Frontman 212R 100W review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (56 votes)
Fender: Frontman 212R 100W

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from:

Sound — 9
The first thing I noticed about this amp, is that it is a through and through a Fender amp. This means several things: 1.The amp is especially loud, even on the lower settings. 2. The amp has a naturally bright sound to it. Great for a Les Paul, but you might want to watch your EQ with that Telecaster. 3. The overdrive channel- what can I say? Great for blues and classic rock, it just doesn't cut it with the metal crowd. However, if you get an external distortion unit with decent Drive to it (especially one with an external preamp as in, say a multi-effects proccessor)this thing changes attitudes completely. What was once a friendly, classicly designed amp is now an crushing monster! Plenty of output, this thing fired up has drowned out a Marshall half-stack- no small feat, and should not be taken lightly! The clean channel, of course, is sparkly, jangly and sounds beautiful with any guitar you may own. Adding a quality chorus really makes it shine.

Overall Impression — 9
Overall this amp rocks. It faithfully reproduces your signature sound, given you keep the following in mind: any effects really do sound better from an external unit. Also, make sure you have the space for this combo, because given the size and weight, its basically another piece of furnature when not in use.

Reliability & Durability — 10
So far, so good. I only play about an hour or two a day, and I rarely gig more than once or twice a month. It's gota few scratches and dings, but it's holding up just fine. On a side note, this thing is impossibly heavy. I wish Fender installed casters on the bottom like they did with the CyberTwin, as the little handle on the top is almost like a sick joke when you have to Park far away from your venue.

Features — 9
This amp features 100W through two 12 in speakers, which is about par for larger combo amps. The amps has two channels, and is switchable through the supplied foot Switch as well as on the front. The amp has 'scoop' and 'drive/more drive' settings on the dirty channel- presumably aimed at boosting metal tones.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Stormymonday wrote: I would not have one! You can't expect that much for $300 new in the box. I give it a 5..their are better amps out there. Too run of the mill common.
    You're right, but only as a general overview about amps. But, if you really use this amp, you can actually discover its true and unique qualities. Of course, it's a solid-state amp, but solid-states have better clean tones than all-tubes. It's a solid state combo, but its 2 speakers are 12'' diameter and they perform very well. And its power amplification is actually better than the power amplification of an all-tube amp. Plus the reliability, low-cost maintenance... In fact, it's arguably the best 100 W solid-state combo available... With a tube pedal pre-amp, you can get a surprisingly good sound, plus its 100W output. Hence, the 212 Frontman is more than a 300 $ 'bang-for-the-bucks' combo. It worths it overall rating, that's for sure.
    i own this amp, i suppose i was lucky considering i bought it for 100 of a mate. simply. the clean channel is spot on, i can get a range of different tones for anything i need the overdrive channel is, well, not really that brilliant. if you wanna play rock, jazz or any form of music that needs a light distortion then its brilliant, anywhere past about 6-7, and the signal just ends up sounding horrid, the noost channel is the same really. good amp for most genres but not if your looking for somthing that performs amazingly at high distortions other notes: this amp is loud . in my dorm, i can barely push it past 2 without people 3-4 rooms away hearing me quite clearly. once I took her to 6 and just played a drop D power chord and my ears were ringing, oh and my mate in the flat opposite heard me, through double glazing and a brick wall this amp is also quite large and also rediculously heavy, so bear this in mind if you need to walk a large distance to venues with all this out of the way, i will say now though that with a decent distortion pedal, this amp sounds brilliant