AT-212 review by B-52

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (43 votes)
B-52: AT-212

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 9
The sound is very basic: excellent clean and warm tube distortion. Scooped it has a modern high-gain tone, and non-scooped it does a Marshall tone very well. The tri-rectifier gives even more subtle sound capabilities and allows the tailoring of the Drive to your room requirements. It is very non-temperamental and almost always sound exactly right from room to room. It mikes up well with a decent sound guy and has huge bottom end and chunk. Overall great sound for the low price tag.

Overall Impression — 9
I play a wide variety of covers and this amp is well-suited to the various styles. I run an '04 Les Paul Standard with Duncan SH-1's and a Standard Strat with Duncans (Lil'59, Vintage staggered, and a Pearly Gates II from neck to bridge), another Standard Strat with Fender Noiseless pups and a 80's Zion with Dimarzios. The amp was an amazing buy at $799 at the time, then on a return trip to the guitar center it was on sale for $699 (they gave me a $100 refund), which made it even sweeter. I was looking and trying to find a modeling amp to suit my needs but never really could get by the lack of tone. My effects are very limited and all analog: a Boss chorus (which I run continuously to thicken up the sound, a Boss Acoustic Simulator (mainly because I am too lazy to drag and mike up my acoustic, club owners are too cheap to pay well enough to deserve an actually acoustic sound), a Boss compressor, a Boss Tuner, and a Cry Baby Wah. I would most likely replace the amp if stolen or destroyed and it is a great buy for the money. The only drawback is the weight at about 80lbs. but hey, my problem for needed a tube amp for the tone and the 2-12" speakers so I can't really bitch.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Had problems withthe cheap method of pins used to hold the front of the amp (with the speakers) to the cabinet, but the addition of a few screws solved that easily enough (and B-52 customer support stated they redesigned the attachment process so that shouldn't be an issue any longer. Also of of the caster sleeves split which caused the caster to keep falling out, but again B-52 replaced it free and without haslle. In fact, I broke 3 of the front pots (totally my own fault) and B-52 replaced those for free as well. As far as performace-wise, it has never failed to perform perfectly and once it is warm, sounds great throughout the night. I don't have an amp case for it, which maybe I should, and the amp has been bumped and banged a bit, but it has not had a performace problem at all after about 9 months of gigging.

Features — 10
Full featured with 1 clean and 2 gain channels; 3-band EQ on the clean and a shared 3-band EQ on the gain channels. Independent gain control on the gain channels and independent volume on all three channels plus a overall master volume offer a superior amount of flexibilty for Live performances. Also, the mid-scoop with seperate contour adjustment and the ability to "scoop" each gain channel individually is another plus. Full, footswitch controlable effects loop with send and return levels, a line out with a level control, a decent spring reverb and an incuded 4-bank footswitch (gain1/gain2, clean/gain, reverb, effects loop) really make this amp a gig-friendly combo.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i tried this amp today and it was killer. i'm actually considering getting it instead of a peavey 6505, but that's a financial issue.
    you guys, this is the most versatile amp ever, it can give you anything from jazz and blues to classic/psychedelic rock. it is the same quality and sound as a twin, just with out the brand name and at about 2/3s of the price. I would get it, but its too much for me now, but if you guys have the money, i highly recommend it. peace.
    ^I had mine break down just about right away. Then it broke down again. And the reverb was barely audible. Other than that, though, it was fine.
    im getting an at-112, so basically the same thing. I've read about some quality issues, and reverb breaking down, anyone experience this or did they just get a lemon?
    after a few more months, the reverb tank springs broke off - very cheaply made.....B-52 is supposed to send me out a new tank for free and I will send the broken one back. THIS IS A VERY COMMON problem with these amps and hopefully B-52 will put a better tank in at some point. My local GC in Connecticut is clearencing these amps out for ONLY $501 - I may actually buy another one as a spare if I can scrape the money together - a huge bargain.....
    ahh well i ended up getting the at-100 used for $500, pretty good deal. And yes, the reverb has diminished, but i honestly dont care. I still cant dial in a good high-gain tone, im sure if its because i cant crank it most of the time, or my cheapo single coils.
    I've had my AT-212 for about a week and a half now, and I've had no problems whatsoever with it. The reverb is perfectly fine, the casters are fine, everything is..fine o_o