GX212 review by Crate

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7.6 (22 votes)
Crate: GX212

Price paid: $ 400

Purchased from: Music Go Round

Sound — 8
I play a lot of progressive rock, metal, and rock, dabble around with some blues. But my only guitar is geared for the latter. An Ibanez 320DX with a Floyd Rose trem, and after market Duncan Invader in the bridge and DiMarzio Evolution in the neck. This amp is great for playing my style, also I don't get some of the chuggy brutal breath from this thing that I get from my Randall. But it would be all you could ask for in a rock and jazz amp. And the unfortunate side effect of plugging in effects and distortion into the face of the amp means that it has a bit of a hiss to it. But it's a relatively quiet hiss. The clean channel has way too much bass, but It could be my pickups. The speakers distort and clean channel must be kept at low levels, doesn't produce a very warm clean sound.

Overall Impression — 9
Going into my 8th or 9th year of playing. I wouldn't buy this amp again, not for the level I'm at now, I have a real desire to cultivate a unique sound, for which I need a more flexible rig. This is a great amp for an aspiring guitarist to feel out and develop technique.

Reliability & Durability — 8
You can count on this thing for home, or jamming with friends, but unless it was mic'd it would be blown away by other amps on stage at a live gig. It hasn't given out on me this far though in the last 6 or 7 years, but I've only cranked it a handful of times, played it real loud at jams 15% of the time and 85% of the time just keep it on 2-3 at home practicing 1-2hrs a day. The only real beef I have about this amp is the shotty upholstery job, near the edges of the vynil/canvas cover encasing the boards of the gig box it is peeling back, and just the adhesive all around has lost its grip and leaves the skin bubbly and pocketed. I re-upholstered mine about 2 years ago, by peeling back the original skin and reapplying spray adhesive.

Features — 6
My model was built 6 or 7 years ago before Crate got a face lift with the logo they have today. It has two gain channels which I would describe as modern and Vintage. These channels are crunchy but muddy, and the gain channels have only a two band EQ (although it also includes a "shape dial"), and for me, playing progressive rock and metal, it wasn't clear enough to accentuate notes. I use the clean channel most often, which includes 3 band EQ, with my own effects and distortion plugged into the face, as there are no effects loop jacks. There is a foot switch for the amp but only one pre-selected gain channel is accessible remotely. There is also a reverb Switch. The face also includes a jack for external speakers, I plugged this into a 2x12 Mesa Cab one time and fell in love with the tone even this amp produced through that set. Growing up and learning, and even with my desire to play more aggressive styles, this amp was rather adequate for practicing and small jam sessions with friends. It even includes a headphone jack for late night riffing when I lived at home with my parents. But even with 120watts solid state power, the challenge of a friends small tube amplifier was blowing me away. When jamming I often had troubles with feedback, even with reverb and gain throttled down real low. Which is why I am parting with this amp that got me jump start toward my love of the guitar.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Just bought this for 20 UK pounds which is about $30. Wont be gigging with it but a bloody good house amp. Bloody loud though.
    Paid 200 Canadian for mine. Great amp for the price doesn't compare to my peavey classic chorus 212. But it is a hell of a lot lighter to carry. Good clean sound running an old Roland gp8 through the clean channel. the stock distortion is garbage to moderate at best. The clean channel makes up for it though. Warm tones can be brought to life though this amp via pre amp eq. Cant beat the price, and you sure as hell can't kill it,I have tried. By the way if you get one without a foot switch don't worry, it sucks ass anyway,its plastic and never works properly. Get some pedals you prefer,use the clean channel,and your rockin.
    it is a good amp for the price. Though i didn't like the distortion (to much fuzz) and i couldn't get a good clear natural sound but that's just me
    Way Cool JR.
    spoonman_aic wrote: it is a good amp for the price. Though i didn't like the distortion (to much fuzz) and i couldn't get a good clear natural sound but that's just me
    Though the distortion isn't real great the clear tones that crate makes are heavenly i never heard an amp that has such great clear tones.there must be something you don't have setup right for the clear tone.