In guitarist circles, when it comes to amplifiers some things are accepted more often than not. For example the bigger the amplifier the better it is, however, that is not always the case. You should always know that a bigger amp means a more expensive amplifier, and with that more often come the portability issues. Amps can become quite to heavy for their own good. However, some amplifiers prove to be good in a small size. Take the Fender Frontman 25R for example, this amplifier sits on the practice amp category but can get more than that done. Guitarists love it and that is more than enough for me.
Fender is known for delivering some superior instruments, including electric guitars and basses, however, its amp range is better than ever these days. The Fender Frontman 25R may be considered by beginner amp by some, due to its smaller size. But many guitarists argue against that, and state that the Fender Frontman 25R is an amp that can be enough even for a professional guitarist. While the size will not be enough for larger gigs, it promises to be enough for practice sessions, packing it around and smaller shows. I think that it can do that and Fender quality will shine in this amp as well, but let’s see.
Specs and Features
The Fender Frontman 25R is a pretty small amplifier by gigging standards. On top of that Fender always has used a pretty simplistic approach to their amps. It has all the bases covered though to make it an enjoyable amp to play with. Reading through its spec sheet there are some things to note though. I can say that it looks pretty good just like any other amp from the company’s lineup. So let’s see.
Fender has configured this amplifier as a beginner-focused package, but all of its features and specs note that it is much more than that. Long time users swear by this amp and state that it is more than enough to get things done. However, I think that this makes for a perfect beginner amp for a few reasons. The most important of them being that this amp is geared and prepared to be an all-arounder, something you can combine with different gear to find your style. Also, I should mention the headphone input that will allow you to practice in your bedroom without waking up the whole neighborhood.
One of my favorite things about the Fender Frontman 25R is that it has included a footswitch on its package like on higher-end amps on the company’s range. The footswitch can be reprogrammed to serve you different functions, but its best use would be switching between clean and drive channels. It has an aux input as well so you can connect a drum machine for example without any extra hassle. It also has an RCA input for connecting different compatible electronics to the whole thing. It is definitely an all-around amp that will be a great one for your home studio or leisure room.
The Fender Frontman 25R is a solid-state amplifier though, making it a great fit for those that haven’t found their sounds yet. IT has a total output of 25watts into 8 Ohms which is more than enough for its purpose. One thing that impressed me the most was that this amplifier had a 10-inch Fender Special Design Speaker with an 8 Ohm impedance. To be honest Fender combo amps were not a good choice in the past for their speakers, but we know that in the last few years they have put extra emphasis on their speakers and I expect great things from this. It also features reverb effects to top everything off.
We said small amp here more than a few times. But really, how small is the Fender Frontman 25R? Very small for its power output, measuring 15.5x17x8.25-inches in total. On top of that, it weighs a healthy 25 pounds which is a bit more than I expected. However, that is due to its solid construction that Fender always puts a little extra importance. This beast features a pretty classic Fender design. It looks like it came from the 70s or 80s, but I have no complaints about that whatsoever. The black vinyl chassis is pretty good overall and looks exceptional.
You will also spot a handle up top that makes the whole thing easy to carry, I imagine it would not be hard to finish the set up in a venue with just one trip to the car. On the front end, the Fender Frontman 25R features a silver or black grille cloth that is pretty stylish overall with the Fender logo on the top left-hand side. The controls for the amp are also on the front side, starting from the volume knob, gain knob, drive select switch, drive volume, treble, mid, bass, and reverb knobs. Following them, you will spot the inputs and the power switch in the end.
Playing around with the Fender Frontman 25R I noticed a few things some expected and some unexpected. First off like I expected this amp doesn’t change up your sound, as it is a pretty balanced model. Not focused on anything in particular but trying to deliver a clean experience. While we are at the cleans it delivers some healthy cleans, with great mids and bright but not piercing highs. The unexpected part is that the Fender Frontman 25R provides pretty solid and stable performance with tons of richness in its tone, despite being a 25-watt solid-state amplifier. This makes it a perfect amp for even the most nitpicky guitarists. I would love to have such an amp in the basement just to mess around from time to time. The dirty channel was great as well and the reverb control really provides a lot of character.
To conclude this I can comfortably say that the Fender Frontman 25R can do a lot of things very well, and it doesn’t do a bad thing. It delivers what it promises and goes the extra mile to satisfy everyone. It is not an amp that will allow you to perform live performance in larger venues, but if you are just starting and are tired of those 10-watt combo solid-state amps, this is one hell of a tool.