Fender Pawn Shop Special Vaporizer

With NAMM just around the corner, Fender expands the Pawn Shop Special series with the new 12 Watt 2x10 combo amplifier "Vaporizer".

Fender Vaporizer

This retro/sci-fi inspired tube amplifier contrasts its straightforward tonality with a colorful sci-fi look, and it comes at a budget friendly price like the other amps in the Pawn Shop Special series.

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Just one look at the atom logo graphic, and you will know that the Vaporizer's look is inspired by '50s and '60s era science fiction. It sports an out-of-this-world look with its "bow tie" grille, silver-flash fabric and metallic gray control panel that contrasts its flashy vinyl exterior.

Even the knobs play an important visual role, reminiscent of Mission Control knobs as seen on the countless sci-fi films of the era. To appeal to as many "common variety players" as possible, the amp comes in 3 colorful vinyl finishes: Rocket Red, Slate Blue and Surf Green.

Although the amp's blast-from-the-past exterior makes it look like a toy, its innards will show that Fender means business when they designed the Vaporizer. Two 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6BQ5/EL84 output tubes provide 13 watts of amplification, driving two 10" special design speakers.

Since the amp features a Sci-Fi look, I was expecting to see a barrage of knobs and buttons, however Fender decided to go the opposite route with just one power switch and three knobs for controlling the volume, tone and reverb. This straightforward configuration can be either good or bad depending on your needs, it will have you tone shaping with your playing technique rather than by tweaking knobs. Thankfully the spring reverb circuit gives the amp a space-y sound to match it looks, covering the reverb laden guitar sounds of the era that inspired its design.

Finally, the amp comes with a single-button footswitch that activates the "Vaporizer Mode". It bypasses the volume and tone controls to play the amp at full-strength overload, and features a red jewel light indicator.

Check out the fun and quirky demo video of the Vaporizer amp from Fender:

The Pawn Shop Special Vaporizer is expected to retail for around $399. Head over to Fender for more details.

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