FW120 Review

manufacturer: Crate date: 01/09/2012 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Crate: FW120
Perfect for semi-pro to pro guitarists, the FW120 has 120 watts of power to satisfy even the most volume hungry players on the planet.
 Sound: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.2
 Features: 8.2
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) pictures (1) 34 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
FW120 Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 04, 2008
4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 220

Purchased from: Soundcontrol

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.3
FW120 Reviewed by: MarteeWarree, on february 26, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: I bought this amp about 5 months ago, I'm not sure what year it was made in though. There are three channels, Clean, Overdrive and Hi-Gain. There are also several effects (Reverb, Delay, Phaser, Flanger and Chorus) built into the amp, each of the effects can be applied to each of the channels and turned on and off with the footswitch which is provided with the amp. The amp also comes with a CD input but once again I've never used this so can't really comment. It also comes with a chromatic tuner, which is a little bit slower than the one on my old amp (Crate GLX212) but it is still just as accurate, the only thing is you need to play 12th fret harmonics for it to register your notes, which isn't such a big deal (It kind of sounds nicer when you're tuning with harmonics, lol). I used my amp to practise in my student accommodation and it definately has enough power, I never take it past about 1.5 on the volume knob and it's still crazily loud. // 8

Sound: I'm using a Schecter C-1 Hellraiser with Active EMG 81/85s. I find that the amp is very good for lots of styles of music from metal to soft rock and sounds good for pretty much anything on clean. The amp comes with three different channels, the first is the clean channel which is probably the best sounding of the three as it's so clear. The second is an overdrive which is good for things like punk and some metal, finally the third is a high gain distortion which basically takes your overdrive and boosts it with crazy amounts of gain which is awesome for solos and heavy metal, I usually have the gain on this channel set to about 50% because any higher and you get noise. All I would say is that if you're a fan of high gain istortion you should remember that a noise supressor is your friend. The effects arn't the best quality but if you don't want to spend 50+ on an effect that you're only going to use on one song then these effects are great. The only problem I've had with effects the sound is that the reverb gives out a bit of noise. Also don't turn your volume down too low otherwise you lose all of your tone as the amp seems to start giving out lots of noise instead of your signal, but Who would ever play this amp quietly anyway? :P The amp is great for tapping, pinch harmonics and pretty much everyone other technique you can think of and the distortion can go all the way from soft rock to face melting death metal tones with ease. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I believe I could depend on it, but I haven't had it long enough to say for sure. If it's anything like my Crate GLX212 then this thing will just keep on going and going. So far I haven't had any problems and the amp seems to be built like a brick so I don't see me having any problems in the future. // 9

Overall Impression: I play punk, metal, harcore, hip hop, pop, classical, anything and everything and this amp always provides what I need. The only thing I wish I had asked before buying this amp was how much a noise supressor is, because I would recommend one if you want this amp. If this amp was stolen I probably wouldn't buy it again, but not because it's a bad amp, just because I have my GLX212 which is very similar and I would want to try out something else just to see what it could do. The only thing I would have liked is a headphone jack, but that's my own fault for buying the 120, because the smaller sizes have them. // 8

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overall: 9.8
FW120 Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 10, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 149

Purchased from: GAK Online

Features: Three channels. Clean, nice. Overdrive, good for old fashioned rock songs. High Gain, Perfect for all kinds of modern metal. It comes with a free channel switching pedal which has no delay in switching channels. Effects work aswell as any pedal but I don't use them. It has a built in tuner but everyone tunes by ear anyway. // 9

Sound: I use a Whitestar Les Paul with a Seymour Duncan Blackout in the bridge. I bought this cause I play lots of metal like Bullet and Trivium. The High Gain channel is as good as any tube amp or distortion pedal. If you own a strat copy or even a real strat then theres no point wondering if this will make you sound good cause nothing will, youre using a strat. The High Gain channel has some fuzz but what do you expect from so much gain. For stuff like Led Zepp or Sabbath the overdrive channel Is better. The high gain channel doesn't have to be high gain, if you turn the gain down then you can have two classic rock channels for what ever song. Each channel has its own volume, you can play metal riffs in the high gain then for solos you can switch to the OD with the volume turned higher so the solo can be heard over the other instruments. This is very usefull at gigs. The effects are stored by selecting a channel dialing in the effects and switching channel again, when you go back to the previous channel it remembers what effects you put in. Theres also the same feature with the third button on the footswitch so each channel can have 2 stored effects or each channel can be clean and have effects. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Its a gig amp, if you buy it for bedroom use your probly not gonna have the volume past one. It's loud enough for most gigs but a nice feature is that if someone leaves a cab on stage you can connect the amp to it using a normal guitar lead, the inner speakers stay active. The foot pedal seem pretty durable and has no delay between switching channels. // 10

Overall Impression: Epic. Atleast 300-400 worth of gear. I can't believe everyone doesn't already own one of these. I hope if you reading this youve bought one of those terrible fx marshalls for four times the price, shame on you. If anything happened to it an I didn't have any money I'd buy it again. I'd only buy a different amp if it was a Mesa Boogie. It looks quite pretty aswell, it has some silver on the front and the net over the speakers reminds me of tube amps from the 70's. There is no amp under 1000 I'd recommend over this. Plus theres no need to buy distortion pedals which don't sound as good at high volumes anyway. The only thing thats missing is a Wah or Whammy but there for Hendrix wannabees anyway. // 10

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overall: 7.8
FW120 Reviewed by: PS1984, on january 06, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 298

Purchased from: Local Dealer

Features: I have this amp for 2 years now. I bought for his amazing sound and very low price. I can play with this classic rock, hard rock, heavy rock a metal. This amp have three channels - Clean, Overdrive and High Gain. There are reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser and delay effects. There is CD input too. Amp have footswitch too. I use this amp with my band and home practice. With band I use it with half volume. Everyone heard me crystal clear. // 8

Sound: I use Fender Stratocaster from mexiko with Humbucker on bridge position.And I have Boss DS-1 Distortion sometimes plugged in. I think that overdrive and high gain channels are quite good, but I think they don't have enough sustain for me. Its good to try the factory presets. I can play with this songs from Deep Purple, Rainbow, Metallica... Clean channel is quite good but when I use reverb on 4th line on knob it started to weird sounds like some kind of modulaton. It is same when I use Chorus. These effect - in fact are very poor. Maybe delay is good. I think the best way to have good reverb and other effect is buy pedals and have pedal chain. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I think the chasi is good. I have on bottom side wheels so it very good when you tranporting the amp.I don't like tahat back side of amp is open. I have problem with footswitch cables. They broke somewhere in middle of cable. They are very thin. In store they dont wont replace it. So I decide to to buy another - classic guitar cables but stereo. // 8

Overall Impression: I play Deep Purple, Rainbow, Edguy.. Songs. There is always way to set the amp very close to this bands and sound of their guitarists. I play 7 years now. I have Fender stratocaster Mexico with Humbucker on bridge position. Boss DS1. I think I would buy another because of price. That was the first which impress me. The sound was second. I never heard before any amp with that good sound when it cost almost 300 . The one problem for me are effect. For me they are unusedd.Phaser and flanger? Sometimes I don't know which one is which becouse they are very similar.But when you have pedals(something from Boss) you will know which one is which. // 8

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overall: 8.3
FW120 Reviewed by: RealGuitarHero, on january 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Some Junky

Features: From what I know this amp was made around 2007. It's a nice solid state combo and for the price I'm pretty satisfied. Not sure if I would have wanted to pay the asking price of 400 though. It has three channels, clean, overdrive, and hi gain. There are onboard effects that I never used because I didn't find them too glamourous. On the top of the amp there is a tuner but it doesn't really work. This amp also has an external speaker if you ever would need more than the two speakers inside it's cab. There's an auxiliary jack which could be handy if you wanted to play along to songs. If anything this amp is a good pedal slave for a multi effects pedal. // 7

Sound: The two guitars I used with it were an Epiphone Les Paul Standard and a Fender Baja Telecaster with a Seymour Duncan HOT Rail in it. Never really tried it with a guitar that has single coils but the sounds I got out of this amp were by no means terrible. The clean channel isn't as sterile as some of the other solid state's I've played. It's usable to say the least. The overdrive channel isn't too bad either, but also not that phenomenal. The hi gain channel is absolute rubbish. There was never much hiss on the clean channel but the other channels did have a noise problem. Like I said, I never used the effects. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I used to lug this amp back and forth to band practice once a week and never had a problem with it. If this amp has one thing going for it, the reliability I had over the two years I owned it would be it. One time it fell down two flights of stairs and made it out in one piece. I was pretty impressed by that. Not once did it stop working or break down. // 10

Overall Impression: I play man varieties of rock music spanning from blues to metal, this amp did what I wanted it too, but as I've said I mainly used it running a multi effects through it. I got the amp for a steal at 100 because I needed a bigger amp that was gig worthy on a budget. It suited me well for two years. I wouldn't buy another one if it was stolen however. When I bought it amps like Blackstar, Bugera and Jet City weren't around so it was probably my best choice at the time. I feel like the tuner feature should be removed and maybe replaced with an onboard noise gate. Overall it wasn't a bad practice/amateur gigging amp. // 8

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