FM 212R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 8.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (251 votes)
Fender: FM 212R

Price paid: $ 455.67

Sound — 10
I currently use a Vintage guitar with 2 humbuckers and a Colombus Series 2 (cheap Fender Strat copy). The clean channel on this amp is incredible for the money. As I use this amp with an effects pedal, it sounds awesome. The sounds really are comparable with any live band I've seen. However, without using effects, you cannot get much variety in the sound of the clean channel. This also applies to the distorted channel. Twist the knobs loads and you will notice little difference. This may be due to me previously owning a 50watt Marshall RCD (the cheapest loud Marshall I could find and the tone controls are good on these) but you really could do with an effects pedal. The third channel is little different. The variety of sounds is small, plus I get a lot of noise from it. This is untrue of the first two channels though, which are virtually silent all the way up. Which really is incredible considering how loud it goes. It is really loud! I'm giving it a 5 because with a pedal, you can't do much better even for anything double the price.

Overall Impression — 10
The main thing to stress with this amp is the power and quality for the money. Variety is not its strong point. But if like me you have another guitarist in the band with a comparable 100watt Marshall, you will find this blows it away. Yeah, the Marshalls have better distortion, but just buy a decent pedal the you'll have a better clean channel and a comparable distortion, for similar money. I think when Fender made this amp, they wanted a good clean channel, ok distortion that is not just a copy of other Fenders or Marshalls, but overall, a monster that for the money could do basically any gig. And I think they've done a very good job. I would easily buy it again, because for me with a good tube effects pedal, I needed nothing else. Just don't buy this amp for distortion! Stick to Marshalls for that. Buy this amp for power and quality.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've had the amp a few months now and it has never let me down. It seems very sturdy. Considering it has a five year warranty, I don't think Fender expects it to let anyone down. I always take backup to all gigs, because you never know! But for people that don't, this won't let you down! I can only give it a 4 because for the money the build is great, but for more money the build would be better. But thats not the idea of this amp.

Features — 6
This amp was made in 2004. I use a Digitech Tube effects pedal with this amp through the clean channel, playing mainly classic rock. It has 3 channels, firstly a clean, secondly a distorted and thirdly another distorted channel with mid increased for thicker solos. I can only give it a 3 for features because in comparison with other amps such as Line 6 which you can get for a similar price, the variety of features is really disappointing. But that didn't put me off, because of the quality of the sounds.

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