UG Team, on november 12, 2007 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 175
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Features: The range of features on this amp are almost limitless.
It's three channel setup features a fuzz, clean and chorus settings. The fuzz, or solo channel, has gain, shape and level control. The gain controls the amount of the distortion while the shape control changes the tone of the distortion. For example when the shape control is at about twelve o' clock the sound is fairly crunchy like a nineteen '50s blues sound. When the shape control is at three o' clock the amp puts out a more nineteen eighties smooth creamy kind of distortion. The third knob is a level control. This is my favorite knob on the channel. Having separate controls for the gain and the volume was an absolutely brilliant idea. Because of this you can play at fairly low levels and still have the distortion poured on.
The clean channel has master volume control, a three band equalizer and controls for the spring reverb unit. The equalizer is very sensitive and also enables a wide range of sounds. It has low, mid and high controls. While the equalizer is perhaps one of the best features of this amp, it also has it's faults. For example there is very little variance in sound from the low knob turned up full tilt, and it down around 2 or 3. But still it does it's job good enough.
The third or chorus channel features depth and rate controls. Both very sensitive to give a wide variety of sounds, as we will talk about more in the next section.
In addition to this the front panel has a CD input (two RCA jacks) and a headphone output. The CD input is one of the biggest complaints that I have about this amp. Unless you are use a very specific input level (I still haven't figured out what it is yet) it sounds like it is using full output power. That can be rather painful. But in any case, don't try to plug your line output of your CD player into the CD input, I can guarantee that you won't like the end result.
The back panel has extension speaker out (which I have yet to try) and a foot switch control. Both of these are quarter inch jacks. The foot Switch on this amp is a must, this is because the buttons for changing the channel are impossible to get at while on the fly. They are very small and if you aren't careful you end up bumping one of the two volume knobs that surround it. // 9
Sound: As I had mentioned before the range of sounds out of this amp are amazing. They are all over the place. The solo channel can go from a gritty country rock sound, to full blow thrash metal and every where in between.
On the clean side of things, I've found that I can get a perfect Hendrix tone, such as is utilized on little wing, and castles made of sand. But at the same time, the sound can get so raw, it almost sounds like an acoustic. The reverb (also on the clean channel) is one of my favorite things about this amp. While it is a little touchy (you can't turn it much above 3 and still have it sound good) it really thickens the sound, and besides it's spring reverb, you don't get much better than that.
The chorus channel is equally impressive featuring just two knobs, you can just a slight touch which is very nice for slow rhythm parts, (this also goes nice with fuzz for a Tony Iommi sound) or you can get a totally crazy out of this world pulsating electronica sound, that makes the sound of the guitar unrecognizable. // 9
Reliability & Durability: While I haven't used this amp to gig more than once or twice (for the most part I am a bass player and use this strictly for studio use) It is showing no signs of wear. The knobs seem to be holding up well. The covering is glued on very securely and the wood underneath it is very solid. The main concern that I have about the reliability of this amp is the lack of serviceable fuse. It seems if a fuse was to ever blow that the amp would have to either be taken apart (which at a gig obviously isn't practical) or sent back to Crate (obviously not practical at a gig either). However this is a minor concern as I have been using it for upwards of four years, never to have a problem with a blown fuse. // 9
Overall Impression: This amp consistently impresses me with its broad range of sounds. This more than makes up for the bad placement of the channel change buttons, the uncontrollable CD input and the lack of a direct out. Even my friends that are religious about the use of tubes admit that it sounds just as good, and that the sounds that they get are about the same. So in conclusion, strong sound outweighs some design flaws. Most importantly it's incredibly loud. // 9
noahthelemon, on february 19, 2008 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Features: I'm not sure what year this amp was made but I think it has been discontinued. This amp is great; it can do metal, punk, and just about any other kind of rock. It has two channels (distortion and clean). The distortion channel includes gain, shape, and level (volume). The clean channel has volume, low, mid, and high knobs. There is also spring reverb and switchable chorus effect with depth and rate which can be used on either channel. The channels and chorus are footswitchable, but I have not tried it out because no footswitch was included and I have not bought one. The only thing I don't like about the features is that you cannot adjust the low, mid, and high on the distortion channel, just the "shape," which is really just a tone knob. // 9
Sound: I use my Les Paul with this amp and there isn't very much humming unless you really turn the distortion up. I use my Boss Super Overdrive with it though and barely get any when I have that running on the clean channel. I'm only giving this a nine because the overall sound of it could be better, but it is still a great amp. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have never had any problems with it at all. I would gig with it without a backup (and actually I have done so). It is so dependable that I've never even thought that it even could have problems. I can't say if customer service is helpful, I've never needed to contact them. // 10
Overall Impression: This amp is great for pretty much all rock. I doubt I'd but another if it was stolen, but this amp is really reliable and I will probably have it a long time if it doesn't get stolen. It could be better, it is just a solid state amp, and the distortion could be better, so I nearly always use my Super Overdrive pedal on the clean channel. However, for a small solid state amp, this is an amazing amp. // 9