GTX212 review by Crate

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 4
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 5.5 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.9 (20 votes)
Crate: GTX212

Price paid: $ 394.21

Sound — 6
The clean is a bit bland, but if you turn it up hard it sounds alright, it's just flat, not very dynamic. But that's solid state. You see the breakup of the clean channel is what makes a Tube ampe great, with the flexwave preamp they have made this semi achievable. But the clean channel doesnt't let you do it as good. The rythem channel is nice, but there's a trick to making it feel like a tube amp. Turn the Gain to 0 then turn the volume to say 5 or 6 depending on where your playing, then slowly give it gain, it will abruptly give you volume, and a hint of breakup, if you turn up the gain more, more volume. But the gain is fairly low, which is nice for classic rock. The last channel is pretty much your Lee Jackson Metaltronix thing, only a bit buzzy and not as smooth as it should be. It is obvious where the distortion is trying to go, but it can get very razor sounding if you crank the gain up to 5. I was into that sound for a long time, but now I am more of a Wylde fan, so that's why I am trading this amp in for a Crate V30. The Crate V30 suits my tastes just a bit more than this amp. Although I loved this amp and have had it for a little over 3 years.

Overall Impression — 6
Though I liked it, It was very light for a 2x12, It just doesnt't have the smoothness of tube breakup. Though, It has by far the best sound and the closest to Tube tone I have heard from a solid state amp. This actually beats the Marshall JCM 2000, no lie. The DSL 401 is garbage compared to this, Even though DSL 401 = tube, it still is more brittle and buzzy than This Crate GTX 212. For the money I am still concidering keeping this amp and using it as a powered moniter. But like I said, I need it fixed so that I can just plug in the power and turn it on and be setup straight to a clean channel, or else it will be useless as a moniter if it's stuck on the solo channel. All in all, if you play metal, and you need a nice thick tone for lead and rythem, this amp is great. The clean channel takes effects fairly well too. And the 2 12's are very bassy for 65 watts each, Like most crates, they put out Bass. I think this is somthing Crate should be known for, is producing a smooth clean tight bass, with a searing midrange that is by no means thin. Crate makes the voicings of their amps nice and fat, that's why I want to stick with Crate for a long time. I have played a lot of other amps. I must say sure some kick this one's butt, but it's a solid state, There should be a lot more than kick this one's butt, but not many. As for Crate in general. The V30 beats up pretty much everything else. it's on par with Orange and boutique. Seeing as the V30 is HandWired in the USA, you can't complain about that, Sure it's nothing compared to Japanese built, but USA built is better than Machine built in Indonesia.

Reliability & Durability — 4
I played the hell out of this amp for a long time with no backups. The only problem I ever had was the one that lasted ever since I owned the amp and now probably even after I trade it in for the V30. The channels switching onboard the amp are not getting back to the clean channel. I can use the footswitch for full channel switching just fine, but I hate the two cables for the footswitch because they go dead really often because their so crappy. Plus I don't like using footswitches. So I couldnt use the amp straight as is, and I didn't want to use the footswitch, and I found the amp wasn't exactly as smooth as I wanted, so it's going, and Crate V30 deffinately more than makes up for this from Crate. Their Class A tube amps are Amazing. It is deffinately on par with Orange. And beats the hell out of any Marshall JCM2000.

Features — 6
3 channels. Effects loop, but it's a stereo effects loop so you need a Y splitter, once you get that it works just fine though. Onboard DSP Effects, (which are useless) Reverb (sounds heavenly) and a footswitch for the DSP channel, and full assigning of reverb and Effects per two DSP channels. The way this works is if you hit the DSP button it gives you the effects and reverb that you have previously saved to the amp's memory. You can assign effects and reverb to both the On and Off position of the DSP. Therefor you have two channels of effects. I set it up so that DSP Off = Dry and DSP on = Some reverb. That's all I ever used, and I played with the octave divider a few times, but nothing serious.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i like my crate gtz212. its a nice amp. its loud. i gigged it and its good. i use it for heavy stuff mainly, metal through the solo channel. finding your sound takes a while though - but this baby delivers awesome distortion. its sturdy, knock it all over the place, nothing ever wrong. people who say crate suck normally haven't even tried a crate, they just heard marshall are the best. not for metal sounds my friend - see how many metal bands use marshall.
    My crate gtx combo has never had a problem before. i love the tone i get with it and i do hear marshal is better but agreeing with megadeththdeflying no big metal bands ever use marshal.
    Goblumich07 wrote: danielrobbyshor wrote: crate suck i disagree. Crate are extremely powerful and versatile. Their flexwave system provides one of the best sounds from a clean channel out there. Sure, it's not a Marshall, but that's why it costs half as much. Imo, best bang for the buck available in the amp market
    I'm with you dude. I guess all the "crate sucks" crowd has $3000 laying around for Marshalls and Mesas. Here's the deal. Is a crate solid state amp as good as a marshall half-stack tube amp? Of course not. Can you get a quality sound out of the $250 Crate? Yes, you can. Comparing the Crate to a high-end Marshall is idiotic. Now if you want to compare apples to apples then compare Crate to Marshall's MG line. Guess what? Crate blows the MG Marshalls away! The MG's are one of the worst series of solid state amps I've ever heard. Crate's flexwave system is one of the best tube-emulating solid-state systems out there. It's better than Marshall's MG, It's better than Fender's Frontman series, and it's better than Peavey's transtube series. Bottom line, if inexpensive solid state amps are what you can afford then you can do no better than Crate flexwave models.
    Marshalls are overrated..... I'm just sayin. Ive never played one i liked and everyone talks about how amazing they are. Ive had this amp for 2 years, and it is good for anything i play. (mostly Metal) i also use the clean channel a good bit. I don't use the effects, simply because i never need them, but the gain is great, and so is the clean channel. The only bad thing is the foot switch broke, but i don't think they make a decent foot switch. My friend bought a Hughes and Kettner and his switch broke. but i mean whatever.
    i dont know what you guys are thinkin about crate solid amps sucking. its takes a couple of hours to get just the right sound. and if your to stupid to do that you shouldnt play guitar. crate is awesome ive had this amp for about a year and its still workin fine. i have dialed in sound thats compared to mesas and marshalls.
    Hi All, I have played electric guitar since I was 9 years old. I am now 51. I had a brand new Marshall stack I bought in 1973. Yeah it was a good amp, if I still had it today it would be worth a lot. Please realize back then all Marshalls were hand point to point wired. To buy one made like that today costs in the $3,000 range and I'd bet it still wouldn't compete. I have Always been a big tube amp fan. I have owned Marshall, Sunn, Traynor, Silvertone, Mesa, too many to name. I am sorry to admit that I currently own a Mesa Dual Rectifier, it's not that I'm sorry to own it, it's just I know this post is directed at low cost solid state amps. I Must state however, This is the Best Tube Amp I Have Ever Owned, I simply love it. Just tonight I emailed a guy about a Crate of the same variety that is being dicussed here. The reason being I need a little amp that I can play upstairs on my main floor in order to be able to help my daughter learn some stuff on guitar. We only have one small amp up here currently and as we all know--two guitars into one amp doesn't happen. My big amps are in the basement and that's where they are played, unless they go out of the house. I gotta say I have heard some Crate amps that cost dirt that I was quite impressed with the sound of. I am just looking to buy something right in that realm that takes care of my needs on my main floor and I am sure I would be more than happy with this amp. What thoroghly gripes my ass if the fact that Marshall has reached an all time low as far as suddenly producing an amplifier for every possible need including little 8 and 6 inch speaker 5 watt solid state amps in order to keep current with every dollar they can possibly dig out of whatever cunsumer base exists. Marshall has gone from a very specific hand wired amp company that produced only fine stuff into a company that will produce any and every kind of peice of shit amp that absolutely anyone in any situation can and will buy just because they have developed an big name through the years. A name that James Marshall certainly deserved considering all the fantastic amps he produced through the years. I get sick when I see all these High-End Manufactures catering to any given market they can get their measly goods into just in order to further their profits any way they can. Practically everones doing it and it makes me want to puke. So Far I haven't seen Mese on "that" bandwagon I am happy to say. There seem to be yet a few holdouts. When I grew up (back when Hendrix was alive) when Led Zeppelin put out there debut album, when Jeff Beck was hotter than hell (he still is), Johnny Winter was also hot poop (he is, but he has declined most unfortunately in recent years). Back when the band Cream was a thing (that was Before Eric Clapton Forgot how to play the guitar, even though he will Never admit it--for Proof, just listen to what he did back then and compare it to the lame stuff he has done ever since!!!). Actually I always say that Eric Clapton is totally responsible with some help from Jimi for teaching me how to play the guitar. All I did in my early years was listen to all of this stuff and replicate it, over and over. Learning to play chords was a Big help. Currently I can pretty much wipe up the floor with most guitarists in my area even though the musician pool here for the size of town I live in seriously sucks. Anyway I Had to Vent, Sorry. Jim
    Furthermore, need a great point-to-point amp that doesn't cost a fortune??? Believe me, I am Not on commission here, I am just promoting the fact that Nik, the owner of this operation located in the largest part of Malaysia is a gem of a guy and can be completely trusted. They offer a vast array of hand wired amps for a fraction of the cost you'd pay here and just look all over utube etc. and find out this is absolutely for real! Awesome stuff at a budget price. Only cation, is that production is always somewhat backlogged so don't expect immediate arrival. It only takes them one day to build and pack up an amp head--But, there is generally a 30 day wait due to prior orders. Shipping is expensive but My amps arrived in 3 days from half way around the world!!!Tell Nik, Jim Tharp sent you! He is a great guy.
    there is nothing wrong with the 212gtx i have owned one for years now i have found many other amps that cost more and the sound quality doesnt compare to the 212gtx!there a great amp if you know how to set them up properly for what ever type of music you play!i used mine for playing metal and it took me a while to get used of it and trying out differant settings to get the perfect sound!