated presets from Josh Adam Klinghoffer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gary Clark Jr., and Anthrax’s Scott Ian, channeling your favorite song or band for some added inspiration has never been easier.”

Musicians who play live will also love that the amp can be pre-programmed to execute live presets, letting them execute major tonal shifts between songs with the simple press of a foot switch or button.

The new Mustang GT line comes in three sizes, from a small, 40-watt amp designed for bedrooms to 100- and 200-watt variants for studios and stages. Prices run from $250 to $600 depending on size, which is cheap considering that the classic amps being modeled often sell for thousands of dollars each. The free Fender Tone app is currently available on the Android and iOS app stores.

More information regarding the new line of Mustang GT amps and the Fender Tone app can be found on Fender’s website.