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FDP Forum / Fender Product Reviews / well here it comes.. the super sonic 22 review

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Buffalo Bob
Contributing Member


Buffalo Bob
Jun 19th, 2010 02:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

My review of the fender supersonic 22 watt amp..
I just purchased one at fazio’s frets & friends here in ST.lOUIS …seems like they got one in before GC..this was on june 16th…they had just got it in ,only one and I was lucky that I walked into the store.

First I should give some details on the amp…there are two channels, one called “vintage “..the other “burn” channel. I’m not crazy about that name but I digress..….the vintage sounds much like a 65 reverb deluxe with just treble & bass controls and master volume….and a “fat” a switch/button…in for fat ,out for straight amp sound …the fat to my ears adds some warmth or just a little lower mids if you will…not too much but just enough to fatten your guitar sound ..sounds good engaged with single coils, p-90’s (I really like that sound) and hum buckers for the leaning towards that “woman tone” but not over the top like, as if you turned your guitar tone all the way back...they even say it’s based on the 65 R D ‘s circuit in the manual …it sure sounds like it to me. Great channel for hearing what your guitar‘s voice really sounds like….very clean but can be pushed with the fat switch. I‘ve tried several of my guitars ,all each different voices and I know what they sound like …this channel reproduces just that.. “mucho” like a 65 deluxe.

The second channel is the over drive channel which has an added tone control of mid’s and two gain knobs . Gain knob “one” is for distortion /break up so to speak, and gain two is more or less compression/sustain …one has to blend these two knobs to get the desired sound. Gain two also fattens up your sound….Gain one just by itself wouldn’t be a good sound to me…these two knobs really interact.. But it’s easy …way more easy that the controls on a mesa boogie in order to dial a good sound…in fact this amp is user friendly and the channel one is simple as you can get .

There is a knob for reverb that affects both channels so whatever you set it at is going to be what it is on over both channels …fine with me…

All these controls are on the front panel with white /ivory color knobs and a 4 button footswitch pedal comes with it to engage reverb ,fat switch ,channel one & two and the effects loop…plenty length cord with the foot switch but the power cord could have been longer in my opinion…but no big deal at all. I probably won’t need the foot pedal as the clubs I play are small to medium, and if I want to change channels or disengage the fat switch I can just do a double back flip push the button with my finger then do a front cartwheel back to the mic and there ya go….lol.. Large stages one might want to use the footswitch or I guess it depends on the material and what’s called for in play. ..Me ,I really don’t think I need it. But it comes with it and also a nice black vinyl like cover with the fender logo. By the way I’m hearing that this amp will be offered in white tolex and another color but mine is the same grille as on most fender amps… with white control knobs on a black panel.

The speaker is eminence …special design…1x12…8ohm..sounds good to me…
Tubes are two 6v6…three 12ax7’s (pre-amp tubes)
Reverb is Accutronics long spring (yes that fender reverb sound we all love) will go to surf type sounds etc…I like a little so it’s on fender 2 (7:30 about)for me maybe up to 5 (12 o’clock) for “sleepwalk” if I play the damn tune..

The suggested settings in the manual are ok to start with but you will want to tweek from there for what you want.. good fender cleans that we have all heard on millions of recordings..i like channel two a lot as I like a “little break up” ,and what I really like is there is not a drastic change in voice with that mid hump ,like in most two channel amps that I have encountered….it’s more tweed sounding compared to the channel one but still all the controls work to dial in whatever you want..i like channel two close to channel one in sound but pushed more and with this amp I get it.. hope I’m making sense..

22 WATTS is enough for me and any big venues just mic it..

I was using a CARR rambler 1x12 amp and am still happy with it ..most cleanest (headroom amp) I’ve ever played (think 65 reverb deluxe on steroids, 2 6l6 power tubes)and it’s a little heavy for me loading in and out (my knees are going bad ,using a cane ) so I bought a fender ultra light jazzmaster solid state head (7 lbs) with matching speaker cab (14 lbs) and it was as close to tube as I’ve ever heard from a ss..but it fried on stage and had to go in the shop…fender has discontinued it since ,and I haven’t had it for even a year….so I went to guitar center and picked up a Egnater rebel 30(I needed an amp quick) and for the price it was a decent amp but again that channel two was bugging me with the voicing it had..good rock sound though...so the store(fazio’s) calls me and tells me the new module for the jazz master had been received and installed and all was under warranty…..that’s why I was in the music store to pick it up when I saw the sonic 22…the ss weigh’s in at 40 lbs so I really thought about not getting it but once I tried it out at the store the tone got me…I had to have it …the egnater (three yr warranty)went back to GC (I only had it two weeks ) and for 200 dollars more I got the fender supersonic 22 (5yr warrenty) ,all that day..and I’m not looking back…no regrets …I still recommend the Egnater amps for the price if anyone likes the amp’s voicing..good little rock amp and a good price.
Since I’ve only had this amp two days and I played it in a small room last night, I will not know what the limits are on this amp …this Sunday I will be able to open it up wide…which I did at the store and I was blown away ..well ,I really don’t get blown away at my age but let’s say I was very impressed .

I’ve had a lot of amps through my career …from boutique to you name it but my all time favorite was the fender deluxe reverb…..i tried their re-issues when they first came out and blew up three of them (THEY JUST SHUT DOWN )right out of the box …so I stayed away from them but I’m sure they have taken care of the early issues as so many people have them these days…and here again I’m taking a chance on an un- proven “time tested “ product but the sound is just what I like and always have..Time will tell.
I don’t know if I have been that informative for you all about this new fender product but if it has good quality control and last’s awhile in use, then I will be happy with it and I would think it’s a winner for fender… IT is worth checking out… I play mostly blues & r&b…but “freeway jam “this amp will cover…

Check out my space for info on my band at www.myspace.com/buffalobobbedroomblues
Or there is some stuff all over you tube some folks have put out (so much that I had to join them in order to have control over what was being put out, lol )… ALL this my space & you tube stuff is just to give you some “credibility” to my review…..hope I’ve been of some help in writing this “ novel”. BB

(This message was last edited by Buffalo Bob at 02:56 PM, Jun 19th, 2010)


South Carolina

I kicked cancer's ass!
Jun 19th, 2010 04:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks fot the review Bob. I have a few questions please.

You said "Great channel for hearing what your guitar‘s voice really sounds like….very clean but can be pushed with the fat switch."

So does the fat switch boost the gain of the 1st channel a little or make it any louder? Or does it stay just as clean and just give it more low mids?

Does the Fat switch affect the 2nd channel at all?

How does the Eminence Lightning Bolt speaker's sound compare to other 12" speakers that you have heard?



Jun 19th, 2010 09:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

So channel 1 is very much like a deluxe reverb?

And channel 2 is more of channel 1?... or can you it marshall it up with more mids, less treble and do that zz top thing?

Contributing Member


Like a rolling stone
Jun 19th, 2010 09:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm very interested in this amp. I have a DRRI that tends to be on the bright side(which helps it cut through the mix)and the fat switch sounds like it may just fatten up the tone a bit.
Channel 2 I can't help but wonder if I could'nt recreate with a pedel.
I'd have to sell the DRRI to buy the SS 22.

Contributing Member

I'm the very modern

model of a modern major general!
Jun 19th, 2010 11:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

I recall that the channel 2 is based on the '59 bassman circuit.

Is that true in the S.S.-22?

Contributing Member

Jun 20th, 2010 08:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

Does it have the effects loop? Can it do the patch/vol boost trick like the old SS? Where's it made?

Buffalo Bob
Contributing Member


Buffalo Bob
Jun 20th, 2010 01:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

let's see...first question..
does it stay just as clean and just give it more low mids?
Yes...to my ears more WARM mids ...just really fattens it up .

Does the Fat switch affect the 2nd channel at all?
NO ...does not affect 2nd channel

How does the Eminence Lightning Bolt speaker's sound compare to other 12" speakers that you have heard?
Sounds just like a good speaker ...no speaker break up yet which i dont like... BUT NICE clean"s & crisp...not broken in yet so time will tell...but lows are & highs are balanced. To be honest i've never heard of the lighting blolt series...but i've used eminence speakers in a blues jr ,etc and i think they make good speakers..

So channel 1 is very much like a deluxe reverb?

yes ...to my ears ..a brand new dr..

And channel 2 is more of channel 1?... or can you it marshall it up with more mids, less treble and do that zz top thing?

The way i set it ,yes very much like channel one but there is a mid control in 2...and more gain than i'll ever need..zz?? i should guess so with a humbucker...there is a lot of gain and i havent cranked it yet to see what it can do ..i never liked fender gain channels(SOUNDED TOO GRAINY) but this one starts clean and i have the gain knobs set for slight break up...in the manual they have some suggested settings and one is called "plays itself"...lol whatever that is...i just might try it tonight for grins as im working... THAT SETTING IS the gains are maxed..treble all the way off, bass & mid dimed...might be interesting...i'll try it tonight on stage & let you all know...

recall that the channel 2 is based on the '59 bassman circuit.

Is that true in the S.S.-22?
Could be ...i had a 59 bassman way back when..a real one that eddie van halen ended up with and was in a video of his...wish i had never let that thing go..the tweed was so bad on it everyone called it "raggetty anne"....lol...anyway the "oompth" that you get with 4 x 10's is not in this amp but channel one may have some of it when cranked...i know i can get close to that bassman "oompth" from my carr rambler in the clean headroom dept through it's a one 12 when cranked....pushing air ...but a real bassman sound i dont think it can do ...

If the 2nd channel is voiced like a bassman it's hard to say as you have to have 4 x 10's...it is A "tweed" sound though ,if you know what i mean...

Does it have the effects loop? Can it do the patch/vol boost trick like the old SS? Where's it made?
YES it has an effects loop but i never use them on stage....patch vol/trick ??? you mean like we all did with bassmans ???? havent tried that yet...
Says on the back "a product of fender corporation corona calif" USA.....but that dosent mean things/parts are not in assembled in china...the cover for the amp is made in china...
Gee i hope it's made here just for the vibe thing but if it isnt i can live with it as the amp sounds so good..


South Carolina

I kicked cancer's ass!
Jun 20th, 2010 05:04 PM   Edit   Profile  


Please check and see how close you can make the burn channel sound like the vintage channel.

I could never get them to sound very close on the original Super-Sonic no matter how I adjusted the 2nd channel. Of course, I would not use the Super-Sonic 22 like this, but it will let me know if the changes to the circuit are positive ones.

Buffalo Bob
Contributing Member


Buffalo Bob
Jun 20th, 2010 06:00 PM   Edit   Profile  

i'll let you know after tonights gig...tonight i'll be able to open this amp up and see ...at low volume i come real close to the channel one on two ...such a great sound at low volume but many factors can change things up by cranking a tube amp up ...after two hours all my tube amps generaly change in tone (i recall amps with el 34's did quite often)..SOME for the good ,other's not so...so if im sober when i come home i'll do it, otherwise sometime tomarrow....lol...come to think of it, beer can change the tone after a couple of hours...

Buffalo Bob
Contributing Member


Buffalo Bob
Jun 21st, 2010 02:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

well i got to open the amp up at my jam session gig last night...i had no choice as sit in's cranked it wide open soon as they got up...i started off with the volumes about 1 o'clock...but things kept getting louder through the night and these sit in's have no respect for other people's stuff...

Any way the amp's clean channel is my favorite as it breaks up very nicely when wide open..great for the blues i play and mostly do...
The gain channel is fine on the blues for more of that EC blues sound ,which is nice for things like ec's live "farther on up the road" tone, etc...i'll use songs to get you in the ball park of the sounds this amp does...Cleasn channel think BB Kings stuff and most blues..clean channel pushed is a little more than BB'S clean sound which is nice ,just back the guitar vol down and the amp cleans up..I like both channels...thats a rare one for me as gain channels i usually dont like...

I did try the exstreme gain settings i mentioned eariler and even though the gain was a bit much than i use ,i did think that it would be usefull ...i played becks "freeway jam" with a strat and it pretty much handled the sustain in chords & single lines..there was definition in the higher notes ,not muddy at all...

The reverb is great but last night i did not need to take it up far...

22 WATTS is loud enough for me but then i have drummers that play with dynamics and stay under everything thats going on...A real loud drummer i dont think this amp would compete unless mic'd.

THE room i played last night holds about 150 and the dance floor is in front of the stage so the amp was perfect for that size ...any larger room the amp would be mic'd.... 22 watts can be loud or it can be not loud enough..all depends...lol

The amp could handel a larger room depending on accoustics...outside definatly need a sound guy...

I am happy with this purchase ..THE SUPERSONIC 22 IS A GOOD AMP....I really advise you all that are interested try it out first ,it may be just what you need or it may not...i would highly recomend it for blues ,jazz ,r&b players,rock & roll first, then when you get into harder rock territory thats a whole different thing..I imagine with a volume boost pedal or over drive you could go into deeper waters playing rock...

THERE were NO BAD SOUNDS OUT OF THIS AMP..I LIKE IT.So did many musicians that came out last night..they all wanted to play through it...A guy with a les paul sounded nice & fat & round through the clean channel ,cranked with a hair of break up..a lot of definition i wouldnt exspect with a lp but it sounded good...A strat sounds great through either channel and my favorite through the night was my p-90 guitar through either channel..in channel 2 the gain one set low about 9 o'clock (fenders 3)...,and gain two was at 2 o'clock (fenders 6).nice little sweet spot for me with p-90's.
I just hope the amp holds up and i'll be fine with this as my main amp now.

Anymore question's i'll be glad to try and answer but as i said, try it out first..dont buy unless you hear it live somewhere...i feel it's competitive with/or beats anything in fender's line of amps to date ,long as big volume , BELLS & WHISTLES are not a factor.. Fender Tube Tone is all there. 22 WATTS IS FINE WITH WHAT I NEED & DO....

By the way ,the cabinet reminds me of a princeton's ...it's wider but narrow in depth...makes it easier to carry the 40lb amp..when i first laid eyes on it i thought it would have 2 x 10's because of the cab but it has a 1x12...

(This message was last edited by Buffalo Bob at 11:30 PM, Jun 21st, 2010)



Jun 21st, 2010 03:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the input as you are on the frontier. So it sounds like the clean channel is full bodied compared to many DRRIs (bright and thin). Also hoping that the second channel can get a thick non-splatty distortion but thats more of a humbucker test.

Again thanks for the info...

(This message was last edited by Webfoot at 04:23 PM, Jun 21st, 2010)


Costa Rica

Jun 21st, 2010 04:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

Buffalo Bob

Many thanks for your thorough description of the SS 22 and the time you´ve spent conveying to all of us all this practical and valuable information.

Contributing Member


Jun 21st, 2010 04:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

+1 Buffalo Bob. Your input is greatly appreciated. I saw where you posted on the gear page. Some guys just can't get their head out of their... Anyway, Thanks again.

Contributing Member

SF Bay Area

Jun 21st, 2010 05:32 PM   Edit   Profile  

+2 Buffalo Bob. I was also following the gear page thread on the Supersonic 22W.....regarding the initial response by a particular individual over there....my thoughts were as follows:

(1) Is this guy being sarcastic? ----or----
(2) Is this guy a "dick"

His subsequent responses left little doubt...he was incapable of sarcasm...

Contributing Member


Patient people get what they want.
Jun 21st, 2010 05:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

Great review that's for sure BB. It's so appreciated.

Now we need to hear it!

Anyone reading this please, do us a favor and record some clips!

Sound worth a thousand words!

Buffalo Bob
Contributing Member


Buffalo Bob
Jun 21st, 2010 10:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

lol...well thanks guys for the heads up on the gear page ...i wasnt exspecting negative stuff from a simple review i gave..

(This message was last edited by Buffalo Bob at 03:29 PM, Jun 23rd, 2010)

No457 Snowy


Jun 22nd, 2010 03:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the review mate, appreciated here. It's sad that people need to carry on as such when they could just click away and read something else if they don't agree.

Even on Fender's own discussion forum several poster have been optimistic about this amp and very quickly denigrated by the usual amp snobs over there, with no experience of this amp at all.
Quite strange actually.

Anyway thanks again for a nicely detailed review, it sounds like you should enjoy the amp a great deal. I'd love to play through one when I get the chance.





Tone to 'da bone!
Jun 22nd, 2010 04:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just to remind readers here - the Bassman setting on the 60w SS is based on a '66 Bassman - NOT THE 59 TWEED!

Contributing Member

Mpls, Minnesoooota

Lunacy has found me
Jun 22nd, 2010 06:25 AM   Edit   Profile  

I also appreciate your review Buffalo Bob. I was hoping Fender would publish a demo video but I haven't found anything yet.

I'm jut a home player and really liked the Super Sonic, but it is loud for that application.

I'm still interested in trying it for myself.

Buffalo Bob
Contributing Member


Buffalo Bob
Jun 22nd, 2010 01:07 PM   Edit   Profile  


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