Price paid: $ 125
Ease of Use — 9
Turn it on, plug it in, tweak it for about 20 seconds and you find a plethera of nice sounds. It didn't come with a footswitch for the on/off for DSP effects - which by the way are a bonus to have but I use them sparingly - mostly the flanger. But you can't edit the effects settings so if you want effects, get some pedals. I like the Tony Levin sound so I bought a phase shifter - a Small Stone - and it works great. The manual for this amp is online - I found it within 30 seconds of Google searching it. I doubt the firmware is upgradable, but I may look into that.
Sound — 10
For 100 RMS SS Watts, this thing is LOUD. And it's versatility keeps my senses reeling! I play all styles from funk fusion to pop to blues to metal to prog. I can get all the sounds I need from this amp! I had a buzz/hum but found that it was the wiring in one of my basses - not the amp. It's very quiet. And the on board 8 band EQ allows me to tweak my tone to my hearts content. It has a contour button (on/off) and variable knob which gives you sort of an extra parametric EQ - I use it to scoop out the mids (12 o'clock setting). The sound is full and rich and bright. It's a bass amp so the frequency range is like 30hZ to something like 5000 hZ. Don't use it to sing through! It could sub as a drum monitor but you won't get cymbals out of it! It's a bass amp, and a really good one for the money!
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's starting to get dinged up, I need to get a cover for it. The amp came without casters, but I installed a set for around $40. Well worth it if you're planning to lug it from practice to gig and all points in between. It is 60 lbs. That said, it is rugged as fock! I've gigged with it for about a year and it's never given out. I don't push it beyond 85% of its potential so I can't see it dying on me unless I plug it into an unprotected power socket. As far as longevity, 6 months and no incidents. I'd say that's pretty rugged.
Overall Impression — 10
I play classic rock in performance. I play funk/fusion and progressive music at home for fun. This amp rattles the dishes. You can feel the thing from 20 feet away. I've played through many combo bass amps - Peavey, Fender, Ibanez, Hartke, Acoustic, Kustom, but this Crate is the most satisfying amp to both myself and my bandmates. I've tried the Ampeg stuff, both old and new, and as much as I can appreciate a lot of headroom, the Ampeg stuff is just too heavy, too loud, and too expensive for my needs. This Crate BFX100 is more than adequate for my needs. I may seek to get another one and run them in stereo!