Backline 210 review by Gallien-Krueger

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.2 (14 votes)
Gallien-Krueger: Backline 210

Price paid: $ 250

Purchased from: Personal Friend

Sound — 9
I'm using a Schecter Diamond series bass with dual coil humbuckers. This amp is great for when I play more heavier stuff (i.e. Tool) than it is for brighter stuff, but I have a feeling this is mainly due to my bass, not my amp. The amp is loud. I've jacked it all the way up, but I never leave it that high. It'll get a little bit of distortion if you let it clip (duh) but with the mute pad (I think that's what it's called) that comes with it you shouldn't have to worry about it. The distortion can give you everything from a mild overdrive to a nice crunch.

Overall Impression — 9
I got this amp for $250 from a friend of mine. For the price, there is no way it could have been beat. I would definitely buy another if it were ever stolen. The only thing I hate about this amp is the weight, lack of wheels, and it only having one input. Every other feature on the amp is great. Go ahead and buy this amp, you won't be disappointed.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I've dropped it from the back of my truck and I've heard of people rolling it down hills and into curbs. The only thing that doesn't seem to last for most people are the speakers. The amp is loud enough at lower volumes that you should be okay for a while, but that would be the only issue I could see from using this amp.

Features — 10
This amp is great. I play all sorts of stuff from Tool to Damien Rice and this amp delivers. It's more suited for rock in my opinion as it has a darker sound. However, this could just be the bass I'm using. It has 175 watts so it's more than enough power for the gigs I'm doing. I use it for both my bass and guitar. It has the thumping lows for my bass and the highs for my guitar. It has two channels, overdriven and clean. The overdrive is great. You can get a nice crunch or a slight distortion from it. The clean also sounds pretty good. Just to mess with it, I've ran a mic through it and it came out clear. Not as clear as my mic amp, but clearer than I thought it'd be. It has an effects loop (which I've yet to use) and the standard headphone jack. I also has a mute pad to help stop clipping. I use this feature extensively and it's helped me keep a cleaner sound on the clean channel. The only thing I wish it had was another input.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i had a recent "incident" with it a while back. long story short it fell on my bass (while in the gig bag). both survived, unscathed. so kudos to GK and fender!
    Just got a 210 from a pawn shop in very good shape. I've got it on top of a Backline 4x10(casters suck) and it sounds sweet.
    I bought a new GK Backline 210 a few years ago when they came out (paid $250) as a backup and for smaller gigs. My main rig is a 600-watt Eden head with a couple of 4x10 speaker cabs so it's heavy and overkill for most of my gigs. The Eden has a great tube preamp and the GK has a solid state preampt so there is a big difference in tone side by side. To add tone I purchased a Behringer V-Tone D21b ($35) and now I have a smooth "tube" tone. One knock is the stock speakers are cheap and after a little over a year of light use both speakers fell apart. The glued areas were coming apart and the wiring came off one. I did some asking around and that was a common problem on the early models. I replaced them with some 16-ohm Eminence speakers (similier to the speakers in the $ GK cabs)and that did the job. All in all I rate the amp as the best amp in the price range and I'd buy another.
    Set me back $125. Warning to prospective buyers: IT WEIGHS LIKE A WOMAN. Literally. Could seriously use: a) second input b) wheels or something c) conveniently located handles (it has like 3, but not in the best places ever) It's bassy as hell, but I'd wish it could dial up the treble a bit more. Speakers, too, will thump like crazy and rattle windows and stuff, but don't do highs all that well. Probably well worth the $125. Probably NOT worth anywhere near whatever its MSRP was.