Frontman 65R Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 06/21/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: Frontman 65R
This amp is really light but loud and is more than capable of handling any club gig.
 Sound: 7.8
 Overall Impression: 7.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Features: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 8.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.5 
 Users rating:
 8.3 
 Votes:
 17 
reviews (6) pictures (3) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
Frontman 65R Reviewed by: jeffo46, on december 15, 2009
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I believe that my amp was probably made in 2008, in China. This is a 2 channel amp with Volume, Treble, and Bass on the clean channel, while you have Drive, Volume, Mid, Treble, Bass, Reverb, and a Contour Switch, along with channel switching on the second channel. This amp weighs in at around 32 lbs and has that classic Fender Blackface Design with the Silver Logo in the left hand corner. It's rated at a very LOUD 65 watts and is quite capable of handling club gigs, and is Solid state! It has 2 imputs and comes with a Pre Out and Power In jack and a single button footswitch. // 8

Sound: I am using my 2006 MIM Fender Standard Strat with this and it's a perfect mix to say the least. The clean channel on this took me a while to adjust to me liking, but once I did, I was in sheer Strat heaven. The Drive on this, using the contour button can go between Blues and Metal providing you know how to set the EQ to your settings. This amp is completely quiet and from what I can tell, doesn't seem to break up at higher volumes which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I just got this today, so the jury is out as far as dependability is concerned. I do tend to baby my equipment so I don't think I'll have any problems with it. My only concern is that, this is a floor model that I picked up but I also boght a 2 year warranty just in case, so I am covered. Better to be safe than sorry, I always say! // 9

Overall Impression: This amp could cover any genre of music, I feel and is also pedal friendly. I got this mostly because, I'm 50 years old and I'm tired of lugging around heavy pieces of gear. This amp is really light but loud and is more than capable of handling any club gig. I would probably get another one if anything happened to this one. Hey, for $200 bucks, this is a great deal and is much better than those lousy Raven amps, that GC keeps trying to sell. // 8

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overall: 7.8
Frontman 65R Reviewed by: IbanezKorn, on may 12, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 189.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is the Fender Frontman 65. Its 65 watts, solid-state, a clean channel and distorted channel, and built in reverb. Its pretty basic. This amp is LOUD. I have mine at 2 and it shakes my medium sized bed room. Its definitely big enough for small to medium sized venues. // 9

Sound: I've always heard critics rave how good the famed Fender clean channel is. I didn't find it spectacular, but it does its job. Add a little of the built in reverb (I have mine at 5 or 6) and you can get a good sounding clean tone. I use my Ibanez RG7321 7 string guitar with the stock pick ups with this amp. I get a slight buzz but it depends how close I am to the amp. If I'm across the room theres nothing, if I'm sitting right next to the amp there is a very slight buzz. Now we are coming up to the only problem I have with this amp. The distortion. The distortion is very bad (Its a solid-state amp. What did you expect?) Its hard to describe it. It sounds like your listening to music through an old radio. Its very muffed. This problem can be easily fixed with running a distortion pedal through the clean channel. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This is a very durable amp. I transfer it to and from band practices/jams/writing sessions, ect. nearly every weekend. It has a few chips in the paint along the sides of the amp, but its not a big deal. There is no defects at all internally. The front looks like metal but is actually made of fabric. It worried me when I first got it but it hasn't torn yet, so I'm gaining confidence in the strength fabric. // 10

Overall Impression: Over all this is a pretty good amp. I play a lot of Alternative Metal/Rock (Korn, Staind, Creed, ect.) I could imagine any player of any genre appreciate the clean channel, but, as I said, the distortion channel is very bad, so its pretty much 50/50. At least we have Distortion pedals to fix that problem. If this amp was stolen I wouldn't buy it again. As I said its a pretty good amp but there are better amps in its price range. // 6

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overall: 8.8
Frontman 65R Reviewed by: jeffo46, on may 13, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 199.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is my 2nd review for this amp. I figured after having it for a few months, I'd do a update on it. I thought mine was a 2008, but it was made in 2009 at Fender's China plant. It is a 2 channel 65 watt, solid state, combo with more than enough power for small club gigs, and is suitable for home practice. The clean channel has Volume, Treble, and Bass, while the Gain channel has, Volume, Gain, Mid, Treble, Bass, Reverb, and a Mid Contour switch, which adds a more modern tone to the gain. It weighs in at a very light 32 lbs and comes with a single button Vintage style footswitch. It has the classic Fender Blackface look with the silver grille cloth, which is what drew me to it in the first place. // 10

Sound: I am using my 2006 MIM standard strat and my new 2006 60th anniversary USA made Strat with this amp, and while the clean channel has that classic Fender tone, the gain channel IMO, can be muddy at times unless you really take the time to work with the mid contour switch. Regardless, I did swap out the stock speaker and put in a Eminence Red, White, and Blues 12", which made a huge difference in the tone. Now it sounds really nice and clear on the gain channel. The Reverb does tend to hum if you turn it up too much past say, 6 or so, but I'm using a Zoom John 5 effects processor with this, so that's not really a problem. This amp to it's credit, is very pedal friendly. I hooked up my Zoom to the power out jack and there was a significant increase in the volume. I had to lower all the volume settings on my Zoom in order to accomodate this, but it was worth it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've used this at several gigs since I've gotten it and the highest I had to raise the volume was 2. This is a solid state monster as far as volume is concerned. It does seem to be very well made contrary to some of the reviews that were printed elsewhere. If you take care of your gear, it'll last you a lifetime. I'm a firm believer in that motto. // 10

Overall Impression: For 200 bucks, this is a good deal for someone who is either on a low budget or is a beginner. The only thing that I would reccommend, is that you do a speaker swap. The stock speakers on these are crap IMO. Once I did a change, there was a huge improvement in the amp's tone. If this were stolen or lost would I get another one? I probably would, providing that I had anpther Eminence speaker around to swap it out with. The only thing that I wish this amp had, was a mid control on the clean channel, like the 212 version does. // 7

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overall: 8.5
Frontman 65R Reviewed by: oldmankyle, on february 24, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 179

Purchased from: Rattle and Drum

Features: The Fender Frontman 65R is a solid state combo amp with a 65 watt output. I've played this at gigs, finding it's incredibly loud; a great value for money. I don't know the actual year in which it was made, but I suspect around 2008. The amp is versatile, I play allsorts from indie, rock to grunge and this amp allows me to do this. It has two channels: clean and distorted. Two 1/4" inputs, effects Loop (Preamp Out, Power Amp In), footswitch Jack, IEC Grounding Type Power Supply Cord. The amp comes with a Vintage style footswitch to swap between channels. // 9

Sound: I use a Fender Jaguar HH with it, this guitar has two humbuckers but the amp works great with single coils as well. My favourite aspect of this amp has to be the reverb, I don't know why but I think Fender amps just have great reverb settings. The amp sustains at high volumes but still sounds great a low volumes, I've played this amp in school halls to bedrooms. The clean channel doesn't distort at high volumes, which is great. The controls: Clean Channel: Volume, Treble, Bass. Drive Channel: Drive, Volume, Channel Select Switch, Treble, Mid, Mid Contour Switch, Bass, Reverb, // 8

Reliability & Durability: I can depend on this amp, mainly because it's solid state, and therefore won't blow unlike valve amps. The amps been packed into boots, over the years and still works great; the casing is of good quality with a Black Textured Vinyl along with Chrome Hardware. // 8

Overall Impression: This was my first decent amp after my first 10 Watt practice one; and I don't think I'd upgrade for a while, I feel this amp will serve me for a long time. To be honest I bought this knowing very little about the amplifier market, but after comparing it with my friends I think I made a lucky choice. The only thing I don't really like is the lack of controls on the clean channel; other than that the Fender Frontman 65R is quality value amp which you should buy. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Frontman 65R Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 25, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 150

Features: This amp has pretty standard features, 2 channels, high and low on clean channel, high, mid and low on dirty channel, reverb and FX loop. This amp is a college amp and thats where I use it, it's easily loud enough for small gigs and jams. Would be good if the clean channel had a mid contour. // 8

Sound: Ove the last year or two I've used lots of different guitars with it humbuckers and singlecoils (I'm a big fan of singlecoil guitars but this amp definately suits humbuckers more). It can get very noisy with singlecoils at high volumes, best remedy is to turn off all the guitars tone. A versatile amp suitable for lots of styles; blues, jazz and funk especially. The clean channel can be distorted at high volumes (wah wahs will help that). The OD is quite strong but can be harsh at high levels, I guess some people might like that though. All in all sound isn't bad but could be quite abit warmer. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This amp has survived a good 3 years at my college which is an incredible testament to build quality. I've had no problems with this amp... EVER. It's been gigged with several times and had no problems, very reliable. Sound has remained consistantly good, no degredation whatsoever. // 10

Overall Impression: As I mentioned earlier I think it's best for lighter styles like blues, Jazz, funk and even some classic rock tones. Versatile but could sound better. This amp does however sound fantastic with wah pedals! I do like the low overdriven tones and the option to turn off the mid contour is a nice touch even if it's not used that often. The reverb is pretty, but there could be more. It's a pretty decent amp for the price tag, if your on a budget then I would highly recomend it, if not... go for a Peavey transtube. // 8

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overall: 9
Frontman 65R Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 21, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 125

Features: This am was bought used, but in perfect shape. It was produced in early 2010. I play punk, ballads and soft rock and this amp fits them all. It has 2 channels normal and drive; switching between them is made through a foot-switch which was provided by the seller, or by the dedicated button on the combo. It has the capability to take effect loops through 2 input/output jacks which are also used for additional amps and recording (includes speaker simulation). There is no headphone jack but the pre out jack can be used for that matter. I wish it had more effects than just simple reverb but this satisfies me as long as my effects pedal is working. For a room it is more than sufficient and can be easily used for small gigs and practice 'cause it can cover the drummer easily. It is solid state with an open back and since it is produced in 2010 it has the new Blackface design. // 9

Sound: I use a Squier Bullet Strat with standard single coils, and as I mentioned, it handles my genres pretty well. It produces a little bit of noise while on the Drive channel when the Drive is set past 4 o'clock (not because of the guitar). The speaker can reproduce from deep lows to the highest trebles. The tone variety is somehow limited by the knobs on the normal channel(not on the overdrive one). The clean channel only distorts past 5 but you will not surely reach that volume since it is very loud at 2 (80 dB) to 4 (10-105 dB). The distortion is not bad at all but lacks the power somehow. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It is as tough as a stone so no reliability problems (It weighs about 14.4 kgs) I trust it and could surely use it on a gig without any backup since it is both loud and reliable. The amp is fairly new (2 years) and has never broken down; and will never will if taken care. // 10

Overall Impression: I've been playing guitar for 3 years now and I use a Squier Bullet Strat with a Behringer X-V-amp effects pedal. I can get almost any tone out of the amp in combination with the pedal. I would gladly buy it again if lost or stolen. I love the new design and the loudness it can produce. The power indicator has a ruby like design and really improves on the aspect. Comparing it to Marshalls or Laneys I can say that some of the features are better on this than the others but still there is room for improvements. A delay would have sufficed. // 8

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