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.