M-80 Bass review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
Fender: M-80 Bass

Sound — 10
I use this amp with a Squier Vintage Modified 70s Jazz Bass, and with a Warwick-like luthier made fiver. I have to say, this amp can get versatile depending on the bass you put in front of it. The good thing is that it has a very good tone overall, can get punchy, can get funky, can get clancky, etc. I tried a lot of combos before buying this amp (Stagg, Laney, Rocktron, Hiwatt, Hartke, Ampeg, Fender Rumble, Fender BXR...) and this is the best I could afford. The good thing is that this amps usually gives more wattage and larger speaker than other amps in its price range, and also sounds better, in my opinion, so check this out if you can. This one sounds clean even when maxed (though the limiter starts working...) and has a good tone for slap too. It gives a little buzzing when the volume is high, but when you pluck a string, it disappears.

Overall Impression — 9
What can I say, I am really happy with it. It's only downside might be it's weight, but I found out that it is much more transportable if you hug it, rather than if you use the top handle. I've been playing funky grooves, jazz, classical music, some maiden stuff, and this amp gave me nice tones for everything. I think it's loudness is a good factor to keep in mind if you need a good, cheap, band-loud amp. I'm still a beginner, been playing for 5 months, but I'm learning, and I think this amp is really good for the price. I'd buy it again if possible, if it was stolen, or upgrade to head and cab, maybe, but if in a budget, I think this is the best choice. I just hate it's weight, but after all, it's a 15" speaker combo, so it has to be heavy. I'd like the compressor to be adjustable (I mean, a knob for it), nad maybe treble, hi mid, lo mid, and bass EQs... But those are my only complaints. Overall, a killer amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Well, this amp is like 20 years old and has no issues so far. It works perfectly, so I think you can really depend on it. Nothing has broken so there's really not much more to say. Definitely gets a ten.

Features — 7
This is Fender M-80 160 watts solid state combo, bought used. - Made in the '90s - 1 Volume knob and 3 band EQ - Switchable chorus, with rate and depth knobs - Footswitch input - Effects loop - Switchable compressor (non adjustable) - Built in limiter - Line out - Two 1/4" speaker outputs. - 160 watts in 4 ohms, 110ish in 8 ohms. - 1 15", 8 ohms Fender blue speaker. I think this is amp is loud enough for band practice cause with the volume set at 4 (10 being the max) it wasn't drawn out by the drums. I haven't gigged with it yet. I'd like the EQ to be 4 band, but you still can get variable tones out of this 3 band EQ. The chorus is good enough, but I hardly ever use it. The compressor doesn't really changes your tone, but it evens your playing a fair bit. The good thing is that this amp takes 5 strings basses well enough, cause you can hear the low B as clearly as the other strings. This amp has only the necessary features (plus the chorus, that isn't necessary), nothing fancy, but serves you well for solo practice, jams, and I imagine for small venues.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    agree all around. especially the weight. ugh. mine has a bad DI, but other than that you'd think it was brand new. bought it for 3 hundred a couple years ago, hasnt done me any wrong
    I have this amp and love it. I got mine as a trade from a friend. I play a very modded early 1990's squire p bass. These Amps seem to be as rare as hens teeth. I've had 2 and only seen a few online. I turned down $425.00 last week.