Pros: Excellent Fender models, good power, plenty of effects
Cons: No distortion, lacks high gain models
A few years after its release, the Fender Cyber-Twin modeling amp remains two of the best modelers on the market (the other being the Line 6 Vetta II, see my review). At 135W of power and offering 35 amp models plus a ton of presets and numerous effects, the Cyber Twin)CT) at about $1200 retail is an excellent amp and buy. (For the extra $300, I went with the Vetta II, with offers 73 models and many more effects and cab models, but this is still a terrific amp.)
Basics first: The CT comes with two 65-watt Celestion GT12T-100 speakers at 8 ohms. Also includedand what separates it from the solid state Vetta competitionare two 12AX7WA tubes for the warm tube glow that many guitarists insist that their amps provide. The tubes alone may dissuade you from buying the Line 6. Of course, there are the usual volume, tone, gain, presence, etc. controls on the front panel.
The reverse panel includes jacks for footswitch, expression pedal, effects bypass, MIDI in/out/through, headphones, recording, right and left XLR lines, and right and left/mono return. Very versatile.
The guts of the CT, of course, are its modeling capabilities. First, you get a variety of 35 Fender amp models including Champs, Bassmen, Deluxes, Twins, Reverbs, Princetons, etc, with a variety of cabs. Spin the little wheeland this is the cool partand you can actually see the various control knobs turn as the computer emulates the amp in question. There are four tone stacks: British, Fender Tweed and Blackface, and Modern. Drive circuitries (for gain adjustment) include Fender Blackface, Tweed, Dynatouch, Hot Rod, and British. The tones are rich and full. I obviously dont know all of the amps being modeled but youll get a ton of tones and the amps I do know sound pretty good here.
In addition to the 35 amp simulations, there are another 85 permanent presets and 85 user presets. These are a VERY wide variety of sounds, with emphasis on straight ahead rock and roll and blues (although there is some weird stuff) that incorporate different amp models with the numerous effects on the amp.
Lets talk about the effects. There are a lot of them. The eleven reverbs range from the Brown Tolex 㥇 tube Reverb to a range of small and large rooms. The eleven modulations and ten delays include a variety of choruses, flangers, echos, echo, tremelo, phaser, autoswell, ping pongs, ring modulation, etc. plus compression, noise gate, and timbre.
One disappointment: no, repeat NO distortion. Bring your own.
There are also a tuner, save and tap keys, and various buttons for employing and deploying the amp and effects you desire, including the effects editing parameters. An LED screen tells you what youre looking at. You can use two effects at once. This is not as versatile as the Line 6 model and the setup and usage is less intuitive.
The manual is excellent and sufficiently clear for guys who want to dig in in a hurry and sufficiently technical for guys who want to know what the hell theyre doing. Some circuit diagrams are included.
As Ive said, this is an excellent amp. Unaided, it has PLENTY of volume for small clubs and far more volume for home practicing than you will ever need. It has an incredibly large palette of tones. I have talked to a number of professional guitarists who use this amp and they are uniformly happy with it. Youre going to get great Fender sounds from this amp. Its ideal for a blues, jazz, or purebred rock player.
If Im a hard rock guitarist or heavy metal head, though, I think I would look more closely at the Line 6 Vetta I or II amps, which have a number of gain heavy models that will give you the distortion you crave. You could also buy something like a GT-6, which would give you the distortions you need, plus a bunch of cabs, non-Fender amps, a ton of effects AND the expression pedal you need, but that's $300 on eBay and now you're in the Line 6 Vetta II territory costwise.
But aside from the missing distortion, and the minor quibbles I have with the interface, this is another terrific product from Fender.
Other amp reviews from buffoonery:
Marshall Super 100 JH
Peavey Classic 30 Combo
Crate Power Block
Roland Micro Cube
Mesa 5:25 Express
Mesa Stiletto Ace
Fender Cyber Twin
Line 6 Vetta II Combo
Mesa 5:50 Express
Line 6 Spider III 75
Mesa Lone Star Combo
Vox Valvetronix AD60VT
Mesa Stiletto Deuce
Mesa Triple Rectifier Head
Fender DSP 65
Peavey Triple XXX Head
Fender Super Sonic 1x12 Combo
Hughes and Kettner Switchblade 50 Combo
Fender MH 500 Metalhead
64 Fender Vibroverb Custom Blackface
Mesa Dual Rectifier Roadster
Peavey Penta Head
Peavey JSX Joe Satriani Signature Head
Line 6 Spider II Head
Crate Acoustic CA30
Line 6 Flextone III Plus
And you may also be interested in a few books such as:
Hugo Pinksterboer Tipbook Amplifiers and Effects
Ritchie Fliegler Amps: The Other Half of Rock and Roll
Michael Ross Getting Great Guitar Sounds: A Non-Technical Approach to Shaping Your Personal Sound