V18-212 review by Crate

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (22 votes)
Crate: V18-212
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Price paid: $ 199

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Sound — 9
I use a Ibanez ART100, SZ320, and RG3EX1 with this amp (all passive pickups). I play rock and metal, and this amp works well for clean and slightly overdriven music, but I use a stompbox to get into the metal. Distortion is the only thing that this amp is lacking in my opinion. The cleans are crystal clear, even at high volumes. The only time I would call this amp noisy, is with the gain cranked to 10. Just a little too muddy and inarticulate for my tastes.

Overall Impression — 10
As I said above, I play rock and metal. This amp works well for the most part, but if you play metal I would not buy this amp unless you have/plan to buy a nice stompbox. I have been playing guitar for 4 years now and this was my first tube amp. I also own a Marshall MG100HDFX and a Peavey Windsor half stack. If this amp were stolen, I would definitely buy another one, especially for $199. The only complaints I have about this amp I already mentioned: it could use better distortion, another channel, and an effects loop. But for $199, I'm not complaining one bit!

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definitely depend on this amp. I would use this on a gig without a backup. there's a video on YouTube of a guy throwing this amp around, and then plugging right into it and playing. Amp has yet to break down on me (knock on wood), and I've had it for almost a year now. The construction of the amp seems to be very solid and I imagine it can take some abuse.

Features — 9
This amp is OK in the versatility department. The cleans are amazing, but since it is a one channel amp, metal tones are almost, if not completely out of the question without a stompbox. Has a 3 band EQ. The gain gets a little muddy at the top end, but you can get some really crunchy tones if you dial the master volume back. The spring reverb is good to about 5, then it just gets to be too much. I bought this amp to use as a practice amp to take back and forth from my house (I play with a couple different groups so moving my half stack around gets old really quick). This amp is fairly loud, especially for 18 watts. Definitely loud enough to practice with a full band, and although I haven't yet, I don't see any reason that you wouldn't be able to gig with this combo. The amp is open-backed. I wish it had another channel, and an effects loop would be nice. Overall, a very nice tube amp for the price.

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