Frontman 15R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.9 (160 votes)
Fender: Frontman 15R

Price paid: $ 90

Sound — 8
I use the amp with a "Les Paul" style guitar with two series humbucking pickups and two tone and two volume controls. The guitar has a high output and sounded better through the amp after lowering both of the pickups. This removed distortion on the clean channel with the guitar and amp at max volume. The amp has good volume, It can get very loud on the distortin channel. I could hear some 60 cycle hum on all channels, especially with headsets. This was corrected by adding a larger rf shield over the circuit board. It comes with a small shield just over the input jack and this is not adequate. There is still hum on the reverb channel at high gain and some white noise hissing on all channels, but noticeable only with headsets. The distortion channel distorted as soon as the gain was turned to 2 with my guitar. I reduced the gain of the distortion op-amp by adding a 56k Ohm resistor between the gain pot wiper and the distortion op-amp's inverting input. Now I can turn it to 5 before it starts distorting heavily. The max distortion is still there but I get a lot more non distorted volume on the channel. The reverb is fairly weak, even though it has a good reverb unit in the bottom of the amp. I lowered the resistance of the summing connection from the reverb op-amp by 50 % and it now gives good reverb volume and the reverb can be heard without turning it's volume all the way to 10. The 3 mods improved the amp and only use two 10 cent resistors and some tape, cardboard and tinfoil.

Overall Impression — 8
The amp is adequate as a practice amp and gives a good range of sound. I like the looks of the amp and like Fender products. I play primarily rock and roll.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The amp looks like it is well made. The pre-amp circuits inside the amp are very similar to Fender's higher power solid state models.

Features — 8
Purchased 2004 for a practice amp. The amp has 3 tone controls, a clean channel and a distorton channel with seperate gain and volume controls, and a reverb control. There is an earphone jack, a line input, but no pedal or external speaker connectors.

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