FM 210R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (15 votes)
Fender: FM 210R

Price paid: A$ 375

Sound — 8
I'm playing an Epiphone Les Paul Standard through it. I play mostly hard rock / metal kind of stuff, but also I like to make up clean sounding stuff. The onboard distortion wasn't working out that well, so I'm playing through an EHX Metal Muff, which the amp handles good (the amp doesn't take anything away from effects). So it suits my style fine. Small amount of noise with clean channel, nothing major. Onboard distortion does make a lot of noise, as does reverb. Clean sound is brilliant, Fender tone. Distortion isn't that versatile though. I'd like to give it a 10 just for clean tone, but because it's sound overall, I can't.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I love the clean tone, and while the distorted tone wasn't my thing, the Metal Muff sorted that out. Been playing maybe 4 years, and I also have a Fender Acoustic and a cheap Samick electric guitar. I didn't actually hunt around that much before buying this, as I was still a beginner, but it was a good deal, and I'm still happy with it. If this was stolen or lost, I would try and find an amp with the SAME clean tone, but with good distortion and maybe some effects and fancy feautres. This one is great for keeping it simple and using pedals, which is part of it's charm, but sometimes you just need more features (only sometimes though). As has been said, it's clean tone is great, distortion is ok for blues and some rock, and it is reliable. Lastly, I believe Fender have stopped making these, but have kept the "neighbours" in the FM series, which is interesting.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It is very dependable, and yes I would use it without a backup. It is build solidly, weighs about 16kg. The knobs on it may get a bit touchy at times, but no big issue. I checked the soldering job on the speakers, and definately no problems there. One time I did accidentally knock out the jewel like bit of glass for the light, but that was no problem either.

Features — 8
The amp has a great clean tone, it's solid state, and it's very clear sounding. Anything requiring pure clean tone I'd reccomend it just for that. However, on the distortion side, it is really muddy sounding with high gain, so the onboard distortion works well when used lightly for bluesy kind of stuff, and some rock. It is two channel of course, and the distortion channel also has a "mid contour" button to heavy it up a bit. Has an effects loop, which is good, though no headphone jack output. Instead of buying a footswitch for it, I made one myself, which works well. The reverb on mine is a bit noisy, though it may just be my one in particular. There's no inbuilt effects, which keeps it simple, so if you use lots of effects pedals, then this amp is great for you. I use it to Jam with mates, and it definately has enough power (and if I used it for gigging I'd be more than happy with it then too).

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    I'd like to add, that in my review, while I said the distortion wasn't really my thing, what I really should of said was "if you experiment with it, you can get some nice bluesy rock tones", which is what I'm after now.
    Should I get this for 125 bucks or Peavey Bandit 112 for 200 bucks? How these two compare?