AT-212 review by B-52

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (43 votes)
B-52: AT-212

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Sound — 10
First of all, the guitar I play on currently is a Schecter Omen 6. I still have yet to play my friend's BC Rich Jr V and BC Rich Beast (bronze) though. Also, I plan on giving my uncle's Fender Mexican Strat a test run on it as well. When I do, I'll edit this review if needed. This amp is extremely versatile. You can get blues, jazz, classic rock, metal, you name it. The distortion can get extremely brutal especially at high volumes. Very warm and crunchy, just like a Mesa Boogie Rectifier. However, if you use any distortion pedals (Metal Zone, Metal Master, etc), keep them. The reason is, although the amp has great sounding brutal distortion, if you're wanting the industrial/nu-metal sounding distortion that bands such as Rammstein get, you'll have to use a pedal. Next, the clean channel in my opinion in crystal clear. When in the high gain input, you can get the warm bluesy kind of cleans, while the low gain has the solid state sounding cleans (only more clear; less muffled). Both gain channels sound similar, but you will hear a subtle difference. I mainly use the two gain channels for different kinds of music. One for classic rock/blues (set at 1), the other for things such as death metal (maxed out). The reverb in my opinion sounds great. Very basic, but great nonetheless. Though it's not overpowering, it's still easily heard and benefits your tone a lot if you're into soloing. I can't really say anything bad about the sound at all, for I have found no flaws.

Overall Impression — 10
In a nutshell, this amp can do whatever you want. If it were stolen/lost, I'd definitely get another. After testing multiple amps, this is by far my favorite. I have no regrets what'soever. The amps that I tested before deciding to get this one are listed below. Kustom Quad Jr Half Stack 100W, Marshall MG100DFX Full Stack, Marshall JCM900 Full Stack, Line 6 Spider III 75W, Line 6 Flextone III XL, Peavey Windsor Half Stack, Peavey Valveking 212, Peavey 5150 Half Stack, Peavey Bandit 65, Crate VTX65, Crate VTX15, Crate GT212, Mesa Boogie Rect-O-Verb (Single Rectifier), Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifier Half Stack

Reliability & Durability — 8
I haven't had this amp long. Only for a week and a half/two weeks. Something like that. I have had zero problems. a lot of people have had problems with the reverb dying on them, casters getting torn up somehow, etc but nothing like that has happened. This amp is built for playing Live, and I very much doubt that I would need a backup amp, unless the tubes were to quit on me. I've also heard that their customer service is excellent, so if you have any problems, contact B-52, or use the warranty! I rate this an 8 simply because of the bad things I've heard, but have not experienced yet.

Features — 10
This amp is by far the best amp I've played/tested so far. I've been playing for about 2 years now, and I've tested almost every amp at my local guitar store, called Gear 1 Music, and a good bit of amps at Guitar center, Highland Music (local store), and Bailey Brothers. No amps except for maybe the Peavey 5150 can hold a candle to this monster. So anyway, on to the review. A lot of people refer to this amp as the "Poor man's Mesa Triple Rectifier". I believe this is a very false comparison. Although it is a triple recto amp, the real rectifiers cannot touch the versatility and tone that this amp can. Better cleans BY FAR, more features, and better sounds at lower volumes. This thing has the obvious clean channel, two gain channels (both are very useful by the way), a contour thing which lets you school out mids or add mids, reverb, effects loop, the option to Switch the tube settings between Class A, A/B, or Solid State. Switching between tubes can change your tone a bit, usually in a good way depending on what you want to sound like. Not sure if the solid state option is really solid state though, since the amp still gets hot when I have it on that setting. It also comes with a footswitch letting you toggle both gain channels, the reverb, and the effects loop. It's 100 watts, has casters on the bottom, and a 'bright' Switch for the clean channel! Last but not least, you have a High Gain input and a Low Gain input. Both are very useful to the versatility. So yeah, B-52 has covered just about every essential need in a tube amp.

20 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Had mine for around a week and haven't had any problems with it. If you're even thinking about getting a new amp you owe it to yourself to at least check this monster out. It's also LOUD, and by that I mean I was playing with the volume on 2, and my house was shaking. I was afraid the neighbors were going to call and complain and I think I may have suffered hearing damage because my left ear rings now God I love this amp.
    CkY freak
    That sucks they discontinued them! I just got the at412 cabinet to along with it. I hope they bring them back!
    I need help deciding on an amp. I need something that can sound nice at low volumes. Which one is best for killer metal tones, Killswitch Engage, Nevermore, Old school Metallica, In Flames as well as neo-classical shred..Yngwie, Jason Becker and also Hair Metal...Ozzy, Van Halen, Skid Row, etc. B-52 AT-212 or Peavey XXX 60 watt combo? Are there reliability issues with the B-52? I can get the AT-212 for $375 at my local GC, on clearance.
    caitan1962 wrote: I am going to make many of you mad. I bought one of these last week in mint condition for $100 dollars. No that isn' a missprint. A single $100 bill, 100 ones, five 20's. It is bad to the bone.
    WHERE?!? Please tell me it was a chain!
    If you want a good tone use these settings on it. GAin 2 Gain: 9 Bass: 8.5-9 Middle: 2.5 Treble: 8 Contour (on): 3.5 Low bass resonance: 10 Rectifier mode: Tube A Good metal tone.
    Ive got this amp on a 412 B52 essentially a 3/4 stack and it is amazing. Its not really louder than the amp/combo itself..just gives it more dimension. I got the amp for 200.00$ and the stack for 80.00$..but that wont happen again. Used but very very gently that. The clean channel is amazing..compared to ANY amp! I have 4 others...and have played through a mesa also. The light dirty channel is fairly heavy....perfect for blues turned down or metal with the gain up. The heavy dirty channel is actually to much for a grung/solid distortion setting. Perfect for Crazy Horse on steroids... I use the two lighter channels and love this thing. All of the bad reviews you hear are the first gen. amps with the heating problems. Mine has the fan that cools the head.
    Yeah guys right now almost all guitar centers are selling this amps for 500 dollars. Mostly floor models. But its a great deal. The heads are ALSO going for 500 bucks by themselves. Huge deal if you can get your own cab.
    I am going to make many of you mad. I bought one of these last week in mint condition for $100 dollars. No that isn' a missprint. A single $100 bill, 100 ones, five 20's. It is bad to the bone.
    I went to a guitar center like a month ago and they still had some of this amps, I never say them discontinued.
    I ordered one of these last month but now they're discontinued! I really really wanted one and I'm just bummed out that I won't be able to get a new one. I hope it's just temporary and that B-52 puts them back out...maybe they're fixing the reverb or changing the specs or something. I just want this amp so bad!
    Im getting this amp pretty soon and from what ive heard its great. I used it with a Gibson SG and a Dean Razorback. Excelent Quality.
    I've had this amp for a few months now. It's a great amp and I had not problems with it thusfar. Well a few minor ones. This thing rocks though. You can get any type of sound you want out of it. Pig Squeels are kinda hard. It just might be my guitar. This thing is very loud. In my opinon, it gives off alot of feeback when cranked. It's like finger nails on a chalkboard. I reccomend getting a compressor. For the most part though, this amp sounds great.
    Hi. I JUST bought a B-52 AT-212 and I am having an issue with the REVERB channel. It works perfectly when the footswitch is NOT plugged in, but when it is - it cuts out completely! Can anyone offer me ANY ideas of what I can do? Is it the footswitch, is it something worse? I got this secondhand - but the guy I bought it from SWEARS it was just bought about 6 months ago brand new (so OCT 2007). Any ideas/help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks
    I love mine. i got it new for $511 (US dollars). It is an amazing amp and great for almost any style of music. Perfect clean setting and amazing distortion.
    ive been playing for about 20 years so ive played a lot of amps good and bad big name and unknown. this amp is amazing peroid. ive had it for about four months and no problems. i hear a lot about the reverb,i could care less as i dont use reverb that often. i play mostly metal and this amp is perfect for it. this amp is worth it at any price. as far as reliability,its fine. ive heard and had horror stories about boogies and they cost twice as much. i play a hamer standard with duncans and a 79 hamer special with paf's and both sound great thru this amp. try it and buy it.
    i bought the At100 about a year ago and it's working great. The reverb isn't too strong to begin with, just acts as a thickener. If reverb is very important to your sound, I suggest geting an Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail. The head is pretty much a workhorse, but i HIGHLY SUGGEST changing the tubes. There is a huge difference, because the B-52 tubes suck. The gain channel is awesome, but for any distortion tone i turn on my Turbo Tube Screamer and Boss Noise Supressor to thicken things up. I'm on my second footswitch right now, because a drunk soundguy at a club tripped on mine. The footswitch isnt too reliable, but take care of it and you'll be fine. This amp feeds back a good amount when cranked, but i use that to my advantage, because I play a lot of Toolish stuff. The clean channel is AMAZING, just flawless. This is basically an awesome amp, just a few things that B-52 has to work out
    Small update: Alot of people say that the reverb cuts out on them after a while. I've had my amp for around 3 and a half to 4 months and it's still working great.
    Get the B52! There are no reliability issues that are "common" for them. When you turn it long as you can hear the fans come on....then it wont get to hot and your cool! Youll like it.