Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
I was looking for an amp that would give me a sweet lead tone for shred solos, with plenty of sustain and warmth. I also wanted something with chunky distortion. I didn't care if what brand it was or if it was tube or nothing. I couldn't take anyones word because most people just follow trends. I'm not a fan of Marshalls, I like Fenders but they are not for my type of music. I tried the Valveking, but it soudned pretty weak to me. I went to Guitar Center and told the guy exactly what I was looking for. Lucky for me, he was a complete shred-head, and the first amp he showed me was a Crate RFX120 which ran for about 400USD, and I told him my limit was about 700 USD. I plugged in and started wailing away. I loved the sound- it was the sound I had been looking for for so long! The Clean channel is your average clean, sounds good with single-coils especially (I use Fender Aerodyne strat w/ Hot Rails on bridge, so I use neck p/up for sparkly cleans). The rhythm channel I don't use to much, is mostly for more classic rock, nice and chunky. With gain all the way up it has a sound comparable to Kil Em All Metallica. The solo channel is what sold me, tho. Loads of sustain, tons of gain and a nice shape contouring knob to get all kinds of heavy sounds. Nice chunk for riffing, incredibly heavy with gain only half way. The amp is pretty loud as well, at about 1/4 volume it's too loud to pactice with, haven't played with a band yet tho, so we'll see. There is a bit of buzz when you play with higher gain and volume, but that's to be expected with SS amps I guess. The amp sounds great in auditorium-like locations, but even cramped into the closet of my tiny dorm room it sounds good. I'm very impressed so far.
Overall Impression — 9
So far, I like this amp a lot. It suits my needs very well Megadeth, Satriani, Vai, random shred, etc. I have been playing for almost three years now, and I use a Fender strat (hotrails) with crappy cables and rusty old strings, it still sounds great! I have heard many bad things about Crate amps, but give this one a listen! I base my judgement on sound alone, and this amp blows away ony of the big name brands, especially for the price. If it were lost or stolen I would be totally pissed off, but that's mostly because I'm a cheap Jew and anything worth that much money would piss me off if lost or stolen. After a while I would probably buy another. My only gripe again is the lack of footswitchable effects/reverb. But I guess that's what pedals are for.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't had it for long (about one month as of this writing) so I can't say yet. I also haven't gigged with it yet.
Features — 8
The Crate RFX65 combo amp has full 3-channel operation with independent gain, level, and tone-shaping circuits plus a versatile DSP effects section that gives you lots of sonic options. The effects section on the RFX65 combo includes Chorus, Flange, Phase Shift, Vibrato, Octave Down, Touch-Wah, and Reverse Wah, and also has 15 delays that can be set for depth and speed. The Save/Tap button serves as a tap tempo input and lets you save your effects customizations on each channel. Reverb is separately assignable and has settings to control room size and reverb amount simultaneously. Crate includes a chromatic tuner and 3-button footswitch with the RFX65 Combo Amp.Crate RFX series amps are all about smooth, classic tone and looks, skillfully mated with modern DSP effects for combos that deliver the sonic goods!