FM 212R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.4 (251 votes)
Fender: FM 212R

Price paid: £ 125

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
I use a range of guitars, but mostly a Fender Strat with a humbucker (bridge position), a Tokai Firebird (mini humbuckers), Fender T-bucket 300ce (semi-acoustic) and a Rally Superstrat (dual 'buckers) for the heavier stuff. I play everything from Acoustic songs such as an Acoustic version of Dirty Little Secret by the All American Rejects, to Clapton, to Lostprophets, to some heavy-ish stuff like Avenged Sevenfold, I also do some classics such as Guns 'n' Roses, ACDC and Led Zep. This amp works for pretty much any of those, but some pedals may be needed to reach the amount of gain needed for metal songs and the like. The clean channel is silent, but the distorted channel gives off a faint buzz (possibly because of my crap leads, or badly grounded guitars) though this is hardly noticeable at higher volumes. This amp excels at high volumes, but it doesn't sound as good if you want to use it as a practice amp on the lower volumes, unless you really want to annoy the neighbours and seriously damage your hearing. It can easily fill small venues with volume to spare, I was rattling windows in the local hall with the volume set at 7. The clean works well at high volumes and maintains it's tone well, it becomes slightly distorted, but this can only be expected when using an amp at high volume. As I've said before, the distortion on this amp sounds amazing, but it lacks when it comes to heavier songs where techniques such as pinch harmonics and sweeps are needed. This amp gets a 10 on sound quality despite the fact that the distortion can't cope with heavy songs, because this part of the review is purely about sound quality, not features.

Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of music as I said earlier. I've been playing for about 6 years now, but the practice has been pretty much none-stop. I possess 9 guitars altogether (Fender strat, Fender semi-acoustic, Tokai firebird, Rally Les Paul, Rally superstrat, 2 rubbish sgs, a Westfield strat, an Ibanez S420 and hopefully a cheapo Encore LP for renovation soon). I use a range of FX with this amp, just some cheap and cheerful Danelectro pedals, an Electro Harmonix Double Muff and a crappy Zoom G1 for tremolo and delay. If I could've I'd have asked what other amp heads are compatible with this amp, as I have a Line 6 head, but I'm not going to risk 2 pieces of expensive equipment to find out. If this amp was stolen from me I'd be devastated, it's MY amp, it's torn, worn and got stickers everywhere, but that just makes it personal to me. If it was stolen I think the thief would probably break his back trying to run with this amp, it actually weighs about 21kilos I think, so you'd have a hard time nicking it. But I'd definitely replace this amp if anything happened to it. I love everything about this amp, except the lack of high gain, but that's easily rectified with a pedal. I chose this amp over a Vox vt100, purely for the price, that gamble payed off because this amp is fabulous. This amp is amazing for the money, even if you buy one new. At 125 it was a steal, I don't want anything more from this amp, besides that pesky high gain distortion. Thanks for reading, hope it helps :)

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definitely use this amp without a backup, as I have many times, it's never failed, the electronics are all sound and the amp itself is built like a tank!

Features — 9
I got this amp second hand, so I don't know the exact age, but as long as it's working I'll be using it. The amp features 2 channels (1 clean, 1 distorted). The clean channel is perfect and the EQ is really sensitive, so make sure you take your time setting it up to get the sound you want. This channel pretty much covers any sort of surf, soft rock and music like that. It also sounds good with my electro acoustic, because of the equalizer. The distorted channel has a "drive" and "more drive" button. I love this feature, flicking between the 2 drives creates a better sound range, if you want a bit more power behind a chorus for example. I've managed to get some great sounds out of this channel, it's not very well suited to metal (which is why it gets a 9 instead of 10), but it's amazing for everything else. The reverb on this amp is awesome, my only problem is that it controls both channels at the same time. I like to have quite a lot of reverb on some clean bits of a song and then very little on heavier parts. The footswitch is rugged and does it's job well, it switches from clean, to Drive and if you want it, more drive.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This is a very good amp with a overdrive or a distorrtion pedal. I recommend to everyone!!!
    The amp does seem to heat-up used for a long period of time,but,all in all,its a good,loud workhorse for $300 new!