FM 65R Review

manufacturer: Fender date: 05/04/2011 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Fender: FM 65R
The combo features a new 12 in. Fender Special Design driver, dual channels, on-board spring Reverb and the new Mid Contour switch. This switch allows players to get all kinds of distortion tones, including rock, blues, metal and more.
 Sound: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Features: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) 22 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
FM 65R Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 12, 2004
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 364.8

Features: This amp was made in 2004. The FM65 is extremely versatile and I can get any sound from blues, rock, metal, punk to grunge by Fiddling with the tone settings/pressing mid contour switch in (great for nu metal). It has pre out and in so you can have an effects loop, and has a one button footswitch. I wish it had chorus onboard (it has reverb) and it would have been good to have remote switching of the mid contour. I Just got it, so I've only used it in my aparment, albeit no louder than 4 on clean and 3 on distortion, when I cranked it up in the store it was loud, and It would be A good size for most gigs (if you're playing the Sydney Entertainment Centre you'd be miked up anyway!) // 8

Sound: I Play a Squire AES-100 that ive put an active tone circut into, and fixed the trem on it, and it goes well with the Amp, I can get any sound I want out of it, (not)surprisingly my guitar with this amp has a better sound than my firends '54 Strat reissue. I havnt had a chance to crank it up, but it sounds like it just gets better at high volumes. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've only had it a day, so I don't really know wether it is that reliable, I would play it at a gig without a backup (as I don't have one.) // 8

Overall Impression: I play punk/rock mostly and it suits me fine, I've been playing a little over a year and a half now. If it were stolen or lost I would chase the motherf--r down and kill him, then get my amp back. I wouldn't, I just would get really pissed off cause my grandma bought it for me and I couldn't get another one cause I'm poor. // 10

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overall: 7.3
FM 65R Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 25, 2009
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: A$ 500

Features: Two channels, clean and overdrive. 3 band EQ on the overdrive, 2 band on the clean. Has a built in reverb, lines in and out for an effects loop, and two inputs depending on whether you have active or passive pick-ups. Very little in the way of variety, only two mildly different overdrive sounds. I keep the mid-contour on all the time, but that's just what I'm in to. My reverb stays off all the time as I despise any reverb in general, but the majority of others love it. Rated 6 due to an overall lack of actual features. // 6

Sound: I'm using an Ibanez ART300 with stock LZ1 pick ups. I play mostly rock with a bit of punk and metal thrown in to the mix on top. It suit's me well most of the time when I play it at low volumes, but when I get to practices or whatever, I find myself getting irritated with the overdrive due to an excessive amount of hum, even when it's is still only up a third of the way. The distortion is not very ballsy either. Not only does it need to be turned right up, but it still isn't very heavy. If your a metal head, steer clear of this amp. While I am not a huge fan of the overdrive channel, the clean is fantastic! It has that really sparkly, Fender clean sound to it. In terms of sound, the clean is the one redeeming feature on this amp. It is very very loud for a 65 watt amp, out performing anything else in the same power range and even some other amps in higher ranges. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I have never had any problems with this amp. It is durable and will withstand a fair beating as long as you don't trash it and just take general care of it. I would use it at a gig without a back-up if I had no other alternative, but because of the terrible hum I get from the overdrive channel, I would personally rather use something else. Very durable and reliable though. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall impression? Being a bit of a rocker, I use the overdrive channel almost all the time. Due to the hum, this does not suit me at all. However, for the average blues of jazz player looking for that classic Fender tone, this is a brilliant practice amp or could even be used for small gigs due to it's incredible volume. However, I would recommend that you don't turn it up super loud as it starts to lose it towards the top end. But if you ever needed to go that loud, you should really have something else. It can put an un-miked drum kit to sham, even at 40% volumes. // 7

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overall: 9.5
FM 65R Reviewed by: Weybl Himself, on march 24, 2005
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 338.2

Purchased from: Billy Hyde Music

Features: Brand new when I got it, so made in 2004. This amp does everything I've tried absolutely beautifully. Heavy metal, emo, jazz, blues, hard rock, whatever you wanna do, you can do it with this thing. It's a pretty simple setup, 2 channels, clean and drive and can be bought with a footswitch to switch between them, has pre-out and power in jacks so you can create effects loops or link it up to another amp for a bit of extra grunt, not that you'd need it because this thing is plenty loud. 65 watts but this thing could match it with a Marshall 100 watt on sheer noise. Pleanty of guts for any player here. I use this amp at home and at gigs, works great for home with the volume below 3, for gigs you can crank it up as high as you like and it's perfect for small club gigs. Solid state monster this one. // 10

Sound: I'm using a Squier Fat Strat through this bad boy and it sounds incredible. In my opinion the tone from Fender amps is just magnificent and obviously paired up with any strat copy this amp would make a great sound. As I said handles any music style you like to play, I use it primarily for a hard rock/emo sound and the mis contour switch on the drive channel comes in very handy to get a nice ballsy sound. Does give a bit of buzz on the drive channel and the reverb is useful but it would be nice to have a chorus effect just for a little bit more versatility. The clean stays clean as high as I've gone so I can't complain there and the distortion ranges from ball stompingly heavy to a nice touch of overdrive. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would, and have used this amp at a gig without backup, simply because I can't afford it. I link it to my old Samick 22 watt amp just for a touch of extra volume and to add a bit of bite thanks to the Samicks enhanced high range. I haven't had any problems with this amp and it's built like a tank so theres no worries I can see there. // 8

Overall Impression: This amp has done every style I've tried perfectly. It's easiest sound to attain is a nice gutsy hard rock sound thanks to the EQ mid contour on the drive channel and the amp sounds most at home with this sound. I've been playing for 7 years and this amp pairs up beautifully with my guitar and my Ibanez DS7 pedal, it even manages to give a good sound to my Yamaha APX electric/acoustic so it's a very versatile amp. If lost or stolen I'd definately get another. The mid contour is possibly it's handiest feature and you can't help but love that Fender tone. I compared this amo to an Ashton GA80 and Ashton GA100 and this thing is meaner, louder and quite simply superior. As I said, would be nice to have a chorus effect but none the less a truly mighty amp. // 10

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overall: 8.8
FM 65R Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 19, 2006
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Thomann Musicstore

Features: I'mnotgoing to list everything it's got, you got the Fender website for that. 2 channels: clean and drive; reverb, it's got almost everything you need as a guitarist. It could have more special effects like chorus, delay, like on the Marshall MG series, but this way you get a relatively cheap amp and if you need anything else, sou can just buy whatever you need insteadof getting shitty onboard effects. It's a solid state amp, 65 W power, enough for smaller gigs, rehearsals (although the other bandmates are overtrumping me with 100w and a half-stack), definetely enough for home-practice. // 9

Sound: I use a Ibanez GRG170DX, but am looking on upgrading to a more professional guitar. I play it through a DigiTech Metal Master and it covers all the basic sounds I need. I play Hard rock and Metal mostly and some other styles, but mainly those 2 and this amp is really good for it. The cleanchannel is really good with a warm, clear Fender tone. the kind of tone you'd expect from a Vintage amp (although I have no idea how somethinglike that sounds like). Ineer use the second channel, cause I can't switchto it with a footswitch. I've tried it on several occasions, but onlygot decent rock tones out of it. I'm probably doing something wrong, but hey, I don't need it with the Metal Master. I canget really very good tones out of this amp. The only thing that sucks is the sustain, but Ithink that'sbecause the guitar is shitty. I usually have the bass and treble settings a bit higher than half-way, just to giveit enough of low-end without getting to muddy, just staying really clear and brutal, like the cutting edge of a knife. Could do with a better 2nd channel but I don't really need it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's dependable. It's solid state so It won't brake down cause of the tubes, The cables on the backside are loose but if you don't tug on it nothing should happen. I did have a problem withit a few days after I got it, it wouldn't turn on. So I sent it back to the store andgot a new one. Haven't had problems since. // 9

Overall Impression: I'm a metalhead withsometastes for mellower music and this amp is great cause itgives you all the basics, it's cheap and you can expand with effects and stuff. If it got stolen and I wouldn't have any moneyI would buy this again, cause it's cheapness makes upfor the lack of extra features. If you're looking for a solid rock amp, thisis for you. If not, the cleans are still really good and you cann always get effects for it. I onlywish I had bought the footswitch with it, maybe I wouldhave figuredout a metal tone for it. // 9

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overall: 7.5
FM 65R Reviewed by: divinorum69, on march 31, 2010
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Friend

Features: 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. // 8

Sound: 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. // 7

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 7

Overall Impression: 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. // 8

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overall: 9.5
FM 65R Reviewed by: danastasi, on october 24, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 303.24

Purchased from: Mega Music

Features: This amp has tons of features. I play everything from death metal to clean blues, this amp can do it all. The distortion setting is mean as, and the clean setting is really clear and has no distortion, even at high volumes. For a 65 watt amp, this thing is loud. You wouldn't beleive how loud this is for a 65 Watt amp, it's awesome. It would be cool if it had a headphone jack, but it can be cranked up too loud, so you'd probably end up going deaf. When I went to buy it, I was shown a series of other, smaller amps for roughly the same price as this, but they had absolutely nothing on the FM65R. This amp is unreal. // 9

Sound: I use this amp with an Ibanez RG1710 and the amp compliments it really well. The amp is awesome for any type of music you want to play. For all types of metal, the distortion channel is loud and heavy. Great for brutal metal. The mid-contour is awesome for getting heaps of different distortion sounds. For clean sounds, such as blues, the sound is realy clear. The clean channel does not get distorted even on high volumes. This amp can produce stacks of different sounds and is really versatile. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is dependable. I would definitely use it at a gig without a backup. When I first bought the amp, the fuse didn't work so they put in a bigger fuse at no cost and I've never had a problem since! It is really reliable. No problems whatsoever. // 9

Overall Impression: As stated earlier, this thing is awesome for any type of music. I play Slayer, Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Children Of Bodom, Metallica, Lamb Of God, Megadeth, Misfits, Opeth, Slipknot, Killswitch Engage, Van Halen, Unearth, Watch Them Die, etc. I also play a lot of softer clean music, such as some Opeth, jazz, blues, Eric Clapton, etc. This amp does it all with no problems. I have only been playing for about a year now, but this amp has made me want to practice heaps because it's so good. It it was lost of stolen I would definitely get another, if I couldn't I may get something a bit bigger. I love almost everything about this amp, and my friends do as well. The brutal distortion is definitely my favorite feature, it is punishing. Before I bought this, I was shown heaps of smaller amps for about the same price, like a smaller Marshall, Line 6, etc, but they had nothing on this amp. This amp was cheap in comparrision and has more features than you can poke a stick at! // 10

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overall: 7.5
FM 65R Reviewed by: Zakkcd, on may 25, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: GC Online

Features: No idea as to the year, but it doesn't really matter as they haven't been made for too long. Normally, this amp would never be versatile enough for all the different styles I play. But I run my Strat first through a DigiTech RP500 multi FX with amp modeling then to this. It has two channels: clean and OD. Clean is perfectly fine, and actually nice, but the overdrive is horrible. That is not only because it is solid state, but also because it is just poorly done. It has a pre out and an in, I think for FX loop (not sure but don't really care). No headphone jack. I wish it had mid-range EQ control for the clean channel, but I normally just leave it on a flat EQ anyway. // 6

Sound: Through my Strat and RP, it works for diff. Styles. Otherwise you'd only want to use the clean channel. It is a bit fuzzy at lower volumes, but that may not just be it. I've haven't been able to crank it all the way, so I don't know when it starts to clip, because it is really loud. But, like I said, great clean sounds. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Dependable and reliable. Not going to break apart or down. SS, so obviously no tube changing, though I'd rather go with the tubes. // 10

Overall Impression: It works perfectly fine for The Music I play WHEN I use the multi FX. Other than that, bah. Before buying it, I wish I had known what I was getting. Would have been nice, and I would have gone with a good small (relatively) tube amp. If it were to be stolen, I would go out and but a Vox Night Train head with an Avatar cab instead of this. But til that happens, I'm going to be fine with this. One word of advice: Don't buy online before you try offline. Saves a whole lot of regret and money. // 7

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overall: 9.5
FM 65R Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 04, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 150

Purchased from: American Guitar Centre - Tonbridge

Features: 2006-the amps versatility is second to none. I play blues/rock/pop-punk, it covers all of these and can stretch further to metal etc. It came with a footswitch for easy channel switching. The clean channel is the typical Fender sound and it is beautiful. My previous amp was a Laney hardcore max, which is put to shame, being in a very similar price range. I currently use this only for bedroom guitaring and practice in my mates garage, it easily suffices for both and could easily gig. The volume for my bedroom is '1' and its by far loud enough, I' like to be able to push it to its actual potential! // 10

Sound: I'm using a Squier Telecaster Thinline Special Edition with Seymour Duncan humbuckers. There was a slight disconcerting hum when I was first using the amp, however I found out it was the interference from my fishtank! The clean channel is crisp all the way up to '6' which is the louest I've managed to take it at the moment. The distortion is brutal when its full, however can provide a nice blues crunch at about '4'. It easily suits the variety of music that I play and the Reverb is outstanding. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I would gig without a back up as it is made extremely well. To me the only thing that is slightly concerning is the cloth grill however it will not effect the playing of the amp. As the amp was only bought a week ago there is not, as yet, anything problems with the amp. // 8

Overall Impression: This is a fantastic amp for a huge variety of music styles, despite what you play it will fulfill the need. I've been playing for 7 years, have owned a variety of guitars, my current guitar is a Squier Telecaster Thinline Special Edition with Seymour Duncan Humbuckers, running through a classic crybaby, Boss Super Overdrive, and a Boss Compression/Sustainer 3. I would definitely buy this amp again it's fantastic. I compared this to the Fender champion, Cube 40, and Epiphone Valve Special Combo, and the only amp that came close was the Epiphone. This amp is a must have if you're looking for something with a bit of "pa-zazz". // 10

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