AT-212 Review

manufacturer: B-52 date: 12/24/2010 category: Guitar Amplifiers
B-52: AT-212
The B-52 AT-212 100-Watt 2 x 12" combo tube amp has a unique tri-mode rectifier that lets the rectifier section operate in class A, class AB, or even solid state modes!
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.3
 Reliability & Durability: 7.8
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 31 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.8
AT-212 Reviewed by: CkY freak, on august 23, 2006
3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is the most versatile amp I've ever played. It's a 100 watt all tube combo amp, with 2x12" speakers. It's got 2 different gain channels, with independent EQ's for each. It's also got a contor button and knob, which scoops out the important mids, but doesnt't take all the mids out, it sounds really good. It's also got a clean channel, with independent eq and volume, plus a master volume for the whole amp. It's also got a "low res." knob, that adds a real nice low end to the amp. It's got three different rectifier options, tube A, tube AB1, or solid state. I use this amp in my room and at band practice, but this amp could easily fill a good size venue. This amp is loud. // 10

Sound: I own a couple different guitars. A modded Ibanez RG470 with a DiMarzio X2N in the bridge, and a Fender Red Lace sensor in the middle. I play mainly hardrock, progressive, and a little bit of metal. I'm also an avid blues player. And gain 1 works really well for the blues, if the gain knob is kept down, but if cranked, can handle the most extreme styles of music. Gain 2 has a little more dirt than gain 1, I use this most of the time. It's got a real warm distortion, and with the tube class A on, it sounds even better. The clean channel is extremely clean, which I love. I don't like amps with clean channels that breakup at high volumes. Just Perfect. The only reason I'm giving this a 9, is because it doesnt't sound as good as my DigiTech GNX4 through the amp. But it's really close. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's never broken down on me yet, so it seems durable. It's got a footswitch that's built like a tank. So I think it would be safe to use without a backup. It weighs about 80lbs so it might do some damage if it were to tip over, but the amp came with 3" casters to put on the amp, it really makes it easier to get around. // 10

Overall Impression: This amp suites me perfect. In my opinion, this amp will suit any style of music. From Jazz and blues, to rock and metal. I've been playing 4 years, and this is the best amp I've ever played. If it were stolen, I'd for sure buy another one. Everything about this amp is great. I was a bit skeptical to buy this amp because I had never heard of the brand. I'm so glad I did. I think everyone needs to at least play one, and find out for themselves. I'll never buy another brand of amplification. // 10

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overall: 9
AT-212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on january 04, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 9.5
AT-212 Reviewed by: WrathOscuro, on may 14, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8

Overall Impression: 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 // 10

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overall: 7.8
AT-212 Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 24, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This is a fairly recent model of the amp, probably 2007 or 2008. I got this amp used and it was actually in pretty bad shape when I first got it, the toggle Switch was sticky and the tolex was torn, corners were damaged, and other cosmetics like that. Not to mention the reverb potentiometer was broke and the reverb was always on. I bought this amplifier for about 1/4 of its original price and considered it a steal. I replaced the toggle Switch and killed the reverb tank since I use a pedal for a reverb effect if at all. The tubes are stock along with the speakers the only thing I fixed were cosmetics. This amplifier is 100 watts has 2 channels, it has a Triple Rectifier which means this amp could be run on A class tube, A/B class, or solid state. I love the sound of an all tube A class amplifier so that is mainly what I run it on but in the A/B class and solid state it delivers great sound. It has an effects loop, which can be adjusted by 2 level knobs along with 2 gains, a bright Switch for the clean, and a contour knob for both gains. Mine also did not come with the footswitch but B-52 customer support said I could order one for 50 dollars, I declined since I mostly run pedals for OD and reverb, etc. It's built like a tank and weighs 85 lbs. The cosmetic issues I believe are just from people not taking care of it as I've heard B-52's have a lot of reliabilty issues, but so far, if taken care of it can really hold up. Also, with a little know how you can fix broken toggle switches, bad tubes, or anything like that. So overall, those kinds of things don't bother me, but they may you when looking for an amp so its something to consider, overall though this amp couldn't have come with more features and more versatility, I can do jazz, classical, blues, alternative, and metal. I'm also sure with the right pedals it could go way beyond that if you wanted it to. // 10

Sound: Alright, well I use a Gibson Les Paul Studio with burstbuckers in both positions its fairly stock and a Vox Tonelab LE as a multiprocessor and I also have a Jerry Cantrell wah and Metal Muff distortion pedal. It can get really noisy when you have many effects run into it especially the distortion pedal in line before the pre amp it can get quite squeely, but what I love about this amp is the master volume, I had a Fender reproduction of a 65 Deluxe Reverb before this one and it seemed the master volume was on a very small scale and only went to 1, 5, and 10. With this thing you can turn the master about to 3, the gain to 9 and the channel volume to 6 and its louder than anything you could imagine with no noticeable noise. The 3 band EQ that controls all channels also is very useful, I hand a 10 band EQ on the previous amp and I needed it on this one the tone pots actually seem to be useful and can dramatically change the sound your looking for if you know what your doing. I play all kind of styles as mentioned above and it covers them all well, my advice would be to get a noise suppressor if your going to play hardcore stuff, but anything like Tool or even up to Slayer can be handled like nothing with this amp. I've heard a lot of people complain about hearing humming and the like from tube amps. What do you expect? thats like turning on a chainsaw and saying dang I hate the noise it makes, I mean tubes have a lot of magnetic interference around them and things like the shielding in your house or how close you are with your guitar can affect that. Aside from the noob complaints on that unless you turn the master pass 5 or 6 this thing is pretty seamless especially since its not a household name such as Fender or Mesa. The clean channel is pretty nice I wouldn't say it compared to my Deluxe Reverb, but its great for the amp, but the 2 gains and the high and low inputs for the distortion channel are what really makes this amp, its just fantastic and you can also control feedback really well and volume swells and the like are also fantastic on this amp. I had a choice to choose a busted up Mesa Boogie or this and it was about 300 dollars difference and I chose the B-52 so that should say something, overall good cleans, great distortion, just an all around versatile amp. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Alright, this is the only problem I've found with this amp. As previously stated I had to fix the toggle Switch and I blew the main fuse within the first hour of having it, otherwise it has held up. BUT it is 85 lbs, I used to do gigs and play live but lately I haven't had the time, and I can tell you that if I was bussing this around everywhere I went it wouldn't last a month. Even though it could fill up a bar or club or small gig, I would not advise it I mean its 85 lbs and the parts seem to be fairly fragile stock. The electronics themselves won't break on you but the other parts might, so unless you know what your doing plan to keep it parked in your bedroom or studio because its a pain to lug around and seems too fragile to do so. When I first got it from GC I inspected the tubes and they had all seemed to be replaced fairly recently so they were all good and the reverb tank I pretty much just disconnected because replacing the potentiometer was not a high priority. The inside of this is very complicated, I've taken apart Fenders and Marshalls but this one I barely knew where to start so I'm hoping I won't have to spend a summer to learn the schematics of it. Overall I haven't had anything other than cosmetic problems that have not affected the sound but IMO I would not tour with it, but I would definitely record or just Jam with it. // 5

Overall Impression: This is a good match for what I need right now, just straight versatility because I play such a wide range of music, and it can do them WELL, not GREAT or FANTASTIC, but for the steal that people are selling them for now since they are discontinued you can't beat it and I dare anyone to find an amp that will. Well thats all I have to say about it if you can get it for under 500 I really suggest to do so its Killer and just take care of it! // 8

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