This new Fender Frontman 20G attempts to make practice enjoyable but somehow misses the point. Could this 20 Watt mini amp sound any worse?
Truly Awful, or Hipster Gold?
I have to admit I had a Squier 15 Watt practise amp when I was a young man, it was my first new amplifier. and could be purchased new for roughly a hundred British pounds in the mid-80s. This new Fender Frontman 20G model reminds me of that very amp, except that it actually sounds worse.
With controls for the clean channel volume, along with a separate drive channel volume and gain, plus bass, middle and treble knobs for dialling in your amp tone. Then finally you get a button to select the drive channel. The official Fender demo video sounds somewhere between a buzzy hipster tone, or just plain nasty. My opinion may divide fans of these small amps, but I actually really love small amps. I was hoping for something much better than this from Fender, especially at this price point.
There are a couple of useful features though, so all is not lost, These include an auxiliary input so you can play along with an external audio source, and a 1/8” headphone jack socket means you can practise in silence. I could have benefitted with an aux-in back in the 1980s, as my Squier practice amp did not have one.
Could it be magic?
There is a single 8″ speaker, so it could sound better than this I feel. However, I personally find the drive tone grating at best, and the clean tone flat and uninspiring. However, we all know that oddball mini amplifiers can sound great in a mix. In fact, they are often hidden gems in recording studios. I just don’t feel I would be inspired to play the guitar using this one, so it would not be my choice for a practice amp.
Official Fender RRP – GBP 109.99
More Fender Information
Official Fender Demo Video
- Fender Frontman 20G: Thomann
- Fender Frontman 20G with two channels: Thomann