In this Fender Frontman 10g review we’ll take a look at Fender’s solid-state practice amp for beginners. All practice amps are simple to operate, which is important for beginners. But do the similarities end there? Is the Frontman 10g a good buy? Are there better options available? Let’s find out more.
Background to Fender
Fender began building amplifiers in the 1940’s. The Tweed series, know for their superb clean tones, really put Fender on the map as a producer of amps. Releasing a series of successful solid-state amps such as the Twin Reverb and Bassman models, Fender has sub-branded their styling. You always get the Fender badge, but the styling changes. The blackface and brownface models were some of the early styles, which still pervade today. A little later Fender introduced the silverface.
Overview of The Frontman 10g
The Frontman 10g is a sturdily built, closed case amplifier boasting 10 watts of output from it’s 6-inch Fender produced speaker. The Frontman can be used with electro-acoustic as well as electric guitars. it’ll also suit a bass guitar. As well as a sturdy build the Frontman features some classic Fender styling. The front panel is covered by Fender silver mesh, with the Fender logo written large. The control panel is styled on Fender’s blackface design.
The amp is pretty tiny, weighing only 3.8kg, so perfect to take on the road to keep up your practice.
The mains power supply is integrated and the amp comes with a handy tie fixed to the back of the amp so you can tidy the power cable when not in use. Although the power output is just 10 watts, it’s a pretty powerful little practice amp and will certainly suit bedroom practice. It won’t accommodate a stage performance.
You’d need something a little bigger for that. The next logical step would be to a 50 watt amp. If you’re looking for something bigger and want to stick with Fender, check out my Fender Champion 40 review. My favorite 50 watt amp however has to be the Boss Katana 50.
How Does the Frontman 10g Work?
Once you’ve plugged in and powered up the Frontman, it’s time to connect your guitar via the 1/4 inch jack. From here you have two channels, one for clean and one for overdriven – denoted by the O.D underneath the switch. Fender blackface styled control knobs allow you to adjust the gain, volume, treble and bass. That’s pretty good for a practice amp, although I do always like to have the option to adjust the middle too.
There’s a 1/8 inch headphone jack that allows for “silent” practice. Once a set of headphones is plugged into the jack the speaker will automatically mute. To the left of the headphone port is a 1/8 inch aux in port. That’ll allow you to connect a metronome or a music player (such as your phone) so that you can jam along to your favorite tunes.
You can do quite a bit with tones here, but of course with no memory bank you won’t be able to store custom tones. That’s not something that’s a feature of many practice amps and we have to remember that these amps are designed to be simple to operate. Once you’ve found your perfect tone you’ll need to write down your settings.
The amp handle is a molded plastic strap with nickel-plated caps to secure it in place and is sturdy enough. The cabinet is made up of medium-density fibreboard (MDF) covered with black textured vinyl. Overall it’s a sturdily built little amp.
That’s really all there is to this amp. It’s simplicity if ideal for beginners. It’s a decent option for the price, however if you have a little more to spend I’d go for the Boss Katana Mini, which features in built amp styles, on-board Boss quality effects and middle tone control.
Fender Frontman 10g Pros
The Frontman is a decent option for the price and you’re guaranteed Fender quality. It’s a little more expensive than some of the own brand type amps, but all in all that’s because it’s simply a better amp. Here are some of the best bits:
- Powerful Practice Amp
- Fender Styling
- Well Built & Lightweight
- Will Work With Electric, Electro-Acoustic and Bass Guitars
Fender Frontman 10g Cons
I have to be careful when listing cons for the Frontman. After all it’s a well priced practice amp. Practice amps should be about simplicity, so I don’t want to criticize is for a lack of features. However I feel there are one or two things missing:
- Marshall MG15CF has 5 watts more power
- Can’t output to a recording device (like the Katana Mini)
The Frontman 10g is a decent practice amp. The styling is good, but the power output is the best thing about this amp. It’ll maintain tonal quality at higher volumes, which is something that can’t be said for all practice amps. The simplicity of operation will suit beginner guitarists but it won’t cope with stage performance. It’s sturdily built, so should last you a long time. The portability makes it great for taking on the road with you so you don’t miss out on practicing.
If you had a little more budget I’d go for the Boss Katana Mini for it’s additional features such as in built amp styles, on-board effects and recording output. Another alternative is the VOX pathfinder 10, which is very similar in capability to the Frontman 10.
I hope you’ve found this post useful. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. Alternatively you can get in touch using my contact page. Please share this post with anyone who you feel might benefit. Now go make some noise, and happy strumming!
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