Frontman 65R review by Fender

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (17 votes)
Fender: Frontman 65R

Price paid: € 125

Sound — 9
I use a Squier Bullet Strat with standard single coils, and as I mentioned, it handles my genres pretty well. It produces a little bit of noise while on the Drive channel when the Drive is set past 4 o'clock (not because of the guitar). The speaker can reproduce from deep lows to the highest trebles. The tone variety is somehow limited by the knobs on the normal channel(not on the overdrive one). The clean channel only distorts past 5 but you will not surely reach that volume since it is very loud at 2 (80 dB) to 4 (10-105 dB). The distortion is not bad at all but lacks the power somehow.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing guitar for 3 years now and I use a Squier Bullet Strat with a Behringer X-V-amp effects pedal. I can get almost any tone out of the amp in combination with the pedal. I would gladly buy it again if lost or stolen. I love the new design and the loudness it can produce. The power indicator has a ruby like design and really improves on the aspect. Comparing it to Marshalls or Laneys I can say that some of the features are better on this than the others but still there is room for improvements. A delay would have sufficed.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It is as tough as a stone so no reliability problems (It weighs about 14.4 kgs) I trust it and could surely use it on a gig without any backup since it is both loud and reliable. The amp is fairly new (2 years) and has never broken down; and will never will if taken care.

Features — 9
This am was bought used, but in perfect shape. It was produced in early 2010. I play punk, ballads and soft rock and this amp fits them all. It has 2 channels normal and drive; switching between them is made through a foot-switch which was provided by the seller, or by the dedicated button on the combo. It has the capability to take effect loops through 2 input/output jacks which are also used for additional amps and recording (includes speaker simulation). There is no headphone jack but the pre out jack can be used for that matter. I wish it had more effects than just simple reverb but this satisfies me as long as my effects pedal is working. For a room it is more than sufficient and can be easily used for small gigs and practice 'cause it can cover the drummer easily. It is solid state with an open back and since it is produced in 2010 it has the new Blackface design.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    This amp is loud enough for sure (65 watts through a 12" speaker will do). It's also light enough and affordable. The clean channel is super sweet. The reverb is a tad noisy at higher settings and the distortion isn't as good as dedicated effect, but the gain channel can be dialed in for a very nice tube like sound that works well for blues and some rock. It pays to experiment. It sure beats lugging a big heavy tube amp around and it does everything I need it to do.
    Raptor195 wrote: 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.
    Invest some more money. For under 200 you will not get almost anything worth buying that is going to do gigs. Used is an option if you want to go with a low budget. I got a Laney VC30 (30 watt full tube and it's freaking loud) for only 280 used (it's 630 new).
    Trying to figure out this posting method, first time. Testing, one two. Test. Fish, one two. Fish. Rubber baby buggy bumper....test. Ah!...Ah! one two. OK. I have the Frontman 65r.Test!...Ok, it's an amp. Haven't used an amp much in many years. Had a Deluxe Reverb, bought it used in 1967. Should have kept it I guess, but it blew up during the Lemon Song when that album came out. Twas cool, a mushroom cloud really. So the Frontman hass been gathering dust and I'm using a lot of old equipment, different configurations. Clean channel? Eh. Distortion channel? Please. So I run a POD or any GSP into the power amp in and it works OK. It can be loud, it can be not loud. I am here because I searched replacing the speaker, not sure if the speaker is OK, a 'special design', by who, who knows. Searching led me to this thread, then I found that I am signed up here, can't remember what crisis led me to do that. Someone changed out the speaker with an Eminence Red white and Blues. I'm thinking of going Celestion. I went over to Carvin and bought a 100 watt sx300 (I think) hasn't arrived. My second 'Slick' guitar arrived yesterday, the tele-like guitar. Fantastic. Bought the Vox 1G stomplab, ran it into the Frontman last night. Wonderful. Maybe the stock speaker is fine. Who knows. Technically, I'm lost. But I have vintage hands, so, ya know...I got that going for me. Peace. Peace and stay away from big box guitar stores, it will cost you double just to set up whatever they sell. Over and out. Testing....