Price paid: $ 494.1
Purchased from: Mansons Guitars
Sound — 8
I use the amp with an Epiphone G-400 and a variety of single effects units. Overall, the amp retains a decent sound, even with the effects units. The distortion channels are 'unique'. You either love them or hate them. The shape control allows you to variate the distortion of one channel from lighter, melodic distortion to the more extreme SOAD styles. The clean channel is excellent. The G-400 is not the most versatile guitar, yet running this straight into the amp still provides a warm sound. The reverb is brilliant, you can variate this hugely with just the single 'level' control. This amp is exceptional on stage, competing with far more powerful amps. I also run the amp through Twin 12inch speakers i built together which is great. To provide an even warmer sound, I take advantage of the effects loop rather than 'daisy-chaining'. This boosts the input signal significantly. I then run the guitar through a 4 channel mixer (very cheap) to boost the signal even more. On stage, this sounds wonderful, especially with any effects you are using. My advice would be to buy a decent distortion unit as this is far better than the distortion on the amp.
Overall Impression — 10
The only real flaw of the amp is the odd distortion, but this easily rectified with a distortion pedal. The shape can also help to make it better so don't get disheartened. Its not overly expensive either, so its a good buy. Ive been playing for around six years and have played many styles, such as slipknot, korn and have matured towards Blink 182, Millencolin, Incubus etc. The amp suits all styles well, and the tone can be perfected with an equalizer. I use a home-built 12 band equalizer that is awesome. If it were stolen, I would go for a hybrid valve/transistor amp, purely for the brilliant tone they offer. Dont get me wrong, the Crate GX65 is outstanding, with power, clean tone, adequate distortion and great reverb for a cheap price. This ideally suits intermediate guitarists looking to get something with more grunt than a 10-30 watt practice combo.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This amp is very reliable. That being said, you have to turn the amp up a fair way to hear the clarity of the sound properly. This, of course, will annoy your neighbours or parents and the volume controls are also very sensitive. This is the other reason i run my guitar through a mixer, because the volume on this is far more stable.The amp is heavy, even with an open back. But its very strong. It fell through weak floor-boards in my room and the only thing that broke was the reverb unit coz the cables were removed. Try to keep the amp covered if possible, because dust can get in very easily.
Features — 10
Solid state 65watt amp. Features include: 1 input, 1 insert for effects loop, 1 ext. Speaker socket with 4ohm minimum impedance. The amp has a clean channel along with 2 distortion channels and reverb. The clean channel can be adjusted using bass, mid and treble controls whereas the distortion uses gain, bass and high. One distortion channel also benefits from a 'shape' control. A footswitch controls the channels and reverb very easily.