FM 65R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 7.1 (56 votes)
Fender: FM 65R

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Friend

Sound — 7
Sound is quite good regarding cleans. It can go up to very high volumes without satturating, I've never needed to play with volumes more than 6, 7 o clock and it always satisfied me. So as far as clean goes its a very good amp, the cleans are very defined, and with the eq you can certanly get good sounds. Its not noisy and it does not make any noise at loud clean volumes. Now distortion channel is quite average. Not good, not recommended, with a simple digital effects such as an RP from DigiTech you can get much better sounds than this. The distorion is mildly good if you use low quantity of gains, tending to a more bluesy kind of sound. With gain at 3 o clock, you get a fair rock and roll / blues tone. Now if you are intending to be more cocky, and play metal and hard rock stuff, this is not a good distortion. It may sound good for power chords, but once you get down to soloing it gets muddy, and its not clear, your guitar sounds like noize not music. Also if you pump it up, until 8 o clock volumewise it starts feedbacking like a little she dog.

Overall Impression — 8
Price/Quality wise its a very good amp. If you are not a tone freak and you are looking for an amp which is reliable and can manage medium sized gigs with no problems this amp is for you. Its loud, it manages good cleans, so you can use your favorite effects with this amp. If you are considering this amp be sure to get a separate distortion if you are looking to play somthing heavy because the distortion on the Frontman is quite sucky. What I love about it is that is not very heavy and can be quite loud for a solid state amp. I changed it because I finally had the money to buy a real tube amp. If it were stolen I'd definetively get the same amp if I were low on cash and needed an amp at the moment, if not I'd save for a tube amp.

Reliability & Durability — 7
Well, this amp has been used a lot to play live and also to play with the band. The tolex started unglueing after a year of use, so I had to glue it up again, and it didn't work so I just left it that way. But overall it managed quite well some bumps and stuff. Its quite durable, also don't try moving this amp while connected and at loud volumes cause a bang at the reverb and the whole speaker shakes, this is not good for the amp.

Features — 8
Well this amp is quite good on features. It has two channels, distortion and clean. Clean channel is quite simple, volume and basic eq, bass mids and treble. Dirty channel has an EQ, but also has gain and volume control. This amp also has Reverb. I also has an output for this amp too be used as a pre-amp, also has a "Pwr in" and a footswitch jack. Of course this is a solid state amp.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    bought one of these last week, played one small gig with it (only had to turn volume to 4) and the next time I turned it on there was a horrible crackle everytime I played a low note. Just sent for a replacement, hopefully this problem was just bad luck..
    I've had this amp for about two years now and have always played it at a relatively low volume. Recently, I formed a band and when we do band practice, I have to turn it up much louder. When I have my amp up at a high volume, I start to get the low palm-muted crackle everyone is describing here. I also get some serious feedback when I don't play anything. The amp sounds perfect when I want to play something clean, but when I want to add some distortion, I get these issues. On top of that, the tone I get when it's distorted is just all round terrible. As I said, at quieter volumes, none of these things are an issue.