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.