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Old April 18th, 2005, 05:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Fender Frontman 25R

Hi All,

Does anybody have any information on the Frontman 25R amplifier? I am thinking of buying one as a practise amp and smaller type gigs. I am looking for clean warm tones.

thanks.


Tim

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Old April 18th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It is what it is. A solid State 25 watt amp. A little bit sterile sounding. Mine is the early model, more industrial type styling. The reverb is inside the chassis, and will squeal, like a pig. Does not do this through an external speaker. Amp also sounds lot better through my 1x12 marshall cabinet. Dont they all?


They have no resale value, and I think you can find the early style one for less than 50.00 dollars. Good amp for that price.

The newer one just has 60's blackface cosmetics.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 12:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have the newer one

And for what it is, it is pretty darned good. I use it in my basement at low volumes and it is not bad at all. I might put a better speaker in it--maybe. Of course there are better amps, but they cost a heck of a lot more. If you can find one used, they are a pretty good little amp.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 05:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't know about older versions and will defer to timgreene on that...

Keeping in mind it is a buck & change for a new one, it sounds pretty darn good. It does the clean fender type tones well, has a gain channel, tone controls are functional, has decent reverb, likes tele's and has plenty of volume.

Will it replace your vintage tube amp, no... but the newer model belongs on the "Cheap SS amps that are surprisingly good" list
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Old April 19th, 2005, 12:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you're looking to buy used, you should also check out the older Champion 110 which is the same amp, just different cosmetics.
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Old July 11th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulR
And for what it is, it is pretty darned good. I use it in my basement at low volumes and it is not bad at all. I might put a better speaker in it--maybe. Of course there are better amps, but they cost a heck of a lot more. If you can find one used, they are a pretty good little amp.
I had been searching for a second, very small, SS amp to compliment and run stereo with the Fender Automatic SE I picked up a few months ago. Speaking with PaulR convinced me to search out ( I hemmed and hawed a bit too long and missed out on Pauls ) a Frontman. I played a new one at GC and liked what I heard, so the hunt began.

Found a very nice used one with the older cosmetics for cheap and took the plunge. Several reviewers on HC stated a Rajin Cajun speaker really made a huge difference with this amp, so I ordered one.

The Ragin Cajun did the trick in spades. The volume and tone increase from the Rajin has taken the Frontman from a sweet little practice amp to smoking little blues machine. I'm pretty much floored at the tonal difference the speaker made.

On the Automatic, I installed an 80's "Rock Driver" 12" speaker. Again, the tone upgrade provided by this speaker is outstanding. In addition to the volume increase, the tone is much more balanced and sweet. Running these two little midgets in stereo is quite and eye opener. I may pull the trigger on a Swamp Thing though. I have read several excellent reveiws on the Eminence line of speakers and so far, I'm very impressed with what I've heard.

As much as I dig my tube amp, I am very pleased with these little tone brutes. For less than the price of most practice amps, I have a portable, highly toneful stereo rig.

Easy on the back....easy on the pocketbook.....and best of all, easy on the ears.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
The reverb is inside the chassis, and will squeal, like a pig...
If you're industrious, you can eliminate this problem by replacing the chassis reverb with a standard tank mounted at the bottom of the cabinet. The Accutronics part number is 8BB2C1B; cost is about $30.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 10:32 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have one, but let me preface my remarks with the "I'm a beginner" caveat.

For all I can do on the guitar at this point, and for all I need an amp to do, it is fantastic. I get a nice clean sound and if I want a little growl I can use the gain/drive to get that. I just taught myself "Hair Of The Dog" and I can really get that nice aggressive sound if you know what I mean. Went to GC with my Tele and a more experienced player and we both felt that while the Frontman did not have the most bells and whistles of the ones we played, it had the best sound.

I got mine in June at GC. New-in-box with the 20% coupon it was just north of $100.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brillocaster
I have one, but let me preface my remarks with the "I'm a beginner" caveat.

For all I can do on the guitar at this point, and for all I need an amp to do, it is fantastic. I get a nice clean sound and if I want a little growl I can use the gain/drive to get that. I just taught myself "Hair Of The Dog" and I can really get that nice aggressive sound if you know what I mean. Went to GC with my Tele and a more experienced player and we both felt that while the Frontman did not have the most bells and whistles of the ones we played, it had the best sound.

I got mine in June at GC. New-in-box with the 20% coupon it was just north of $100.
Great price for a new one brillo. Congrats. My findings are similar to yours. While other amps had more features than the Frontman, they could not match the clean tone and clean headroom. The speaker upgrade just about doubled both! Glad the overdrive channel works well for you. I've farted around with it a little bit, but the pristine, blackface style clean tones are what I was looking for ( and what sold me ) on the amp. Plus, I prefer a few low gain stompers to the amps drive.

Paul also advised me to check out a Vox Pathfinder. That is a very sweet, toneful little amp too. In the end, it was what I could find used and cheap! The Frontman was a big surprise on all accounts.

When I walked in the store, I heard a fella playing some sweet, clean and fat jazz lines with a Gretsch 6120. He was plugged in to the Frontman. Being able to walk around the store and listen while he was playing sold me on the little bugger.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Frontman 25R

About a year ago I started learning to play the guitar.

When I was buying a guitar (Tele) and amplifier I was considering something that appeared to have a lot of features. I was lucky to have a good salesperson who recommended the Frontman 25R, instead of the first amp I was looking at, as a good inexpensive starter amp.

As an analog solid state amplifier it does a good job of taking whatever input it has and reproducing it. (Hmmm... the short form doesn't read so well, how about solid state analog SSA? Is that a good TLA?)

When I first started, I found the drive channel to be unusable. After mastering power chords and barre chords I grew to like the drive on the Frontman 25R.

Many people recommend a tube amplifier. Over the last couple of days I started trying a few of them. The nicest one so far was on the expensive side.

In the meantime I think I will get a Ragin Cajun, as BB has done, to try to make the best use of the equipment that I do have.

Today while trying out amps I noticed an amp stand and bought one. It does a great job of raising the amplifier up and angling it so that you can hear all of the tone. It is better to use a stand than to tilt the amp against the wall. The direct connection between the amp and the wall transmits the sound to whatever is next to you.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Crazy you brought this amp up. I've been looking at getting one for about a week now looking around ebay and such. Actually I'm looking at the 15R, it's smaller cousin hah.

Don't hate me but I've been really getting into cranked solid state amps. I have a small Peavey 15 watter that sounds awesome but I'm looking to cut down a Frontman and make a head for my 4x10. Plus the Frontman is one of the few solid state budget amps I've found that has metal jacks on it heh. Solid state just seems to have a really rough harshness that I can't get my Sovtek Midget to give me.

Does anyone know how many Ohms the Frontman is by chance?

I've heard good things about the Squier SP10 too, it's alot cheaper costing too, pretty featureless but I normally use pedals for any effects I need.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 07:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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The Frontman 15 and 25 use 8 ohm speakers.
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 09:06 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I got the Rajin Cajin speaker and put it my Frontman 25R type PR 498. It didn't take long from when I placed my order until the store got it in.

The simplest way to replace the speaker is to pull the two connectors off the speaker terminals, remove the two screws on the left and right side of the case, and push out the front panel from the back. The the speaker is easily accessed for changing.

I took a detour and also detached the top part and got a look inside. It uses a single sided PCB with a few small ICs and lots of resistors and other discrete components. There was a fixture with a couple of springs in it.

After putting it all back together with the new speaker I tried it out. On the clean channel I could hear a lot more in the guitar than I could before. Now adjusting the tone control on the guitar makes a big difference! The main drawback is that the noise floor on the clean channel is fairly high and remains constant even with the "Normal" volume turned all the way down. The drive channel has a much lower noise floor.

This has been a good experiment that will help me as I look for a better amp.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Frontman 25R

I bought one of these. I use it mainly for practice when:

1)-I have only a very small block of time which doesn't merit putting one of my tube amps through a heat up/cool down cycle.

2)-I have to practice at very low volume. Then I run it in tandem with a Champ or Vibro Champ via an AB/Y box. It really fills in some of the lower frequencies with its larger speaker.

3)-when I play P-90 guitars. I actually think this amp sounds pretty decent at bedroom volume levels with these pups, especially for such a cheapie. For just over $100 new, it really is capable of some decent sound.

Since I don't play any metal, the gain channel is too buzzy and pretty much useless to me, except at VERY low gain settings. If I want OD, i'm gonna fire up the tubes.

Also, the amp's treble pot really has to be dialed in with Fenders guitars or things can get pretty shrill and ice-picky.

The headphone jack is another nice feature for late-night practice.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 02:03 AM   #15 (permalink)
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i have the frontman, as well as the champ300, they have the same speakers only the champ has some dsp and is touch sensative or some such, there isnt much of a difference in that though

both good amps, infact if youd like, ill sell you my frontman, itl be the down payment for this rajin cajun people are talking about =D
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Old August 24th, 2006, 02:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I've heard the Vox Pathfinders are good practice amps. I'm hoping to pick up a Gorilla GG-20 amp soon. I played thru one a while back and really liked the sound the tube circuit on it is just nasty and fuzzy just what I've been looking for heh. I've always loved Pignose products. It's crazy to think the tone I'm looking for may be in a cheap transistor amp. Is that blasphemy? I do own a really nice tube amp hah.

And thank you csharp for the ohms on the amp!
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Old August 24th, 2006, 03:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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How to wire a Frontman to use Alternate or Extension Speaker?

I have an 8ohm 1x12 Marshall that I want to use as an extension.

There's no extension out from the Frontman, so I'll have to wire one.

Any tips? Parallel will give me a 4ohm load...will that destroy the frontman?

Or do you recommend a switch to use one speaker or the other...not both.

Or...two 16 ohm speaker?

Tips?

THANKS!
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Old January 12th, 2011, 04:39 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Fender Frontman 25R

This is actually a pretty nice little amp. My son has the 15G and I used it a few times as a light praactice amp. I got the 25R as a present, and 25W at 25lbs is pretty nice for an older guy. The suggestion about replacing the speaker are undoubtedly right on, as my first impression in a rehearsal setting was that the speaker was pretty cheap and broke up with the clean channel on 10. Well, gang, the whole amp can be gotten new for $100 give or take, and replacing the speaker with one that costs 3/4 of the entire price is an obvious upgrade, no matter what the upgrade speaker is. I would prefer something with a tight bottom end and crisp highs, which is not exactly what lots of kids want nowdays, and for the clean to be pristine clear even with the Volumn jacked on a solid state amp, and this one will not, because of the speaker breakup when it is pressed hard. But hey, you get the whole amp for a great price, and if you do go to a different speaker you'll be delighted, and still get off cheap. And in the mean time, you have a great practice amp at slightly lower volumns. I would generally use my Princeton with a JBL E110 in it for rehearsing, but now we're talking 50+ LBS, and it is so nice to put a guitar case in one hand and the amp in the other and still be able to handle doors, you get the picture. If it's for light practice, or for home, get the amp, the Fender SS amps with midrange will dial up fantastic sounds, pick your overtones. And the reverb is just fine. But again, at higher gain all of the nuance is gone because of - you guessed it - the inexpensive speaker.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 01:01 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The 25R is nice. Try a Pathfinder 15R too if you can when you are amp shopping. Both are decent inexpensive amps.
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