by Jef | 3,8 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Fender Frontman 20G mini practice amp

Fender Frontman 20G mini practice amp  ·  Source: Thomann


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.

Fender Frontman 20G

Fender Frontman 20G · Source: Thomann

Two Channels

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.

Fender Frontman 20G with two channels

Fender Frontman 20G with two channels · Source: Thomann

Some Positives

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

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Official Fender Demo Video

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Fender Frontman 20G mini practice amp

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10 responses to “Fender Frontman 20G mini practice amp offers some awful tones or is it really amazing?”

    Dazz says:

    Good god.

    pfrf says:

    That sounds terrible, even for a cheap amp.

      Jef says:

      Because something is cheap we often lower our expectations of sound quality. But this new Fender practice amp is pretty bad.

    Leo says:

    I don’t think Fender are doing themselves any favours by releasing this terrible sounding box of junk.

    not your beeswax says:

    All the big brands are absolutely ruining their names making jeans and bluetooth speakers (although that little marshall speaker sounds pretty good, if overpriced) and this is about them being unable to cut further corners in a race to the bottom and having to hire consultants to cut more corners for them, apparently…
    Maybe Fender should just license their name to some Chinese jeans instead and get it over with…

    SA says:

    I grew up playing guitar through a 90’s era solid state Epiphone bass amp, which sounds amazing compared to this. Yikes! I guess they’re counting on the Fender name for people to buy it, certainly not for the sound.

    bob says:

    seems about the same as a gorilla amp i started with in the mid 80s…and probably cheaper

    Richard Merriam says:

    Just ordered one direct from Fender.
    I may replace the stock speaker with a Jensen if needed. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

    Anonymous says:

    I listened to the all new Fender Frontman 20G at a dealer and since it sounded cheap, I opted to buying a used Fender 10G made about 20 years ago which has an analogue audio IC (TDA series) and transistors which sounds really good. Maybe the new one has a class D digital amplifier and budget parts from China?

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