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iamqman 06/23/2011

Fender Performer 650 : iamqman's user review

« It's ok »

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This is one of those amps that just gets pasted up because it is really no different sounding than many of Fender's famous amps that people actually do know.This amp is really nothing to write home about as the tone is clean and sparkly as you would think a Fender amp should sound like. The down side to this amp is that it a cheaper version of a deluxe amp with no tubes. Well it does have one 12ax7 but i think it is used as a phase inverter if I'm not mistake so that you will get a sense of tube interaction.


This amp has two channels essentially. One being he clean channel and the other of course is the distortion channel. Neither one of these channels has anything spectacular in any way. You get a sense that Fender just put this amp out to get some buyers on the solid state market that wanted to say they had an American made Fender amp.

That is the good thing about this amp is that it is made in good old USA. This is before they started shipping oversees and down to Mexico for their amp support needs.


The tone fro the clean isn't bad at all. I actually prefer the clean channel of a good solid state amp compared to a tube clean. In my opinion tube were best used to being pushed. When they are not pushed they come off as dull and uninspiring. You can always beef up a lousy clean from your amp with a little compressor pedals of some sort, but to me the cleans never need that in a solid state amp.

The distortion channel is a whole different ball game. The tone from this channel is so bad that you really can't even play it. Fender has really no idea how to produce a good distortion tone. They messed it up with the Hot Rod series and are just now getting that under control with the new installment of the Hot Rod series amps. Fender has nailed it on the EVH 5153, but again this is in recent years....and how long has Fender been around.

Anyway, this distortion channel is terrible and not usable at all. If you need a good clean then that is all that you are going to get with this amp.


Fender has now discontinued these amps and you can still find them on the used market from time to time. If you want a solid state Fender then I would go with the Frontman or the new G-Dec amps from this last NAMM show. They are more modern and will give you a better tone overall. If for some reason you really want this amp I think you can find them for under $200 in the classifieds or evilBay