Tech 21 Fly Rig 5
Tech 21 Fly Rig 5


The market response to gigs in smaller venues and sessions in smaller studios over the last decade has been positive, with numerous companies offering audio solutions that essentially take up less room while still delivering quality sound. Tech 21’s Fly Rig 5 has taken a solution for guitarists to the next level.

The Fly Rig 5 features five must-have pedals in Tech 21’s award-winning arsenal: a genuine SansAmp, a reverb, a delay, a powerful boost and the awesome Plexi distortion. The idea with the Fly Rig 5 is to remove all of the annoying variables that come hand in hand with a regular pedal board – too many patch cables or batteries that could fail, annoying ground loop noise – and reduce the overall size required to generate the most-often required tones: clean, reverb, delay / modulation, and drive. The unit can be thought of an excellent back-up to an existing rig, a vital recording rig, or a stand-alone rig unto itself. The benefit of the Fly Rig 5 is that it can be plugged directly into an audio interface or PA system, requiring no additional amplification, or it can be used with an amp in a more traditional sense. Either way, the tones are amazing and the unit is easy to use. There are no presets, no bypasses, no effects loops, and no onboard tuners; it’s simply five analog guitar pedals packed into one structure. It even includes an auto-switching power supply which will work anywhere in the world with the right connection adaptor.

The Fly Rig 5 is built around Tech 21’s all-analog SansAmp (an amp, speaker and mic simulator) that delivers clean authentic sounds for consistent tone. The adjustable Reverb has been voiced to create the rich ambience of a vintage spring reverb and sounds amazing. The Plexi tone is instantly recognisable with its trademark crunch that can be boosted into the Hot mode with up to 21dB of pre-amp gain. The Hot footswitch also operates independently to boost any of the Fly Rig 5 sections when required. The delay section is voiced to emulate vintage tape echo, and features a separate tap-tempo footswitch and adjustable drift-style modulation. All of the controls are illuminated to show which pedals are active, and all of the footswitches and jacks are studio-grade metal.

Compact, slick, and super-cool, Tech 21’s Fly Rig 5 is a diminutive tone machine which delivers pristine analog sounds. Weighing in at just over 8 kilograms and under 30 centimeters in length, the unit fits into most guitar cases and provides a professional, highly viable sound solution for guitarists who are touring, recording, or even just trying to reduce load-in logistics for rehearsals.

The Tech 21 Fly Rig 5 retails for $499.


Fender’s Hot Rod amps have been a permanent fixture for many performing guitarists worldwide and are considered to be ideal amps for developing a signature sound. This series of amp is revered for great volume, reliability, compatibility with effects pedals, and now with current production in China, affordability.

The Blues Junior III is a longtime 15-watt favorite with warm tone and is perfect for the mobile guitarist who needs to hit the stage or studio with a minimum of fuss, without sacrificing solid sound and versatile features. It’s a very simple, one-channel, plug in and play amplifier. The top-mount chrome control panel allows adjustment of volume, tone, and reverb levels, and is equipped with a ‘Fat’ switch that boosts the midrange for more pronounced tonality, which is controllable by an optional footswitch.

Among their many popular features, Fender guitar amps are known in particular for their lush spring reverb sounds and their huge clean sounds. This amp is no exception, delivering both impressively at a wide range of volume settings. The amp is driven by 3 12AX7 tubes and powered by 2 EL84 tubes with a solid-state rectifier and one 12” Fender Lighting Bolt speaker designed by Eminence.

The amp will produce a warm overdrive when the volume and master volume settings are used to overload the amp, but most players will flock to this model for its clean sounds and bring their favourite pedals along for the ride.

The Fender Blues Junior III retails for $1149.



Fender Blues Junior III Guitar Amplifer
Fender Blues Junior III Guitar Amplifer



All gear reviewed at Mega Music Wangara.