FW120 review by Crate

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.8 (25 votes)
Crate: FW120

Price paid: £ 220

Purchased from: Soundcontrol

Sound — 10
I have a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser with (EMG 81/85). It sounds good for Metallica with scooped mids and the shape control dialled up and plenty of gain, I also play a lot of A7X and it suits fine with gain at about 1 o'clock shape about 7/8 and the EQ bass 3 o'clock, mid's 1 o'clock, and treble at 2/3 o'clock sometimes higher depending on what songs. My band are metal-core and this is perfect for it. It is a low noise amp and doesn't get much even at high levels, I think some of this is due to my pickups. The distortion is great I love it for a non-tube amp this is amazing.

Overall Impression — 9
I can't fault this amp, I wanted a loud amp with good distortion for a low price and that's what I got. It's not tube, but not everyone has that sort of money when they're 16, this was my perfect match although I'm now saving up for a half stack because I have a bit more money. If it was stolen I'd be really pissed off because I don't have the money for a new one and would have to use the shit amps provided at rehearsal but if I did have the money I'd save 80 more and get the half stack version. The highgain channel is great and doesn't sound digital try it out if you're looking for an amp in this price range it's deffinately worth it.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I use this amp for rehearsal, throw it in the back of the car, lug it up some steps and wheel it down to the actual room (with included casters (Y)), it's not broke and I've rehearsed a lot so I'd say it's reliable. I've never gigged with it but I'd trust it.

Features — 9
This is a solid state, combo 212 setup with Crate speakers (I was wary at first but they're fine and don't break up at cranked volumes)and it's 120 watts, it's very loud (I played this in my friends nan's she'd at 8 on the level and the tools were shaking off the shelves XD. I'm not completely sure when this amp was developed although it's definately a new series last couple of years I think. It has three channels (clean, overdrive, high gain) the clean has a really warm sound to it definately nicer than Marshall's MG series this has a three band EQ, the overdrive channel I rarely use, but it's good for playing the lighter rock and general rock etc ( sorry for being vague here ), finally the high gain channel, it has a three band EQ which it shares with the overdrive channel but an added gain control, level and shape control (which is mid frequency). I successfully get metal, metal-core, hard-core, thrash metal and heavy rock sounds from this. It also has an FX section with reverb knob, a chorus, phaser and flanger on one knob and finally a delay knob with slap to long options. I use a little amount of reverb ocassionally and use the other effects such as chorus on cleans some times, they're ok for built in effects but do produce a little noise and if you want in depth controllability of the effects then this isn't great. It has a footswitch for changing channels and turning on the FX it's very grippy on the bottom and is a full metal contruction, there are also some little velcro straps in the back of the amp so you can strap it in when carrying or transporting. Obviously from what I just said this is an open back amp.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    idk about amazing i also have the halfstack lol we should start a club i bought the sonic stomp and now it sounds great...well better lol and as far as
    FNGuitarGod wrote: well my buddy has the half-stack version of this 120 watter and its not loud at all. it sounds good but lacks in volume for our live performances.
    any decent venue would mic ur stuff unless u mean like house parties an stuff like that...in that case id suggest the sonic stomp
    I own the 65 watt version of this amp and its pretty good i use it to practice with, nothing compared to my Bugera 333 120 watt tube amp but the 65 watt is pretty decent for a good practice or small gig.
    I have a 30 watt Crate Tube combo made in USA, Its basically a marshall in disguise if anything, only fatter sounding, I use an MXR Overdrive with the overdrive channel, and its the perfect tone for me for anything, I dont like lots of different tones, I like having one perfect one, I wouldnt trade mine for anything else, ever, If I need somthing bigger I'll get a DSL halfstack, but if I can I'd still use the combo and just mic it, I cant find anything that sounds this good. Anyways, I had GTX212 before, its one of the best solid state amps out there, I dont use a clean channel, I just use overdrive and play with the volume knob to get a clean sound, much easier for me as I hate channel pedals and such. The high gain channel on this amp is really crazy though, you dont need any pedals for distortion, the downside is, there isnt a ton of sustain, and the tone is a bit brital, Some people prefer this, I prefer a fat warm super bassy tone that only tubes can give, but this did the job for me for a while.
    I have the crate GT212 120 watt combo and it is plenty loud... idk how a 120watt halfstack by the same people isn't loud...
    I own the 65W model and I would say it is a nice amp, although the drive channels are not as good as you might want. The drive itself is nice and natural, but there is some ugly high frequency fuzz which i don't like much. I use Tech 21's SansAmp through the clean channel though and I can say this amp can produce some killer sounds.
    i have the half stack too and honestly its not that loud. but it sounds amazing
    FNGuitarGod wrote: well my buddy has the half-stack version of this 120 watter and its not loud at all. it sounds good but lacks in volume for our live performances.
    Damn what size gigs do you play at? 2,000 people?
    well my buddy has the half-stack version of this 120 watter and its not loud at all. it sounds good but lacks in volume for our live performances.
    my guitar player has the 60 watt version and i gotta say it's not a terrible amp. as far as heavey sounds, play with the eq a bit. all in all, a pretty good buy and worth every penny.
    and what is she'd?
    she'd is a typeo he was tryin to say shed as in a little building you store tools in lol
    2/3 o clock is the position of the knob so probably about like 7ish. I have no clue what she'd is. I just got an all tube traynor ycv 40 and I have to say it kicks ass. I tried some solid state amps at the store and this one blew it away in volume and tone. The only thing it lacks is lots of heavy distortion so I think I'm gonna have to buy a pedal. This crate might have beat mine because he says its friggen loud and lots of distortion but at the store I was at they didn't sell any crates so I wouldn't know
    justinrobbins7 wrote: and so the SS/Tube debate begins
    yup and the crate sux one too
    If you play with the mid and the low you can get alot of distortion out of it and my half stacks isnt that loud, but mic it and itll get the job done