Guitarists have always had a love-hate relationship with solid state amplifiers. On the one hand, they can hardly hold the candle to their fellow tubers in terms of sound quality, but on the other hand, they are generally more reliable and generally cheaper. And although purists may have objections, there’s a lot to be said for a high-quality solid-state amplifier that offers excellent sound at an affordable price. The Fender Frontman 212R is such an amplifier.
Fender’s design philosophy is old but timeless. And the Fender Frontman 212R looks like part of the classic Fender amplifier. The 212R features a textured black vinyl exterior, a silver fabric grille, chrome accents and the iconic Fender Blackface control panel. The build quality is as good as you would expect from a Fender amplifier, and the 212R is a real treat on the street or in the studio. The only disadvantage of an amplifier is that it can carry more than one handle for a weight of 48 pounds. Fender could help the touring guitarist a little by turning the wheels or side grooves to make it easier to transport the amp, because given the weight of the amp, the top neck is more of a cosmetic than a practical addition.
The 212R interface is deceptively simple, which is a good thing. On the front panel there are two ¼ inputs for the amplifier’s cleaning and drive channels and special EQ controls for each of these channels. The 212R also has a special reverb and switch to control channel selection, as well as a larger amplifier drive function. In terms of controllability, the 212R is equipped with a Fender footswitch and also has a pre-stop and power-on loop.
The first thing you need to know about the 212R is that it’s damn noisy! Two specially designed 12-inch speakers with 50 watts of power produce absolutely powerful sound and support the amplification project in most live situations. However, the sound quality of the 212R may be slightly poorer at low volumes. So if you plan to use the amplifier mainly indoors and for training, this may not be the best option for you.
As with most Fender amps, the sound on the pure channel is nice and clear and the EQ settings can be adjusted to suit the type of guitar used. The sound in the drive channel is pleasant and clear, perfect for blues and classic rock. However, as soon as you turn on the record after 6 or 7 hours and turn on the more powerful one, the sound can get a bit dirty, so it’s probably not suitable for guitarists who play hard rock and metal. However, if the amplifier is combined with a good effect processor or pedal board, it can really make a difference.
Another remarkable weakness of the 212R is the reverberation, which sometimes seems slow and weak.
The Fender Frontman 212R is sold under the brand name Fender Frontman 212R for $300, and given its superior sound quality, it will be difficult to find the best amplifier in the same price range.
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