If you’re interested in learning more about Fender Greta mods and how you can change this amplifier, you’ve come to the right post!
Fender Greta Amp: Background
We usually remember fender for their standard amplifiers and guitars. However, they had a few oddities over the years. One of these is the Greta amp.
Here we’re looking at a compact low-wattage amplifier. At the same time, it bears a somewhat unusual and retro design, kind of like a little radio from the 1950s.
What’s important to note is that this is a tube-driven amp. It comes with a total output power of 2 watts. Along with this, we have a 4-inch speaker and controls for volume and tone.
Overall, this is a cute little practice amp with some unconventional aesthetics. However, Greta may have weirded out some Fender fans when it came out back in the early 2010s. And the amp has a mixed reputation among guitar players who have tried it.
What’s so special about the Fender Greta amp?
It takes no more than a glance to realize that this was a more experimental amp. But aside from the visual aspect, it comes with an unusual tube configuration. Sure, there’s the expected 12AX7 in the preamp section. However, it bears a single 12AT7 in the power amp, a traditionally preamp tube.
Then there’s also a VU meter on the front panel of the amp. Honestly, this wasn’t exactly a necessary addition. But it does make it look cool.
What’s special about it, however, is its tone, and, of course, the reputation it got among those who love to experiment.
Firstly, the amp doesn’t have much headroom. But at the same time, you can’t achieve those high-gain tones either. So this is why some players weren’t thrilled about it. Nonetheless, if you like the crunchy overdrive or dirt-filled cleans, you’ll like it.
What’s more, it can even get some smooth jazzy overdriven tones. And if you push it over the limits, it gets fuzzy.
As you can imagine, it’s not exactly for everyone’s tastes. However, it’s still pretty interesting to play around with. So it’s great if you like simple stuff. Also, it can pack a punch for its 2 watts of output power.
Additionally, the amp also comes with a 1/8-inch input. It’s kind of an outdated feature, but you could plug in an external source to it. Additionally, there are two ¼-inch outputs on the back as well. One is straight out of the preamp while the other is for an external speaker cabinet.
Fender Greta Mods: What Can You Do With It?
As I said, Fender Greta turned out to be a pretty interesting platform for those who like to experiment. So a lot of guitar players who own it end up modding it. With this in mind, let’s see what you can do with Fender Greta.
Of course, one of the easiest modifications is a simple speaker replacement. The amp comes with a pretty straightforward 4-inch driver in it. Although it’s not bad, I feel that it could do much better. After all, the amp has potential.
What may be a bit tricky is that we’re looking at a pretty small speaker. You don’t often find a 4-inch one on the market. Jensen has their JCH615-4. And I think that it would do a pretty great job. Other than that, you’d probably need to dig through eBay or find a custom-made speaker.
Of course, tube swapping is the simplest thing that you could do. In all honesty, the stock tubes in Fender Greta aren’t the best ones out there. Sure, they’re vacuum tubes that bring out the tone and dynamic response that you’d expect. But the amp can do much better.
Although the amp is a bit weird, tube replacement shouldn’t be that difficult. And, the most important thing is that you have so many tubes to choose from these days. It may require some investment, but it’ll completely reinvent its tone.
Swap Out Some of the Capacitors
Now we get to a bit of a trickier part. Those who are feeling more adventurous can try and replace some of the capacitors in the amp.
Just bear in mind that the whole process can be demanding. If you don’t have any experience with modifying electronic devices, I suggest that you stray away from it. After all, you don’t want to ruin a decent tube-driven amp just for the sake of it.
Just be aware of the risks that you’re taking. Always consult a professional if you decide to go down this path.
I’ve been doing some digging online about this topic. And some guitar players completely changed the amp’s tone with different capacitors. For instance, there’s this one where the guy changed the coupling capacitor. It ultimately increased the amp’s sensitivity. It started breaking up more easily, resulting in a fuzzy tone.
However, we’re talking about a pretty great fuzzy Jimi Hendrix-style saturation. You can check out the results in the player below.
Pretty awesome, right? Of course, the whole mod required additional work. But as you can notice, the results were pretty impressive.
Put the Whole Amp Into a New Casing and Cabinet
Now, this particular mod probably won’t be the most popular one. And it may not be easy to pull off. However, you can also create your own custom-made casing and cabinet for it.
This also opens up a new way for you to add a larger speaker. As a result, you’d get a bit more headroom and the sound would be far less fuzzy.
However, such a modification could be incredibly complex. You’d not only have to come up with a new casing but would also have to adapt it to this very specific circuitry. But it is technically possible to pull off.
But Is It Worth the Hassle?
The final question here is whether the whole ordeal is worth it. Don’t get me wrong. I totally support the idea of modifying your gear in whatever way it may suit your needs. After all, it’s fun, engaging, and educational at the same time.
But, in a way, I find it to be a bit unnecessary. After all, we have so much stuff on the market these days. What’s more, you could even find something super cheap that would get you where you want to go.
I may be more progressive in this regard. But my stance is that digital amp and effect modeling goes a long way. If you know what you want, I’m fairly certain that most modelers out there can fulfill your demands. So why bother modifying a poor little Fender Greta amp?
I hope this article has helped you think through some of the modifications you could make to this amp!
And if you want to read more about gear modifications on this blog, check out:
Lastly, feel free to drop a message in the comments below if you have more questions about this or another guitar-related topic!