FW120HS Review

manufacturer: Crate date: 11/25/2009 category: Guitar Amplifiers
Crate: FW120HS
A great half stack from Crate! Features a FlexWave 120H Guitar Head plus G412A Slanted Guitar Cabinet.
 Sound: 7.7
 Overall Impression: 8.7
 Reliability & Durability: 9.3
 Features: 7.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (3) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
FW120HS Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 15, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 258

Purchased from: Reverb

Features: Crate 2008 120w Half Stack. Great amp for studio or home use, I play rock, Indie and metal and with my Boss MT-2 pedal it sounds like a Marshall kk2203. 3 channel: Clean, overdrive and high gain with 3 button footswitch. Reverb, echo and phaser effects but no headphone jack which is probably a good thing or I'd be deaf. I wish it had a decent distortion channel so I didn't have to lug all my pedals around with me but it has enough power for me. // 9

Sound: I usually use this amp with my Ibanez RG370DX (kick ass guitar!) and it crunches it's way through metal classics and rock. At high volumes the high gain channel get a bit of feed back which can bite but apart from that it's quite good. To be honest the distortion or high gain channel is quite weak so I use my Boss pedal on the clean or overdrive channel to make up for it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I would gig this amp without a backup as it has never let me down before at home or at the studio. The amp has never broken down throughout my ownership of it and as I purchased it new, it has always worked. I have read many reviews of the particular amp in this half stack set-up and I have never read anywhere that one has broken down or blown up or anything out of the ordinary. Crate have a fantastic warranty on these amps as well, their 5/2 warranty gives 5 years warranty on speakers and 2 years warranty on wiring. It might be the other way round but I cannot find the Labels that came with it. // 10

Overall Impression: I play lots of different music, I play RHCP, Green Day, Metallica, Black Sabbath, The Killers and much more and the Crate performs amazingly everytime I use it. I have been playing guitar for about 5 1/2 years and bass for around 6 months. I have a couple of replica strats, a replica explorer, an Ibanez RG370DX and an Acoustic guitar plus a Squier affinity series J-Bass and a Yamaha RBX375 5-string bass. I Play these through: Guitar: either a Line 6 Spider III 15 watt, My Crate FW120 HS or a Marshall MS-4 mini stack. Bass: Fender Rumble 15 watt If it were stolen I would consider buying another but I might upgrade to a Marshall JVM410 HS or a Marshall KK2203 HS. If there was something I wished I had asked before buying it, it would be "Dad can I borrow some money to get the other cabinet?". That is the only thing it lacks in my opinion, the full stack, powerful look. I ultimately chose the Crate because it was the best amp I could afford at the time and because it was the only half stach within my price range. I wish it had a gutsy distortion channel like some of the older Crate half stacks I have used but only a bad workman blames his tools! // 10

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overall: 8.3
FW120HS Reviewed by: Wasted Guardian, on july 28, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: The amp just came out when I bought it so I think it's a 2007. It has three channels, clean, overdrive, and high gain. I have this amp along with the cabinet in my room. It is stereo. 120 Watt. With delay, mods (chorus, flanger, and phaser) and reverb. One thing that could really bug you, or help you, is the channel tracking. It keeps your settings (chorus, flanger, and phaser) on that channel. So when you change channels the settings arn't there untill you set them again, but once you change back to the first channel it is the same settings on it when you put them in the first time, confusing to describe. // 8

Sound: The clean channel is very clear and warm sounding for the price. The overdrive is pretty weak. It would be pretty good for southern rock. The high gain channel is ok. I wouldn't use it for a gig because I can never find the right sound with it but it's great for just noodleing around. A lot of noise useing the high gain channel. What I do is just have a distortion pedal in my setup and it sound amazing. // 7

Reliability & Durability: This thing is suprisingly very very tough. I had it at my school and one my the teachers droped it from on top of it's cabinet and I didn't even see a scrach, let alone any internal damage, lucky for her. I would recommend this as a gig backup if you were useing cheep eqiupment, but I'd use something with more sound. // 10

Overall Impression: I play anything from blues to death metal, I believe this amp is great for just about any type of music. The only thing that I don't like about it is the distortion. I use a pedal and it sounds like a $1200 amp. I've use those Line 6 HD150 amps and wow I like mine a lot better. Line 6's set up is way too complicated and the sound is way too digital for my taste. Besides, the Crate 120HS is cheeper. Overall, I think this amp is amazing for people that are just starting out on guitar. Great price, pretty good sound, amazing reliability. // 8

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overall: 7.3
FW120HS Reviewed by: Pantallicdeth, on november 25, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Purchased from: Music 123

Features: This review is for the 2007 model flexwave head. I have a cabinet with celestion seventy80s instead of the stock cab, a massive improvement. This amp is "three channel" amp. As for channel one, it consists of a vol, low, mid, hi knobs, channel two is basically the same, but "channel three" add only gain and scoop knobs using the eq from channel two. This is unfortunate, as it is unlikely that that you would want the eq set the same for both overdrive channels. Effects and reverb knobs are present also but sound very similar to the effects put in other solid state amps. Effects are remembered as you change channels, which is nice but it can be a pain when you want to change effects quickly. An effects loop is also available, but you must purchase a cable from Crate to take advantage of it. // 6

Sound: This amp has a lot of gain on channel three, depending on how you set the ch2 eq and scoop, you could get from an eighties Metallica to a modern metalcore tone. That being said there isnt a whole lot of clarity, players into technical metal will quickly notice their notes blur together. At higher volumes (4-6) this clears up just a little but begins to feed back. Channel 2 is the most useless, it tries to imitate a medium overdrive sound, but is very thin. Luckily though, there is clarity and no feed back. This channel would provide an acceptable zeppelin, sabbath, or pop/punk sound. The clean channel is one of the best you will find on a solid state amp, if you leave the eq settings fairly low. Turn them up and it can get shrill or boomy. It sounds good at any volume and never overdrives no matter what pickups you have in your guitar. This amp is plenty loud, and you should never need it turn it past 7, 5 if you are miking it like most venues do these days. // 7

Reliability & Durability: The head itself is a workhorse. Since I bought it, it has seen several shows, hundreds of practices, tons of time in the back of a pick-up, and several drops; always coming out beautifully. That cannot be said about the foot switch. That's junk. The plastic nuts holding the inputs in stripped within six months, less than four months later, the wires connected to the inputs jacks came apart. This would be a simple soldering job, except that you can't reach it with a gun or a wand, so I still play with no foot switch( I left my band for college, otherwise it would be a bigger deal). So my only complaint with the durability is the cheap plastic knobs and nuts. // 8

Overall Impression: If you are in the market for a big solid state amp, this is my suggestion. It can cover all styles of music quite adequately, and will provide much more gain than any other popular solid state model. But take it as it is, this is a 300dollar amp, anyone expecting a mesa or a Bogner will be severely disappointed. I would not try to reacquire this amp if lost, Bugera would probably be my next step, possibly a tube Peavey. // 8

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