BV120H review by Crate

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.9 (18 votes)
Crate: BV120H

Price paid: $ 220

Purchased from: Some guy

Sound — 9
My main guitar is my Jackson RR3 with 2 humbucker Seymour Duncans in it. I play in an older-style metal band (mainly influenced by "Rust in Piece" (Megadeth), "...And Justice For All" (Metallica), and "Blizzard of Oz" (Ozzy)). She gets loud man. I run it at 8 ohms and 5 over powers my drummer easily. The clean channel may be the best feature of this amp. Upgraded to some JJs in the power/preamp and it gives the cleans some nice bright sounds. Before I ungraded, it was just a hair brittle, but not as bad as people make it out to be. The gain channel has more than enough gain. It has FAT low end, and the mids give it some punch. Be careful with the high end though, it can still get a little too much high. Balance out the presence with the high end before you tweak anything else. 9/10, because of the possibly brittle range of this beast.

Overall Impression — 9
Like I said, I play some older metal, so this amp is right up my alley. If Marty Friedman is willing to put his name on it, then it's more than good enough for me. My other guitar is a cheaper Jackson RR model, but with a few mods. I put a Duncan Invader in the bridge, and it has too much low end, but that's just how I like it. If it was stolen, I'd wouldn't hesitate to go out and buy another, mainly because you can find this head for $200 to $300. I considered going with a Peavey Valveking, but the amount of gain on this one, plus the clean channel, won me over. My favorite feature is definitely the dual reverb channels. I like to use a lot on the clean and a little on the gain. All in all, I would give it a 9/10.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this amp for a few weeks now, and I've had no issues with it. That's that "made in America" amp for you. It weighs around 50 pounds, and the outside casing feels very sturdy and well built. I think I would gig without a backup for this one, not only because I'm lazy about bringing gear to gigs, but because I am very confident that this monster can take some road damage and still perform at 100%. The previous owner said that in the 5 or 6 years he owned the amp, he never had any issues with it. Now, of course someone will say that if they're trying to sell a head (he upgraded to a Marshall TSL something. It sounded great though!), but I believe him. I'll call this one 10/10, but like I said, it's only been a few weeks.

Features — 8
I don't know what year my amp was made, but it's one of the model with the gold Crate logo and blue tolex. The head comes with stock Groove Tubes, 4 qs and 4 12AX7s. It has 2 channel, clean and gain. The clean channel has basic eq with volume, and the gain channel has the same line-up, but with a gain knob (go figure). There are separate reverb knobs for each channel, which I really like, and a presence knob. There is an effects loop in the back with a -12db knob to make switching from the loop volume the same. Switchable from 8 to 16 ohms. I'm giving it an 8/10, because I would like a second presence knob and an resonance knob, but it still has all the features I would need. Also, the back lights in the amp just look awesome. I'll be honest, cosmetics are what originally drew me to this amp.

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