FM 212R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Features: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 6.5 Neat
  • Users' score: 7.4 (251 votes)
Fender: FM 212R

Price paid: £ 200

Purchased from: Steven James

Sound — 6
I currently use a Epiphone SG g-400 which has 2 Alnico V humbuckers pickups and has a very good sound quality. My music style is ranged as I prefer to play all genres to help with my guitar playing, however I mainly play hard rock and alternative rock in bands. The amp itself has mass amounts of feedback when turned up past 2 on overdrive, this can be unerving to new guitars wanting to practise playing gig volume, it also take alot of tweaking to get a decent sound from it. Best settings when playing on Drive channel is low Drive (reduces feedback) around 7 on treble, 9-10 mid and 5 on bass. However this is just my opinion and may be different for other people. Overall the Drive and overdrive are pretty poor compared to the other amps out there and I wouldn't advice this amp for someone who loves edgy distortion as it is quite weak even when at 10. Mid contour Switch allows for a more classic metal feel and good for covering songs form artists such as bryan adams. The clean channel however is another story, it is fantastic and is beautiful to play, with decent room acoustics and the right settings he clean is probably the best out of all other makes I've played into. It is good for playing clean riffs and also for playing lead guitar clean as the sounds quality has had a good work over. However I have come across problems playing open chords with the clean as it becomes very tinny, this can easily be resolved by turning the guitar Switch to neck pickup giving the chords a warmer and fuller sound. Ideal settings for clean would be treble 9, mid 7, bass 7. The reverb also allows for a nice surfing sound to the guitar. This is amp is ideal for surfing music, jazz, soft metal/rock and country. This amp is bad for black metal, hard rock, punk.

Overall Impression — 7
I play a large variety of music and it has at times been a perfect match but my preferred sounds (hard rock) is not a good match with this amp as its distortion is weak and very basic, but on a plus it has amazing clean which so far I have found to be second to none. If it was stolen I would possibly go for a different amp but that is because I am going to be playing at bigger venues soon and I need to upgrade. Three things I love about this amp is its clean, its contour Switch and its simplicity, three things I dislike is its Drive (rubbish not worth using) its over Drive (not much better) and its ridiculous volume increase (have to be careful when turning it up). I currently have no other amps but I am soon getting the Marshall Valvestate 2000 AVT150 1 x 12 Guitar Combo to make up for the fenders lack of "ooopmh" in distortion. I would compare this Fender with most other Fender makes. Overall a decent sounding amp with not good drive, but with a distortion pedal you could possibly learn to love this amp for its beauty, simplicity and nice sounding cleans and unique character. A good amp for a amateur guitar player or a professional who wants to play soft music in smaller scale venues. Thanks for reading! :) Peter Clark

Reliability & Durability — 6
I use this everyday and it has never buggered up when playing it in my room or when jamming with friends or at band practise however I had a different experience when using it for a gig. I have only gigged with this amp once and to be honest it was a pretty decent but not very dependable on producing the same sound and needed tweaking many times throughout. I would definitely have a backup spare in future just incase it become unbearable or begins to bugger up as the wiring and circuit boards inside heat easily and also the amp is very vulnerable at the back and the wires could snag and leave you in a bad situation. All day I had no problem with it when practising in the backroom but it buggered up during sound check and repeatedly fluctuated in volume during the set which I found odd so I am getting it looked into. Ever since I bought this amp I have constantly kept it well and used it everyday so there is no neglect. Overall I would say a reasonably reliable amp but not suitable for gigs which require a big sound to rival a loud drum kit.

Features — 7
I have had this make of amp for nearly a year now, and I have played every style of music and tried everything out on it so my review will hopefully be insightful. The amp is a very simple 100watt solid state amp, has three different channels clean, Drive and over Drive channels altered by a footswitch that comes complimentary, two mid bass treble volume knobs for different channel settings, two volume and a Drive knob and a simple reverb knob... no nonsense. Very simple to grasp and has a very decent reverb which makes for a fantastic clean surf music sound. Also has a contour button which allows for a classic dampened down distortion which is excellent for old rock/ precious metal songs. I personally would not add to this amp cause it would simply ruin its simplicity. I mainly use this amp in my bedroom jamming with mates and the occasional small gig with my band, however it simply does not have enough power for a decent gig unless miced up.

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