Fender's amplifiers in general are pretty solid. While other brands are chasing some sort of unique character, Fender simply makes their amps in a way that brings you the best core performance. Fender Rumble 500 is a bass combo that reflects this statement pretty accurately. If you are looking for a reasonably powerful bass combo that can be used both on stage and at home, this model from Fender is among the best options you have at the moment.
For a reasonably affordable package, Fender Rumble 500 definitely packs a lot of versatilit y. One glance at the controls will tell you just how flexible this platform actually is. Going left to right we first see a gain knob followed by a series of three buttons. These are your bright, contour and vintage modes. The next cluster is the built in overdrive. That's right, this is a bass amp with a built in overdrive section that actually works better for bass than most pedals do. It contains a drive and level knob. Next we have a four-band EQ with low and hi mid controls, and finally a master volume knob. The best thing about this control interface is just how clean and intuitive it is despite being so unconventional.
Fender designed this combo to serve a variety of applications. They have packed the cabinet with two 10 inch Eminence speakers that work pretty great on their own. However, in order to give you definition in the upper ends of the frequency range, this combo also contains a single compression tweeter. In terms of expansion options, you have an XLR out. A standard 1/4 inch out would have been appreciated a lot more, but apparently that wasn't a concern during the designing stage. Fender Rumble 500 comes with a built in FX loop and a footswitch that is optional. Overall, there is a lot of value jammed into this box considering its price.
The best thing about Fender Rumble 500 is just how natural its tone actually is. We are talking well defined lows that are pretty responsive. Even if you decide to muddy things up completely, you will still have all that girth contained within clearly defined borders. That compression tweeter does wonders for the higher end of the range as well as a crisp tone configuration. The whole combo is powerful enough to have you heard even in more saturated mixes, on and off the stage. With that said, its 500 Watts of power make it a perfect choice for a smaller venue type environments. Additionally, it can be a true beast at home. Lastly, the drive section it comes with is perfectly balanced. You will have a hard time finding a standalone stompbox alternative.
Fender's formula of delivering rock solid core performance over anything else, has paid off once again. Their Rumble 500 is among the most cost effective combos out there. If you are chasing lots of power combined with a flexible tone, this combo is about as good as it gets in this price range.