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Fender Frontman 10G Guitar Amp Review
The Fender Frontman 10G is the cheapest fender branded amp that you can buy at only £40 ($70), it is designed for home use by beginners as their first amplifier. The amp is designed to mimic the design of fenders more premium products. There are many amps on the market by different manufacturers aiming at this market including in house competition from fenders sub company squier with their SP-10.
Amp Type: Solid State
Power: 10 watts RMS
Speaker: Fender 6", 4 Ohm
Build Quality and Looks
The amps looks are very very nice. The outside of the amp is leather look solid plastic, this is common to many amps so nothing spectacular, a nice touch however is the metal corner covers, most competitors amps are completely plastic. The dials and switches are all identical to those used on fenders more expensive amps so the quality of these cannot be faulted. The amp is very well put together with all of the parts fitting neatly together with no rattles or panel gaps. This amp feels so solid that I even think if it was knocked down a set of stairs then it probably would survive unscathed.
Controls & Features
Being a simple small amp it only has a small number of controls, with dials for Volume, gain, bass and treble. The gain control is only used when a button is pressed to engage the Overdrive setting. This is a very basic number of controls without even a mid or reverb adjustment.
Along with the essential 1/4" guitar input the amp has two other jacks. Both of these are 3.5mm one input one output. The input you can use to play your mp3's through the amp alongside your guitar playing to help you play or learn a song. Or you can use the output to mute the speaker and listen though headphones, this is very useful if you are just beginning to play guitar and don't want to disturb others who are living with you with your practice.
This is by far the most important aspect of an amp, if an amp looks rubbish or have little features, however if it creates amazing tone then it is a great amp. Sadly though the Fender Frontman 10g doesn't have this great tone. The clean tones from the amp are reasonable, it is fender after all, whose more expensive amps are famous for their clean tones. The overdriven tones however are very lacking, because the amp has so few adjustments it means that you are stuck with only one overdriven tone. At high overdrive the sound isn't metally and at medium to low levels it doesn't sound very rock/punk, its the worst of both worlds.
In terms of volume the amp is loud enough for home use. In the overdriven setting you can crank the volume and keep the tone the same, however in the clean tone if you take the volume up then the amp introduces its own distortion which ruins the clean tone. This volume is fine for practice however nothing more than that.
You are unlikely to be able to buy an amp for any cheaper than this, and if you think of the Frontman 10G in that perspective then the amp is a good buy considering its clean tone and its brilliant build quality.
However for only marginally more you can purchase amps that are significantly better, most £60-80 amplifiers are worlds better than this one. If your budget can only really stretch to the price of the Fender Frontman 10G however then your better bet is to look at secondhand amplifiers. For example a secondhand Line 6 Spider IV 15 watt, I have reviewed its bigger brother HERE. This amp would allow you to do so much more, and as a beginner you want that flexibility to switch between many different types of music.
Hope you have found this review/hub useful and choose the best amp for your needs.