GX30M review by Crate

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  • Sound: 4
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Features: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 6 Neat
  • Users' score: 6.1 (9 votes)
Crate: GX30M
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Purchased from: Local music store

Sound — 4
The guitar I play through this amp is an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, just as it came in the box. I play a lot of different styles of music, but the amp doesn't. It doesn't have much sound variety. The clean channel is good, but distorts horribly if you push the volume past about halfway with reverb on. You have to turn reverb off, or you end up sounding like your amp just took a mud bath. The distortion channel is moderate. You can get a subtle edge or a nice crunch out of it, but it still leaves you looking for a bit more variety. Also, the sound isn't very distinct. It tends to be covered up by other guitar players unless you're playing a unique rhythm.

Overall Impression — 6
I bought this amp so I'd have something to use on the chruch worship team with enough power to be heard, and something better then my old practice amp to play on at home. It's a realatively solid amp, just somewhat disappointing when you push it. I've been playing the amp for about 6 months, and I've been playing guitar for about 2-3 years. I've used the amp for just about every style of music you can play guitar with, and it never quite gets the right sound, but it's not really a disappointment either. It's a decent amp, there's not really anything to hate about it, except maybe the problem of not having the option of reverb on high volumes, but there's not much to love, either. It's got all the features you need, but they don't change the sound quite as much as I'd like. I know my review makes the amp sound bad, but it's really not. It's pretty solid for most things, it just doesn't provide much sound variety, and you can't really put the full 30 watts to use. For small gigs, though, it's pretty decent, and definitely reliable.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's a pretty solid-sounding, dependable amp. It's never broken down on me or had any problems. I've never worried about whether or not it will work right. No need for a backup here. Just make sure you'll be able to get enough volume out of it for the gig. It's definitely reliable, you know what to expect when you plug in. And the lack of sound variety means it's not too hard to find the settings you want, as long as you're not too demanding.

Features — 6
The chorus effects do what they're made to do, nothing more. It can be a little tricky getting the depth and rate to line up, and if they don't, you end up with notes and their flats and sharps being played at the same time, a very bad thing. It works nicely with a low rate though. The Clean channel is definitely the better of the two. Distortion is decent, but if you like a lot of gain, it just sounds muddy. On the distortion channel, it's often better to just overdrive the guitar's EQ and use a lower gain setting. Speaking of the EQ, the trebles are hard to get rid of when you don't want them, and the middles are hard to expose. Playing on an Epiphone Les Paul Special II, I usually turn the treble knob on the guitar down in order to mellow it out a bit.

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