Price paid: $ 40
Purchased from: Garage Sale
Sound — 10
I play a Telecaster American Standard with Texas Specials in her.I play the older, traditional Country. This amp is never noisey...idles quietly. With the volume at 2-3, it shakes my house (no kidding) with the Weber California 10" Ceramic in there. The amp will start to distort after 5 on the volume control. But I don't play that on-godly loud.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing 48 years now and have had just about every Fender model amp made, at least twice over. Some I have kept and others I have sold or traded off.So, I know the Fender products very well, and have come to know what I expect out of them. The most expensive ones are not always the best, I have found. I have been let down by some very expensive Fenders thru the years, and have been quite surprised also by some of their inexpensive gems. I play some Peavey products as well and like and respect their quality too. I am extremely choosey and picky about what I buy and play.I cannot think of anything negative to say about this little Frontman 25r, other than the stock speaker will probably be just fine for most folks. I just wanted more out of this amp and didn't mind spending a little more money on her to get exactly what I wanted out of this amp.I compare all of my amps to each other and if any doesn't "fit" my requirements, it goes away.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definitely (and will)gig with this amp on some of our smaller venues. I have other older and much more expensive Fender tube amps, and reliability has never been a factor for me. So, I really don't question the build quality on this one, since it's MIM.I take exceptionally good care of my stuff, so they last. You know, it's an inexpensive little amp, and if it lasts me 10 years or more, it won't owe me anything. I'm grateful for well-built musical equipment, no matter what I pay for it or whatever the label is on it...tube or SS.
Features — 10
This is the MIM Frontman 25R with the metal mesh grill. I play Country and so far only use it in my studio-office as a practice amp. I was so impressed by the sound and quality that I decided to change out the stock 10" Fender speaker for a Weber California 10" Ceramic. WOW! I could definitely gig with this amplifier. It sounds absolutely BIG, clean and articulate. It idles very quietly and is very punchy and even all the way across the spectrum. It is my understanding these MIM amps are far superior to the Indonesian-manufactured ones in quality and sound.Some may feel putting that 80 watt Weber California in a 25r is over-kill, but I differ in that opinion, in that it now delivers exactly what I would expect in a bigger, more expensive amplifier. Fender did these right, and with a little tweaking, I found I can get exactly what i want out of this amplifier. I don't use the over-drive channel, so I cannot comment on that. But for Fender clean, this little amp totally delivers all the way.I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one, set it up exactly the same way, and run them in stereo at a gig somewhere. These are great little amps that can sound HUGE and very Fendery clean. This is definitely a keeper.