Frontman 65R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (17 votes)
Fender: Frontman 65R

Price paid: $ 199.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 8
I am using my 2006 MIM standard strat and my new 2006 60th anniversary USA made Strat with this amp, and while the clean channel has that classic Fender tone, the gain channel IMO, can be muddy at times unless you really take the time to work with the mid contour switch. Regardless, I did swap out the stock speaker and put in a Eminence Red, White, and Blues 12", which made a huge difference in the tone. Now it sounds really nice and clear on the gain channel. The Reverb does tend to hum if you turn it up too much past say, 6 or so, but I'm using a Zoom John 5 effects processor with this, so that's not really a problem. This amp to it's credit, is very pedal friendly. I hooked up my Zoom to the power out jack and there was a significant increase in the volume. I had to lower all the volume settings on my Zoom in order to accomodate this, but it was worth it.

Overall Impression — 7
For 200 bucks, this is a good deal for someone who is either on a low budget or is a beginner. The only thing that I would reccommend, is that you do a speaker swap. The stock speakers on these are crap IMO. Once I did a change, there was a huge improvement in the amp's tone. If this were stolen or lost would I get another one? I probably would, providing that I had anpther Eminence speaker around to swap it out with. The only thing that I wish this amp had, was a mid control on the clean channel, like the 212 version does.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've used this at several gigs since I've gotten it and the highest I had to raise the volume was 2. This is a solid state monster as far as volume is concerned. It does seem to be very well made contrary to some of the reviews that were printed elsewhere. If you take care of your gear, it'll last you a lifetime. I'm a firm believer in that motto.

Features — 10
This is my 2nd review for this amp. I figured after having it for a few months, I'd do a update on it. I thought mine was a 2008, but it was made in 2009 at Fender's China plant. It is a 2 channel 65 watt, solid state, combo with more than enough power for small club gigs, and is suitable for home practice. The clean channel has Volume, Treble, and Bass, while the Gain channel has, Volume, Gain, Mid, Treble, Bass, Reverb, and a Mid Contour switch, which adds a more modern tone to the gain. It weighs in at a very light 32 lbs and comes with a single button Vintage style footswitch. It has the classic Fender Blackface look with the silver grille cloth, which is what drew me to it in the first place.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Ive heard this amps are bad: that they get broken, have bad speakers, that they dont deliver the 65 watts, that the reverb is bad, etc. Would you personally recommend this amp to someone whos getting seriously into music? I mean, I still gig small venues, but I want a piece that really sounds loud and that I wont sell once I start bigger gigs.