FM 65 DSP review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (22 votes)
Fender: FM 65 DSP

Price paid: £ 170

Purchased from:

Sound — 9
Due to the large amount of options available with this amp you can play in many different styles. When I play I vary and you can easily have your settings tailored to the right sound from many options. However, the real power comes from taking the time to play with each different option until you set it just right. It can take a long time but it is very worthwhile. The distortion levels, when well adjusted, sound just how you want them to. Using this amp you can truly create a unique and distinct sound. It can also go very loud, which is what you want for rock and metal genres of music. The clean channel is not made to be too loud. It's made to be soft and relaxed, but when pushed hard it becomes a little unreliable. However, I do not find this a bad thing for my style of play particularly.

Overall Impression — 9
I mostly use the fourth 'British' setting. It has the highest level of overdrive other than the 'Metal' settings but does not overpower the dynamic range. I pair it with a Fender Stratocaster. So far it seems to match up marvellously. The manual covered everything I needed when first getting it. I mostly use chorus+reverb setting at a fairly high level. It adds a nice twist to my rhythm play, but for lead I tend to use low levels of reverb. If it were lost I would most definately buy the exact same model again.

Reliability & Durability — 10
So far this amplifier has been very dependable. I would use it for a gig without having a backup amp. Users are given several tips in the manual to make sure they take the best care possible with it and I've stuck to them. As such there have so far been no break downs or issues with it at all. I am happy to report it has so far been completely problemless.

Features — 8
This Fender Amplifier is a bridge between the FM 25 DSP and it's more powerful relatives. It is made to be both a loud practise amp and an amp for gigging. Due to this it has trouble being particularly quiet, but makes up for it in a loud environment. Using the amp type controls it can be used for a varied range of musical styles. From Rock and Metal to Jazz and relaxed Acoustic music. It has the typical overdrive channel, but also has the Fender Clean channel. These can be switched between either with the button on the amp or with the two Switch foot pedal. The pedal also gives the option of turning on or off the effects, though it gives no options of effect type or effect strength. For those you have to go to the amp itself. It has a headphone jack and an auxiliary input for playing music through the amp. This means you can play something through the amp itself, and play along with it. Because or the range of effects, many of which overlap to give a large range of options, and the amount of amp types there are I find this amp quite versatile. However, you can not Switch between types and styles as easily as with some amps.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i have this amp and although it is versatile the sound produced by this amp is horrific. try playing it with a bass player; that's when you hear it's faults.
    i have this amp and its great i can put it on reverb with delay and my leads stand out better then any amp ive had but it is true my shecter and ibanez dont sound near as good as my starcaster. only thing bad is the clean channel its poppy and pangy not a real good strumming amp but makes up for it with the variety of sounds and tones. plus it will rock the neighborhood down if you play master of puppets through it lol =)
    i have an ESP LTD mg-1000, that i play throught this amp. and i am very satisfied with the sounds it produces. i play with a deathcore/progressive metal band. with our drop a tuning and fast speeds this amp does very well keeping a good tone. and a metal zone distortion pedal sounds great with this amp.
    this amp is loud enough to play over an airplane if needed to.
    Terps10289 wrote: Does this amp have trouble playing over drums?
    I had the Frontman 65R and traded for this amp and agree that it's noiser on the clean chanel (playing through it with an American Delux Tele). I added a Rocktron Guitar Silencer, which seemed to pretty much clean this up, but you do have to be careful in adjusting the Guitar Silencer, or it can the tails off notes. Other that that, this amp jams nicely. Only complaint is that I wish it had effects loop in/outputs like the 65R.
    i got this amp from a friend but it gets a whole lot of feedback for some reason, any help?
    Being a Fender amp, my impression would be that it would work will with other Fender/Squire guitars and effects pedals. But does anyone think that I can still get that edgy clean sound with a Gretsch/hollowbody or something with two humbuckers?
    I have this amp and it could play over drums just barely at 3, better at 4, and by 5 be extremely loud. I haven't even tried or needed the volume higher then 6. It filled the niche i needed, which was a loud gig amp.
    Having used it at gigs I have played it with a bass player. It stands out in it's own way, but the bass is still heard as it's own instrument. I don't see what you're seeing unfortunately. Feel free to review yourself if you disagree.
    I'm either getting this or a Marshall MG30FX. I play alternative and hard rock music in a band. I would be using an Epiphone SG. What should I get?
    It's a pretty decent amp. I was in a band with a guy who played a 212dsp, and a guy with the regular 212. Solid amps at a fair price. Only complaint I really had when using their amps was the foot switch, which wasn't very reliable.
    Breakingpoint56 wrote: Im not a personal fan of fender amps myself i always thought they kinda sounded cheap and really i think they only make the amps to be tailored to the Strats they make. Because nothing else sounds good through them. I've played Jacksons and ESP's through them and it sounds horrible.
    what the hell are you on about? ever heard of a fender deluxe? or a hot rod? they have the sweetest sounding clean tone ever... and you wouldnt want to play a jackson or an esp through it... cause it ruin it.
    Im not a personal fan of fender amps myself i always thought they kinda sounded cheap and really i think they only make the amps to be tailored to the Strats they make. Because nothing else sounds good through them. I've played Jacksons and ESP's through them and it sounds horrible.
    I own this amp, and I love it. Plays on the loud side, so it's not exactly ideal for the bedroom etc. It keeps up with a drumkit at about 3-4 on the volume, and it plays great with my Grunge pedal. However, the effects aren't ideal, because you cant't tinker with stuff like depth, delay, intensity etc,. very well. overal 8/10