Frontman 25R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (127 votes)
Fender: Frontman 25R

Price paid: $ 175

Purchased from: All-Star Music

Sound — 9
I mainly use it with an '03 Squier Strat with stock neck and bridge pups and Guitar Fetish middle pup, but see my profile for all my guitars/FX. It has great cleans; very bright and sparkly, thus it works well with pedals. I sometimes use it with a Boss DS-1, Ibanez SM-7, or a DigiTech RP-7 Valve, though I usually just plug straight into the amp. As for distortion: it's clipping diodes are red LEDs, so it sounds very tubey, and there are resistors in series with them to counter the uncompressed sound of LEDs. I like the distortion, but it isn't good for metal because it has lots of mids. Bringing down the Mid knob helps, but it still doesn't sound good; as if something's missing (like the mids, lol). However, if you mostly play rock, classic rock, etc. then it's just fine for those genres; it just isn't a high-gain amp. Bringing up the Mid knob gives you a really nice (to a point) fuzz. The reverb is awesome. It really breathes life into an otherwise dull sound. It also brings out pinch harmonics.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for about 5 years and play pretty much anything and this amp serves it's purpose. Keep in mind, however, that it's just a practice amp. If it were stolen or lost, I'd be super-pissed. It's my only amp, and a pretty good one at that. I just wish it had an FX loop and more gain (a simple diode-change can fix the gain issue, but I'm just too lazy). My favorite feature by-far is the reverb. Just a touch will do wonders for the sound. And if you want to get really creepy with it, turn the reverb to 10 and slowly bend a note. It's haunting! This amp isn't nearly as bad as people say it is. I think they're mostly just jumping on the bandwagon and saying it sucks because it's a practice amp.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This thing has never given me any problems whatsoever (even after poking around it's guts and adding stuff). I can stand on it and it won't even so much as creak from the weight. It's build very solidly.

Features — 9
I got it in 2006, probably made in '05. I actually only paid $75 for it, as I traded in my blown-up 15G. It's the 'newer' type with the silver grille cloth, etc. Two channels, clean and drive, plus spring (i.e. analog) reverb. No FX loop, but it has a headphone jack and a footswitch jack, as well as RCA type AUX inputs for jamming along to CD or mp3 players. Controls include clean vol., gain, drive vol., treble, middle, bass, and reverb. I'm mostly a bedroom player, but I've used it at a couple of small gigs and for playing with my ex-band. This amp is great for small gigs and jamming with the band due to it's 25 watts of power and since I'm mostly a bedroom player, 25w is plenty for me. It doesn't come with a footswitch, but for only a few bucks you can go to Radio Shack and buy parts to make one (like I did); all you need is a stereo cable and an SPST stomp switch. Would be a 10, but it has no FX loop.

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