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Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp Red and Gold

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In the playfully diminutive form of a vintage tabletop radio, the Pawn Shop Special Greta model is quite possibly the most unusual Fender tube amp ev...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Quaint retro style in a compact tapletop amplifier.

In the playfully diminutive form of a vintage tabletop radio, the Pawn Shop Special Greta model is quite possibly the most unusual Fender tube amp ever. In fact, nobody would blame you if you saw a Greta and, not yet realizing its true identity, tried to tune in the local weather on it. But an amp is exactly what it is—a two-watt tabletop beauty with a 4” Special Design speaker, old-school VU meter with “clean to overload” indicator display and simple volume and tone controls. Its charmingly vintage-style enclosure has front and rear wood panels finished in bright red, gold-finished metal top and sides for increased shielding, “Greta” script badge on the front panel and tabletop feet. Under the hood and on the back panel, the Greta features a single 12AT7 output tube and 12AX7 preamp tube, with a 1/4” instrument jack and 1/4” line out jack (for preamp use with another amplifier). Greta produces a variety of low-volume clean and overdriven guitar tones, but even if you never plug a guitar into it, the 1/8” back-panel auxiliary input is perfect for iPod or other media player use, with great mono tube playback sound that’ll have you rocking right there at your desk.

FEATURES
  • Two watts
  • A single 12AT7 output tube and 12AX7 preamp tube
  • 4” Special Design speaker
  • Old-school VU meter with “clean to overload” indicator display
  • Simple volume and tone controls
  • 1/4” Instrument jack
  • 1/4” Line out jack (for preamp use with another amplifier)

Give your desk some vintage style. Call or click to order.retro

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
FenderPawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp
 
3.9

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (8)
  • Portable (7)
  • Warm / comfy (7)
  • Excellent sound (6)

Cons

  • Limited functions (5)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (4)
  • Home studio (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Solidly built, great sound - not the novelty it appears to be

I agree about the speaker when new - it needs (MO) 6-8 hours of break in time. But if you have a cab, no break-in is required. The tubes are typical...Read complete review

I agree about the speaker when new - it needs (MO) 6-8 hours of break in time. But if you have a cab, no break-in is required. The tubes are typical decent generics - but plug in (like I ended up doing) an Amperex 12AT7 and NOS 5751 preamp tube and the character really changes - more headroom, more "open" harmonic range, and even better control.

It does have limitations. Players who never move their tone knob off "10" and rarely use the volume control might have trouble controlling it - it's definitely a "touch player" amp. Crank it up, use a heavy pick, pick as lightly as you can and roll down the *guitar* controls to find your clean level - then all you eed to do is dig in and/or slowly turn up the volume and/or tone knob *on the guitar* to milk the sustain.
Hard picking and guitar controls frozen on 10 will result in nothing but a distorted tone - but IMO it's not really the best way to get tone out of ANY amp. This one REALLY shines when you drive it from your fingers. I find a 2x10 cabinet with a couple vintage C10Q's or a single-12 Greenback will really bring out the best in the amp - the internal speaker is just for low-volume home practice or desktop iPod use.

The only negative to me - too many screws to remove to get to the tubes. That's not much aof a negative!
Fender really painted outside the lines with this one, even more than with the Valco/Arline-ish Excelsior (which is another winner). IMO You just can't get this much usefulness at this price point. Volue, tone, 1/8 stereo input jack, internal speaker, 8-16 ohm external speaker jack (which shuts off the internal speaker and a line out to use it as a two-stage preamp into another amp.'

Heck, it'd have enough "features" with the knobs, internal speaker and an extension jack.
Mine was opened up about 15 minutes after I got it home to look at the build quality. The wood sides/base are MDF, the the gold-painted rop is heavy gage steel, it really holds it together well, base plate nd chassis are much heavier gage aluminum that "budget" amps, all wiring looks like 16 gage and up (not the tiny little noodles or horrid computer connectors in most inexpensive amps). It has a choke for ripple current reduction instead of more caps nd big resistors - a far more expensive way to go, which indicates this isn't plannd as a huge profit generator The circuit board has some 1/4 watt but many 1/2 and 1 watt metal film resistors - not PCB implant-types left over from some effects box experiment. And ceramic tube sockets. This is, to me, a huge point, as this amp is perfect for experimenting with tube types and combinations - and board-mounted tube sockets used on even high-end PCB amps are no match for these as far as durability. Heavy PCB as well. It'd take a lot to bust one o these to the point where it wouldn't play.
There's nothing on the market remotely like it for the price Yes, lots of small tube amps - but either expensive or light on the build quality. There's just an ton of usage options packed into an affordable.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

I think I know why they called it Greta

I think I know why they called it "Greta"... because it would be re-GRETA-ble if you bought it without hearing it first. Sounds weak, sterile and muffled for the...Read complete review

I think I know why they called it "Greta"... because it would be re-GRETA-ble if you bought it without hearing it first. Sounds weak, sterile and muffled for the first 1/10 of the dial, then it turns into a horrid (not nice) distortion that is absolutely unusable. A total miss on Fender's part. I've heard it sounds better through an external speaker or used as a pre-amp on the front-end to another amp, but I'll have to take their word for it. Throw in a little more money and get it's stable-mate, the Excelsior, which is truly stellar and far superior in every respect.

Reviewed by 14 customers

Displaying reviews 1-14

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(21 of 22 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Solidly built, great sound - not the novelty it appears to be

By Jim Sliff

from California near the beach

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

I agree about the speaker when new - it needs (MO) 6-8 hours of break in time. But if you have a cab, no break-in is required. The tubes are typical decent generics - but plug in (like I ended up doing) an Amperex 12AT7 and NOS 5751 preamp tube and the character really changes - more headroom, more "open" harmonic range, and even better control.

It does have limitations. Players who never move their tone knob off "10" and rarely use the volume control might have trouble controlling it - it's definitely a "touch player" amp. Crank it up, use a heavy pick, pick as lightly as you can and roll down the *guitar* controls to find your clean level - then all you eed to do is dig in and/or slowly turn up the volume and/or tone knob *on the guitar* to milk the sustain.
Hard picking and guitar controls frozen on 10 will result in nothing but a distorted tone - but IMO it's not really the best way to get tone out of ANY amp. This one REALLY shines when you drive it from your fingers. I find a 2x10 cabinet with a couple vintage C10Q's or a single-12 Greenback will really bring out the best in the amp - the internal speaker is just for low-volume home practice or desktop iPod use.

The only negative to me - too many screws to remove to get to the tubes. That's not much aof a negative!
Fender really painted outside the lines with this one, even more than with the Valco/Arline-ish Excelsior (which is another winner). IMO You just can't get this much usefulness at this price point. Volue, tone, 1/8 stereo input jack, internal speaker, 8-16 ohm external speaker jack (which shuts off the internal speaker and a line out to use it as a two-stage preamp into another amp.'

Heck, it'd have enough "features" with the knobs, internal speaker and an extension jack.
Mine was opened up about 15 minutes after I got it home to look at the build quality. The wood sides/base are MDF, the the gold-painted rop is heavy gage steel, it really holds it together well, base plate nd chassis are much heavier gage aluminum that "budget" amps, all wiring looks like 16 gage and up (not the tiny little noodles or horrid computer connectors in most inexpensive amps). It has a choke for ripple current reduction instead of more caps nd big resistors - a far more expensive way to go, which indicates this isn't plannd as a huge profit generator The circuit board has some 1/4 watt but many 1/2 and 1 watt metal film resistors - not PCB implant-types left over from some effects box experiment. And ceramic tube sockets. This is, to me, a huge point, as this amp is perfect for experimenting with tube types and combinations - and board-mounted tube sockets used on even high-end PCB amps are no match for these as far as durability. Heavy PCB as well. It'd take a lot to bust one o these to the point where it wouldn't play.
There's nothing on the market remotely like it for the price Yes, lots of small tube amps - but either expensive or light on the build quality. There's just an ton of usage options packed into an affordable.

(15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Greta amplifier

By Ronald Biermacher

from Michigan

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

Very Important! Let the unit "break in" for several hours. Sounds terrible right out-of-the-box, but get's lots better after some time. This unit is not going to rattle the windows, but has very nice tube tone after break-in period. Sounds very good with iPod through the aux input. Note... Use a stereo mini-plug. The amp sums the stereo signal internally.
Has exactly what you need....Volume and Tone control. Be sure and "tweak" the tone control.
Nicely made. Funky but cool styling,
Nothing to compare it to.

(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great tone and look

By John Williams

from VA

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

The only things I would change is to have knurled metal knobs vs plastic and I would tone down the Greta logo...neither a big deal. This amp will get used every day.
The ipod input is nice; Wish You Were Here sounded great the first time I hooked it up. The analog meter is a plus. Also has an external cab out.
The construction is very solid. Again, very nice warm tone.

(11 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Not so Good

By Gregory Causey

from Ohio

See all my reviews

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

If you want a table-top fuzz box/overdrive unit...here it is. If you want anything else...keep looking. I've bought LOTS of gear from MF, service and value have always been first-rate, but this puppy is goin' back next week.
Hey, I mean for what it was designed for, a small, low-watt table-top amp it has all the features one needs. But...
Seems well made, from all appearances. It's a nice looking unit, but like my Daddy said: "You can put candles on a cow patty, but that don't make it no birthday cake." Looks real nice, until you turn it on. Sound is lacking. Yes, it's only 2 watts from a 12AT7, got that. But even then...not good. I had hoped to also use it for my iPod and the sound was even worse. Totally useless. TOO MUCH distortion.
Hey they used a choke in the power supply filter instead of a resistor for a PI filter network, so I'd hoped that was an indication of their committment to quality, but Fender needs to go back and look at this one again.
It's basically useless. I have LOTS of tube and solid state amps of all sizes. Thought this would fill a niche, but no.

(10 of 17 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

I think I know why they called it Greta

By Donny Danger

from Austin, TX y'all

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Looks cool

Cons

  • Sounds like doody

Best Uses

  • Paperweight

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

I think I know why they called it "Greta"... because it would be re-GRETA-ble if you bought it without hearing it first. Sounds weak, sterile and muffled for the first 1/10 of the dial, then it turns into a horrid (not nice) distortion that is absolutely unusable. A total miss on Fender's part. I've heard it sounds better through an external speaker or used as a pre-amp on the front-end to another amp, but I'll have to take their word for it. Throw in a little more money and get it's stable-mate, the Excelsior, which is truly stellar and far superior in every respect.

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Greta Table Top Tube Guitar Amp.

By Jim Bob

from Minneapolis, MN

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable

Cons

  • Limited Functions

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Home Studio
  • Professional Recording

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

This thing does best at moderate volume & clean tones. With both Humbuckers & single coils. A little distortion and the tones are still sweet. However, extreme distortion sounds too course & too distorted. But, really don't want in for being loud it is a great practice amp for while your watching tv, then play during commercials. SWEET CLEAN TONES

(7 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

"Cute little Thing"

By Kazman

from Iowa

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

I really wanted to love this thing cuz it's just so darn cute but..... it ended up being way short on clean volume...plenty of overdrive distortion volume...not much clean volume.....but cute!!!! I had to send it back.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Do not misjudge this little guy...

By nick

from my abode

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Saturated Tone
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Powerful

Cons

  • Limited Functions

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Events
  • Home Studio
  • Mic Up On Stage
  • Professional Recording

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

This amp is insane for the price. It just looks so rad with the vintage radio vibe and the tv-stand legs it has, not to mention the retro VU Meter which is just a joy to stare at when your playing, to see how it reacts. I WILL admit that the Greta sounds mediocre through the amp's stock 4 inch speaker, most people know this. With that being said, the real magic happens when you plug this guy up to a 4x12; the sound opens up immensely and you will NOT believe the drastic change in tone. I would gladly put mine up to battle with say a Hot Rod Deluxe or anything along those lines, because the tone is true high quality tube tone. You will love it's touch sensitivity and overall sound. I can't believe the value for these amps! I ordered another one just to keep brand new in the box and save for some time. Buy this thing now, the sound is inspiring.

(5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A Screamin' little thing!

By Luke Hunter

from Muscle Shoals

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • Portable
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Limited Functions
  • Weak Line Out

Best Uses

  • Amateur Recording
  • Home Studio
  • Practicing

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

I picked this thing up just a few days ago, and it's quickly becoming one of my favorite pieces of gear. I needed it to record very quietly in my apartment all night, and it did that in spades. The overdriven and dirty tones this thing can produce are pretty spectacular, and it has surprisingly full sound for a 4 inch speaker.

As for some negatives, the line out is not at true line level. It's a bit quieter than line level. When I used this to record with my Motu Hybrid I had to use a compressor to bring the volume up in my DAW. Also there is not as much headroom as I was hoping for. I love the overdrive, but I'd like a little more clean headroom before I got there.

Overall I rather enjoy it, great dirty sound, exactly the low-volume I was looking for, but a little more headroom would have been nice.

(5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

good dirt

By Matthew Bear

from somewhere

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

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Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Flexible use via spkr out
  • Portable
  • Practice volume dirt

Cons

  • Not loud at all

Best Uses

  • Line out function

Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

It's sounds good dirty! you should know how to use your volume/tone knobs to find a sweet spot as this thing sounds like a fuzz pedal full up...I wound up returning it ONLY because I have a converted tube radio that does the same thing, it was redundant in my gear stable.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Better than I thought possible.

By ObsessedGuitarPlayer

from The waves of Montana

About Me Experienced

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Excellent Sound
  • Good Warmth
  • High Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Home Studio

    Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    Ideal for the living room, practicing licks or developing music. Works best with single coils, but add on a reverb pedal and humbuckers can be tamed. Need patience with the Greta tone knob and the guitar tone/volume knobs. Perfect, if you want to just hit that sweet spot when the tubes start to add a hint of distortion. My wife is happy with the retro look and she likes the low volume, nice tone too. Allow quite a few hours of break in time.

    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    NO-BRAINER 2012 BLACK FRIDAY sale !!!

    By Clyde Keller

    from Central Pa.

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Eccentric Concept
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable

    Cons

    • Probably Hard To Find

    Best Uses

    • Home Friendly Tube Tone

    Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    So at black Friday 2012 I get one of these for less than one hundred MONETARY UNITS, with free shipping. Bizarre look and fairly limited internal speaker, but sounds great thru my EarCandy 2X10 cabinet. Not heavy metal distortion or high decibels, but it takes pedals well, and pumps out a solid tube tone at home(wife) friendly volumes. As long as you have a decent external cab available, this is A no brainer for a quality low volume classic tube type tone. Useful for practice/jamming/reording situations.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Fun little amp,

    By Jaded777777

    from Vernon, NJ

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable

    Cons

    • Limited Functions

    Best Uses

    • Good For Around The House

    Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    Great little tube amp. Easy to move from room to room. Don't expect a half stack, it's only a 4 inch speaker but it is fun.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great little tabletop Amp

    By Jaded777777

    from Vernon, NJ

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Good Warmth
    • Portable
    • Sweet Sound

    Cons

    • Limited Functions

    Best Uses

    • Play Anywhere

    Comments about Fender Pawn Shop Special Greta 2W 1x4 Tube Guitar Combo Amp:

    Great little amp that you can move to any room in the house. Don't expect a Marshall half stack, it's a good little amp with a 4 inch speaker. It does what it does.

    Displaying reviews 1-14

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